Back to top anchor
Close main menu
Open main menu Close main menu
Red racing yacht

Safety regulations

These regulations are applicable to racing yachts and to New Zealand-registered cruising vessels leaving New Zealand.

The Yachting New Zealand safety regulations of sailing 2017-2020

These regulations came into effect in January 2017. The regulations are available for purchase from the Yachting New Zealand shop.

The regulations can also be viewed electronically by clicking here.

Safety categories

Yacht races are classified as either category 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 in the sailing instructions or notices of race.

Category 4 or 5 is, in general, round-the-buoys type or short course racing in sheltered or warm waters. Compliance is self-regulated and requires only a skipper's declaration. Skippers should be aware that, in the event of a spot check, failure to comply may result in disqualification.

Category 3, 2 or 1 classifications refer to offshore and ocean races with different categories specified depending on the distance, duration and location of the race. Skippers must be able to present a current safety inspection certificate seven days prior to the start of a category 3, 2 or 1 race.

Category 1 safety certificates are also required by all New Zealand-registered yachts leaving New Zealand on ocean passages. These yachts must be registered on the Maritime New Zealand register of ships. See the Maritime New Zealand website.

Category 1 requires a percentage of the crew to hold current advanced sea survival certificates and offshore medic qualifications.

View information on safety certificates, inspections and advanced sea survival training

Yachting New Zealand safety regulations of sailing - part 1

Regulation for unballasted centreboards and open yachts, sailboards and ballasted yachts are found in the Yachting New Zealand Racing Rules of Sailing. The 2017-2020 regulations are available for download by clicking here.