boating guidelines

jetski guideline

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St Francis Bay Canals - Riparian HOA logo

St Francis Bay Riparian HOA

Boating Guidelines on St Francis Bay Canals and Kromme River

Your attention is drawn to regulations and boating guidelines that have been promulgated for the control of boating and other related activities in the Kouga region. Full information on Boating Regulations can be downloaded from the link below



The general safety rule of “keep right” is applicable.


  • Travel at non-wake speed on the St Francis Bay Canals, Upper reaches of the Geelhout River and within 10 metres of jetties and other boats on Kouga rivers.
  • No person under 16 years may control or operate a registered power-driven boat or Jet Ski.
  • No person may operate a Jet Ski unless wearing a suitable life jacket, helmet and kill switch which must be attached to the operator.
  • No person in charge of a boat may use such boat in a negligent or reckless manner or whilst under the influence of alcohol.
  • Children under 5 years of age and non-swimmers must wear life jackets.
  • After sunset no boat shall operate on the Canals or river without a forward facing Red port light, a forward facing Green starboard light and a White navigation light being switched on and an anchored boat shall have at least one White light switched on and visible for 360°.
  • No commercially registered boats or boats used for commercial purposes or boats exceeding 6,6m in overall length may use the river without written permission from the Kouga Municipality.
  • No Jet Skis (PWC) may be used on Kouga rivers.
  • No Jet boats may be used on the Geelhout river
  • No person may reside on a boat on the Canals or river.


  • No person may willfully or negligently pollute or foul the Canals or the river.
  • No person may disturb any plant, animal or bird life on the Canals or the river.


  • Legislated limits for fish and bait must be strictly adhered to and will be enforced. Fishing permits may be obtained at Post Office.
  • No person shall fish from any bridge over the Canals or the river.
  • No person shall impede any navigational channel in the Canals or river while fishing or with a fishing line.
  • No person shall leave a fishing line unattended in the Canals or river.
  • No person shall scuba dive, spear fish or use fish nets other than a landing net or throw net in the Canals or river.

SKIING AND TOWING: (Skis, boards, tubes, snakes etc)

  • Only permitted in demarcated zones on the river between sunrise and sunset.
  • No person may tow a skier within 10m of a jetty or stationary boat except when “dropping off” a skier.
  • The skipper of a boat may not follow closer than 100 metres in the wake of another boat towing a water skier.
  • No person may use a metal cable or steel wire to tow a skier behind a boat.
  • No skier may purposely drop or kick off a water ski, unless it is totally safe to do so and it does not constitute a danger to any other boat or person.
  • When a skier falls, the skipper of the boat must insure that a red flag of 300 mm x 300 mm is held up in the boat which was towing the skier and kept up until the skier boards the boat, or resumes skiing.
  • No person may pull a ski rope behind a boat when it is not being used for skiing activities.
  • When skiing, the towing boat must keep to the right and follow a circuit in an anti-clockwise direction and in a position halfway between the shore and the midpoint of the river.
  • The skipper of the boat may not allow any person to water-ski from the boat unless such person is wearing suitable personal buoyancy.
  • Every person who operates a power-driven boat or personal watercraft, while towing a person on water-ski’s, surfboards, water sleds or similar objects, must during the period 15 December to 15 January, the Easter week-end and all public holidays have onboard another responsible person of at least 15 years of age who must keep a proper look-out, and who must be conversant with recognized hand signals.


  • Various zones exist on the river. They are marked with signs, arrows or buoys in accordance with the map below.
  • No Skiing or towing on the St Francis Bay Canals or the Gamtoos River.


  • Sand banks and hazards change regularly. Exercise extreme caution in hazardous areas as marked on the river map




Activity Zone Map


Boating guidelines - Map of Kromme and Geelhout activity areas

boating guidelines

st francis bay canals & waterways