Boat Massachusetts - Your Guide to Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources
Table of Contents
Requirements Specific to PWCs
Every person on board a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device that is in good and serviceable condition.
If the PWC is equipped with an ignition safety switch, the lanyard must be attached to the person, clothing, or PFD of the operator.
PWCs may be operated only from sunrise to sunset.
There are age and boater education requirements for operators of personal watercraft (see Who May Operate a Vessel).
PWCs may not be operated within 150 feet of a swimmer, the shore, public and private swimming beaches, or a moored vessel unless operated at headway speed.
Remember—PWC owners are responsible …
As an owner of a PWC, you are legally responsible if you allow your PWC to be operated by others in violation of Massachusetts law.
PWCs may not be operated on any Massachusetts waters that are less than 75 acres in size.
It is illegal to tow a water-skier or a person in any other manner behind a PWC.
PWCs must be operated in a safe and responsible manner.
For example, it is illegal to:
- Jump the wake of another vessel.
- Speed in restricted areas.
- Follow within 150 feet of a water-skier.
- Cross unreasonably close to another vessel.
- Weave through congested waterway traffic.
- Operate in such a manner that it endangers the life, limb, or property of any person.
- Chase or harass wildlife with your PWC.
As with other vessels, PWCs are not allowed within 150 feet of public and private swimming beaches.