There’s no more exhilarating way to enjoy a day on the water than atop a personal watercraft, a small vessel on which you sit or stand, rather than ride inside of like a boat. But, with the horsepower of a large outboard engine and the acceleration of a motorcycle, a personal watercraft is no toy.
It’s a Class A vessel, subject to all the same laws as boats under 16 feet. So, before you jump on and zip across the water, get up to speed on these regulations and safety tips.
Personal Watercraft Regulations
Per federal regulations, personal watercraft must be registered with a validation sticker and registration number displayed on the vessel. State regulations vary, but may require operators to be of a minimum age (usually 14 to 16), complete a safe boating course and/or obtain an operator’s certificate. State and local governments may also limit speed, hours and areas of operation.
Required equipment for personal watercraft includes:
Personal Watercraft Safety
Once you meet all of the above requirements, you also need to know a few rules of the waterway. Follow these 12 tips to inject some much-needed safety and sanity into your personal watercraft adventures.
Finally, be sure you have the insurance coverage you need for your personal watercraft. Think about agreed value coverage that will cover a total loss after the deductible without a complicated depreciation formula. And, look for ways to customize your coverage with options such as emergency assistance, as well as roadside assistance for your towing vehicle and trailer.
Remember, having fun and staying safe on your personal watercraft aren’t mutually exclusive. So, do both and enjoy the ride. And, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Let the world know what you think, but do so responsibly. Comments are moderated and we will not post personal attacks, obscene language or inappropriate material, comments with links, or comments from people under the age of 18. If you have a question, check out our Comment Submission Guidelines.