Do I need a Skipper’s ticket?
A Recreational Skipper’s Ticket (RST) is a certificate of competency recognised throughout Australia.
The RST indicates that the holder has a minimum level of knowledge and practical skillset, required to safely operate a powerboat.
A Skipper’s ticket is not a license, which means you don’t need pay any ongoing fees or renew it at any time.
Who needs a Skipper’s Ticket?
In Western Australia, Regulation 46 of the Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 (WA) states that an RST is required when:
- A person is in charge of an RST vessel.
- The vessel is operated in water.
Under the regulation, an RST vessel is:
- Registered or required to be registered with the Department of Transport.
- Being operated for recreational purposes.
- Powered by a motor over 6 hp (4.5 kW).
A Recreational Skipper’s Ticket is available to anyone 14 years or older. If you’d like more information relating to age requirements on recreational vessels, head here.
Does the Skipper need to drive the boat?
The person ‘in charge’ of a vessel is considered the ‘Skipper’, and therefore must have their RST Card on their person the entire time they are on board.
This doesn’t mean the Skipper has to be at the wheel the whole time, but they do need to be in the boat, while it is on the water.
However, the Skipper is the person responsible for what occurs on the vessel while it is in operation on the water.
What if the boat is not on the water?
If the vessel is on land or docked, you do not need an RST. An RST is also not required if the vessel does not have a motor, or if it has an engine with 6 hp (4.5 kW) of power or less.
What if I have commercial competency?
Even if you have a commercial certificate of competency, you are required to hold an RST on any vessel that falls under the definition of an RST vessel.
In many cases, you will be able to have your commercial qualification recognised as an RST equivalent. (Head here for more information on how to do this.)
How do I get an RST?
If you do need a Skipper’s Ticket, you will need to pass an assessment, which is overseen by an authorised provider. The provider may also offer coaching, although it is not required.
You may like to study solo using the RST Workbook, which includes quizzes, and then take the test afterwards.
If you pass, you will be issued with an interim certificate. This is valid for 3 months. An RST card will then be sent to you, after your information has been processed by the Department of Transport.
For more detailed information on securing your RST, including details of authorised providers, medical fitness requirements and fees, head to the Department of Transport website.
If you’re not in WA, head to the Department of Transport website for your state for more information on how to secure an RST.
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