Boating is a great pastime, and Victoria offers some fabulous locations, whether it’s inland or off the coast. And there’s not a lot to
it. All you really need is a boat, some safety gear, and your marine licence. It’s little
wonder why boating is so popular in Victoria And with the state’s waterways often busy,
it’s important if you own a boat or intend on driving one, you’re across all the rules
and regulations that will keep you and your crew safe. Obtaining your marine licence will
ensure you have the knowledge you need before you hit the water.
A boat licence won’t tell you everything you’re going to ever have
to know. You will build on your experience, like anything in life, once you’re operating
on the water. But it’s just the minimum requirements. Obtaining a marine licence ensures you’ve got
the essential knowledge of trip preparation, operating safely and what to do in an emergency.
So who needs a marine licence? The answer to that question is anybody who wants to be
the master of a powered vessel. And a powered vessel is any boat that has a motor or an
engine capable of pushing it along. There’s a couple of different ways of going
about obtaining your marine licence. You can either self-study the Victorian Maritime Safety
Handbook and then organise to sit the tests at a VicRoads outlet. This option suits people
who have had at least some practical boating experience. The other way to get your licence
is to take part in a course run by an accredited provider. You can find a list of providers
online. There’s dozens of choices from all over the state. During the course, you’ll
be taken through all the theory you’ll need to pass the licence test. Some course providers
also include practical hands-on training. The other great thing about undertaking a
course is not only do you obtain your marine licence, you pick up tips and tricks to make
your day on the water even more enjoyable. A marine licence is available for anyone over
the age of 16 years of age, but there are also options for your kids. A restricted licence
can be obtained by anyone over the age of 12. That can be obtained from age 12 in the form of a restricted licence. There’s certain
conditions within that, that being ten knots operation, which is about 18 kilometres, so
it’s not quick, but it gives the kid an opportunity to learn the basic skills of operating a vessel
underway and that reverts automatically once they reach the age 16 years of age to a full
licence. Then there’s the high powered world of personal
water craft. Today’s PWCs are superfast and therefore, users are required to complete
a special endorsement as well as hold a marine licence.
With a personal water craft, there’s another element to the marine licence and that’s the
PWC endorsement. There’s a series of questions on top of the marine licence that
you need to answer and that way, once you’ve obtained that, you can operate a PWC and a
lot of those questions are based around operation of a PWC because they’re a quick vessel.
And remember, all boats which are powered in Victorian waterways must be registered.
Registration is required on powered vessels in Victoria and registration can be obtained
by completing an application form at any VicRoads office.
Anyone operating a powered vessel in Victorian waterways requires a marine licence and their
boat must be registered. The licence can be obtained by undertaking a course with accredited
provider. You can also obtain your marine licence by self-studying the Victorian recreational
boating handbook and sitting a test at a VicRoads office. And remember, if you’re going
to ride a personal water craft, then a special endorsement is required. So remember to keep
logging on to the Maritime Safety Victoria website. Because there’s always something new
in the world of boating.