Although personal watercraft (PWC) may seem small, they come with some big responsibility. With the horsepower of a large outboard engine and the acceleration of a motorcycle, PWCs are not toys. It's important to know how to safely operate your PWC to ensure a fun and safe day out on the water. Surdyke Yamaha wants to make sure you have the best time out on the Lake of the Ozarks whether you're cruising on a boat or catching wakes on a PWC. If you're hopping on a small, but mighty, PWC, here are a few things to keep in mind to have a safe and exciting time.
Wear a life jacket
While enjoying your time on your PWC, make sure you always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest. Ensure your life jacket fits properly, as concussions and head trauma could happen if you're in a collision while on your PWC, so you'll want to be able to stay afloat in case it happens to you.
Always be on the lookout
With the wind and water in your face, especially in high-use, choppy water, it can be hard to see downed skiers, swimmers and even boats. In addition, PWCs can be a lot smaller than boats, so don't assume they'll be able to see you. Large vessels should always be given priority.Be on the lookout and try to stay one step ahead.
Don't drink & drive
Just like when driving a car, don't operate your PWC after consuming alcohol or drugs. This will help keep you and other safe while out on the Lake. Operating a PWC is a lot different than operating a boat. You need to be able to maintain balance and think quickly, and alcohol and drugs could affect your ability to do so.
Learn your PWC
Almost all PWCs have a stop-engine function, commonly found on a lanyard that'll attach to your wrist. However, not all PWCs stop the same way. Don't assume the watercraft will stop quickly or that you'll be able to turn after the engine is off. Test these functions before you need to use them, so you'll know how to control your PWC in the case of an emergency stop.
Know the law
Just like with boating laws, PWC laws differ from state to state. In the state of Missouri, if you were born after January 1, 1984, must have an NASBLA boating safety ID to operate a personal watercraft. Persons at least 14 years of age can operate a PWC with an ID and those under 14 must have someone at least 16 years on the craft with them. However, the PWC industry recommends driver be at least 16 years or older. For more information on Missouri personal watercraft laws, visit www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/30600001421.HTML.
Operating a PWC is a lot different than operating a boat, and hopefully, with these tips and a safe boating course, you'll be ready to hit the Lake this summer! At Lake of the Ozarks' best watercraft dealer, we want to make sure you always have a good time no matter the season. While we love our land vehicles, we can't wait for boating season to kick into high gear! Visit the best watercraft dealer at the Lake of the Ozarks and let Surdyke Yamaha help you get ready for the summer.