Boating safety equipment checklist 

The following checklists give you the minimum safety equipment needed for Australian waters.

Equipment requirements for recreational boating are different between states, with variables and exemptions relating to the size and type of vessel as well as factors like operating area and distance from land.

Check the full equipment lists available online from the relevant state boating and national yachting authorities.

  1. All vessels
  2. Inshore (less than 2NM off coastline)
  3. Offshore (more than 2NM off coastline)

  • Second anchor, chain and rope
  • Tow rope
  • First aid kit
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Adhesive strips, bandages, dressing pads
  • Gloves
  • Paracetamol
  • Surgical scissors
  • First aid pamphlet and resuscitation chart
  • Safety blanket
  • Seasickness tablets
  • Fresh drinking water
  • Tool kit
  • Engine spare parts and new spark plugs
  • Electrical spares
  • Knife
  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable spanners
  • Pliers
  • Bolt or wire cutters
  • Metal saw
  • Hammer
  • Hose clamps
  • Electrical tape
  • Mask and snorkel
  • Signalling mirror
  • Marine strobe (intense strobe light visible up to 3.2km)
  • Dye marker (luminescent green dye released into the sea, covers approximately 50 metres)
  • Barometer
  • Radar reflector
  • Sea anchor
  • Emergency steering
  • Display flags (N over C)
  • Boat hook
  • Spare fuel
  • Spare propeller

  • Make sure everyone onboard knows how to use the safety equipment
  • Make sure items like lifejackets, flares and emergency beacons (EPIRBs) remain easily accessible
  • Regularly check expiry dates on all equipment and replace as needed
  • Lifejackets - level 50S or greater, one per person (check local regulations for usage and exemptions)
  • Anchor and chain or line
  • Bailer or bucket with lanyard
  • Bilge pump - manual or auto (for vessels with covered bilge)
  • Fire extinguisher (required on all vessels with electric start, electric motors, battery or stove)
  • Sound signal – air horn, whistle or bell
  • Waterproof torch – floating and operational
  • Paddles or oars (vessels under 6 metres) unless auxiliary propulsion is fitted
  • Navigation lights (sunset to sunrise)

  • Lifejackets - level 100 or greater, one per person (check local regulations for usage and exemptions)
  • Inflatable lifejackets must be serviced in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions
  • Inflatable lifejackets are not recommended for non-swimmers and children
  • Hand-held orange smoke flares – minimum of 2
  • Used in daylight
  • Visible up to 10km by aircraft
  • Must comply with Australian Standard AS 2092
  • Hand-held red flares – minimum of 2
  • Visibility range of 10km
  • For use at night but can also be seen in daylight
  • Must comply with Australian Standards AS 2092
  • Red star parachute distress rocket – optional
  • Fires a single red star to approximately 300m
  • Burns for at least 40 seconds with a visibility range of potentially 40km
  • Required by many vessels venturing more than 5 nautical miles offshore
  • White parachute flare – optional
  • Specialised flare used to illuminate search/rescue area
  • Marine radio - 27 MHz, VHF or HF
  • All operators of marine radios (except 27 MHz) are required to hold appropriate licence to operate the device
  • Can be supplemented with a mobile phone for coastal boating
  • EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)
  • 406 MHz (must be registered with AMSA and in date)
  • A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) may be carried in addition to a 406 EPIRB as an extra precaution
  • Compass - can be augmented by a GPS unit
  • Map - paper (not electronic) chart for area of operation
  • V sheet - orange with black vee
  • Drinking water - 2 to 4 litres per person, depending on State
  • Lifebuoy - legally required on vessels greater than 8 metres in some States
  • Life raft - National Marine Safety Committee recommends all recreational vessels going more than 2nm offshore carry a life raft or dinghy
  • Mandatory on Category 1 and 2 offshore racing yachts
  • Mandatory in South Australia on boats over 15m operating offshore
  • Victoria requires life raft or dinghy for boats 12m + operating 2nm from shore
  • Equipment and rations should comply with Australian Sailing or SOLAS regs
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Club Marine Limited (ABN 12 007 588 347), AFSL 236916 (Club Marine) issues this insurance and handles and settles claims as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (ABN 15 000 122 850) AFSL 234708 (Allianz). Club Marine is a related body corporate of Allianz. Copyright © 2024 Allianz Australia Limited