Queensland Boating and Fishing Guide
General rules and requirements General safety obligation
The Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 imposes a safety obligation on all vessel owners and operators (skippers and PWC riders) to operate vessels safely at all times. You’re the skipper, you’re responsible! Be a responsible skipper, before you head out on the water follow these simple tips:
Check that your boat is in good condition
Have the required safety equipment on board, in good condition and easily accessible Boating in Queensland You’re responsible for making sure the vessel is safe, properly equipped and maintained and operated in a safe manner. This includes loading within the vessel limits, people, cargo and stores, and making sure the vessel is adequate for the waters you intend to use it.
Tell someone know where you are going and when you intend to return
Have the right marine licence and know how to handle the boat
Know how to use your marine radio
Check the weather before you go out
Know the rules of the sea-road and follow them
Lifejacket – wear it! If it’s not on it can’t save you.
Australian Builders Plate The Australian Builders Plate (ABP) is required for new and imported recreational boats built from 1 July 2006. It provides essential safety information about a vessels operational capability in a standard format.
It provides information on the maximum number of people and weight load of a boat, as well as the maximum engine weight and power. Vessel owners who are upsizing motors on recreational boats and/or altering the performance by design may not be meeting their general safety obligation if the engine power is greater than the manufacturer’s recommendation on the ABP.
Capacity labels All registrable boats, except yachts with auxiliary motors, are required to have capacity label(s). Note: If the vessel has an Australian Builders Plate fitted where it can be seen clearly from the steering position, a capacity label is not required. Capacity labels must be placed so they can be clearly seen from each steering position. This will show skippers how many people they can have on board.
Capacity labels can be purchased through a number of suppliers such as marine chandleries. Penalties apply for not having a capacity label or ABP in the correct location. Don’t go overboard! Overloading your boat is one of the easiest ways to capsize it and compromises the safety of everyone on board. By allowing more people on board a boat than its maximum capacity, the risk of capsizing significantly increases. Placing an ABP or capacity label adjacent to a boat’s steering position means skippers are constantly reminded of their boat’s recommended loading capacity in good conditions (fair weather conditions in smooth waters).
The onus of safety rests with the skipper at all times. When using the boat in exposed waters or in rough conditions, the skipper should consider reducing the number of persons taken on the trip. All skippers must comply with the ABP or capacity label. Responsible skippers check the maximum number of people and weight load of a boat, as well as the maximum engine weight and power. Know how to safely load your boat by:
• storing heavy items low and central in a place where they cannot move around
• distributing the weight, including passengers, evenly around the boat
• compensating for the weight of extra fuel. You and your boat A new boat All new boats should have an Australian Builders Plate affixed. If not check with the dealer before purchasing. If safety equipment has been supplied, double check the safety equipment table (page 18) to ensure you have all the required equipment. Life jackets are important items – consider upgrading to better quality or inflatable life jackets which can be worn with comfort most of the time. If the boat is fitted with an under floor fuel tank, ensure a water trap fuel filter has been fitted. It will help ensure that fuel does not become contaminated resulting in engine problems while out boating. A second hand boat If the boat was built before the Australian Builders Plate was required (2006), then you must have a capacity label. Because the boat is older and may have been modified by previous owners, be sure to check:
• Life jackets meet the current standard