Licence logbooks for safer boating in NSW

People applying for a power boat licence will have to show they have practical ‘on-water’ boating experience under new licence regulations which come into force next week.

Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said from Monday (June 1, 2009) anyone wanting a licence will have to complete a Boating Licence Practical Logbook or attend a registered training provider course.

“This practical component is in addition to the two existing theory tests applicants need to sit,” Mr Tripodi said.

“NSW already has one of the strongest boat licence test systems in Australia and people wanting a licence need to demonstrate a comprehensive level of boating safety knowledge.

“But just as you need practical experience to get a licence to drive on the roads, the Government believes the same principle should apply to boating.”

Mr Tripodi said obtaining a General Boat Licence now involves three steps: the new practical component, completing the Boating Safety Course, either on-line, by CD or at a training course and a theory test which can be undertaken at a NSW Maritime office.

Licence applicants can gain practical boating experience by:

• undertaking a minimum of three trips in a powered vessel under the guidance of an experienced skipper and completing the Boating Licence Practical Logbook, or

• attending a practical course conducted by a Recognised Training Provider.

“To complete the logbook which contains a checklist of practical, on-water experiences, a ‘trainee’ must be accompanied by a licensed skipper who then verifies that the specific activities have been undertaken,” Mr Tripodi said.

The logbook will be available at all NSW Maritime service centres, RTA Motor Registries, and Government Access Centres. It can also be downloaded from Maritime’s website

As of the end of April 2009, there were just over 473,000 boat license holders in NSW – an increase of nearly 4.5% on the previous year.


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Boating at night - "Be Bright at Night"

Navigating at night requires special care and attention.  Vessels operating at night, whether at anchor or underway must carry and exhibit the correct lights.  It is crucial the lights on vessels are placed and displayed appropriate to the size and class of the vessel.

The objectives of this campaign are to conduct compliance checks of vessels throughout the State to ensure:

  • correctly displayed navigation lights on vessels
  • safety equipment, in particular lifejackets, are on board, are in good condition and are readily accessible in the case of an emergency
  • skippers have the required licence and/or certificate of competency
  • vessels meet registration/survey requirements