Allstate Boat Insurance – Personal Watercraft (PWC) Starting Procedures and Operation - 09/07/2018

Captain’s Report

Starting Operation
Operating a PWC can be exciting and fun. Knowing how to manage one will help to stay safe as well.

PWC Operation

Having fun and staying safe are not mutually exclusive objectives, when properly operated. Details vary on different models of PWCs. This Captain’s Report is a general guide. Consult and follow the owner’s manual before operating any PWC model.

Starting In Gear

There are some PWCs on the market that have a neutral. However, for the most part, when starting a PWC, it is actually in gear. Either forward or reverse. It is important to know which.

Starting Operation
The PWC will be either in forward.
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Or, the PWC will be in reverse, because it is a direct drive.

Direct Drive

This means, there is a shaft going right to an impeller, and that impeller is pulling the water in and pushing it right out the jet’s steering nozzle. From a safety point of view, remember, when it is turned on, know whether it is in forward or reverse. To avoid bumping into things, make sure there is nothing around that will impede motion.

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It is illegal to operate a PWC after nightfall. PWCs are not rigged for running at night and it is indisputably unsafe.
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A characteristic unique to personal watercraft, is the fact that they rely on the power for its steering. The thrust is coming out of the nozzle.
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Therefore, if the PWC power is on, or it is at idol speed, it actually can’t be steered. This is something important to remember especially when operating at low speed.
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PWCs are great, they are powerful and they are a lot of fun. Many people use them for tow-sports.

Look and Listen

Use common sense while operating a PWC. Always look behind, many PWCs have sideview mirrors. Look to both sides before maneuvering at speed. Listen for other boats that may be approaching from a blind spot. It is important to maintain situational awareness at all times.

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All PWCs have passenger limits. Never exceed the posted limit of passengers.

Operator’s Responsibility

The driver is responsible for all passengers. All PWCs are required to display the number of passengers that the particular model is rated for. Never exceed the posted capacity. As an example, if the vehicle is rated for two people, a driver and a passenger, do not operate with more than two people on it.

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When towing a tube or a waterskiier, make sure to follow the appropriate laws. There must be an observer facing backwards on the back of the vehicle. Ultimately, it is the driver’s responsibility.