Don't leave shore without a life jacket
All recreational vessels must have an appropriately sized lifejacket for each person on board. In vessel of less than 6 metres in length the lifejackets must be worn. There are some exceptions for certain vessels in certain conditions, and these can be found in section 2 of the bylaws.
Travel at a safe speed
Always travel at a speed where you can safely control your vessel and take action to avoid other vessel as needed.
Have a look at the brochure
(PDF 1.4 MB)
that covers the 5 knot rule and also the 12 knot limit in Lambton Harbour.
It takes three to ski
If you are towing a water skier, wake boarder or inflatable tow toy or similar you must have a person who is over 10 years old as a lookout. Their job is to that watching the person being towed, and letting the driver concentrate on driving the boat.
If something goes wrong how do you call for help?
The bylaws require that all recreational vessels carry at least two means of communication. These should be able to work if they get wet. What you use depends on your vessel and where you are going. Examples can be a simple as a referees whistle, and include a cell phone in a bag, VHF radio, distress flares or a Personal locator beacon (PLB)/EPIRB. Know how to use them before an emergency happens. Paddled craft within 1km of shore need only carry one means of communication.
If you are travelling on wellington Harbour at night there are two things to be aware; navigation lights and your VHF radio.
If you intend to travel through the harbour entrance you are also required to talk to Wellington Harbour Radio as well.
Make sure you have the correct navigation lights showing (read the
Know before you go brochure
(PDF 1.4 MB)
to find out more), in addition to the required lights for larger craft, small boats either sailed, paddled or rowed must show an all-round right light at night.
On Wellington Harbour you must listen to VHF Ch 14 at night, this will keep you informed of what large commercial vessels are moving around the harbour and should help you to keep clear of them.
Might is right
This might sound simple, and it is! Within Wellington Harbour limits vessels under 500 Gross Tonnes mast keep clear of vessel over 500 Gross Tonnes. What does that mean? A 50metre commercial fishing boat is about 500 gross tonnes, if you are smaller than that stay clear of anything larger than that size. The larger ships are trying to stay on recommended tracks in and out of the Harbour and they take quite a while to stop, even in a hurry. Please respect that and stay safe by keeping clear.
Maritime Rule 91
This is the National Navigation Safety Rule, issued by Maritime New Zealand. It covers all of New Zealand's waterways and provides a benchmark for our regional bylaws. Our regional Navigation and Safety Bylaws may impose additional provisions above those required by Part 91.
Reporting unsafe behaviour
We all need to look out for each other on the water. If you see anything or anyone acting silly call us on (04) 388 1911 or (04) 473 4547.