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Safely Operate a PWC

Hitting the water on a personal watercraft (PWC) is a fun, unique and relatively easy way to enjoy the water. They’re a great way to get involved in boating and to have fun, provided you know how to use them.

The PWCs of today are much more advanced than they used to be. They’re quieter, more maneuverable and can safely accommodate up to three passengers. The more advanced modern models make PWC the perfect family-friendly activity.

Before operating a PWC, you need to have a basic understanding of how they work. If you’re under 26 years old, you’re required to take a quick class before operating a PWC. The class will inform you on the rules of the water, how to safely operate the vehicle and what to do in the event of an emergency.

Most PWC’s don’t have brakes. They require the rider to use the thrust from the throttle while turning away from whatever object they’re headed towards. This is important to note because, for most novice PWC riders, it’s counter-intuitive. The safety classes riders take before getting on PWCs are extremely important because they help to reinforce these features.

The best thing new riders can do is practice avoiding targets in open water, traveling very slowly until they’re used to it. Life jackets and goggles are also helpful for riders to stay safe in the event of an accident.

Before you get on a PWC, know the rules of the water. The most important rule to note is that, on the water, PWC’s never have the right of way. The smaller and more maneuverable your boat, the lower on the pecking order you are. Because PWCs are the easiest to maneuver, they yield to everyone.

As long as you understand how they work and you take the necessary safety precautions, there’s no reason you can’t be out on the water having a great time on a PWC today!

photo credit: Women's National Champ Amy Green via photopin (license)