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It's the Law

Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, an aquaplane, or other similar device must also obey these laws.

Requirements for Towing Skiers

Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved PFD.

It is illegal to tow a water-skier between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must have a competent person, in addition to the vessel operator, continuously observing the towed person(s).

towing a wakeboard
Observe towed person(s) at all times.

If the towing vessel is a PWC, the PWC must be rated by the manufacturer for at least three people—the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.

It is illegal to exceed “no wake speed” (maximum of five miles per hour) while within 100 feet of a dock, a swimmer, or a person in the water, except when:

  • You are safely pulling a water-skier from a dock or …
  • You are safely dropping a water-skier at or near a dock or …
  • The swimmer or person in the water is the vessel’s skier.

Vessels towing a person(s) on water skis or similar device must carry on board a red or orange skier-down flag. The observer must display the flag whenever the skier is in the water.

Vessel operators are responsible for the actions of any person they are towing.