A Course for Safe Boating
When operating a PWC:
Take frequent breaks.
Avoid tunnel vision—look around
for other boats, swimmers, and
water skiers, not just straight
Drink water or soft drinks, instead
To Tow a Water Skier Behind a PWC
You should not tow a skier with any PWC smaller than a three-person
model, which can hold the operator, the observer and a skier.
You must have an observer on board who is at least 12 years old.
The skier and all persons on board must wear a Coast Guard-approved life
The observer must display a red or orange signal flag (at least 12 inches
on each side) to indicate a:
» Downed skier
Skier in the water preparing to ski
Ski line extended from the personal watercraft
Ski in the water near the personal watercraft
You should know the standard water ski hand signals in order to communi-
cate with the skier and those on board.
Be aware that your PWC will handle differently when towing a skier.
It’s against the law to operate a PWC or tow a skier between sunset and
For more detailed information on water skiing, see Chapter 3.
Returning to Shore
your speed. Slow to the lowest possible speed as you approach the
the water depth. Be ready to get off the watercraft and push it ashore
or to its mooring site.
You should fuel your PWC while it’s on the trailer in the parking lot, or at a
gas station. If you need to add fuel to the personal watercraft on the beach,
it’s important to take all necessary precautions to prevent spilling fuel. Pull
the PWC up on the beach as far as possible so that accidentally spilled fuel
will not go directly into the water. Wrap a rag around the opening to the gas
pipe and pour the gas in very slowly. When you hear or see that the tank is
nearly full, stop pouring the gas. Do not overfill, because gasoline expands
as it warms. Never top off when fueling on a beach, because this is the most
common way spills occur. Replace the cap tightly when you’re done. Air the
rag until it is dry or store it in a covered metal container.
Before you restart your PWC, it’s
very important to ventilate the
engine compartment for at least
four minutes, to release any gas
fumes that may have settled and