4 Quick Tips for Towing with PWC’s
Jet ski rentals and boat rentals can be used for a variety of fun activities whether renting, or owning the jet ski. One of the favorites is pulling somebody in the water who is riding on a tube, board, or water ski behind the jet ski’s powerful propulsion jets. Towing somebody with a boat, is pretty straightforward considering all the safety measures are taken, but with a PWC jet ski, it can be slightly more challenging. In this quick tip article, we will review some things to consider when setting out to towing using your PWC.
*Read the laws
Of course, you will have to keep everyone safe by following some basic laws. Towing can be fun and easy when you don’t have to deal with getting a ticket for doing it the wrong way. First, you must be generally familiar with the law before heading out for your favorite destination. These can typically be found by typing in the search criteria in the state statutes. For Florida, there is a whole section dedicated to Vessel Safety in Chapter 327. Mirrors are required in Florida, but in some other states the rules about the number of passengers vary. It may be necessary to have a driver and spotter along to monitor the skier. Check out the rules for a few minutes, and you will find lots of useful information.
*Prepare well and be safe
Never take anything for granted when operating your PWC, especially when towing. Make a list of preparatory steps and make sure you have abided by all of them. For skiers, you need a one-hundred foot tow rope. It should be bright in color and highly visible, so it is easy to keep in one’s sight. You must secure it with a tow eye or ski pylon. Also, avoid connecting your tow rope to any part of the watercraft that it is not intended for as it may or not be able to accommodate it.
*Signals for safety
Meet with everyone in advance and go over your preferred hand signals for communication between spotter and driver. Some are universal like thumbs up (for faster) and thumbs down (for go slower). You can invent your own as long as everyone is on board.
The driver has a major responsibility to discern signals visually or audibly. Novice skiers should never be pushed to exceed their limits and capabilities. Stop periodically to check in on the person and assess the experience to maximize satisfaction. You can adjust the speed accordingly. A skier should not dictate a speed greater than is safe.
*On the ride
Speed is always an issue when it comes to PCW safety. Experienced drivers begin idling until they see that the rope slack has decreased. Once it is properly taut, they signal to the skier that they are ready for the tow. The same idling speed is maintained until the skier acknowledges acceptance.
For added safety, someone additional should be in the watercraft facing the person towed. This is the spotter in your group who is designated to interpret skier hand signals. Along with the driver, this individual can be on the lookout for obstacles or problems.
When the towing is over, be mindful of the location and status of the skier. They may fall, requiring you to avoid running over the rope. You should idle as you turn the PWC carefully, all the while retaining a slow and steady speed. Stay to the side of the skier at all times. If you accidentally run over the rope, the engine must be turned off as it gets clogged in the engine pump. If the rope finds its way into the pump, there may be some damage. Always try to prevent additional damage when this happens by calling in for a tow service to haul the machine in, if you cant untangle the rope yourself.
Towing a skier is definitely part of the fun of watersports as it breeds camaraderie and a team spirit. You can make the most of everyone’s time if you ensure complete safety and compliance with local regulations.