If you’re heading out on the water this summer you need a plan of action-no matter how experienced you are. Knowing the local conditions before you head out will help keep you and others safe while being free to enjoy your experience.
Make the right safety choice by following the Boating Safety Code - wear your life jacket (and make sure it’s the right size), take two waterproof ways to call for help, check the marine weather forecast, avoid alcohol, and know the rules to be a responsible skipper.
your craft and equipment; whether that’s your boat, paddle board, canoe, kayak, waka or any other vessel, making sure it’s safe and water-ready before leaving home.
your gear to make sure it’s safe and fit for purpose, and ensure you have two ways to call for help if you need it. Pack the right safety equipment you need to operate your craft.
your responsibilities for keeping yourself and others safe by making plans to suit your confidence on the water. Stay up-to-date with the marine forecast and local bylaws.
Paddle craft
  • Ensure the bung is in good condition.
  • Check the hull for damage.
  • Ensure bilges are clean and dry.
  • Test steering for stiffness.
  • Clean the fuel filter and check fuel lines for leaks.
  • Charge your batteries.
  • Test your electrical equipment and lights are working.
  • Check for fuel smells and ventilate your boat before starting your engine.
  • Check the outboard, pull cord, kill switch, throttle and gear shift are all working.
  • Start the engine and ensure cooling water is flowing .
  • Lifejackets: One suitable fitted lifejacket for everyone on board.
  • Communication equipment: Two ways to call for help – VHF radio, distress beacons (EPIRB or PLB), cell phone in a waterproof bag and flares.
  • Navigation: Charts, plotter, GPS, depth sounder and navigation lights.
  • Alternative power: A spare outboard motor or oars.
  • Bailing system: A bucket, bailer or bilge pump.
  • Anchor: Suitable anchor with 3-6m chain. Attach to a non-floating rope and secure to the boat.
  • Fire extinguishers: Store within reach of the deck or cockpit.
  • First aid kit: Basic kit for minor accidents or injuries.
  • Torch: Spare bulb and batteries.
  • Throwline: For person overboard.
  • Fuel: Take 1/3 to get there, 1/3 to return, 1/3 in reserve.
  • Skippers are responsible for the safety of their boat and passengers. You can be prosecuted, so learn how to boat safely.
  • Take an online Day Skipper course with Coastguard Boating Education.
  • Drivers must be 15 years and over to operate a power boat.
  • Know the give way rules as they apply to your vessel.
  • Keep a good lookout at all times, especially at speed.
  • Go less than 5 knots 200m within the shore or near a dive boat and within 50m of swimmers and other boats. Observe the 5 knot rule.
  • If towing you need an observer - that’s three people when water skiing or wake boarding.
  • Display the correct lights at night so you can be seen.
  • If you can hear and see a large ship get out of its way fast.
  • Check MarineMate for your local bylaws (search ‘Marine Mate’ in your app store).
  • Check your craft for leaks, damage or dodgy cables/fasteners and anything else that could invite trouble.
  • Tether your paddle so you don’t lose it if you capsize. Know how to get back on and right your paddle craft.
  • LIFEJACKETS: Check your lifejacket, especially an inflatable, is undamaged and fits. Know how to adjust the fit.
  • COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT: Take two – a hand held VHF radio, a personal locator beacon (PLB) or a cell phone in a waterproof lanyard bag. Carry them on you or stash them in your lifejacket pocket.
  • WETSUIT: Dress for the water temp, not air temp. Cold water shocks and hypothermia can kill.
  • WATERPROOF TORCH: Show a bright light from (and during) sunset to sunrise. Check your battery.
  • LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: Talk to locals about the specific tides, currents and hazards. Check MarineMate for your local bylaws (search ‘Marine Mate’ in your app store).
  • PLENTY OF FOOD, DRINK AND SUNSCREEN: Don’t get caught short.

The Safer Boating toolkit:

About this toolkit

The toolkit helps us work together to promote safer boating campaigns by sharing resources to help tie all our safer boating activities together as part of one campaign.

Together, our messages are stronger.

Using images in this toolkit

The images used on many of the resources in this toolkit have special instructions about how they are used:

Read about usage

Milan and Nathan, from Lateral Line, are safer boating champions. Their images are used on the resources in this toolkit with their permission.

The images must be used in the way they are provided in this toolkit and cannot be edited or amended.

Safer Boating Resources

Resources that can be used in the lead up to and during Safer Boating Week 2021 and to promote the Summer/Winter campaign 21/22.

See more

Digital resource pack[ZIP: 32.6MB, 75 files]

What's in this pack

Logos and banners

Safer Boating logo [JPG]
3 colour - 1 image/size

Safer Boating Code [JPG]
1 image/size

Boating safety code

Social media

110px x 110px [JPG]
1 image

200px x 630px [JPG]
5 images

728px x 90px [JPG]
1 image

820px x 360px [JPG]
2 images

820px x 461px [JPG]
8 images

1200px x 675px [JPG]
5 images

1080px x 1080px [JPG]
20 images

1080px x 1920px [JPG]
4 images


300px x 250px [JPG]
11 images

300px x 600px [JPG]
2 images

970px x 250px [JPG]
1 image

Email signatures

1200px x 305px [JPG]
5 images

650px x 150px [JPG]
8 images


These videos feature Lateral Line’s Milan and Nathan.

Copy the code block below for each of the videos to embed into your own website:

Prep your boat

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Check your gear

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsaferboatingweek%2Fvideos%2Fbc.AbpI0mxoP3-Bc7o2IqpIvXCVUNGJmvrWOUYYM7pHtyNO71tGRMwPSzSxrwpwXkniHIkG5O6U_NIxRNKA5F4md8tPebMyIsPXOj4hP8JBofQV5TSmf46iaYCGpIzPqfPptkFNUqSvyFKbshm-fNJB14rsoUuX3ki1DHVAWZ8PZmlfeg%2F1829711553940819%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

Know the rules

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsaferboatingweek%2Fvideos%2F1830827660495875%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

No Excuses

No Excuses

Resources that can be used by councils involved in the “No Excuses” project between 23 October 2021 to 31 March 2022

See more

No Excuses digital resources[ZIP: 353kB, 3 files]

What's in this pack


No Excuses flag [JPG]

For Twitter [PNG]

For Facebook [PNG]

Resources shared by other organisations

Hawkes Bay Harbourmaster’s primary school resource [PDF]

Video – How to fit lifejacket crotch straps [1 min 30]

Video showing why it’s important to wear a lifejacket with crotch straps. View the video on the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (UK) website.



Download water, boating and outdoor safety codes in a number of languages:


Useful links

Coastguard Boating Education courses:


VHF call signs, Coastguard Boating Education:


Waka Ama Safety Tips and Tricks (useful for all boaties):


Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers (KASK)


Ordering hard copies

A number of safer boating items (guides and stickers) are available to order. Use the order form via the link below to request up to ten copies of any item.

Order now