Boating in Tasman

This page gives you basic information about boating in Tasman, including safety tips, launch wardens and information about getting weather reports and contacting the Harbourmaster.

Boat Speed Limits

If not in a waterski access lane or waterski area, do not exceed 5 knots (about 9 kilometers per hour):

  • within 200 metres of shore or a structure;
  • within 200 metres of a diver’s flag;
  • within 50 metres of other vessels or swimmers.

Boat Ramps

Locations and types of ramps in the district.

Maritime Accidents and Responsibilities

Find out what you need to do if there's an accident on the water.


Information about achoring, marinas and moorings, as well as how to submit mooring inspection reports and apply for a mooring.

Kaiteriteri Water Skiing Priority Times

Details the high-tide water skiing priority times - two hours etiher side of high tide - for summer.

Water Skiing in Tasman

Details of water ski lanes and rules for using them.

Boating Safety    

Here are some key boating tips:

  • Lifejackets save lives. A correctly fitting lifejacket for each person on board must be within immediate reach, or worn if conditions aren’t perfect or you are being towed
  • At least two forms of waterproof communication should be carried to summon help if needed
  • Unless lawfully using an access lane or reserved area, boats within 200m of shore, a structure or a divers blue and white flag, or within 50m of a person in the water or any other vessel, must not travel faster than 5 knots (about 9 kph)
  • Movement through ski access lanes and reserved areas by vessels should be anticlockwise, ie keep to starboard. It takes three to ski – carry an observer at all times.
  • The collision prevention rules apply at sea in all areas including ski lanes. If close to a collision course with another vessel, the give way vessel should stop or alter course to starboard (right) to avoid collision
  • Read the Navigation Safety Bylaw 2015
  • Inexperienced boaties should take a Coastguard Boating Education course.

Launch Wardens    

Honourary Launch Wardens will be checking on boating safety during the summer. They are there to help and advise you about safety on the water. Although the Tasman District Council Launch Wardens are there in an educative role, they do have the powers to enforce provisions of Council Bylaws relating to water safety. All Wardens carry ID. If they ask for your name and address, you are legally obligated to supply information if you are in charge of a vessel. Launch Wardens are unpaid volunteers, please respect their advice as they have a wealth of experience and the safety of all water users at heart.

Marine Forecasts    

The two most convenient sources of marine forecasts, including the five-day outlook are:

  • VHF radio – the Maritime New Zealand maritime radio service provides forecasts announced on Channel 16 – call at 0533, 0733, 1333, 1733 and 2133 hours
  • MetPhone – dial 0900 999 + map area number (03)

Other sources of marine forecasts include:

  • Continuous Coastguard nowcast on VHF channel 22 from Nelson
  • Nelson Marine Radio on VHF channel 28
  • Local newspapers, but remember they can be published many hours earlier and are often out of date
  • Local radio stations, especially in summer
  • National Radio at 5.00am 

Area Key

  • Sea area 'Abel’ applies to Tasman Bay.
  • Sea area 'Stephens’ is usually more applicable to Golden Bay and Farewell Spit.
  • Sea area 'Grey’ applies to the western side of Farewell Spit.

Contact the Harbourmaster    

The Harbourmaster, Tasman District Council, 189 Queen Street, Richmond, Nelson, 7020, New Zealand

Marine VHF Channel: 16,

Contact Tasman District Council Harbour Master

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