Club Rules & Boat Regulations

These are the rules and guidelines applicable to full members of the Kent Boat and Ski Club.

Full members have full use of all the facilities at the KBSC, are permitted to drive a boat in KBSC waters and ski, and are entitled to rent a compound storage space if one is available.

They have voting rights at Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings.

The penalty for breaking any of the rules may be a suspension.  For serious or repeated offences, the penalty may be expulsion from the Club.  Any contravention of the rules will result in the member being called before the Committee to discuss the situation, following which a decision will be made by the Committee as to the action to be taken.  The Committee’s decision is final in all matters.

The safety of all Club members is paramount, as is the safety of other river users.  The Club has an excellent safety record and is respected by other river users, and the Committee would ask all members to respect that and build on it.

Changes and additions may be made from time to time, in which case all members will be issued with a copy of any replacement set of rules as appropriate.

Subsidiary rules governing any particular Club activity may be compiled by or approved by the Committee from time to time.

Members are welcome to stay over at weekends with caravans / campervans / tents. There are limited spaces for permanent caravan spots, please ask a committee member for more information.









  1. The maximum permitted length of a sports boat is 19ft, transom plate to bow point. The maximum engine size for outboards is 150hp, unless used for barefooting, when permission may be granted for 200hp, subject to this being granted by the Committee.
  2. Inboard tournament ski boats are permitted up to 21ft in length. Boats over this limit may be permitted, but application must be made to the Committee for approval.
  3. Any member purchasing a craft beyond these specifications must apply in writing to the Committee for approval in advance of purchase.
  4. If at present you own a boat in excess of these specifications, have been given dispensation by the Committee, and are considering replacing this with another boat in excess of specification, you must apply in writing again to the Committee for approval.This will not automatically be granted.
  5. Any member not having sought approval for a craft/engine size in excess of Club specifications will not be permitted to launch.
  6. RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) and cuddy cabins are permitted only under a launching membership, and are not permitted for skiing purposes.
  7. Only full members over the age of 16 years are permitted to drive boats in Club waters. Junior members are permitted to drive whilst they are being given instruction in the season leading up to their 16th They must be supervised at all times by a full member.
  8. All members who drive boats are required to have the Ski Boat Drivers Award (SBD2) qualification or equivalent (eg RYA Level 2).
  9. Only the boat driver is permitted to remain in the boat during launching or recovery.
  10. There must be an observer in the boat at all times when being used for skiing.
  11. All boats must be maintained in a seaworthy condition and must have passed the boat safety check.
  12. Steering cables and pulleys must be checked at regular intervals.
  13. All boats must display a ‘K’ number on each side of the boat, in the proximity of the screen, which must be in white car number plate sized lettering, on a black background. On a white boat, black numbering is acceptable provided it is in the correct size. There must also be in the same sized lettering and background colour the letters ‘KBSC’ placed visibly on the rear of the boat.The boat name should be displayed on each side.
  14. A current MPA licence disc must be displayed on the screen at all times.


All boats must have the following:

  • current insurance (see item below)
  • a rear view mirror
  • a bow line, short enough so as not to get tangled up in the propeller
  • a hooter
  • a life jacket or buoyancy aid for each person carried in the boat
  • a fire extinguisher
  • paddles
  • an anchor
  • a yellow flag for skiing, minimum size 12” square
  • a red flag if the slalom course is to be usedwhen other skiers also want to use it, minimum size 12” square




  1. All boats must be adequately insured.A minimum of £3,000,000 Third Party cover must be in place.
  2. The insurance must cover the boat, driver, passengers and skiers.
  3. It is the boat owner’s responsibility to ensure that there is correct and valid insurance cover for the boat, driver, passengers and skiers.
  4. The Club takes insurance very seriously, such that it will not be possible to join, or remain a member of, the Club unless a copy of the insurance documentation is provided, both on joining the Club and on the renewal anniversary each year.
  5. It is the boat owner, and not the KBSC, who is responsible for ensuring that insurance is of an adequate value and current.
  6. It is the boat owner’s responsibility to provide confirmation of renewal each year to the Club Secretary.


