2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook - (Page 62)

PERSONAL WATERCRAFT Personal watercraft (PWC) have become a popular choice for New York boat owners in recent years. PWC are fast, turn on a dime when underway, and put the operator right next to the water. In other words, they’re a blast, and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. Because of their speediness and responsive handling, they’re like the motorcycles of the waterways. Although PWC offer excitement and thrills, PWC and their operators have come under fire for several reasons: 13 General Information about Personal Watercraft A personal watercraft is classified as an “inboard motorboat.” That means that the same rules and requirements (with the exception of certain on-board equipment) that apply to similar sized motorboats also apply to PWC, including:  Operating a PWC requires skill, and inexperienced operators often run into trouble. At one time PWC comprised less than 10% of the state’s registered boats but were involved in more than 20% of all accidents on the water. seeking nuisances because they may operate their craft in a reckless manner such as jumping another boats wake too closely. a lack of respect for other users of the waterways by creating wakes in the presence of small boats, or operating too close to swimmers.  PWC operators have acquired reputations as thrill-  Registration  Rules of the Road  Boating While Intoxicated  Speed limits  Reckless Operation  Persons being towed behind–skiing, tubing, etc.*  Pollution  Noise *Note that if a PWC tows a skier or tube, it must be rated for at least three persons–operator, observer and skier–and that the observer must sit facing the skier. PWC owners can purchase a device that allows the observer to hold on securely and balance while sitting backwards. There are also a few operating restrictions placed on PWC that don’t exist for other boats. We’ll discuss those later in this chapter.  PWC operators are sometimes discourteous or show  PWC are appealing to young people because they are so quick and maneuverable, but youthful operators may lack the strength and coordination to control the machine, and may lack the experience to exercise good judgment in stressful situations. Personal Watercraft Defined The New York State Navigation Law defines a personal watercraft as “a boat which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind the boat rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the boat.” The two key elements that distinguish a PWC from other boats are its water jet pump propulsion, and the fact that the operator sits or stands on the machine rather than in the machine. Most of these problems stem from lack of boating knowledge and inexperience with boats or PWC. This course is meant to provide students with the knowledge to handle PWC properly, safely, responsibly and courteously. It is important for the PWC community to operate legally, safely, and with courtesy towards all, or PWC operators may find fewer and fewer waterways where they will be allowed to ride their craft. Towns, villages and cities have the authority to regulate PWC operation within 1500 feet of shore, and they can ban PWC entirely if they choose to do so. THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE MACHINE, IT’S THE OPERATOR! Propulsion System The water jet drive is located on the bottom of the hull. Water enters the drive unit through a grate which keeps debris from being sucked into the impellors. (This grate can become clogged, especially if the PWC is operating in shallow, weedy water). The impeller draws the water in through the grate and adds pressure, or thrust, to the water. This causes the water to shoot out of the machine in a jet. A steering mechanism, connected to the handlebars or steering wheel, directs the water as it exits from the machine. Some water jet systems are designed with a clamshell mechanism that allows the 62 http://www.pwia.org

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
Boat Operations
Personal Watercraft
Boating Related Activities
Accidents and Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter Review Questions Answers

2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook