FAQ

Q: Do I have to belong to a club to fish off my ski in Durban?
A: Yes. Just like owning a motor vehicle, one has to register it before it can be taken on the road. Clubs were formed on the instructions of the Harbour Authorities to take care of all the safety aspects of the various types of water craft. All craft need to be registered with a club to operate within the Harbour  Master’s jurisdiction. The Water Police regularly patrol the area and fine all unregistered craft.
   
Q: Do I need to carry any safety equipment?
A: Yes. Our club requires members to carry at all times on the water, one life jacket per member, one hand-held (distress) flare, one smoke flare, (both flares must be valid for the full year), an anchor  (minimum size 1.5 kg) with chain and 30 metres of rope, a stainless steel signaling mirror, a 1st Aid kit, and a paddle lanyard that must be tied to the ski. Crocker skis also need to have a capsize rope fitted and a front towing bollard. If you only intend to paddle and not fish, you will only be required to carry a life jacket and one flare – either a smoke or distress flare.
   
Q: Will I be able to fish or paddle in Durban Harbour?
A: Yes, in permitted areas only. A Portnet disc is obtained by the club on your behalf, which must be carried at all times in the harbour and in the open sea.
   
Q: How do I go about joining the Durban Paddle Ski Club?
A: You will need to fill in an application form with a passport size photo and submit it to the club for consideration. Once the committee accepts the application, you will be notified by telephone and asked to bring your ski and equipment for inspection and registration.
   
Q: How much does membership costs?
A: Initially you will have to pay a once-off joining fee of R600, R350 annual subs, R100 Portnet Disc and R50  for a gate key. A total of R1100. Pensioners (65 and over) and country members (residing more than 100 km from Durban) pay R310 and R320 per annum respectively.
Q: Can I store my ski on the club’s premises?
A: We do have limited storage facilities but are currently full. Once you have joined, your name will be added to the bunker waiting list. The cost is R400 per annum.
   
Q: I am not experienced to launch through big surf. Is the club launching site any safer?
A: We have the safest and most sheltered launching site on the entire Natal coastline. The best conditions are created after the south-westerly wind has blown itself out, making the launch site totally flat. During strong north-easterly winds, the surf does become a little rough which can at times prevent us   from launching.
   
Q: Can I invite friends to fish with me?
A: Yes, We welcome guests, but they too must carry all the safety gear as the registered members. They   must remain with you at all times on and off the water and guests must be logged in the launch register. Because of limited parking facilities guests are limited to four. Once your guest has logged six  launches, he/she will be expected to join the club. You will be responsible for your guests’ behaviour.
   
Q: How old does one need to be before he/she can become a member?
A: According to maritime regulations, one has to be at least sixteen years of age before going to sea alone on a registered craft. The club will however, allow a child of fourteen to launch its own ski, as long as    the parent, who must be a member, accompanies the child on the water at all times and is fully responsible for the child’s safety
   
Q: Is the club opened every day of the week?
A: No. The clubhouse is only opened on weekends between 6 am and 4.30 pm. You do however have access to the premises and the beach every day of the week.
   
Q: Can I join the club if I do not own a ski?
A:  Only if you intend to fish as crew of an already registered member.
   
Q: What if I do not wish to fish, but just paddle?
A: The club accommodates paddlers as well. You will need to carry a life jacket and one flare on the   water.
   
Q: Are there any safety officers on duty whilst members are out at sea?
A: Yes, but on weekends only. All members are required to stand for duty one day every 16-18 months.
   
Q: Can I fish after dark?
A: Absolutely not! As per Harbour Authorities regulations, you may launch your ski 30 minutes before the official sunrise and be off the water 30 minutes after the official sunset. Although these hours are displayed on the club’s notice board, it is your responsibility to know them.
   
Q: What angling licenses do I need?
A: You will need the normal fishing licence as well as the “fishing off a craft” licence. A crew member fishing with the ski owner need not have the extra license. These licenses can be bought at any post office.
   
Q:  In the light of the proposed Point development, what is the future of the club?
A: After a long struggle, the club formed the Save Vetch’s Association (SVA), which took legal action against the authorization of the small craft harbour. This resulted in an agreement being struck between the club, SVA and the developers, in which the club will be reasonably accommodated in whatever development may take place in the future. Recent developments indicate that no small craft harbour will be built. Negotiations still currently underway with the other 3 clubs to decide the final set up of the new PWC umbrella club.  The club is proud to claim that had it not been for the stance it took, today there would be no Vetch’s Beach or Vetch’s Pier for the Durban public to enjoy. Inevitably though, the club will be relocated within the next year or so, to new premises combing all 4 watersport clubs.
Q: Where can I read the latest Durban Paddle Ski Club newsletters?
A: Check out our blog to read the latest club newsletters.