Requirements Specific to Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
In addition to adhering to all boating laws, personal watercraft (PWC) operators have requirements specific to their vessel.
- Everyone on board a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III personal flotation device (PFD) at all times.
- An operator of a PWC equipped with an ignition safety switch must attach the lanyard of the switch to his or her wrist or PFD.
- A “no wake speed” must be maintained when within 200 feet of a dock, swimmer, swimming raft, non-motorized vessel, or anchored vessel.
- Stand-up PWCs and PWCs towing a water-skier must travel at the minimum speed necessary to operate when leaving from or returning to a dock or the shore.
- When a PWC tows a person on water-skis, kneeboard, tube, or other device, another person must be on board to act as an observer or “spotter.”
- A PWC may not be rented to anyone under the age of 18.
- One U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type B-I fire extinguisher must be on board a PWC.
- A PWC must be registered at a county treasurer’s office and display proper numbers and decals.
- All rules regarding safe operation of a vessel apply to PWCs as well.