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Course Outline

PWC jumping wake of a boat; prohibited sign on the image

It is illegal to operate a PWC during the period that begins at sunset and ends at 8:00 a.m. “Sunset” means that time determined by the National Weather Service.

PWC must be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner at all times. For example, the following operations are illegal:

  • Jumping the wake of another vessel unnecessarily close to the other vessel
  • Weaving your PWC through congested traffic
  • Swerving at the last possible moment in order to avoid a collision

A PWC must be operated at “slow, no wake speed” if crossing within 150 feet behind another vessel unless the other vessel is also a PWC.

You may not operate a PWC within 200 feet of a Great Lakes shoreline unless traveling at “slow, no wake speed” perpendicular to the shoreline.

You may not operate a PWC in waters less than two feet deep unless you are operating at “slow, no wake speed” or are docking or launching your PWC.

It is illegal to harass wildlife or disturb aquatic vegetation with your PWC.

PWC are prohibited within the boundaries of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Isle Royale National Park. Restrictions also apply at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore under Part 3 of 36 CFR.

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