A personal watercraft, also known as a PWC, is a recreational boat operated by kneeling, standing, or sitting on the vessel. Unlike yachts and cabin cruisers, a PWC does not have any covering.
PWCs operate with inboard jet drives, which refer to engines sitting inside the watercraft, receiving power via a jet pump. The most common PWCs include a Sea-Doo and Jet Ski. That covers the basics of a PWC. Let’s talk about a few things related to it:
According to Federal Regulations, all personal watercraft owners are required to do the following:
- Register and display their registration number according to the federal and state guidelines
- Have Coast Guard (CG) approved personal flotation devices, such as a life jacket for every rider
- The rating of the PFDs must be better than the maximum speed of the PWC
- Have a Coast Guard (CG) approved fire extinguisher (Class B-1) on the PWC
- Have the lanyard connected to the PWC’s stop/start switch so that if the rider falls off the Jet Ski accidentally, the PWC stops immediately
- Wear eye protection, gloves, a wetsuit, and appropriate footwear (Recommended by the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA))
Always do a preliminary check to ensure your PFD is not punctured, the lanyard is firmly attached to the key, and the passenger sitting behind you is wearing the appropriate gear. As the one driving the PWC, you are responsible for your passenger. In case of an accident, you must rescue them and bring them back to safety.
Ask anyone, and they will tell you that the best thing about a PWC is the thrill it offers. The rush of adrenaline as you zip on the water creating a splash, and pressing on the paddle to see how fast you can go are two things why people love a PWC. However, not everyone is allowed to buy and ride one.
PWC Riding Rules
The following rules apply to every person riding a PWC on US waters:
- If you are above 16, you should have your marine license and PWC endorsement with you
- Wear a lifejacket and make sure that the engine kill switch is attached to the PWC
- Maintain a safe speed and keep an eye out for incoming boats
- Have a waterproof buyout torch with you in case you fall into the water and have to signal your whereabouts to the coastguards
- Have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) with you if you are riding more than 2 nm from the shoreline
- Respect the wildlife, rules, and environment
In conclusion, any boat with an inboard jet drive is called a PWC. It can only be driven by people above 16 with a marine license. As we said, the most common PWC is a jet ski, often used for recreational activities, including water skiing, parasailing, etc.
EZ Dock Texas offers boat docks for PWCs. They have a wide range of docks in different materials and boat types. They also provide do-it-yourself dock kits and residential and commercial dock installation. For more information regarding dock designs or any other queries, call (800) 654-8168.