Important Water Safety Rules

Give way rules, ramp rules, operating your jetski; this is stuff you should know if you are on any watercraft.  Being inconsiderate to other water users gives jet skiers a bad name and ruins it for everyone.



Jetskis riders should be aware that regulations governing personal watercraft are the same regulations that govern any power driven vessel.

Operating a vessel:

The boat speed must not exceed 5 knots when:

Within 200 metres of the shore or structure (unless in a dedicated Ski Lane).

Within 50 metres of another boat, raft or person in the water

The driver of any powerboat capable of speeds in excess of 10 knots must be over 15 years of age.

Every person who propels or navigates a vessel must ensure that its wake does not cause unnecessary danger or risk of damage to other vessels or structures, or harm to other persons.

Personal Flotation Devices (Life Jacket)

It is a legal requirement for everyone to wear a PFD in all situations where there is a heightened risk.  Heightened risk means crossing bars, strong tides, or in water that is rough for the size of the boat. If you are being towed, either skiing or in a towtoy, you are required to wear a lifejacket at all times.  Life jackets are available in at least 11 different sizes and it is advisable to go for a bright colour to make you visable if you fall into the water.  Available from $99 at Ski M.D.

Collision prevention rules

Overtaking boats: all power craft, overtaking from astern are responsible for keeping clear until finally past the vessel being overtaken. Assume that the boat in front may not be aware of your presence or intentions.

Head on situation: power-craft meeting head on must each alter course to starboard to pass on port.  (Keep to the RIGHT, opposite to NZ road rules).

Ramp users

Please ensure your vessel is loaded and prepared for launch prior to using the ramp.

Please familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations for the area you intend using. There are information signs at most launching facilities.

**Please clear the ramp as quickly as possible and be courteous and helpful to other ramp users.

Ramps are the responsibility of the local district or city council.

Jet Ski Registration

If you are using your ski in the Auckland or Waikato area, your ski is required to be 'registered' with the council.  But this is no biggy!  It's a once only fee - which is interchangable between owners (when ski's are sold).  You can face a $500 fee if caught without it.  See our article on Ski Registration ("whats up" page).