Is your vessel fit for purpose?

If your vessel is not fit for purpose or it is unsafe, we may order the vessel to be provisionally or permanently detained.

Maritime Safety Victoria or a police officer may also direct that the vessel not be operated on Victorian waters or only under certain conditions. The Marine Safety Regulations define fit for purpose as:

  1. The hull of the vessel is able to maintain watertight integrity
  2. There is no fuel leaking from the vessel's fuel system or engine
  3. The vessel's steering system controls the movement of the vessel
  4. The ventilation system used for ventilating a space or spaces in the vessel is functioning
  5. The material insulating machinery in the vessel from fire or flammable materials is fitted or undamaged
  6. The materials or items comprising part of the vessel's reserve buoyancy are fitted or undamaged
  7. The engine kill switches are fitted to the vessel and are operable.

Use the following checklist to make sure your vessel is fit for purpose.

1 - Properly maintain your vessel

  • Inspect propeller nut and pin
  • Check for water and fuel leaks
  • Ensure bung is suitable and in good condition
  • Ensure bilges are clean and dry
  • Check reserve buoyancy for condition
  • Test steering for stiffness
  • Check wiring
  • Check and clean fuel filter
  • Clean cooling system passages
  • Replace outboard pull cord if fraying. 

2 - Fully charge your batteries

  • Top up battery cells with distilled water and check each cell with a hydrometer
  • The battery should be charged but never overcharged
  • The terminals, cables and casings should be kept clean
  • Test all electrical equipment operating from the battery such as radios, gauges, power tilt, navigation lights

3 - Ensure you have sufficient fuel

  • Allow 1/3 out, 1/3 return and 1/3 reserve
  • Always replace old fuel after periods of inactivity
  • Inspect fuel lines, manual priming bulb and connections for cracks, leaks, etc.
  • Inspect the fuel tank for cracks or corrosion
  • Always check for fuel smells and ventilate your vessel well before starting the engine.
  • Do not go boating with old fuel.

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