I bet we all know of how enjoyable the waters of Queensland are. It is hard to ignore the soothing blue colour, sandy beaches, and exceptional breadth of air from the waters. Many fun activities are happening around the water and one of them is boating. But are you aware of boating safety measures?

Boating without following specific rules can turn into a life-threatening activity. Here we have listed the necessary Queensland Boating Rules for you to enjoy boating safely.

1.           Skippers’ Obligation

Boating requires one to be qualified and experienced before tossing that vessel into the waters. You can achieve this through training in an extensive range of AMSA-approved courses. You will learn how to handle the boat, follow navigation rules, and acquire the correct marine license.

As the skipper, people’s lives are in your hands.

Always check if the boat is in good condition and safe to operate. Sticking to the required number of people on the vessel is key for safety. Communicate with your crew and passengers about handling themselves on board safely and always show people on board the location of safety equipment in case of emergency.

2.           Buying a Boat

Thinking of going boating can be exciting. However, you need to make sure that your boat is in good condition or new. It must have an Australian Builders Plate (ABP) to provide information to the boat’s operator regarding safe operation. You should choose a trusted boat seller to make the process right.

If you are thinking of second-hand boats, consider involving a person with marine experience to inspect the boat and give you an unbiased report. You will need to look out for any modifications and if it meets the required boat standards, such as safety equipment being in date. If you need engine replacement can be done by our professional mechanics.

3.           Safety Equipment

Water has so many benefits, but on the flip side, it is no one’s friend.  Boating can be unpredictable, and things can go wrong at any time. Boating trouble is not like a car breakdown, where you can pull over to figure out or ask for help!

Having the proper safety equipment is essential onboard, and it can save your life. Let’s look at some of the important boating safety types of equipment in Queensland:

  • Lifejacket /PDFs: It may seem obvious but there is more to lifejackets and crucial design details that need to be followed. For example, the purpose of the life jacket, wearer’s age, size and weight, and replacement if the lifespan has elapsed. Required for smooth waters and beyond partially smooth waters.
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB): Imagine being in the deep waters (middle of nowhere) and you can only be found through a gadget to transmit your location to rescue authorities. The EPIRB gadget is mandatory and crucial for rough waters. It must be registered with AMSA and serviced for compliance.
  • Signalling Devices: Unknowingly, waters can become deep, dark, and dangerous. The Queensland guide requires boaties to have onboard signalling devices such as a waterproof torch, lantern, or Cyalume stick. These are required when operating from sunrise and sunset in smooth waters to beyond smooth and partially smooth waters.
  • V-sheets: Well, it doesn’t cost much, but it’s a lifesaver. A V-sheet is a bright orange sheet with a black V-shaped for the open waters. It is important for attracting the attention of other boats in case of a mechanical breakdown or distress. Required from partially smooth water to beyond somewhat smooth waters.
  • Flares: Used to get the attention of other boats or aircraft if you need assistance. Flares are effective for signalling distress and showing your position because of their high visibility in air and water. They are required from partially smooth water to beyond somewhat smooth waters.
  • Firefighting equipment: You may never have thought of how fire can be hazardous in the waters. Just so you’re aware, fire can destroy your vessel, harm your loved ones and turn a fun activity into life-threatening. Firefighting equipment is required for boats over 5m in smooth waters beyond smooth and partially smooth waters.

4.           Weather Conditions

Boat safety includes checking weather and tides before you go out and checking them while on the waters. Use the marine radio to receive navigation warnings and weather updates. Slow down and take extra precautions in bad weather.

Severe weather conditions happen between November and April. Boat owners should ensure their vessels are maintained and properly serviced by our mechanics to withstand the weather they may encounter.

5.           Designated water limits

The Queensland waterways are diverse, so designated water limits affect the types of safety equipment required. You should be aware of the types of water limits, which determine where it is safe to boat and which kinds of lifejackets passengers are required to wear.

The smooth waters, such as rivers, streams, and lakes are half a nautical mile from land. Partially smooth waters and open waters are determined by Maritime Safety Queensland and specified in legislation. A complete list is shown on a map of Queensland’s recreational boating and fishing guide.

There are also prohibited and restricted areas for personal watercraft activities such as water skiing which are marked by signs. These in detail can be found on Maritime Safety Queensland website.

Queensland Boating Rules

Better safe than sorry!

Remember boats have no brains therefore, we should use our own to ensure we are boating safely.

The Queensland Boating Rules are meant to help us, our loved ones, and others safe in the water. We have touched on the essential rules, but you should visit the Queensland recreational boating and fishing guide to get more details.

If you have been thinking of buying a boat to kick up the fun, from our extensive years of experience in the boating industry. Mike’s has specialised experience working with mercury engines, and a Savage boat dealership, so whether you need someone to look at your boat or you’re in the market to buy a new one, do not hesitate to contact Mike’s Marine. We will advise you with quality assurance and many years of boat sales and service!