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As a user of the sea, harbours and beaches it is important that you understand the responsibilities of water craft users.
In order to prevent an accident
if you consider that the regulations have been breached then
contact the Harbour Masters Office (numbers at the bottom of this page)

or in an emergency dial 999.


Power Vessel Regulations for Gwynedd harbours and coast (as of 2009/10) Consult the local harbourmaster for current rules and regulations.

1. Every Powerboat or Personal Watercraft user that uses / crosses Gwynedd Council owned, or managed coastal areas, must register the craft with Gwynedd Council, (craft less than 10hp do not need to register).

1.1 To obtain registration, a fee shall be paid and proof of insurance provided - minimum insurance cover will be Third Party £2 million.

1.2 The appropriate registration permits must be displayed in a visible position on the port and starboard side of the craft above the waterline - other numbers will not be accepted. Craft not displaying the registration permits will not be authorised to launch. Please be aware that Gwynedd Council's annual launching permits are not accepted at Nefyn and Morfa Nefyn beaches.

1.3 Access for Powerboats or Personal Watercraft will not be allowed to any of the Council's harbours or beaches if the owner has not registered with Gwynedd Council or if the registration has been withdrawn.

1.4 Launching fees will be payable at all designated launching areas.

2. Age Requirements:

2.1 Must be at least 18 years of age to operate a Powerboat or Personal Watercraft.

2.2 Be 15 to 17, and possess a R.Y.A. Certificate of Competence for Personal Watercraft, or the RYA Powerboat Level Two Award. The RYA certificate must be available for inspection at all times.

2.3 Be 12 to 14, and possess a R.Y.A. Personal Watercraft Certificate of Competence or the RYA Powerboat Level Two Award and operate under direct adult supervision. The definition of "supervision" is such that the adult, as defined in 2.1 above, is present on board the craft. The RYA certificate must be available for inspection at all times.

2.4 Under 12 yrs - not permitted to operate a Powerboat or a Personal Watercraft.

3. Speed Restrictions:

3.1 A wakeless speed shall be maintained within 50 metres of another Personal Watercraft, boat, dock,
swimmer, skier, angler, or fishing equipment.

3.2 Gwynedd Council speed restrictions must be complied with in all designated areas. Where there is no
specified speed limit, the maximum speed is 4 KNOTS within 100 metres of the coastline (from the low water mark) and within all harbours.

3.3 Power craft are not permitted within the Craft Exclusion Zones.

3.4 Power driven vessels are prohibited from entering any beach safety zone unless using a designated
launch area at the specified speed limit.

4. Boating under the influence of alcohol, or drugs is not permitted.

5. It is an offence to disturb wildlife. Vessels navigating coastal waters shall not disturb dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks or other wildlife.

6. Vehicles are brought onto the launching areas at the owner's own risk and the requirements and directions of
Gwynedd Council officers must be adhered to at all times.

7. Navigation of power driven vessels in a responsible manner and with due regard to good seamanship is a requirement. International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea shall be strictly adhered to at all times.

8 The helmsman of the vessel shall ensure that the approved 'Killcord' is secured to the engine and is secured in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. No craft should be under way or making way unless the 'Killcord' is properly secured. The information symbol indicating that a 'Killcord' be used correctly at all times shall be permanently displayed on the console, or a prominent part of the craft at all times.

9 Water skiing without an independent observer will not be permitted. The towing of inflatable equipment is not
permitted within harbour areas, craft exclusion zones, or within 100 metres of the coastline. A minimum of two
people shall be onboard towing vessel at all times.


Check with the local harbourmaster for current rules and regulations.


Usefull Telephone Numbers

Pwllheli Harbourmaster : 01758 704 081 or 07879 433145
Pwllheli Beach Officer : 07831 216 043
Porthmadog Harbourmaster : 01766 512 927 or 07702 719 023
Porthmadog Beach Officer :07702 719 023
Barmouth Harbourmaster : 01341 280 671 or 07795 012 747
Aberdyfi Harbourmaster : 01654 767 626 or 07879 433 148
Nefyn Town Council (Responsible for Nefyn and Morfa Nefyn Beaches) : 01758 720 507 VHF : 12 / 16
Coast Guard (Holyhead) :01407 762 051
Maritime Unit Office : 01758 704 066