June 2011

PWC pointers

Safety tips ramp up the fun

Before you ride, know and follow all federal, state and local regulations regarding PWC operation, read your owner’s manual, and become well acquainted with your craft.

On the water

Follow all navigation rules. Pay attention to conditions in front, to the sides and behind you. Always operate at a safe speed that allows you time to react and avoid a collision.

Falling off

Falling off a PWC shouldn’t be dangerous as long as you follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. If your PWC has one, attach the lanyard engine cut-off switch to your wrist or life jacket. If you fall off, the engine will stop, allowing you to swim back to the PWC and reboard.

Righting an overturned PWC

If your PWC rolls over, right it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which should be located on a decal at the rear of the vessel. Rolling your PWC the wrong way could allow water into the engine.


Follow the manufacturer’s reboarding instructions. Practice boarding the PWC in deep water, but be aware that operator fatigue, strong winds and a swift current can make reboarding more difficult. If you find reboarding difficult, don’t ride alone.

Towing water-skiers

Before towing water-skiers, check with state and local authorities to ensure that towing is permitted. To tow water-skiers, your PWC must be capable of holding three people: the operator, the observer and the skier.


Great-looking tumblers from the USPS Ship's Store keep iced drinks cold.

Mastering Marlinespike

Strangle knot

The strangle knot is an effective way to secure a group of lines.


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