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Our members may have already seen the recent announcement regarding the new legislation which comes into force from 31st March 2023:

The Merchant Shipping (Watercraft) Order 2023 will enable watercraft users to be prosecuted and bound by the same laws that apply to ships. This includes Personal Watercrafts (PWCs), fliteboards, e-foils and anything else motorised on the water which can carry one or more persons.

Poole Harbour Commissions states: ‘Poole Harbour Commissioners welcomes new legislation, The Merchant Shipping (Watercraft) Order 2023, aimed at deterring owners, users and operators of watercraft from dangerous and negligent use. Within the Order, “watercraft” means any type of craft that is capable of moving under its own mechanical power, used, navigated or situated wholly or partly in or on water, and capable of being used to carry one or more persons. Unsafe use could result in the owner, user or operator being liable on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment of up to two years or an unlimited fine, or both. This legislation comes into force on 31st March 2023.

We’d also like to take the opportunity to remind our members that the speed limit within Poole Harbour from 1st April 2023 reverts to 10knots.

The following links provide useful information on keeping safe this season:
Merchant Shipping Order 2023
Poole Harbour Commissions By Laws
Poole Harbour Commissioners Code of Conduct 
Our Responsible Rider Charter 

As a further reminder our customers must adhere to the following in all instances:

  • No refuelling on Versa Docks – due to risk of injury, static shock and general fire hazards
  • No breaking Poole Harbour bylaws (Speed limits, Quiet zones etc – details in above link)
  • No speeding within the Marina –  3knots/ 4mph
  • Have proof of insurance on you at all times
  • Have your Poole Harbour Permit displayed
  • You must wear a Kill Cord attached to your Impact Jacket or clothing
  • Under 16’s must have a RYA PWC License

For Versa Dock customers we also strongly recommend for your safety the following:

  • Wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD/Impact jacket) at all times
  • Wearing a wetsuit or at least neoprene shorts – to prevent risk of serious injury in event of an accident
  • Completing a RYA PWC course or refresher (our Sea School can assist)

Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the teams at the Marina Reception or in the Offshore Performance Showroom. We’re here to help and can’t wait for the weather to improve and the season to fully begin.

Background: Offshore Performance is part of the Salterns Group of Companies that includes Salterns MarinaThe Ocean Club, Chandlery, Salterns Brokerage and Golden Arrow Marine.  Based in Sandbanks, Poole Harbour we’ve been helping boaters enjoy life on the water since the 1960’s.


the Offshore Performance Team
Offshore Performance is the leading personal watercraft specialist and the UK’s No 1 Sea-Doo dealer. Established in 1991 we have extensive knowledge and experience in supplying all aspects of your purchase including new and used sales, warranty, parts, servicing and support.
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