143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 4 X Personal Watercraft

Restrictions Applying to PWC It’s important to know that personal watercraft are subject to the same boat operating and navigation rules as other powerboats. Ignoring the rules does not excuse you from the law. To help make PWC a safer form of boating, the law doesn’t allow the operator of a personal watercraft to: ƒ Use unsafe or reckless practices. ƒ Jump another vessel’s wake within 100 feet of the vessel creating the wake. ƒ Operate at more than 5 mph within 200 feet of a beach or within 100 feet of swimmers. ƒ Operate so fast and close to another vessel that they cause the other operator to swerve at the last minute to avoid a collision. ƒ Operate the PWC toward any person or vessel in the water, and turn sharply at close range in order to spray that vessel or person. ƒ Alter the self-circling device on a PWC that is equipped with such a device. ƒ Operate the PWC without a properly attached lanyard that runs from the


Operating a personal watercraft after dark is against the law. As a general rule, never ride a personal watercraft between sunset and sunrise or at other times when it’s hard to see. This law does not apply to people in professional exhibitions, regattas, races, parades and other similar activities.

cut-off (ECOS) switch to the operator’s body. ƒ Operate the PWC between sunset and sunrise.

See Chapter 2 for more details on boating law.

OPERATING A PWC Before Leaving Home

Check that the trailer: ƒ Is registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. ƒ Lights and hitch are working. ƒ Tires are in good condition and are properly inflated.

ƒ Tie-downs are in good condition and secure. ƒ Has no loose bolts, cracks or broken joints. ƒ Bearings are lubricated and adjusted according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. ƒ Gas cock on the PWC is in the “off” position.


California Course for Safe Boating

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