Power boating in small craft


Guideline review date: December 2017

The CARA planner (DOCX, 423KB) must be used in conjunction with this guideline to determine additional risk hazards and controls within school-specific circumstances.

Activity scope

This guideline relates to student participation in power boating in small craft as a curriculum activity. Small craft includes other Queensland regulated ships that are less than 6m and are powered by an outboard motor.

Power boating in small craft may involve other activities that have various risk levels. Refer to the relevant activity guideline (e.g. Fishing and bait​ gathering, towing and trailers) for mandatory requirements associated with these activities.

For activities beyond the scope of this activity a separate risk assessment must be undertaken using the CARA generic template (DOCX, 401KB).

Medium risk: Operating a ship in smooth, partially smooth waters up to 15 nautical miles offshore.
High risk: Operating a ship in open waters more than 15 nautical miles offshore.

All requirements are necessary for the activity to be conducted.

Hazards and controls

If any listed control measure below cannot be met:

  • modify the activity (or elements of it)


  • identify and implement alternative control measures to meet or exceed the level of safety.

Alternative or additional considerations, hazards and control measures must be included in the planning process.

Before the activity

Hazards Control measures
Considering environmental conditions

Assess weather conditions (Bureau of Meteorology) and obtain advice from lifeguards and/or local authorities about waterway conditions, potential hazards (e.g. rips, tides, currents, submerged rocks, water temperature and depth conditions), and dangerous marine organisms

Accessing facilities and using equipment

Lifejackets must be clearly visible and readily accessible

Check the vessel for loose equipment, sharp edges and sun-heated metal seats

Follow appropriate procedures for handling and mixing of fuels and the use of incendiary devices, such as flares

Managing student considerations

Ensure students are briefed about the nature and purpose of the activity, potential hazards and appropriate safety procedures

Develop a procedure for students who may develop sea sickness

Consider the duration of the activity and the provisions of food and water

Ensure appropriate clothing for all likely weather conditions

During the activity

Hazards Control measures
Considering environmental conditions

Continually monitor the prevailing weather/water conditions and dangerous marine creatures (e.g. crocodiles, stingers, oysters). Cease activities when environmental conditions tend towards unfavourable

Accessing facilities and using equipment

Watch for signs of dehydration, heat effects, seasickness and fatigue

Conduct checks on group numbers and maintain contact between all group members using the established communication plan

After the activity

Hazards Control measures
Accessing facilities and using equipment

Switch off internal combustion engines before refuelling

Ensure keys and starting devices are removed when not in use, and stored in a separate locked location

Managing student considerations

Implement procedures (e.g. roll marking mechanisms) for students leaving the location​


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Last updated 18 April 2023