If you are planning a ski on Bay of Plenty waterways this summer, remember it takes three to ski. Any boat towing a skier, biscuit, wake board or similar device needs an observer.

Overall boatie behaviour on Tauranga Harbour has been good this summer, but Regional Council’s patrols are finding that not having an observer when towing or skiing seems to be the rule within the Navigation Safety Bylaw most people are breaking.

Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster Peter Buell says the rule exists to ensure the driver is focused on looking ahead and scanning for hazards.

“With so many vessels, swimmers and hazards in the water its vital skippers keep their eyes ahead. If you are towing someone – be it on water skis or a biscuit or anything else – they must have an extra person on board to be a spotter. This includes jet skis.”

“This is not a new rule so people need to be aware that if they break the rule they may receive an infringement notice,” says Mr Buell.

The other rules being broken relate to exceeding  5 knots within 200m of shore or within 50m of another vessel and failing to carry enough properly fitting lifejackets for everyone on board. For information on the boating rules for Bay of Plenty checkout www.boprc.govt.nz/harboumaster

The water skiing rules
It takes three to ski – you must have an observer when towing or skiing so they can communicate to the driver the actions of the person being towed. An observer must be 10 years old or over.

  • Skiing from shore is only permitted within a designated ski access lane or ski reserved area.
  • The skier must wear a lifejacket.
  • Please consider the effect your wake may have on other craft.
  • No water skiing after sunset or before sunrise.

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