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Several years ago Marine And Safety Tasmania conducted a lifejacket awareness day.  Now those of you who have attended a Border Boat Licence theory course will know I spend a fair bit of time on lifejackets and the pros and cons of each different type, that is foam jackets Vs inflatable jackets.  

Having worked some long days on the water in temperatures nudging and even exceeding 40 degrees, inflatable life jackets are awesome, especially if you are in a position where you are legally obliged to wear a lifejacket.  The thing is though, it is not impossible for an inflatable lifejacket to fail or due to the wearer panicking or being unconscious, a manual inflate jacket is at even more of a risk of not being activated.  A foam jacket on the other hand are not as comfortable to wear but they are inherently buoyant and when worn correctly, that is it should be nice and snug, preferably with a crotch strap, the foam life jacket it should always work as they were designed to work for you.

Please take 5 minutes and have a look at the video on the lifejacket awareness day.  As they say, a picture tells a thousand words. 



Back in 2010 the standard for lifejackets was changed from AS1512 to AS4758.  With that change saw the change in the way we refer to our lifejackets from Type 1, 2 or 3 to Levels 100+, 50 and 50S.  For most of us it didn't really mean much at all, we could continue using the lifejackets we had but that period hasn't got much longer to go. 

From January 2021, the old AS1512 PFDs/lifejackets will no longer be accepted and you must update to the current standard which is AS4758.1.  It sounds like it is a long way off but in reality it is only a boating season and a half away (at the time of writing).

If you have a spare moment, have a look at this video and start thinking about updating your lifejackets sooner rather than later.  It is based in Tasmania but to the best of my knowledge, this will apply Nationwide.



NSW Marine Safety Regulation 2016 - What's Changed? 

The NSW Marine Safety Regulation 2016 (The Regs) were enacted on 1 July, 2016.  Within these new Regulations there were some significant changes that will affect on water boating as well as the process involved to obtain a NSW Boat Licence.


NSW Boat Licence Course Vs Victorian Boat Licence Course

I am regularly asked whether a NSW resident can get a Victorian boat licence.  Why?  Because a Victorian boat licence costs less then a NSW boat licence.  The simple answer is yes you can BUT what Vic Roads and other Victorian course providers won't tell you is that if you live in NSW then you should have a NSW licence and if you live in Victoria you should have a Vic boat licence.  Basically it is the same as your car drivers licence.  The Victorian course providers want your business, even if it means placing you at risk of receiving some nasty fines out there on the water.

If you are a NSW resident, holding a Vic boat licence, operating on NSW waters and happen to be checked by a NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officer (BSO) who knows their stuff, you can and more than likely will be issued with a $250 penalty notice for being unlicensed.  The Vic boat licence will be OK to use on Victorian Waters but it is not valid on NSW waters (if you are a NSW resident).

Read more: I Live In NSW - Can I Get a Victorian Boat Licence?

Winterising Your vessel


Well someone has definitely flicked the switch on the big fridge in the sky and winter is well and truly here.  For many of us, the urge to go boating disappears and our pride and joy gets put to bed for the winter.  The problem is though, alot of people don't prepare their boats for hibernation and when it comes time to use the boat again, the thing doesn't want to start or runs like a dog.  Here are a few simple tips to take the angst out of getting back on the water when the weather warms up.

Read more: Winterise Your Vessel

Alcohol Limits & Breath Testing On The Water


How many times have you heard someone say "My mate got done DUI on the weekend."? 

To be accurate, the term should actually be PCA an not DUI.  PCA stands for Prescribed Content of Alcohol and relates to an offence which normally involves being breath tested out in the field and then being subjected to a test on a Breath Anaysis (BAS) machine.  The BAS machine is highly accurate with a few redundancies built in so your reading is actually slightly lower than your actual blood alcohol level. 

I always say there is a time and place for everything.  When it comes to alcohol, that time and place is when you are finished up for the day and off the water.  

Read more: Alcohol Limits and Breath Testing On The Water

It Is Time To get Your Boat Ready For Summer.

Well Summer isn't too far away with Winter well and truly behind us.  It is time to dust off the boat and start getting your pride and joy ready for the boating season.

Read more: Getting Your Boat Ready For Summer.

Boat Licence Course Calendar