What you need to carry

Boaties are required to carry a compass if they go into partially smooth waters or beyond partially smooth waters.

By Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone

What equipment do boats that are required to be registered need to carry?

Last time we introduced a question that sparks much conversation and confusion among boat owners, “What equipment am I actually required to carry on my boat?”

We looked at Marine Safety Queensland’s (MSQ’s) official guidance on this topic, which is broken down into boats that are required to be registered and boats that are not.

We have already examined this topic from the perspective of boats that don’t need to be registered. Now we’ll look at boats that do need to be registered. For simplicity, this is any boat with a motor that produces more than 3kW (4hp).

If your boat requires registration, Marine Safety Queensland requires you to carry:

. An EPIRB or Personal Location Beacon (PLB) if you go beyond partially smooth waters. If you are going to use a PLB instead of an EPIRB there are additional specific requirements relating to the selection and use of a PLB that you should make yourself aware of. This information can be obtained from MSQ.

. Two red and two orange handheld smoke flares if you go into partially smooth waters or beyond partially smooth waters.

. Firefighting equipment.

. A signalling device (torch, glow stick, lantern etc.).

. A V sheet if you go into partially smooth waters or beyond partially smooth waters.

. A life jacket for each person onboard. There are specific requirements for life jackets depending on where you are going, and you should confirm with MSQ that your life jackets are suitable for your intended use.

While not listed as required, the following equipment is recommended:

. An anchor with appropriate line.

. Relevant charts if you go into partially smooth waters or beyond partially smooth waters.

. A compass if you go into partially smooth waters or beyond partially smooth waters.

. Drinking water.

. A handheld electronic navigation device if you don’t have charts and a compass, if you go into partially smooth waters or beyond partially smooth waters.

. Oars or paddles (if your boat is less than 6m in length).

. Pumping or bailing equipment.

To echo the warning from last time, you should be aware that while MSQ describes some equipment as recommended (should be carried as opposed to must be carried), they clarify this by noting that recommended equipment is the equipment necessary to meet the general and enforceable safety obligation applied to all boat users by the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994.

Observant readers will have noticed a glaring omission to this list and the previous list relating to boats that don’t require registration. That omission is a marine radio.

While MSQ describes marine radios as essential pieces of safety equipment in other documents, they are not actually included in the official list of safety equipment that must be carried, and should be carried, respectively.

Without getting bogged down in how this situation has come about, it is probably self-evident to most people that they should not even consider taking a boat out without a functioning radio, regardless of the current published requirements.

However, we also understand that some people are apprehensive about using a marine radio because they feel that they don’t have the necessary training to use one properly.

To help with this, Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone is working with community partners to facilitate radio courses for members of the public.

If you would like to learn more about doing a marine radio course, have any questions about what you are required to carry on your boat, or have questions about anything else related to your boat, you can always contact Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone at: james.harris@mrq.org.au or www.vmrgladstone.org.au