Safety guide for recreational boating
Recreational boats in the Northern Territory (NT) do not need registration.
You are also not required to hold a licence to drive them.
But you must follow:
- minimum requirements for safety equipment, including any exemptions that are applicable
- marine rules and regulations.
If you fail to follow the marine regulations, you may get infringement notices from boating inspectors or the police.
Minimum requirements for safety equipment
Check your safety equipment and ensure that it is:
- in good condition
- of regulation standard
- available for immediate use.
Read and carry on board the minimum safety equipment requirements table .
Marine safety rules
You will find the below topics on the marine safety guide .
The following safety topics include:
- safety requirements
- marine infringement notices
- Australian builders plates
- anchors and anchoring
- navigational lights
- avoiding collisions
- steering and sailing rules
- buoys, beacons and marks
- fire prevention.
The following emergency topics include:
- safety via satellite
- marine emergency procedures
- distress signals
- marine communications
- radio distress procedures.
The following environment topics include:
- marine pollution
- tidal information.
The following recreational fishing topics include:
- vessel limits
- fish protection areas.
The guide also has information on:
- intermediate waters
- boating quiz
- public boat ramps in the Darwin area and boat ramp locations - you can also read about how to find a boat ramp.
Recreational boat safety quiz
Test your knowledge about boating safety in the NT by taking the boating knowledge quiz.
Marine Safety Branch
Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
2nd Floor Energy House
18-20 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800
Phone: 08 8924 7100
Fax: 08 8924 7009
Last updated: 01 April 2022
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