Personal Watercraft Safety Course
Noise Levels What is too much noise?
Noise from poorly muffled or non-muffled motors is not only annoying, it is illegal and prevents boat operators from hearing voices, signals, and warnings of danger. It is also illegal to alter your PWC muffler system as it can increase the level and raise the pitch of the sound from the motor. California Boating Law prohibits operation of any motorboat in or upon the inland waters of the state, or in or upon ocean waters that are within one mile of the coastline of the state, with excessive noise levels. Excessive noise levels measured at a distance of 50 feet from the motorboat are described as: 1. For engines manufactured before January 1, 1993, a noise level of 90 dB(A) when subjected to the Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice SAE J2005 (Stationary Sound Level Measurement Procedure for Pleasure Motorboats). 2. For engines manufactured on or after January 1, 1993, a noise level of 88 dB(A) when subjected to the Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice SAE J2005 (Stationary Sound Level Measurement Procedure for Pleasure Motorboats). 3. A noise level of 75 dB(A) measured as specified in the Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice SAE J1970 (Shoreline Sound Level Measurement procedure). However, a measurement of noise level that is in compliance with this paragraph does not preclude the conducting of a test of noise levels under paragraph (1) or (2). Remember that prolonged exposure to noise is a stressor that can increase fatigue and lower response time. The next time you go boating, be courteous. Reduce your level of noise, especially when you are in a congested or residential area. Don’t operate your PWC in the same area for long periods of time as it may be unpleasant to others. Courtesy counts. Remember, your actions reflect on all PWC operators. Temperature Temperature not only affects your judgment, but can lead to serious injury or illness. Heat exhaustion occurs when your body is unable to sufficiently cool itself when exposed to high air temperatures. Cold water shock occurs when the core body temperature drops below normal – a low enough drop can result in death. It is important to know that both problems are easier to reverse when recognized in their early stages.
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