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Personal Watercraft

Pre-ride Inspection

It is always a great idea to check your watercraft prior to every outing. This will allow you to make sure that your watercraft is in top operating condition. Some things to check are:

  1. Battery - Make sure that your battery is fully charged, and all electrical wires are properly connected, tight, and not frayed.
  2. Controls - Make sure all operating controls are working properly - steering controls, stop button, lanyard cut-off, and throttle.
  3. Drain Plug - drain your bilge - and be sure your plug is properly secured before launching.
  4. Engine - Check your engine - fluid levels, hose connections, oil level/leaks, and finally make sure the engine compartment cover is properly secured.
  5. Fuel - Make sure that you don't have fuel leaks, and fill the tank. Plan on using 1/3 of your gas to get there, 1/3 to get back, and keep 1/3 as a reserve. Many PWCs are equipped with a fuel selector or reserve switch to help you avoid running out of fuel. If you run out of fuel, switch the tank setting to "reserve" and go to the dock. Don't forget to reset the switch once you've filled up again!
  6. Hull - Check the outside of your PWC--check for hull damage, check the jet pump cover and inlet for damage/fit, and secure the seats.
  7. Protection - A properly fitting life jacket, gloves, wetsuit, eye, head and foot gear, and a helmet will all help protect you from injury.<
  8. Safety Gear - Make sure you have the required safety equipment - a fire extinguisher, signaling device(s) and all other legally required equipment. It's also a good idea to have an anchor, extra line, a boarding ladder, drinking water, and suntan lotion.