On a normal day, crossing the Mangawhai Bar is a breeze, but it is a bar and you do have to be aware of the dangers as some boaties have been known to misjudge and lose their boats.

Stay out of trouble and keep yourself and everyone on board safe by following some simple but vital rules.

If you have never been out of the Mangawhai Estuary and over the bar and need to know where the channel lies, contact the club or just ask any local, and we will show you the way.

Coastguard New Zealand's bar safety advice

  • Seek local advice on the bar and channels
  • Check the weathertide and bar conditions
  • Ensure your boat has adequate stability
  • Check your boat and make sure hatches and equipment are adequately secured
  • Make sure that everybody is wearing a lifejacket and are awake
  • Ensure that you are carrying two forms of communication that work even when wet
  • A call sign is vital for Bar Crossings to ensure positive identification and efficient communication. Get one or update your existing one.
  • Make a trip report to Coastguard when departing advising of your departure location, your plans for the day and that you will be calling later to lodge a Bar Watch report before you cross the bar.
  • Upon arrival at your assessment point, take the time to double check conditions will be ok for a safe crossing both now and when you return with the forecasted weather and tides. Lodge a Bar Watch report.
  • Post a lookout to monitor conditions astern and approach the bar at moderate speed
  • Communicate to Coastguard that you have successfully crossed the bar and close your Bar Watch report

The final piece of advice from Coastguard is: if in doubt, don't go out!