The rules of the water are not as conditional as those of the road. Unlike in a car, there is no such rule whereby a boater must first pass the equivalent to a driving test to prove their competency in a boat. In boating a greater importance is placed on the competency of the boat itself.
Who Needs a License?
Boating around the coast or further out to sea is open to all and does not need a license. To drive a powered vessel for recreational purposes on NSW waterways at a speed of 10 knots (18.5 km/h) or more, you require a general boat driving licence. You must have a personal watercraft (PWC) driving licence to drive a PWC at any speed.For more info on sydney boat licences you can check out Boat Licence NSW.
When is a licence required?
The velocity at which you drive your boat will determine whether you need a licence.
If you drive a powered vessel for recreational purposes on NSW waters, at a speed of 10 knots (18.5km/h) or more, you must have a boat driving licence. Ten knots is the speed at which most accelerating boats will start to plane (rise up and skim on top of the water, instead of ploughing through it).
You must have a personal watercraft (PWC) driving licence to drive a PWC at any speed. A PWC is a vessel with a fully contained hull that may be driven standing up, lying down, sitting astride or bending, and includes jet powered surfboards.