Kayak Registration in Jersey

calm day sea kayaking in bouley bay

Ensure your kayak has your contact details on it to comply with the new law

A new law is about to be debated in the States to update the old regulations for Boats and surf riding craft.

This is now lodged for voting in the States on 1 May 2012.I learned of this by chance and was concerned as it requires kayaks to be registered.

I’ve now been in correspondence with Piers Baker at Regulatory Services. He says the consultation has taken place with user groups.

My only recollection was a discussion about 3 years ago and then nothing more was heard. Harbours say it was up to Regulatory services to do this and Regulatory Services say it was Harbours job to arrange consultation and contact user groups. Hmm…!

I put specific questions to Piers about the requirement to register your kayak. His replies are in italics.

1. “If a private-use kayak is marked with a contact telephone number, there will be no insurance or registration requirement.” So you will not have to pay the £20 fee.

2. “If, instead, a person really does not want to put a contact telephone number on it at all, he or she can register for a one-off (not annual) fee of £20 and will get a registration number from Harbours. He would also need to show insurance at that stage.”

3. Surf riding craft such as surf kayak can be more than 1.6m. Many sea kayaks are around 18ft- can they be used in surf if insured? “Yes.”

registering your kayak in jersey

Add your phone number and that's it- you comply with the law.

4. Some kayaks have sails- where do they fit into the regulations? “If over 3m in length, they will have to be registered once on purchase / change of ownership. They will also need to be insured.”

5. Kayaks with outboards (Yes they do exist!). “They are boats so if over 3m in length they will need to be registered.”

6. No need to pay to register a kayak with peddles – I was thinking of some of the Hobi-cat designs. It is “…still a kayak if the propulsion is from your physical effort.”

7. Will this mean all beaches can be surfed if the old surf law is repealed providing they follow good practices e.g BCU/BSA surfing guidelines? “By and large yes, the old restrictions will go but the Harbour master will replace them with some form of regulation such as a prohibition of surfing within a patrolled & flagged safe bathing area on surfing beaches such as St Ouen, St Brelade and Greve de Lecq.”

8. Will this mean clubs with a fleet of craft have to pay to register them as clubs are a bit of a tricky area especially if they hire the craft out to people? “Club fleets will not have to register the kayaks. They will have to get a permit to let them out under regulation 4 and be insured, which is what they have to do now.”

9. My brief reading is that every kayak must be insured (whether it is used in surf or not) with third party liability insurance, the name/contact details of the owner clearly displayed and no further costs to the owner or need to register with Harbours. Is this correct? “Not quite –There will be no need to register or insure, if it is a privately-used kayak and it has some form of contact details marked on it.”

kayaking near beauport bay

Marking your kayak may help you get it back if it is stolen or lost at sea.

10. Will it be a requirement for people using a kayak in surf to have insurance? “Yes.”

11. Visiting sea kayakers to Jersey will not need to register their sea kayaks in Jersey if they are only visiting for a short time. However, it makes sense to mark your contact details on your sea kayak in case it is lost at sea.

If you need more information have a look at the draft Harbours (Inshore safety ) Jersey) Regulations or contact: Piers Baker at Regulatory Services.

If you have any issues about the new Regulations it is now best to contact your local Deputy as the vote is scheduled for 1 May 2012.

Tip: When marking your kayak with your contact details it is a good idea to put the details in a visible and also a more  hidden spot. Should your kayak get stolen the thief may not spot the hidden registration details but it might help you prove ownership. I know of a couple cases where the owners got their kayaks back as a result of this.

I hope this helps. Derek Hairon, BCU Local Coaching Officer, Jersey.