Every day boats are bought and sold in Tasmania and MAST is focused on ensuring that boats on the water are safe and that recreational boaters come home safely.

MAST has introduced new legislation to improve the transfer and registration process for recreational vessels.

The changes are centered around ensuring the vessel is not unsafe.

Many older vessels may have been modified since their construction, which could affect the safety of the boat itself.

Common modifications might include new larger engines, brackets and fixtures being screwed into the vessel, additional weight being added with pot haulers, larger fuel tanks and auxiliary motors.  

Under the new legislation, you will be required to declare that your boat is not unsafe when registering or selling a vessel.

In addition, the person buying the boat must also declare that they are satisfied the vessel being transferred to them is not unsafe. Both the seller and purchaser must notify MAST of the transfer within 14 days.

For the purposes of registration and transfer, an unsafe vessel is due to one or more of the following circumstances:

(a)  the structural condition of the vessel, or a component of the vessel, that renders the vessel unfit to undertake a voyage for which the vessel is otherwise designed and would be, if not in that condition, capable of undertaking;

(b)  the engine power rating of the vessel, as recommended by the manufacturer or recorded on the ABP, is being exceeded;

(c)  the engine mass of the vessel, as recommended by the manufacturer or recorded on the ABP, is being exceeded;

(d)  the absence of, or condition of, materials or items comprising the reserve buoyancy, or part of the reserve buoyancy, of the vessel

Many vessels are advertised for cheap prices on various platforms. There is no such thing as a cheap boat! 

The best advice MAST can give any buyer of a second-hand boat is to take someone along who knows about boats when you go to look at your prospective purchase.

The two problem areas in fibreglass boats are delamination and rotting of the core material and fractures in the glass laminate. The most common failure is in the transom.

To determine if your vessel is not unsafe, the following links may assist in determining if your vessel is not an unsafe vessel.

Is the vessel structurally sound?

Is the engine power rating compliant with the Australian Builders Plate (ABP) or the manufacturer’s recommendations?

Does the engine mass comply with the ABP or the manufacturer’s recommendations? 

Does the vessel have adequate buoyancy?

Sellers and buyers will be required to declare that their vessel is not unsafe when registering, selling or buying. The declaration for doing this will be included on the certificate of registration.

If you do not have an updated certificate of registration, ensure you lodge the Recreational Vessel Buyer Declaration or Recreational Vessel Seller Declaration forms with your application.

This process also applies to new vessel registration applications, whereby the declaration is included with the application.

Failure to ensure the declaration is completed by either party will result in MAST being unable to transfer or register the boat which may result in cancellation of the boat’s registration.