About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Montana Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Montana Boater Education Certificate.

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PWC jumping wake of a boat

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.