Power board

The power board is not suitable for registration or use in NSW. It is classed as an unsafe vessel.

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What is a power board?

This information is current as of June 2021.

A power board is a modified sit-on-top kayak, powered by an outboard engine controlled by a throttle and killswitch, and manoeuvred by weight distribution.

The engine is fitted with a cowling which forms the backrest for the vessel user.

Risks when using a power board

The following risks have resulted in power boards being determined to be unsafe for use on NSW navigable waters:

  • Power boards do not seem to comply with the Australian Builders’ Plate.
  • They lack stability and are prone to freeboard and weight distribution issues.
  • Turning and manoeuvring requires leaning
  • It’s possible to overpower a power board, diminishing the ability to keep a proper lookout
  • Weight distribution issues may lead to nosediving
  • Restricted gear selection capability means there is no ability to engage reverse gear
  • The throttle is similar to that on a lawn mower and therefore does not provide a sufficient level of control, if travelling at speed
  • The killswitch and propeller guard must be fitted and used at all times
  • The skeg could cause injury to the operator, or other persons in the water, in the event of capsize.


The power board is not suitable for registration and/or use in NSW. It is considered to be an unsafe vessel under Section 44  of the Marine Safety Act 1998.

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