2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook - (Page 68)
BOATING RELATED ACTIVITIES
Water Skiing & Other Towed Activities
Water skiing on a hot day is the essence of summer fun. Wake boarding, tubing and parasailing are other forms of water skiing that are quickly growing in popularity on New York’s waterways. The New York State Navigation Law considers all of these activities “Towing of Persons.” You must follow a few simple rules when participating in these sporting activities to be legal, and more importantly, safe! When engaging in towing water sports, there must be a minimum of three people aboard: the operator of the craft, an observer to keep a lookout for the person being towed, and the skier or other person being towed behind the boat. These three must work together as a team.
A boat engaged in towing a person(s) receives no special consideration under the Rules of the Road. They must giveway to other boats, or stand-on as the circumstances require. As always when boating, stay clear of the shore, docks, swimmers and other boats. The person being towed is considered a passenger on the boat and, accordingly, you must have a seat available on your boat for that person or persons. This is not only the law, but it is common sense: If a person being towed becomes tired, sick or injured and can no longer be towed safely, he or she must be able to come aboard. This is a crucial consideration when determining your carrying capacity. And remember, as noted earlier, if you plan to tow a tube or skier with your personal watercraft, it must be rated for at least three persons: the operator, an observer, and the skier. The operator should always give the person being towed a smooth easy ride. Let the person being towed signal what they want to do rather than try to think for them. Avoid sharp, sudden turns and keep the person being towed well away from potential hazards. Always use a tow length of at least 75 feet. Keep the person being towed at least double the length of the tow line away from the shore, moored boats, docks and the like. If a skier or tuber falls, circle around slowly, trying to position the towline or tube for another run. If the person being towed is ready to get into the boat, make certain that the motor is turned off so that the propeller isn’t turning before helping the person aboard.
The operator is responsible for handling the boat, avoiding other boats, and providing a smooth, steady ride for the person being towed. The observer must be at least 10-years-old and is responsible for watching the skier or tuber and relaying the status of the person being towed to the operator. The observer should know the hand signals the person being towed might use. The person being towed is responsible for his or her own well being. The person should have established hand signals with the observer so that they can communicate with each other. If the person being towed is a skier, he or she must ski safely within their abilities. Keep in mind that a skier can be charged with reckless operation!
No recreational towing activities are permitted between sunset and sunrise. Anyone being towed behind a boat must wear a securely fastened US COAST GUARD approved PFD. Type III PFD’s that are impact rated for water skiing are the best for these activities. 68
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
Boats and Motors
Registration of Boats
Fueling and Ventilation
Safe Loading and Powering
Preparation for Getting Underway
The Marine Environment
Rules of the Road
Boating Related Activities
Accidents and Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter Review Questions Answers
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook