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Sea Tow Blog

News, press, tips and more can be found in the Sea Tow Blog. Have a suggestion for a story? Email us!

Sea Tow Blog

News, press, tips and more can be found in the Sea Tow Blog. Have a suggestion for a story? Email us!

10 Tips to Make Personal Watercraft Riding Safer and More Fun

For example, there’s a far greater chance that the driver will fall off a PWC than a boat, so having a kill-switch lanyard attached to your wrist or wetsuit that shuts off the engine when disengaged – ie: you get “ejected” – is an absolute must while on a PWC. Wearing a kill-switch lanyard on a small boat also is a good idea, but it’s not always heeded.

Likewise, it’s essential for PWC riders to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times. If you are ejected from a PWC, there’s no time to put a life jacket on, and wearing one could save your life.

In many states it’s the law that every PWC rider must wear a life jacket. However, laws differ from state to state, so please check your state’s regulations regarding PWC operation.

Here are 10 Tips from Sea Insure®, Sea Tow’s comprehensive, members-only marine insurance provider, that can help you safely enjoy your personal watercraft experience.

  1. Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a PWC. It could save your life or the life of a passenger.
  2. Make sure the driver attaches a kill-switch lanyard for the engine. If the driver falls off, the lanyard disconnects and the PWC’s engine shuts down, allowing for re-boarding and preventing a runaway PWC.
  3. Keep your distance from other vessels. This includes other personal watercraft.
  4. Do not use waves and the wakes made by boats as ramps for jumps. Limited vision may cause an accident with another boat coming the opposite way.
  5. Never operate a PWC if you have consumed alcohol or other drugs. Impaired operators can cause accidents and may face legal charges.
  6. Do not drive a PWC unless you have reached the legal age. In some states the minimum age is 11 years old to operate a PWC, in other states it is 16. Check your state’s regulations.
  7. If you are operating a PWC in cold water, consider wearing a wetsuit. It will help prevent the risk of hypothermia, particularly if you fall off or jump into the water.
  8. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bring along bottled water. Most PWCs have a storage compartment where you can store water and snacks. It’s a good idea to bring some form of identification along as well.
  9. Riding a PWC before sunrise or after sunset is strictly prohibited. So before the sun goes down, it’s time to head back to the shore.
  10. Have proper insurance in place for your PWC. Sea Insure® now offers coverage on your personal watercraft. You’ve invested a lot of time and money in your PWC, so make sure you’re receiving the proper coverage you need in order keep it safe in and out of the water. As a reminder, your homeowner’s policy will not cover PWC–you need separate insurance coverage.
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