Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) has been working with Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) to clarify the process skippers must undertake to best prepare their vessels before heading overseas. Under Section 21 of the Maritime Transport Act, New Zealand-registered vessels must obtain a Category 1 safety certificate before departing New Zealand.

Skippers of New Zealand-registered vessels must also notify the director of MNZ of their intention to leave. This can be done using an online form ( recreational/the-basics/going-overseas.asp), and skippers of foreign vessels are encouraged to follow this process as well.

“We have been delegated by MNZ to conduct Category 1 safety inspections,” says YNZ chief executive David Abercrombie. “The inspections focus on the design, construction and condition of the vessel as well as the capability and qualifications of the skipper and crew.

“The primary reason is to make sure everyone departing New Zealand remains as safe as possible throughout the voyage, and that they can get help if anything goes seriously wrong. We ask that skippers engage with YNZ early in the process to make sure they are supported throughout and any last-minute problems are avoided.”

MNZ and YNZ have also published an easy-to-follow flow chart to help people better understand what needs to be done to obtain a Category 1 safety certificate. It can be found on the MNZ website.