A Course for Safe Boating
For personal safety, a PWC operator should also wear:
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
Gloves to improve your grip and make you more comfortable.
A wet suit, to protect you against sun, wind, scrapes and bruises, and
hypothermia. Manufacturers recommend wearing wet suits to prevent
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.
See Chapter 1 for more details on Personal Safety and Chapter 2 for details
on Boating Law.
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
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. 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
The registration must be carried on the PWC when you are under way.
best to keep the registration in a waterproof container.
CF 1234 JS
CF 1234 JS