Skip to main content

Course Outline

Observer With Orange Flag Watching Persons Being Towed

Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, aquaplanes, tubes, kneeboards, or similar devices have specific observer and equipment requirements.

  • Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis, an aquaplane, or other device must have on board, in addition to the operator, an observer at least 12 years of age in a position to observe the person being towed. On a PWC, the observer must be facing the rear of the PWC.
  • All persons being towed behind a vessel on water skis, an aquaplane, or other device must wear a USCG–approved personal flotation device (life jacket).
  • Ski ropes may not be more than 75 feet in length, except when barefoot skiing in which case a ski rope of 100 feet in length may be used.
  • A PWC may not be used to tow a person on water skis, an aquaplane, or similar device unless the PWC has the capacity to carry at least three persons (the operator, a rear-facing observer, and the skier) and the PWC is designed specifically for water-skiing by the manufacturer.
  • Unit 4 of 6
  • Topic 14 of 20
  • Page 1 of 3