Failure to comply with the above will be treated very seriously and is likely to lead to instant dismissal from the Club.




  1. All trailers should be road worthy if using the public roads, if remaining on club property must be in a safe, useable condition.
  2. The winch must have a good strong rope or strap, and the winch lock must be in good working order.
  3. There must be a safety chain attached to the trailer with which to attach it to the launching vehicle.This must be used at all times when launching or recovering.
  4. The boat owner’s ‘K’ number must be clearly marked on the trailer.




  1. Four-wheel drive vehicles used to launch a boat may be left in the trailer park attached to the trailer, but must be parked as close as possible to the fence along by the pontoon.
  2. Only full members over the age of 16 years are permitted to drive the launch vehicle.Junior members are permitted to drive a launch vehicle whilst they are being given instruction in launching and recovery in the season leading up to their 16th They must be supervised at all times by a full member.
  3. The Club’s launch vehicles must not, for insurance reasons, be taken off the Club grounds at any time.
  4. No vehicle, other than the Club launch vehicle or a member’s four-wheel drive vehicle, is allowed on the slipway.
  5. The Club’s launch vehicle, or member’s four-wheel drive vehicle, must never be left unattended whilst on the slipway.The driver’s seat must not be vacated for any reason whilst on the slipway. This for the safety of all people using the slipway and the protection of club launch vehicles.
  6. The trailer safety chain must be attached to the launch vehicle at all times when launching or recovering.
  7. There shall be no standing on the back of the launch vehicle whilst in motion, except in an emergency if help is needed to gain traction on the slipway because of a build-up of mud.
  8. Children under the age of 16 years are not permitted on the launch vehicle at any time.
  9. The boat driver ONLY is permitted to be carried in the boat whilst on the slipway.




  1. Full Club members and launching members only are permitted to drive boats in Club waters.
  2. You, the Club member, must remain with your boat at all times whilst on the move.If another member drives your boat, you must ensure that they are aware of the rules and regulations of the KBSC. You will be held responsible if they offend.
  3. Do not drive a boat under the influence of drink or drugs.Any member found to be doing so will be severely reprimanded and may be excluded from the Club.
  4. All persons in a boat should be correctly seated (ie no sitting on bows, side rails or stern) except when docking or mooring.
  5. If your boat is a bow-rider, no occupants are allowed to sit in or on the bow in Club waters, except if the boat is proceeding at less than six knots.
  6. Do not allow anybody to ride on the sides or the bow of a boat when under way.
  7. Do not carry more passengers in your boat that the maximum number specified for your boat.
  8. Proceed in an anti-clockwise direction only on the water, unless you are towing a skier through the slalom course.
  9. Ski lines should not be left trailing in the water unless returning directly to a fallen skier at tick-over speed.
  10. When a skier drops off, the boat must return immediately to skier.
  11. The yellow flag should be raised to indicate that a skier is in the water, before they are pulled up and until the boat is on the plane, and when they fall or drop off.All approaching boats should raise a hand to indicate that the flag has been seen and as an acknowledgement that a skier is in the water.
  12. Water toys (ringos, sausages, etc) must be used in Circuit 1 of the skiing map (ie between the Medway Bridge and Port Medway Marina) at all times, unless there are no other boats in Club waters, when they may be used in the other circuits, with discretion and if not a hindrance to skiers.
  13. When a skier is being towed, a competent observer, aged 16 years or over, must be in the boat facing the rear at all times, watching the skier.On passing the KBSC Junior Observer’s Test, junior members between the ages of 10 and 16 years may observe.
  14. Do not pass within 30 feet of marinas at any time.
  15. Straight passes only are permitted past Elmhaven Marina, and strictly no power turns are allowed.Passes should be made either at below 6 knots or above 25 knots, keeping as close as safety allows to the far bank.
  16. Straight passes only are permitted between the Club pontoon and the furthest end of Cuxton Marina.Passes should be made either at below 6 knots or above 25 knots, keeping as close as safety allows to the far bank.
  17. Always give way to boats under sail, rowers and to commercial traffic, particularly larger vessels that have limited visibility and no room to take evasive action in confined waterways.
  18. Never turn in the path of other vessels.
  19. Always give a wide berth on approach to the slalom course.
  20. Proceed at no more than 4 knots for a distance of 50 metres when approaching or departing from the pontoon.Do not exceed tickover speed in the vicinity of the pontoon when other boats are moored. Do not accelerate away until well clear.
  21. There should be no ‘slingshotting’ of skiers back to the pontoon at any time.
  22. Turns must be made well before the pontoon or any of the marinas (at a minimum distance of 50 metres).




