Safety Equipment Checklist

The following table sets out the minimum requirements for owners and operators of a motor-propelled recreational vessel. The further offshore you go, the more equipment you need.

The owner or driver of a motor boat must ensure that the required safety equipment is carried on the boat, properly stored, readily accessible, kept for immediate use and maintained in good order.

Equipment Smooth
Sheltered WatersCoastal
Anchor, Rope and ChainMUSTMUSTMUST
Bailer/ Bilge PumpMUSTMUSTMUST
Life Jacket
for all on board – must be AS4758
(Level 50 or greater)
(Level 100 or greater)
(Level 100 or greater)
Fire ExtinguisherMUSTMUSTMUST
Oars / Auxiliary Propulsion
(Boats Under 6m only)
Flares RecommendedMUST
(2 x Orange &
2 x Red)
(2 x Orange
2 x Red 2 x Parachute))
and VHF
EVDS and GPS-EPIRB AND VHF and 2 Parachute flares
Marine Radio (VHF)RecommendedRecommendedMUST
Heaving LineRecommended(Boats over 6m only)MUST
LifebuoyRecommended(Boats over 6m only)MUST
(All boats)
(GPS enabled preferred)
Radar ReflectorRecommendedRecommendedMUST
First Aid Kit and WaterRecommendedRecommendedMUST
  • Inflatable Life Jackets must be in service to comply
  • All vessels operating sunset to sunrise require navigational lights and torch
  • It is recommended that vessels less than 6 metres should not proceed beyond sheltered waters
  • Smooth water – Inland lakes, rivers.
  • Sheltered waters are all waters not exceeding 2 nautical miles to seaward of land on the North and East coasts unless specified in the MAST “Limits of Operational Areas”
  • All Other Waters (Coastal Waters) are those beyond Sheltered Waters as well as waters on the South and West Coasts between South East Cape and Cape Grim.
Safety equipment in unregistered boats

Unregistered motor boats are all motorised vessels of less than 4 hp.

These vessels are required to carry the minimum required safety equipment as per the Marine and Safety (Motor Boats and Licences) By-Laws 2023, which includes a fire extinguisher, bailer or bilge pump, flares, an anchor with the correct length of chain and rope and oars or paddles. It is also compulsory to wear a life jacket at all times when under power. (Flares are not required in smooth waters).

Safety equipment in tenders

Life jackets are compulsory in tenders (whether powered or rowing).

A bailer or bilge pump is required for a motor-propelled tender. A set of oars is also recommended.

A motor propelled tender is defined as any vessel not exceeding 4.5 metres in length that is operated within 0.5 nautical miles of a parent vessel used primarily for embarking and disembarking crew and passengers.

Once a motor-propelled tender operates beyond 0.5 miles from its parent vessel, it is required to carry the minimum safety equipment listed above and if more than 4hp is also required to be registered.

Safety equipment in lightweight craft

A life jacket, tethering device (when 200m offshore) and white strobe light (at night) are compulsory in a lightweight craft.  For a list of all equipment required in a lightweight craft, see Paddle Craft.