Latest News

Take the Boater’s Quiz

Take the Boater’s Quiz

Take our quiz and ask your neighbour! Who knows Gold Coast waterways better?

At Pacific Maritime Lawyers, we all too often see boaters running afoul of the law simply because no one has ever told them the rules. Here are five common mistakes made by Gold Coast sailors. Test yourself and your friends, and don’t say you didn’t know, because that doesn’t matter.

1. IS INSURANCE COMPULSORY FOR RECREATIONAL VESSELS IN QUEENSLAND?

a. Yes, for all vessels.

b. Yes, for all vessels longer than 15 metres.

c. No, not for recreational vessels.

The answer is b. All vessels in Queensland waters that are longer than 15 metres must have insurance sufficient to pay for the clean-up costs of the discharge of pollutants from the boat, and the costs of salvage or wreck removal of the boat. Failure to have this insurance is an offence, with a maximum fine of more than $100,000. This requirement applies to foreign vessels, vessels registered in NSW, or any vessel that is in Queensland waters. Don’t get caught out!

 

2. WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR SPEEDING ON GOLD COAST WATERWAYS?

a. $260

b. $2,610

c. $26,110

The answer is c. Speed limits are important and apply to all vessels. Note that, currently, the Gold Coast Waterways Authority is trialling new speed limits on particular waterways. The speed limits also change depending on whether your boat is over or under 8 metres in length. These speed limits are set for the safety of yourself, other waterway users (including swimmers), and the properties on the waterway banks.

 

3. CAN YOU BE CHARGED FOR DRINK DRIVING BOAT, AND IF SO, WHAT IS THE LIMIT?

a. No, the laws on drink driving don’t apply to boats.

b. Yes, the driver of a recreational vessel can have up to 0.05 blood alcohol reading.

c. Yes, the driver of a recreational vessel must have a blood alcohol reading of 0.

The answer is b. Drink driving is an offence, whether you are driving a car or a boat. If you are a recreational boater, drink responsibly or not at all, and ensure that you maintain a blood alcohol reading of less than 0.05. If you happen to be driving a commercial vessel, then that limit is strictly 0.

 

4. DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER YOUR BOAT?

a. Yes, all boats must be registered.

b. No, recreational boats do not need to be registered.

c. Not always; only boats with engines of 3 kW or more are required to be registered.

The answer is c. Boats on the water in Queensland with engines of 3 kW or more must be registered with the Department of Main Roads and Transport Queensland. Additionally, if your boat is 15m or longer, then that registration must be endorsed by Maritime Safety Queensland. Finally, if you intend on going on an overseas voyage, your boat must be registered on the Australian General Shipping Register, in addition to Queensland registration.

 

5. CAN A RECREATIONAL BOAT BE USED AS AN AIRBNB?

a. No, a boat used for AirBnB is not a recreational vessel.

b. Yes, if I can sleep on it, so can an AirBnB guest.

c. Yes, but it needs to be registered.

The answer is a. A recreational vessel cannot legally be used as an AirBnB. As soon as a boat begins to raise money, or be used in relation to a commercial activity, it stops being a recreational boat and becomes a domestic commercial vessel (DCV). That boat must then comply with all the standards and requirements that apply to DCVs, or have a specific exemption granted.

 

Now you know! Don’t make these mistakes, and don’t let your mates make them either. It is not a defence to say that you did not know what the rules are. If you have any questions, or the law has caught up with you, we’re happy to help. Give us a call on 1300 797 627

 

By Kendall Mercer, Maritime Lawyer

 

/jul-sep2019

 

 

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.