The Greater Berg River allows for boating along its entire 50km navigable length. The lower portion from the mouth to the Carinus bridge and a distance of about 3 nm is part of a proclaimed fishing harbour, Laaiplek Harbour. All rules and regulations pertaining to government harbours apply in this area.
The harbour master has however allowed water skiing to take place from the first channel marker buoy just east of the main Marina entrance right up to the Carinus bridge. A stretch of about 1,5 nm.
The river is navigable by vessels of up to 2 meters draft through this entire area about 2 hours either side of high water. Where the river has a fixed channel, the channels are marked by large channel markers.
On entering the river / harbour from the sea the following applies:
- Approach the harbour breakwater at a heading of between 120 and 150 magnetic.
- Once in line with the opening between the two breakwaters go up centre channel or slightly to starboard to allow safe passing port to port in the event that there is another vessel wanting to exit at the same time. The harbour is about 80 metres wide at this point.
- Once you reach the end of the parallel breakwaters turn sharp to port and stay about 1 boat length from the northern bank. This bank consists of a large fishing jetty and is usually occupied by large fishing trawlers. Leave about 1 boat length between them and your boat.
Do not go too far to starboard as there is a shallow sandbank in the center of the river in that area.
- Once past the trawler jetties stay on the port side as you approach some smaller jetties and again leave about one boat length between the jetties and your boat.
- The last jetty on your port side is the Port Owen Holding Jetty. This jetty may be used by visiting yachts to berth against. The harbour is over 2 meters deep up to this point, even at low tide and can be used as a holding jetty in the event that the tide is too low, to proceed further up river.
If you are not sure as to the state of the tide call Port Owen on channel 71.
- Once the tide is of sufficient depth proceed from the holding jetty to the first centre channel marker buoy, and thereafter proceed to the next marker buoy and so forth.
- When opposite the entrance to the Marina turn to port and enter the Marina following the marker buoys.
- Proceed to the jetties and tie-up at the berth allocated to you by the Marina Manager.
If you want to proceed up-river leave the Marina and turn to port. About 400 meters up-river there are some port (red ) and starboard (green) markers. Pass between these markers and then proceed up-river. Once past the buoys there are no rocky outcrops further up-river to be concerned about.
Generally stay in the centre of the river keeping in mind that on the bends the deepest areas are usually along the outer bend. There is a map depicting the various areas where speed is or is not allowed. There are also clear buoys depicting these areas.
Please note that all users of the river, want to enjoy the river, it is therefore critical that everyone obeys the regulations, not just the other people, YOU AS WELL !!!
Bird watching can be done along the entire length of the river. Generally the mudflats areas offer the best viewing sights. Especially for flamingos of which at times there are thousands to be seen.
Fishing in the river is good and the most popular spots are near the river mouth and the two bridges traversing the river. Here again river users are requested to show the necessary courtesy and to slow down when passing a group of fishermen anchored in the river or to pass them with a large margin of space.
Disclaimer: The above are offered as guidelines for entering the river and navigating to the Port Owen Marina .
Port Owen Yacht Club and its committee takes no responsibility for damage or incidents to yachts entering the river.
Skippers should at all times adjust their actions to the prevailing wind, tide and weather conditions.