Personal Water Craft (PWC)

Boating Safety Course

Massachusetts Personal Water Craft (PWC) Safety Laws

The following abstracts summarize some important Massachusetts Personal Watercraft (PWC) Laws as of May 2003. For further information on boat and PWC laws, contact the Massachusetts Environmental Police at (508) 759-0002

A personal watercraft is a Class A inboard motorboat.Follow basic boating safety rules and laws, and protect your privilege to operate personal watercraft.Wear an approved life preserver (PFD) at all times.Attach the safety lanyard to yourself and the cutoff switch.Check throttle control and steering before starting engine.Steering PWC requires thrust, maintain speed when turning.Never operate at all, within 150 feet of any bathing beach.Always operate at slow, no-wake speed (6MPH or less) when within 150 feet of the following.Swimmer     Boat Launch     Watercraft     Moored or Docked Boat     Shoreline     Raft or Float

PWC Operation: No person shall operate a PWC except in a safe and prudent manner, so as not to endanger life, limb, or property. The following are examples of negligence or other prohibited operation.

  • Must be 16 years or older
  • Must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Must not operate during the nighttime                      
  • Must not operate at high speed in congested areas
  • Must not tow a skier or person in any manner