Requirements Specific to PWCs
In addition to adhering to all boating laws, personal watercraft (PWC) operators have requirements specific to their vessel.
- Any person riding on or being towed behind a PWC must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V life jacket. Exceptions are made for those performing or participating in an official regatta, marine parade, tournament or exhibition.
- If the PWC is equipped with a lanyard-type ignition safety switch must be attached to the person, clothing or PFD of the operator. Operating a PWC equipped with a self-circling device is prohibited if the self-circling device has been altered.
- It is illegal to operate a PWC between sunset and sunrise, even if the PWC is equipped with proper navigation lights.
- PWCs should not be operated in a reckless or negligent manner. Examples of unsafe operation are:
- Turning a PWC sharply so as to spray another person or vessel
- Operating at a rate of speed and proximity to another vessel so that either operator must swerve at the last minute to avoid collision
- Jumping or attempting to jump the wake of another vessel within 100 ft. of that vessel
- It is illegal to chase, harass or disturb wildlife with your PWC.