From discharge to speed limits, it seems like there are many rules and regulations that as boaties we are required to follow to be safe and compliant. Here is a quick reference to some of the most important ones that we come across, including stricter new requirements for sewage discharge in Northland
Skippers must carry a correctly fitting lifejacket for every person onboard their boat, and wear them in times of increased risk. In Auckland, if your vessel is under 6m, everyone on board must wear a lifejacket unless the skipper says it is safe to remove it. This includes your tender.
Discharge of sewage and waste from your boat
Generally, treated sewage may not be discharged within 500 metres from land, or in water less than 5 metres deep – there are also special regulations for sensitive areas. Read more on the Maritime NZ website. Westhaven Marina is also a no discharge zone.
In Northland, untreated sewage must be discharged well outside Northland harbours, or at a pump-out facility, and it is illegal to stay overnight on a mooring or at anchor without a proper way of treating or containing your boat’s sewage. Visit www.nrc.govt.nz/marinepollution
A clean hull, including keel and all underwater fittings, will not only ensure your boat performs well, it will also help stop the spread of marine pests. Each council’s rules are slightly different and some marinas also have special requirements. It’s wise to plan ahead so check out www.marinepests.nz, a reference guides prepared by the councils in the top half of the North Island
The maximum speed permitted for all boats in New Zealand is 5 knots (about 9 km/h) within 200 metres of shore or any boat with a dive flag, and within 50 metres of any other boat or swimmer. Westhaven is a wake free zone, so within Westhaven, please check behind you and make sure you aren’t leaving a wake.
There is a speed restriction of 12 knots in place between the Harbour Bridge and North Head.
There are of course a range of other regulations relating to safety. Maritime New Zealand has prepared a useful online guide for recreational boaties to cover all . Click here to check it out.
The Auckland Harbourmasters website is also a good reference for local requirements.