Get back to basics and stay safe on the water is the message for boaters returning to the water this spring.

Safe Transport Victoria’s Back to Basics program reminds boaters of the need to prepare and maintain their boats after the winter break.

Too many boaters are unprepared when going out on the water, with incident figures for the 2022/23 year showing 85 per cent of maritime incidents involve vessel disablement – commonly caused by motor failure, equipment failure, or running out of fuel.

The Back to Basics program helps beat complacency by giving boaters pre-season and mid-season checklists to run through the most important safety points, such as maintaining fuel systems, electrical systems and steering gear.

Boaters are urged to stay safe by running through the Back to Basics checklists and by:

  • Conducting thorough pre-departure checks to ensure your vessel is in excellent condition. Pay attention to engine performance, electrical systems, and fuel levels to avoid unexpected breakdowns.
  • Carrying out regular maintenance for a trouble-free boating experience. Schedule routine checks for your boat’s engine, hull, and electrical systems. Addressing potential issues early on can save you from getting stuck out on the water.
  • Carrying essential safety gear, including lifejackets and communication devices. Being well-prepared ensures you can handle any unforeseen situations with confidence.

All boaters should also know the three: always wear a lifejacket, know the weather and carry two waterproof communication devices.

More information on Back to Basics, including the checklist, at:

Marine safety regulations were updated on June 11 this year – boaters are urged to familiarise themselves with updated rules at:

Quote attributable to Kate Maheras, Interim Director, Maritime Safety: 

“Complacency sinks boats. We want all boaters to get Back to Basics before they head out on the water this Spring.”

“Think of the Back to Basics checklist as your boat’s annual physical. Nobody likes unexpected breakdowns, especially your boat.”

“Remember the three boating basics before you hit the water – check your boat’s condition, keep up with maintenance and gear up for safety.”