Water Skiing Terms & Conditions

These Terms & Conditions set out the requirements and restrictions for water skiing 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 could result in prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500 on conviction.

Water skiing 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).

Water Ski Registration and Licensing

Every boat used for water skiing must be registered with the Crouch Harbour Authority and pay the annual fee of £204.08 for a Crouch Harbour Authority Ski Licence or alternatively the annual fee of £136.00 is available for members of Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club (WFWSC) only.

To apply:

Please be advised that you must upload the applicable documents listed below which will be required to process your application:
• Photograph of Vessel
• WFWSC Membership (if applicable)

To register for a Ski Licence, you must have the following and will be asked at the time of payment to agree to these Terms & Conditions of the Licence:
• Third party liability insurance to and of water skiiers with an indemnity limit of not less than £3,000,000.00.
• To have completed a Ski Boat Drivers Award Level 2

Existing Customers:

To renew your Ski Licence:
Please use the Self Service Portal to make payment using our Online System.

To apply for a Ski Licence:
Please use the Self Service Portal and complete the Online Form available from the Check and edit my boat(s) status section and make payment using our Online System.

New Customers:

Please click here to complete the Ski Licence Application Form and make payment using our Online System.

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 to prevent any delays.

A Ski Licence 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.

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 both are displayed on the vessel at all times. Failure to comply is a breach of the conditions of the licence which could result in a fine.

Ski Licences will only be granted to vessels with an overall length, not greater than 7 metres. This measurement is to be taken from the stem to stern and does not include any bathing platform fittings.

Ski Boat Drivers Award Level 2

It is a condition of licensing that every driver must have completed a Ski Boat Drivers Award Level 2 which must be declared when registering.

Other Rules and Requirements

Where May We Ski?

Under the Crouch Harbour Authority Byelaws Water skiing and the use of PWC’s 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.

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 Water Ski Club Area is available to members of the Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club only. Non-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.

Please click here for Speed Limits and Designated Water Ski Area

NB: 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.

Water skiing and use of PWC’s is not permitted on the River Roach or its creeks at any time.

Launching Information

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 Water Ski Club have use of the Club’s slipway.

Use of Water Ski Vessels by Young Persons

Water ski vessels must not be driven by persons under 18 years of age unless under the direct supervision of an adult, present in the vessel. Please note that this is a condition of the licence and breach of this may result in the licence being revoked.


• A lookout capable of handling the boat must be on board whilst a skier is being towed to keep lookout and to assist the driver in recovering the skier etc.

• No Master of a vessel shall navigate in such a manner as to be dangerous to other vessels or persons or without reasonable consideration for other persons.

• Vessels must not be navigated at any time by a person under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

• Speed limits through moorings and other restricted areas must be strictly observed.

• Life jackets or buoyancy aids must be carried for each person. Water skiers must wear a lifejacket while skiing. (Wet suits and helmets are strongly recommended).

• A fire extinguisher must be on board.

• Two hand held distress signals must be on board.

• A rescue quoit or other hand throwing rescue line/device must be on board.

• The ski line must be recovered immediately it is not in use.

• The towing of parachutes or kiting is not permitted.

• All collisions and other incidents must be reported to the Harbour Master.

• Any person contravening the Byelaws commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to £2,500.

• The Ski Licence can be withdrawn at any time by the Harbour Authority.

A full copy of the Crouch Harbour Byelaws 1978 can be downloaded via the website or upon request to the Harbour Office.