Chapter 4 X Personal Watercraft
For personal safety, a PWC operator should also have: A whistle attached to your life jacket, one that works even when wet. Eye protection, to guard you from the sun, spray and bugs. You should have a leash on your sunglasses so you won’t lose them if you enter the water. Boat shoes/booties, to improve traction and protect your feet from underwater hazards. Gloves to improve your grip and make you more comfortable. A wet suit, to protect you against sun, wind, scrapes and bruises, and cold water shock. Manufacturers recommend wearing wet suits to prevent injury. A helmet, to protect your head from injury. The type of helmet varies with the type of water activity. A properly fitted helmet is mandatory for racers. Sunscreen and lip protection.
See Chapter 1 for more details on Personal Safety and Chapter 2 for details on Boating Law.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS Age of Operator
To operate a PWC alone, the operator must be 16 years old or older. A person 12–15 years old may operate a PWC designed to carry at least two people, if someone 18 years old or older directly supervises him or her on board. Hull Identification Numbers (HIN) A HIN is a 12-digit number/letter combination that is stamped into the hull of the vessel. A HIN is required for registration and is useful in identifying a stolen PWC. Registration A PWC must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The registration numbers must be applied left to right on the forward sides of the bow in block letters at least 3 inches high and of a contrasting color—light letters on a dark background, or dark letters on a light background. The state decal must be placed 3 inches aft of the numbers. PWC’s operated in fresh water must also display Mussel Fee Paid stickers next to the state decal. Letters are separated from the numbers by hyphens or spaces equal to the width of the numbers (other than the number “1”) or equal to the width of the letters (other than the letter “I”). The registration must be carried on the PWC when you are under way. It’s best to keep the registration in a waterproof container.
CF 1234 JS or CF-1234-JS
CF 1234 JS
California Course for Safe Boating
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