Table of Contents

Towing Skiers

It is illegal to tow a person on water skis or similar devices behind a PWC.

Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis or similar devices must have on board, in addition to the operator, an observer at least 12 years of age constantly observing the person being towed.

Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis or similar devices must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD.

It is illegal for vessels to tow a person(s) on water skis or similar devices from sunset to sunrise.

All vessels towing a person on water skis or similar devices must be equipped with a ladder, steps, a platform, or a similar device that can be used to retrieve the person being towed from the water.

Everyone engaged in water-skiing—the operator and the towed person(s)—must conduct themselves in a safe and responsible manner.

  • Water-skiers must ski at a safe distance to prevent their wash from being thrown into or causing excessive rocking of other vessels, rafts, or floats.
  • The towing vessel must not be operated within 150 feet of shorelines being used as swimming areas or within 75 feet of floats or markers that designate swimming areas.
  • It is illegal for the vessel operator or the towed person to be under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.

Water-skiing is not permitted on some Massachusetts waterways. Check before you go boating.

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