Here's how to remain safe while driving a boat and pulling a water-skier or wakeboarder in traffic.
Time Required: Duration of Trip
- All boats should allow a minimum 100 foot ski area. Meaning, if two ski boats are in the same vicinity of each other they should be 200 feet apart.
- At least 2,000-3,000 feet in length should be allowed for the ski course to avoid excessive turning.
- Don't ski or wakeboard in water that is not at least five-six feet in depth. Shallow waterskiing increases chances of skis hitting bottom or the skier hitting unseen obstacles under water, resulting in injury.
- Stay clear of bridges, rocks, docks, beaches and swimming areas.
- Avoid skiing or wakeboarding when the water is rough or choppy. Such conditions can cause the skier to tire more quickly than usual.
- Never ski or wakeboard without an observer or spotter on board.
- Avoid using the ski(s) or wakeboard to spray water on other skiers, swimmers, or boats to prevent unintentional collisions.
- If a skier is being closely trailed by another boat the skier should remain inside the wake and refrain from performing any tricks until the trailing boat is clear.
- Never ski or wakeboard in the dark.
- When two power boats are approaching head-on, the general rule is that you should go starboard and pass port-to-port.
- When two boats are moving in the same direction, the rear boat may pass on either side, however, passing on the left side, as if driving a car on the road, is used if possible.
- When two power boats are approaching at right angles, and appear as if they will meet, the vessel on the right has the right-of-way and should maintain its course.
- Non-powered boats, such as sail boats and those propelled by oars or paddles have the right-of-way over power driven vessels.
- Never operate a boat or water ski or wakeboard while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Observe no wake zones.
- Know and practice waterskiing hand signals.
- Designate someone in the boat to be in charge of getting the skier's equipment back in the boat and to be in charge of watching the ski rope.