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What is an engine-powered body board?
The engine-powered body board is an all-electric jet-propelled body board, powered by a battery with a choice of output power of 4.5kW (default) or restricted to 3.9kW. The vessel is designed to be operated by a person lying prone on the hull.
An engine-powered body board is permitted to reach a maximum speed of 25 knots on NSW navigable waterways. You must hold a general boat driving licence to operate the vessel at 10 knots or more.
In NSW these vessels fall under a definition of a personal watercraft (PWC). However, they have different operating and design characteristics to a conventional PWC.
Operators of engine-powered body boards are exempt from certain requirements that ordinarily apply to operators of a personal watercraft through clause 140(1) of the Marine Safety Regulation 2016, given the lower risks associated with the use of these vessels.
See NSW Gazette 2017-126 (PDF, 5.08 MB) for more information.
Use on NSW waters
Engine-powered body boards are subject to the following special conditions under the exemption:
- They must not be operated in the Personal Watercraft Exclusion Zone (Sydney Harbour).
- They must not be operated between sunset and sunrise.
- For the purposes of vessel registration, electric-powered body boards that can be registered (engine size greater than 4.0 kilowatts) are classified as a vessel, not a personal watercraft. The owner and operator must ensure the vessel registration number is clearly displayed on the forward central storage hatch on the deck of the vessel in figures that are at least 100 millimetres high.
- Drivers/riders must wear an appropriate lifejacket as specified in clause 120 of the regulation.
- Drivers/riders must hold a general boat driving licence if the vessel is operated at 10 knots or more.
- The exemption to the regulation ceases to apply with respect to an engine-powered body board operated at above 25 knots, and the full requirements relating to personal watercraft will apply.