How far can a yak go legally

Hi Guys,

purely a legal question.

Assuming you have all the prerequiste safety gear, how far off shore are you allowed to go in a yak.

Not talking about, how fit you are or what is the "sensible" distance considering weather, swell etc. But merely a legal question, if I purchased a 4 m yak would I legally be allowed to go out 10nm+?.

I was reading a column where guys were going out 20kms for a bit of a fish???

I can find a reference to 3.85m craft, but nothing specifically relating to a Yak.



carnarvonite's picture

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Date Joined: 24/07/07


Sat, 2013-08-10 20:26

If you have the right gear there is nothing stopping you going to Africa or as one who went missing not long back, to New Zealand from the east coast

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have seen

Sat, 2013-08-10 20:54

I have seen yaks on the ffb and way out past the sisters of bent street, asking for trouble if you ask me and the ssar mobs have enough to deal with than over confident yak paddlers the day I saw that yak paddler behind the sisters a massive great white was spotted in the same area

Posts: 6454

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 Have bucket, anchor, flares,

Sat, 2013-08-10 21:07

 Have bucket, anchor, flares, radio, epirb, life jacket.... go anywhere...


Fish! HARD!

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Date Joined: 03/09/10


Sun, 2013-08-11 07:18

to be looked at, nothing short of an oversight.

Limitations should apply to certain craft.

Rob H's picture

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absolutely not. Who can

Sun, 2013-08-11 13:48

absolutely not. Who can decide that other than someone who is a kayak expert? Ive been at sea almost all of my working life but couldnt judge whats definitely safe or not for a kayak.

Might be hard to understand on the smaller scale but the skipper has the responibility for making the decision on the moment at the place of operation.

Next would be some shiny ass guppy deciding from his St Georges office whether you can launch your 6 meter today or not because theres a squall down near Mandurah and your at Two Rocks.

To top it off there will be legal action from the first wood duck who goes out cos shiny ass says its ok but flips it on the breakers or something.


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


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Dot website

Thu, 2013-08-15 13:08

I asked the question and they sent me directions to find this bit of info.

Limits for small vessels (less than 3.75m)

A person in charge of a vessel less than 3.75 m in length (including personal watercraft) may not go further than five (5) nautical miles from land.

However you can operate the vessel within 1 nautical mile of an island located more than five nautical miles from the mainland shore.

beau's picture

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Selling the ski to get a yak?

Sun, 2013-08-11 13:00

Selling the ski to get a yak? I don't think it would be worth it just to get that little bit further out. Plenty of places you can get good size fish within 5nm.
I'm referring to this post and your comments I read the other day about the rules restricting you from catching bigger fish..


psion's picture

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Thanx Mate

Sun, 2013-08-11 13:25


Cheers Guys,

Thanx for the info

Ain't selling the the ski, just too lazy to paddle. I also enjoy the flexability 200+ HP gives me when I am in trouble.

I was just curious as a Yak came passed me when I was 5nm out and I watch him disappear into the distance. I assume, should he of ended "up sh_t creek" without a paddle (so to speak) I could of gone to his assistance.

Got me wondering about a law that restricts my distance (when I want to fish)  but not that of a canoe that is 20cms longer, or mine if I respond to a distress call? 

I believe the 5nm law only applies to WA.

Anyway, the world is full of these legal abnomolies.


At best I'll hitch a lift on a boat, at worst I'll invest in a Yamaha SUV at 3.86m as they make the minimum cut.



Rob H's picture

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Nothing in law can be used by

Sun, 2013-08-11 13:56

Nothing in law can be used by authorities or insurance company to prevent you from responding to an emergency other than if it is already under control and you are aware of it.

Only you can decide whether it is safe for you to do so.

Every policy I have seen has a note on the "operational areas" to say that you are still covered by insurance if you are outside the limits due to an emergency or weather etc beyond your control.


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


Albee Mangles's picture

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Date Joined: 20/05/08

5nm is a long way

Thu, 2013-08-15 16:04

 for a yak, we do the 5 Fathom from Point Peron which is just over 5km. Some of the guys with the Sailing Yaks, Hobie Adventure Islands go further, ive been out 10km in mine before i sold it. With the right safety gear and experience, and also obviously not solo i dont see any reason why 10km wouldnt be a safe limit. Its a long trip tho, probably around 2 hours weather dependant.


Main issue is, anyone who goes to Getaway can buy a 4.8m kayak like mine and do this legally, when really some open water experience whould be required.


Thing is, you don't hear of many kayakers getting in trouble, so dont see why it would be an issue worth regulating. Its pretty self regulating as only the experienced really venture that distance.

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Thu, 2013-08-15 18:34

that is true with size on how far one can go, adding to all of this is the amount of rope required to safely anchor.

I often wonder if some have enough rope to anchor when fishing for Grey Banded and the like in the depths required for that type of fishing.

thefishwrangler's picture

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5nm offshore

Thu, 2014-01-30 10:34

 yah 5 nm for vessels under 3.75m. but most sea worthy yaks are longer than that and most are safe offshore. but what would you do if you got a 8/0 hook through your hand or if you sever an artery. you should always carry a radio and never go offshore if it's rough. know your limits. 

Josh's picture

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 I have spent plenty of time

Thu, 2014-01-30 17:01

 I have spent plenty of time around kayaks, racing, playing instructing.  some mates of mine paddled bass straight, Cape to Cape and regularly return rotto trips, I think there is a German bloke at the moment who is paddling from Europe down here re tracing the steps or strokes of someone in the past. A good sea kayak will take you anywhere!