2020 Water Skiing Terms & Conditions

How to make Payment

On completion of Application Form payment can be made online or by telephone using a credit/debit card. Alternatively send a cheque to the Harbour Office made payable to the Crouch Harbour Authority.

Completed forms and documentation to be sent to the Crouch Harbour Authority.

The Water Skiing Terms and Conditions 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.

Waterskiing includes wakeboarding and the use of towed water toys such as “bananas” and “donuts”

Please note:  Different rules and procedures apply to use of Personal Watercraft (PWC).  PWC’s are not permitted to tow inflatable toys (donuts, bananas and similar)

Different rules and procedures apply to use of Personal Watercraft.

Waterski Registration and Licensing

Every boat used for waterskiing must be registered with the Crouch Harbour Authority and pay the annual fee  of £180 for a Crouch Harbour Authority Ski Licence or alternatively the annual fee of £120 is available for members of Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club (WFWSC) only. (Proof of membership will be required to be eligible for WFWSC Licence fee).

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.  Please be aware that the processing of applications can take up to 5 working days, you will not be permitted to ski until your Licence has been successfully processed.  Therefore we would ask that you ensure that all the relevant documents are submitted as requested on the application form in order to prevent any delays.  However, if you wish to fast track your application it can be processed on the same day it is received by the Harbour Office for a fee of £20.00.


You will be issued with a coloured annual Ski Licence Plaque and also an individual adhesive number (this number is unique and should remain on your vessel until it permanently leaves the area).  It is a condition of licensing that the Authority’s issued annual Ski Licence Plaque and the number is displayed on the vessel at all times.  If your plaque/number is not displayed on your vessel you are therefore in breach of the conditions of the Licence which could result in a fine.

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. Insurance must be in force at the date a Licence is issued and continued for the period of the Licence.  You will be asked to produce your Certificate of insurance  when registering and you may be asked at any time to do so.

NB: It is the responsibility of the Master of the vessel to ensure that the vessel is insured at all times.  If your Insurance expires during the period of your Ski Licence you will be required to provide your new Certificate of Insurance.  Failure to do so will result in your Ski Licence being revoked by the Crouch Harbour Authority and a renewal fee may apply.

BWSW Ski Boat Driver Level 2

It is a condition of licensing that every person driving the waterski boat must hold the British Water Ski & Wakeboard Ski Boat Driver  Level 2. The owner will be required to produce both their Ski Boat Driver Level 2 Certificate and proof of BWSW membership when registering.

NB. The Ski Boat Driver Level 2 is only valid if you remain a current member of the British Water Ski & Wakeboard.  For more information please visit their website


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.  Please note that this is a condition of the Licence and breach of this may result in the Licence being revoked.

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 Crouch Harbour Authority Byelaws Waterskiing and the use of PWCs may take place only in the zones or areas permitted by Crouch Harbour Authority.  This is done in the interest of safety on the water, and to ensure an equitable use of the limited water area available by all parties interested in water recreational activities.

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 two Ski Areas:

  • The East Fambridge Ski Area (the largest area) is available to all CHA Ski Licence holders including members of the Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club.
  • The Woodham Ferrers WaterSki Club Area is available to members of the Woodham Ferrers Waterski Club only. None-members are not permitted to use this area.
  • Please note between 1st October and 31st March, skiing is prohibited on the North half of the river adjacent to Bridgemarsh Island which is an area of Special Scientific Interest.  (This area is shown on our Water Ski & PWC Information Leaflet)
  • N.B: Bridgemarsh Island.  Water Skiing and use of PWC’s (and all other types of vessel) within the creeks and saltings of Bridgemarsh Island is strictly forbidden.

Please see our Water Ski & PWC Information Leaflet for the Water Ski/PWC areas and speed limit areas.

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). Please  note that you have approximately two hours either side of high water for launch and recovery from the public slipways.  Members of Woodham Ferrers Waterski Club have use of the Club’s much better slipway close by.

Other private boatyard/marina slipways are available to water ski vessels including Fambride Yacht Haven and Essex Marina.  Please be aware there may be a charge for launching.