About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed California Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your California Boater Education Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

In addition to adhering to all boating laws, personal watercraft (PWC) operators have requirements specific to their vessel.

Lanyard connecting the safety switch to the operator's wrist
  • 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.