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

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

PWC towing wakeboarder with observer facing backward
It is important for PWC operators who are towing skiers to be aware that their factory-installed rearview mirror may not comply with South Carolina regulations. A wide-angle mirror is needed for adequate viewing of the skier. If an observer is used, the PWC should be rated to carry all persons on board the PWC plus the skier.
  • It is illegal for vessels to tow persons on water skis, a surfboard, or any other device between sunset and sunrise.
  • Vessels towing water-skiers or participating in a similar activity must operate in a careful and prudent manner. A reasonable distance from other boats, people, and property must be maintained so as not to endanger life or property. Buzzing or spraying another boat or a swimmer is illegal.
  • Those being towed must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
  • Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device must have on board:
    • A person, in addition to the boat operator, observing the towed person(s) or ...
    • A wide-angle rearview mirror mounted such that the operator can observe the towed person(s) at all times.
  • If an observer is used when towing a person behind a PWC, the PWC must be rated for three people—the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.