  1. Children and non-swimmers must wear suitable life jackets or buoyancy aids at all times on the pontoon.
  2. No children or non-swimmers are allowed past the yellow lines at the top of the pontoon or near the water without a life jacket or buoyancy aid.
  3. Children under the age of 16 year are not permitted beyond the yellow line on the pontoon unless accompanied by an adult.
  4. No swimming is permitted near the pontoon, slipway or skiing areas at any time.
  5. It is the member’s responsibility to supervise their children at all times whilst on Club premises, to ensure that their behavior is appropriate at all times, and to ensure that they are not in danger at any time.



The KBSC is a family club at which visitors are welcome, to share the enjoyment of the Club, and as a way of encouraging new members to participate in the sport.

The security and safety of all members must be considered at all times.

Please remember that your guests may be new to the Club and/or sport, so you must ensure their safety and provide guidance on the Club, the rules and the water.

You, the member, are responsible for your guests throughout the visit, and must ensure that the Club rules are adhered to at all times, and that they are not left unaccompanied at any time.



  1. The Visitors Book must be completed to conform to Club and insurance requirements.
  2. All guests and visitors, children and adult, must be informed of the Club rules.
  3. If fees are applied at any time, these should be paid as per the rate and mechanism agreed by the Committee.
  4. No person whose membership of the Club has been terminated or suspended by the committee, or whose application for membership has at any time been rejected, shall be introduced as a guest or visitor.
  5. Persons who were previously members of the club are allowed to return to the club as guests or visitors but must pay the day ski fee.
  6. No guest or visitor is allowed to drive a boat, irrespective of their competence, other than the exception as described in item 8 below.
  7. No guest or visitor is allowed in any areas that may be deemed out of bounds by the Committee from time to time.
  8. No guest or visitor shall be unsupervised in areas that are deemed to require supervision by the Committee from time to time.
  9. Guests or visitors may not launch their own boats, with the exception of the Fire Brigade and Search & Rescue teams who have permission to use the Club slipway. From time to time, at the Committee’s discretion, other boat and/or hovercraft clubs may be given permission to launch.
  10. Both children and adults must wear buoyancy aids as outlined in the Club rules.
  11. Any age restrictions in the Club apply to guests and visitors.
  12. Assuming the rules are adhered to, then a guest or visitor who has not previously been a member of the Club is allowed to ski a total of three times at no charge.Thereafter, a day guest fee will be charged for the skier, at a rate to be agreed by the Committee from time to time.  No limit is currently applied to observers.
  13. A day guest fee at a rate agreed by the Committee will be required from skier guests who previously were members of the Club.
  14. The member introducing the guest or visitor shall not leave the Club premises before the guest.


PLEASE NOTE that the Club and Committee reserve the right to refuse admission to the Club.






