Hong Kong - The Place For Pleasure Boating

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Hong Kong, with its beautiful coastline and numerous outlying islands, provides excellent opportunities for water-related leisure activities such as water skiing, sailing, surfing and boating. The popularity of water sports is backed by a wide range of clubs and resorts offering facilities, activities and training for enthusiasts.

All pleasure craft operators in Hong Kong must hold Local Certificates of Competency as a Pleasure Vessel Operator, a requirement to ensure safety in the high traffic local waters.

The Hong Kong Yachting Association represents the interests of pleasure craft operators on Government committees and is recognized internationally. The Association also keeps the Government informed of the latest developments in boating and watersports.

To ensure that everyone can enjoy the fun of boating, the Marine Department has taken active measures to ensure safety in the sea and protect the marine environment. Pleasure vessel owners and operators can obtain information and guidelines on safe operation from the department's office.

Three Things To Do Before Operating Your Pleasure Vessels

  1. License your vessel.
  2. Ensure that your boat will be under the charge of a properly certified pleasure vessel operator. Grades of the certificates held must be appropriate to your boat's length, engine type (diesel, petrol and outboard) and engine power.
  3. Acquire a third party risk insurance of not less than HK$5,000,000 for your vessel.

Licensing of Pleasure Vessels

It's Simple!

Fill in the appropriate application form (MD 515), follow the Guidance Notes attached to the form, return it to the Marine Department enclosing the required documents and a cheque made out to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the prescribed fee.

It's Quick!

After the application form has been checked with all details completed correctly, a licence will be issued to you.

It's Easy!

Paint or affix the allocated Certificate of Ownership number on each side of your vessel, as close to amidships as possible.

It's Direct!

Application form (MD 515) can be downloaded here or obtained at any of the eight District Marine Offices.

Class/Types of Pleasure Vessels:

Pleasure Vessels are Class IV vessels under the local licensing System with the following types:

  1. Auxiliary Powered Yacht
  2. Cruiser
  3. Open Cruiser

Notes on Cruiser:

  1. Vessel with continuous main deck; or
  2. Vessel's cabin could accommodate 60 % of vessel's carrying capacity (total number of persons permitted to carry) with weatherproof cabin door and drainage holes on deck.