More boaties are getting the message a lifejacket is no good unless you're wearing it.
New research released by Maritime New Zealand shows 78 percent of recreational boaties reported wearing a lifejacket the entire time they were on the water in 2015.
This was up from 67 percent in 2014 and 62 percent in 2013.
Deputy director Lindsay Sturt said the increase was significant because statistically two-thirds of recreational boating fatalities could be prevented by wearing a lifejacket.
"We know about 94 percent of boaties carry enough lifejackets for everyone on board but it is wearing them that counts."
Last year 24 people died in recreational boating accidents, down from 27 in 2014.