  1. Only current KBSC full and launching members will be allowed a compound storage space. At the Committee’s discretion, a space may be rented to other members from time to time.
  2. A Compound Agreement must be signed by the compound user and the Club.
  3. A security key will be issued to the compound user.This key is not, under any circumstances, to be passed on to any third parties and is subject to the following:
    1. A refundable deposit will be required
    2. On termination of the compound agreement by either party, the key must be returned to the Club, and the refundable deposit shall be returned to the user
    3. The key shall not be transferred to any third party
    4. Copies shall not be made of the key by the compound user or any member
  4. Boats, caravans or other stored items must be parked within the boundary of the allocated space.
  5. Allocated spaces are rented to the users by the Club, and if the Committee deems it necessary, compound users may be asked to move their stored items to a different space at any time.
  6. The compound gates must be left unobstructed at all times.
  7. No vehicles shall be left unattended within the compound aisle at any time.
  8. Vehicles may be left in the user’s allocated space whilst their stored item is in use.
  9. At all times when the compound is left unattended, the gates must be securely fastened and locked.
  10. Care must be taken to prevent any damage to other users’ property when entering and leaving the compound.
  11. Payment for the allocated storage spaces will be made annually in advance at the rate applicable at the time.Consideration will be given by the Committee to monthly in advance payment terms if requested by a user.
  12. The renewal date for storage spaces is 1stJune each year.
  13. The Club reserves the right, exercisable by the Committee at the Committee’s discretion, to impose a surcharge of 15% in the event of payment for allocated storage spaces not being made within 14 days of their due date.
  14. In the event that payment for storage spaces remains unpaid for 30 days after the due date, or in the event that any item stored within the compound appears in the reasonable opinion of the Committee to be been abandoned by its owner, then the Club shall be entitled, after service of 60 days’ notice to the owner, to dispose of the item concerned.


Failure to comply with the above rules will lead to disciplinary action being taken by the Committee.


Please note that the Club intruder alarm covers the compound.  It is essential that the alarm is de-activated in the Clubhouse before accessing the compound.  If this is not done, the alarm will sound and the Club will incur an unnecessary call out and the resulting charges.




Please note that entering a competition is entirely at your own risk.  The Club, organiser or any other persons involved in running any competition cannot be held responsible or liable for any accident or injury.

The rules have been made for the safety of all competitors, and are intended to allow members of the Club to take part and enjoy themselves in a safe and friendly atmosphere.  Bearing this in mind, please abide by the rules.  Any infringement of the rules will result in disqualification.

Once all competitors have signed in, if large numbers are involved, time slots will be allocated.  When your name is called or time slot reached, please go to the pontoon. So that an event can run smoothly, please allow plenty of time before your run.  If the event runs a little late, please be patient.

A ski line will be provided, but if you wish to use your own, then please pass it to the Coordinator/Marshal before the start of the competition.

The judge’s decision is final.




  1. The towing boat will go past to collect you at the start of your run.
  2. Your run will last for two minutes or will end on the third fall.
  3. The safety boat will collect you at the end of the run.




  1. Race briefing shall be under the authority of the organizer and shall be held prior to racing and on the same day.All crews shall attend to be informed on the course, weather, safety and any other matters.
  2. Once all boats have warmed up and are at the start line, and all skiers are in the water, the flag will be raised, allowing all skiers 20 seconds to prepare themselves. After that 20 seconds, the flag will be lowered to signal the start of the race.
  3. All skiers must remain in the wake of the towing boat.
  4. No boat shall follow closer than 100 metres directly behind a skier
  5. No overtaking is permitted on the inside from a distance of 100 metres before a turn buoy, until the turn has been completed.
  6. If a pursuing boat is level with the skier in front of it at a distance of 100 metres before a turn buoy, the pursuing boat is deemed to have right of way, and the leading boat must allow room for the pursuing boat to complete the turn on the inside.
  7. Blocking of the pursuing boat in the situation described in paragraph 6. will lead to disqualification or a time penalty.This will be at the discretion of the chief judge.
  8. If any member of the safety boat crew feels that it is unsafe to continue to race due to any unforeseen dangers, then he or she may stop the race by means of a black flag being shown to all boats.
  9. Any team may be disqualified by means of a black flag if they are, in the opinion of the safety boat crew, endangering the safety of others.
  10. If you are shown the black flag for any reason, at the earliest opportunity you should withdraw from the competition and wait in a safe area until the race is complete or the danger has passed.
  11. The finish shall be denoted by means of a flag, after the allotted number of laps. The colour of the finish flag will be confirmed on the day of competition.




