Recreational Boating Safety Handbook

Licensing services are currently impacted. See: Response to boating queries about COVID-19

The Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook contains guidance and safety information for all recreational boaters, including sailors, kayakers, canoeists, rowers, wakeboarders, water-skiers, and kitesurfers.

The Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook is a valuable reference if you are applying for a marine licence or a personal watercraft endorsement.

The complete handbook is available to download below in PDF or Word format.
It is also available to download by chapter to ease download times.

To request a hard copy of the Handbook, send your postal address to [email protected]

  • Introduction
  • Safety duties

Download regulatory environment section of the handbook in PDF or Word format. 

  • Before you go boating
  • Heightened risk
  • Safety equipment
  • Lifejacket wear
  • Trip preparation
  • Weather hazards and conditions
  • Crossing ocean bars
  • Interstate boating
  • Environment and wildlife
  • Marine national parks and marine sanctuaries
  • Environment protection

Download Chapter 1 of the handbook in PDF or Word format:

  • Speed and distance rules
  • Hoon laws
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Transit only zones and channels
  • Know the Collision Regulations
  • Buoyage IALA System A
  • Buoyage types
  • Boating zone buoyage (inland waterways)
  • Boating zone marks and signage
  • Navigation lights
  • Day shapes for vessels
  • Sound and light signals
  • Basic boat handling tips
  • Towed water sports

Download Chapter 2 of the handbook in PDF or Word format:

  • Coping with emergencies
  • Abandoning vessel
  • Person overboard
  • Cold water immersion
  • Fire
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • First aid
  • Reporting incidents and accidents

Download Chapter 3 of the handbook in PDF or Word format:

  • Recreational marine licensing
  • Types of marine licences
  • Operating under supervision
  • Hire and drive requirements
  • Obtaining a marine licence
  • Marine licence fees
  • Interstate marine licence holders
  • Victorians travelling interstate
  • People visiting Victoria
  • Commercial marine qualifications holders
  • Evidence of identity
  • Applicants with poor vision
  • Applicants with a disability or medical condition
  • Vessel registration requirements
  • Registration labels and identification marks
  • Hull identification number

Download Chapter 4 of the handbook in PDF or Word format:

  • Personal watercraft
  • PWC operator conduct
  • Speed and distance rules
  • Know the Collision Regulations
  • Hoon laws
  • Noise
  • Safety equipment
  • Towed water sports
  • Carrying capacity
  • Penalties
  • Licensing and registration
  • Ride Right

Download Chapter 5 of the handbook in PDF or Word format: