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18th December 2017 | Today's High Tides | 00:12 - 4.99m | 12:36 - 4.96m | Full Tide Tables

Waterskiing on the Rivers Crouch and Roach

This document sets out the requirements and restrictions for Waterskiing on waters within the jurisdiction of the Crouch Harbour Authority. These rules and regulations come from the Crouch Harbour Act 1974 and Byelaws made under the Act. The penalty for breaking the rules may be a fine of up to £2,500 on conviction.

Please note:
different rules and procedures apply to use of Personal Watercraft.

Waterskiing includes wakeboarding and the use of towed water toys such as ‘bananas’ and ‘donuts’.

Waterski Registration and Licensing

Every boat used for waterskiing must be registered and pay the annual fee (special rate applies for members of Woodham Waterski Club).

A Ski Licence if granted by the Authority will be valid for a period of 12 months commencing 1st January and expiring on 31st December.  Licences issued after 1st January are not subject to a reduction of fee for the shorter period.


Every boat must display a) An annual Waterkski Registration Plaque and b) Waterski numbers as issued (these do not change and should remain on the boat until it permanently leaves the area).

Compulsory Third Party/Waterskiers Liability Insurance

In order to register the boat for waterskiing you must demonstrate that it is insured covering third party liabilities and liability to and of waterskiers, with cover of at least £2,000,000. You will be asked to produce your certificate of insurance when registering and you may be asked at any time to do so.

BWSF Ski Boat Drivers Award Level 2

It is a condition of licensing that every person driving the waterski boat must hold the British Waterski Federation Ski Boat Driver’s Award Level 2. The owner will be required to produce the award certificate when registering.

Other Rules and Requirements

All ski boats are required to observe the CHA Byelaws, in particular:

  • Waterski Vessels must observe the 8 knot Speedlimit Zones at all times when going to or from the ski area. (byelaw 6).
  • Waterski vessels must be navigated at all times with care and caution and with consideration for other persons (byelaw 5).
  • Waterski vessels must not be navigated at any time under the influence of drugs or alcohol (byelaw 19).

All collisions or other incidents where any persons sustain injury or damage is done to property or vessels must be reported to the Harbour Master (byelaw 24).

Waterski vessels must not be driven by persons under 18 years of age unless under the direct supervision of an adult, present in the boat.

Safety Requirements (byelaw 9)

When skiing there must be at least one other person in addition to the driver on board the vessel to keep lookout and to assist the driver in recovering the skier etc.

For each person on board a lifejacket must be carried. Waterskiers must wear a lifejacket while skiing. (Wet suits and helmets are strongly recommended).

The boat must carry:

  • At least two hand held distress signals.
  • One Fire Extinguisher
  • A rescue quoit or other hand throwing rescue line/device.

Where May We Ski?

Under the byelaws Waterskiing and the use of PWCs may take place only in the zones or areas permitted by Crouch Harbour Authority.

Waterskiing and use of PWCs is not permitted anywhere in the River Roach or its creeks at any time.

In the River Crouch there are three Ski Areas:

  • The East Fambridge Ski Area (the largest area) is available to all water skiers whether or not members of one of the recognised local ski clubs.
  • The Woodham Ferrers Ski Area is available to members of the Woodham Ferrers Waterski Club only.
  • The Hayes Farm Water Ski Area is available to members of the Hayes Farm Waterski Club only.

Where Can We Launch?

There are only two public launching places:

Hullbridge slipway on the south bank of the River Crouch, and

The Public Slipway at South Woodham Ferrers on the North bank (this slipway is very rough/uneven and vehicles may be damaged). Members of South Woodham Ferrers Waterski Club have use of the club’s much better slipway close by.

Few of the private boatyard/marina slipways are available to waterski boats.

How do we Register for Waterskiing?

The Crouch Harbour Authority delegates the registration of waterskiing vessels to an Agent Mr Tim Cooke, who is independent from the WFWSC.

Contact: Mr T Cooke

C/o Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club, Marsh Farm Road,
South Woodham Ferrers,
Tel: 07817914225

Mr Cooke will collect your registration fee (£180 unless you join Woodham Ferrers Waterski Club).  He will check your insurance certificate and your BWSF Driver’s Award Certification. He will issue your Waterski registration plaque and ski boat numbers.