The use of powered craft on the Milford Haven Waterway is a growing activity with many new users starting out from the various launch sites around the waterway. Powered craft range in size speed and manoeuvrability. Small to medium RIBs, sportboats and fishing boats are in the majority on the water way although larger ‘Gin palaces’ make regular appearances in the summer months.
You can use which ever powered vessel you have on the Waterway but you must abide by the zoning scheme and byelaws set out in the Milford Haven Waterway Leisure User Guide. As a user of a powered craft you should be aware of commercial traffic and other recreational users in the haven, and moderate their passage accordingly. You should take particular care near training and teaching areas, moorings, waterski zones, marina entrances, launch sites and slipways, other craft at anchor, divers, pontoons, beaches where bathing is taking place and in the Dead Slow Minimum Wake areas. The Dead Slow Minimum Wake areas are areas which can contain navigational hazards such as shallow water, sandbars and mud flats. They are also of international importance for wildlife and most fall within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. As such we ask that you appreciate these peaceful areas encourage the quiet and relaxed enjoyments of these areas. You are encouraged to follow the Pembrokeshire Marine Code to minimize any disturbance to wildlife and to enable you to have the best experience possible.
Also consider that it is not only your speed that will affect other users. Wash created by your vessel can cause injury or damage. Be aware that your wash will travel so its effects will be felt some distance from the path of your vessel often reaching the shore in the narrower parts of the waterway. It is also likely that for those users not in direct proximity to you the affect of wash will be felt some time after you have passed. It is vital for your own safety and the safety of other that you keep a good lookout at all times not just ahead but astern and all around you.
In addition to power boats of various designs the waterway sees the occasional Personal Water Craft (PWC or Jetski) although the majority venture to the coast for the excitement the beaches have to offer. If you intend to use a PWC in the haven, like all other powered craft you must abide by the activity zoning. Due to the speed and maneuverability and noise of PWC’s, users who are unfamiliar with their operation may be concerned by your presence. Please be considerate and stay clear of other users. Generally most PWC users in the Haven are interested in general sightseeing and towing activities, some of you may wish to use your ski for aquabatics. Aquabatics are only permitted in the designated area shown in the Leisure User Guide.
We recommended that if you are participating in activates involving powered craft in the haven you should receive appropriate training. If you wish to learn how to use a powerboat safely there are a wide variety of options available in the Haven. From basic Powerboat Level 1 up to Instructor and Commercial qualifications, all abilities and aspirations can be catered for. For further details on training centres near you and around the waterway including the courses they offer are available on the RYA website.