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

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In addition to adhering to laws as they apply to all vessels, operators towing a person(s) on water skis, surfboards, or any device of this type must obey these laws.

  • It is illegal for vessels to tow persons on water skis, surfboards, or any device of this type between one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.
  • Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device must have an observer on board, in addition to the vessel operator, who is 12 years of age or older and in a position to observe the skier(s).
  • Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or other device must wear a USCG–approved PFD. The PFD must be designed for the towing activity and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s label.
  • A reasonable distance from other vessels, people, and property must be maintained while towing so as not to endanger life or property. It is illegal to cause the towed device or person being towed to collide with any object or person.
PWC towing wakeboarder
If towing a skier with a PWC, the PWC must be rated for at least three people—the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.