PWC Considerations: Regulations and Tips
Stay Out of the Blind Spot!
PWC operators need to beware of passing too closely behind another vessel. The vessel will block your view of oncoming vessels, as well as the oncoming vessel's view of the PWC.
PWC Regulations and Tips
- Regulations concerning PWCs can vary from state to state.
- A PWC is very maneuverable and responsive to slight turns of the steering control. At high speeds, a quick turn can make the PWC unstable, causing the operator and passengers to fall off. This is why most states require that everyone on board a PWC wear a personal flotation device (life jacket).
- Any passenger on a PWC should be able to hold on securely to the person in front of them or to the handholds, while keeping both feet firmly on the footrests. Children who are too small to be able to do this should not ride.
- A passenger on a PWC should never be seated in front of the operator.
- Keep hands, feet, loose clothing, and hair away from the pump intake area. Before cleaning debris from the pump intake, be sure to shut off the engine.
- The jet of water exiting the steering nozzle at the rear of the PWC can cause severe internal injuries. Anyone riding on a PWC should wear a wetsuit or other clothing that provides similar protection. Also, keep everyone clear of the steering nozzle unless the PWC is shut off.
- Frequently inspect your PWC's electrical systems (e.g., starter and engine gauge connections) to ensure there is no potential for electrical spark. This is important because gas fumes could collect in the engine compartment and an explosion could occur if a spark from the electrical system ignited the fumes. After fueling, sniff the engine compartment for any evidence of gas fumes.
- Never exceed the manufacturer's recommended capacity for your PWC.
- Know your limits, and ride according to your abilities.