Small Motorised Vessels - Cook Islands Ministry of Transport
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Small Motorised Vessels

The Cook Islands vessels Maritime Transport ( Small Motorised Vessels) Regulations 2014 can be downloaded here

Smaller boats – Boating Basics

The Small Motorised Vessel Regulations 2014 apply to motorised vessels that are less than 24 metres in length that operate within Cook Islands waters.

Know your responsibilities; carry the essential gear and keep your boat safe!

The Small Motorised Vessels Regulations are the law!  They detail the obligations of you, as the boat owner, to register your boat ; to have the appropriate Motorised Vessel Drivers Licence and, if your vessel is used primarily for the carriage of passengers or cargo on a commercial basis, to have a valid Cook Islands Boatmaster Certificate or equivalent, as a minimum.

Toe the line or pay a fine (fines not exceeding $2,000.00)

Safety Gear

The minimum safety gear requirements are detailed in the Small Motorised Vessel Regulations.  Any vessel to which the regulations apply may be inspected for compliance at any time deemed reasonable – the goal is to be sure you and your boat are safe!


Safety Equipment

It is required to carry specific safety equipment, check the equipment table in the regulations.


When you are using your boat, you must abide by the basic operational regulations, including the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea (COLREGS).

Speed Counts!

If you go 10 knots or more, you must stay 30 metres clear any shoreline, wharf, jetty, Fish Aggregation Device (FAD)etc.

You must stay 60 metres you must stay 60 metres clear of any person in the water.

fad in cook islands

If you go 5 knots or more you must keep at least 200 metres clear of any vessel displaying a Diver’s flag (Flag A)


Don’t Drink and Drive!

The limit is 0.08 micrograms of alcohol per litre for recreational purposes, and 0.02 for persons in control of a vessel being used for commercial purposes!

What else?

Personal watercraft can only be operated during daylight hours.

Bow riding (sitting on the bow of a motorised vessel while the vessel is underway) is prohibited.

Take Care, Be Aware!

Other Links

The Maritime New Zealand provides lots of good information on how to stay safe on the water.