143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation

Team Guidelines Each member of a water ski team—the boat operator, observer and skier— has an important role to play: Boat Operator ƒ Practices caution to make sure the skier, tow rope and other equipment is well away from the boat’s propeller. ƒ Looks well ahead for other boats, skiers, the shoreline and other obstructions. ƒ Gets information from the observer. ƒ Operates the ski boat in a counter-clockwise direction, unless forbidden by local law. ƒ Avoids making sharp turns in designated traffic areas. Observer ƒ Clearly signals the skier’s activity to the boat operator. ƒ Raises the signal flag when equipment, such as the ski rope or skis, is in the water. ƒ Raises the signal flag when the skier is down in the water for any reason. Skier ƒ Knows and uses hand signals to communicate with the observer. ƒ Watches for floating debris, other boats, and other obstructions. ƒ Raises skis perpendicular in the water to indicate to other boats that a skier has fallen. ƒ Does not spray swimmers or boats with boat wake or ski spray. ƒ Does not ski in shallow water or dry land at a dock or beach.


If the weather or water is cold, water skiers should wear wet suits under their life jackets. A wet suit also provides padding for protection from falls.


f 1,000 feet in front of a ship sailing at 10 mph, the skier has one minute to get out of the way. f 500 feet in front of a ship sailing at 10 mph, the skier has 30 seconds to get out of the way. A water skier falls 1,000 ft. in front of a boat cruising at 20 mph. If the crusing boat doesn’t see the fallen skier or the raised ski flag, the skier could get hit. How many seconds does the skier have to get out of the way? QUESTION

Answer: 30 seconds


1. It is against the law to water ski: (choose one) a. When you are in open water b. Between sunset and sunrise c. When no other water skiers are around d. When you are 12 years or older Answer this question by circling T for true or F for false. 2. Unless otherwise posted, the standard direction to drive a ski boat is counter-clockwise . . . . . . . . . . T F Turn to page 100 for correct answers.


California Course for Safe Boating

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