  1. The route of the course starts opposite the KBSC pontoon, runs up river towards Elmhaven Marine, and then returns through the course towards Rochester Bridge.
  2. Tight keyhole turns must be executed at each end of the course, but especially at the end nearest Cuxton Marina.
  3. If the course is in use, a boat wishing to run the course should display a red ‘waiting’ flag and wait 60ft off mid-course.The boat using the course has a further four runs before it must vacate the course.
  4. If a boat is waiting, displaying a red flag, any boat using the course may take no more than four further runs through the course.
  5. If the boat using the course wishes to continue doing so, then it must join the queue 60ft off mid-course and display a red ‘waiting’ flag.
  6. It is required that all skiers wear buoyancy aids whilst running the course.
  7. It is essential that any buoy displaced during a run should be retrieved.This should then be reported to a Committee member immediately on return to the Club.
  8. If a boat wishes to proceed up the river whilst another boat and skier are running the course, as wide a berth as possible must be given.In order not to ruin the skier’s run, wait until they have dropped off before proceeding up the river.
  9. Discretion should be used and slalom course users given fair way if possible.
  10. The slalom course should not be entered unless a skier intends to use it correctly




The Ski Boat Drivers Award (SBD2) is a certificate of competence issued by British Water Ski.  It is compulsory for all our members who wish to drive a boat in our waters. However, members who already have RYA Level 1 & 2 do not need to take the SBD2.

British Water Ski aims to improve the standard of ski boat driving in the absence of any legislation or licensing system in the UK. In many parts of Europe, a licence is mandatory, but not in the UK.  The SBD2 is recognised as the benchmark standard of driving skills at Clubs throughout the UK, and is supported by the KBSC.  The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) can be applied for if a candidate passes the SBD2 test and meets European licensing requirements.

The test is:

  1. Compulsory if you wish to drive a boat in KBSC waters
  2. Formal proof of your boat handling experience and skills
  3. Tied in with its mandatory European counterpart, the ICC, which can be taken at the same time
  4. Required by the majority of water ski Clubs in the UK
  5. The minimum requirement if you wish to gain a British Water Ski instructor qualification


To take the test you must:


  1. Be a full member of the KBSC
  2. Be a member of British Water Ski, proof of which will be required
  3. Be at least 16 years of age at the time of taking the test
  4. Have a good level of boat driving ability
  5. Have read and be familiar with the content of the SBD2 manual, which contains all the information required for the written test and includes a comprehensive full colour guide to flags and other signage
  6. Provide a passport photo of yourself – one each for the SBD2 and the ICC if you require this as well
  7. Arrange for a boat to be used in the practical test
  8. Arrange for a person aged over 14 years to be the skier during the practical test
  9. Provide proof of insurance if your own boat is to be used
  10. Complete a 10 minute boat driving test
  11. Demonstrate to the examiner basic boat handling skills, that you are capable of pulling up, towing up and recovering a skier, and of docking the boat
  12. For Coastal Waters (mandatory): complete a multiple choice question paper of 22 questions (approximately 30 minutes).A minimum of 18 questions must be answered correctly
  13. For Inland Waters: complete a multiple choice question paper of 14 questions (approximately 20 minutes).A minimum of 11 questions must be answered correctly


There is a charge for the SBD2 test.  Details can be found on the Club website,


All the information you need can be found on the British Water Ski website:


As long as you remain a member of British Water Ski, the SBD2 qualification remains valid.  The ICC, however, needs to be renewed every five years by British Water Ski.



The KBSC has developed a course to enable members over the age of 10 years, and under the age of 16 years, to act as a skiing observer on a boat

The candidate must:

  1. Be over the minimum age of 10 years
  2. Understand the skier’s hand signals and be able to pass this information on to the boat driver
  3. Be able to use the yellow flag and to understand the importance of its use
  4. Be able to retrieve the ski line
  5. Show that they can hold on to the skier’s equipment in the water and at the side of the boat

The course is run by the Club’s Ski Boat Drivers Award Principal, who can be contacted at

The Club does not make a charge for this course.

