It's the Law


Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or any other device have additional laws.

Requirements for Towing Skiers


A person may not be towed behind a vessel between sunset and sunrise.

When a vessel is towing a person on water skis, a surfboard, or other device, the operator must have another competent person on board to act as an observer.

A PWC operator may not tow a person on water skis or other devices unless:

  • The PWC is designed and recommended by the manufacturer to accommodate at least three people, and…
  • A competent observer is on board and in a position to observe the person being towed.

Those towing skiers on water skis, a surfboard, or similar devices and those being towed must act in a safe and prudent manner.

  • Vessels towing persons may not come within 100 feet of any occupied anchored boat, any PWC, or any marked swimming area or public boat landing.
  • Persons being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or other device, or their towing rope, may not come within 100 feet of a PWC.

Avoid Propeller Strike Injuries!

Most propeller strike accidents result from operator error. Victims include swimmers, scuba divers, fallen water-skiers, and boat operators or passengers. Most propeller accidents can be prevented by following basic safe boating practices.

  • Maintain a proper lookout. The primary cause of propeller strike accidents is operator inattention.
  • Make sure the engine is off so that the propeller is not rotating when passengers are boarding or leaving a boat.
  • Never start a boat with the engine in gear.
  • Slow down when approaching congested areas and anchorages. In congested areas, always be alert for swimmers and divers.