About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Missouri Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Missouri Boating Safety Certification Card.

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Motorboat and PWC operators towing a person(s) on water skis, a wakeboard, a parasail, or any other device must also obey these laws.

PWC towing wakeboarder with observer
  • Every motorboat or PWC towing a person(s) on water skis, a wakeboard, or any device other than a parasail must have either:
    • A person on board, in addition to the operator, observing the towed person(s) at all times (preferably the observer is at least 12 years old) or…
    • An approved ski mirror that is at least three inches in height and eight inches in length, gives 180 degrees of vision behind the operator, and is designed as a ski mirror. The MSHP does not recognize the manufacturer’s mirrors on PWC as being sufficient for this purpose.
  • Every motorboat or PWC towing a parasailer must have a person at least 12 years old on board, in addition to the operator, actively observing the parasailer.
  • It is strongly recommended that all persons being towed behind a motorboat or PWC on water skis or any other device wear a USCG–approved PFD. Ski belts are not USCG–approved.

Video: Missouri Propeller Strike Injuries

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Video Transcript

All right. There’s no easy way to bring this up—propeller strikes. Nobody wants to get hit by a propeller while they’re on the lake, but occasionally it happens. So, how can we prevent propeller strikes out here on the lake?

Officer Mueller

One easy way to do that is just to be aware of the people that are around your boat and the water. And, if you have the motor turned off, there’s no way for the propeller to be spinning, and incidents like that could be prevented.


Now, are there any that come to mind that could have been prevented?

Officer Mueller

I know of an incident here in Missouri where a skier was out, they fell off the skis, and the operator of the boat was going to retrieve the skier. As the skier approached the back of the boat, the operator failed to turn off the motor and accidentally left the motor in gear. And, while the skier was attempting to get back into the boat, they were struck by the propeller.


OK. Seems pretty simple. Turn off the engine when you’re picking people up.

Officer Mueller



Awesome. Thanks.