Please note that the Club has adopted the British Water Ski Child Protection Policy, a copy of which is available for inspection in the Clubhouse and on the BWSW website.

Please note that all junior members are required to wear a life jacket at all times whilst on the pontoon or in a boat.





Vessels to be navigated with care and caution.


  1. No person shall navigate a vessel:


  1. Without care and caution, or at a speed or in a manner which, having regard to all the circumstances at the time, including weather conditions and the type, condition and use of other vessels under way, berthed or moored, or which might reasonably be expected to be underway, berthed or moored, endangers the safety of, or causes injury or damage to any person, any other vessel, buoy, moorings, banks of the Port or the Medway approach area or any other property.


  1. Without reducing speed and wash effect to a safe level before passing a dredger or a vessel engaged in diving operations, underwater work, removing a sunken vessel or other obstruction or working at any buoy or mooring.


  1. Without the written permission of the harbour master, and subject to paragraphs (1) and (2) above at a speed exceeding


  1. Six knots through the water Westwards of the longitude of Folly Point,
  2. Eight knots through the water in Queenborough Harbour, within the area between a line joining Swale Ness and Queenborough Point and a line drawn 270 degrees from Long Point to the shore,
  3. Eight knots through the water South of Kingsferry Bridge,
  4. Provided that this byelaw shall not apply:-
  5. Where the vessel is being used for fire, rescue, ambulance, law enforcement or police purpose or the purpose of the Authority’s harbour service, if the observance of the byelaw would be likely to hinder the use of the vessel for the purpose for which it is being used on that occasion.


Water skiing, aquaplaning, parakiting and water biking



  1. No person or persons shall engage or take part in water skiing, aquaplaning, parakiting, water biking or similar airborne or waterborne activity except in the following areas:-


  1. Folly Point to the Medway Buoy, in those waters lying not less than 60 metres outside of the fairway, but not including the recognised anchorage areas and approaches thereto in the Great and Little Nore, or those waters to the South of Stangate Split light buoy, Lat 51 degrees 25.4N, Long 00 degrees 41’6”E including the whole of Stangate and Sharfleet Creeks. In addition the waters of Stoke and Colemouth Creek are declared as prohibited areas.
  2. In the swale or in or on the area bounded to the North by a line in a direction 309 degrees from Long Point, Lat 51 degrees 24’85”N, Long 00 degrees 43’42”E, to Tailness Marshes, and to the South by a line at right angles to the Fairway and situated 150 metres North of Kingsferry Bridge.
  3. No person other than a member of a club approved by the Harbour Master shall engage in these activities in the area between the M2 Motorway Bridge and the notice board indicating the upstream limit at Halling.


  1. The owner or master of a vessel towing a person water skiing, aquaplaning, parakiting, or similar airborne or waterborne activity shall ensure that there are on board the vessel:-


  1. At least two persons able to take charge of the vessel and to give such assistance as may be reasonably required during the towing.
  2. A lifejacket or buoyancy aid for each person on board.
  3. Distress signals comprising two red hand flares and two hand held orange smoke signals.


  1. No owner or master of a vessel having an internal combustion engine and used in connection with water skiing, aquaplaning, para-kiting, or similar airborne or waterborne activity shall so use the vessel without first ensuring that it is fixed with a silencer expansion chamber or other contrivance suitable and sufficient for reducing so far as may be reasonable the noise caused by the escape of exhaust gases from the engine.


  1. No master or owner of a vessel shall knowingly cause or permit any person to navigate or attempt to navigate that vessel in contravention of any of the provisions of this byelaw.


Vessels have name marked thereon.


  1. The master of a vessel shall ensure that the vessel’s name or other means of identification is clearly painted or otherwise marked thereon.


Note:Harbours Act 1964 Section 26 (2). A conservancy charge is payable on small craft. Details available from Harbour Masters Office.

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