Personal Watercraft - What are the Rules and Regulations?

Personal Watercraft - What are the Rules and Regulations?

by Fran Bailey on June 23, 2022 Categories: News

Your Sea-Doo is loaded on your trailer, looking ready to rumble. You've read everything you need to know about how to launch it like a pro, but do you know the Personal Watercraft (PWC) rules and regulations in WA?


We want you to get out there and rip into some awesome fun on your jet ski, but you must do it safely – no one wants an accident or fine to spoil their summer on the water.


We created this list of everything you need to know about the PWC rules and regulations so you can focus on bringing the fun safely and enjoyably for the whole family.


What is a PWC?

A PWC is a machine propelled by an inboard motor that powers a water jet pump. The PWC operator sits, stands, or kneels on the seat and uses handlebars to steer the craft – a bit like a motorbike or Can-Am ATV for the water.


When it comes to rules and regulations, jet skis (PWCs), power boards, and similar craft are considered powerboats. This classification means the rules regarding the driver's age, the distance from the shore they can operate, the equipment carried on board, and appropriate speed limits for powerboats apply to PWCs.


However, jet skis do have some safety equipment concessions; for example, you don't have to carry a fire extinguisher or anchor and line if you're on a jet ski. And if you are planning on staying within 400m of the shoreline, you aren't required to carry distress flares.


Rules - Lifejackets

Every person on a PWC must wear a lifejacket. Different lifejackets are used for various distances from shore. If you're driving your Sea-Doo Australia jet ski within protected waters or within 400 metres of the beach in unprotected waters, you need to wear a Type 150, 100, or 50/50S lifejacket. Check the quality of your lifejacket before heading out on the water.


Rules - Wave and wake jumping

There is nothing better than the feeling you get as you drive your Sea-Doo PWC up over a wave or swell. That feeling of getting air is just incredible! Chasing air over a wave or wake of a passing vessel is excellent fun. However, it's important to remember that wave and wake jumping is forbidden:


  • Within 30 metres of another PWC
  • Within 50 metres of another vessel or person in the water.


So, keep your eyes peeled and grab that air. Just do it safely, adhering to the rules.


Rules - Freestyle driving

Driving erratically and unpredictably is called freestyle driving. Moving this way can be lots of fun when you are out on the open water, twisting and turning your jet ski however you want. However, as it makes it hard for drivers of other vessels to predict your course and speed to avoid a collision, remember that you can't freestyle drive:


  • within 30 metres of another PWC.
  • Within 50 metres of another vessel or person in the water.
  • In the Swan and Canning Rivers (except in gazetted freestyle areas).


Rules - Distance offshore

All boats under 3.75 m (12 feet) in length (including PWC) must stay within five nautical miles of the shoreline unless they are within the limits of a port or one mile of any island. While the thought of jet skiing out past that can be thrilling, don't be tempted to test it out. There's heaps of fun to be had close to shore – especially if you are towing a tube.


Rules - Recreational Skippers Ticket

Every skipper of a registrable recreational vessel powered by a motor greater than 4.5kwp (6 hp) (including PWCs) is required to hold a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST). If you


Rules - Age limits

While it can be tempting to get the kids onboard and "give them a go," the rules are clear on how old you need to be to drive a PWC.


  • Those aged between 14 and 16 cannot oversee an RST vessel unless they hold an RST.
  • Those aged between 14 and 16 may only operate a vessel during daylight hours and at a maximum speed of 8 knots.

Instead of letting the kids drive your jet ski illegally, get them on a tube and listen to them laugh hysterically!


Rules – using a PWC in ski areas

Pulling a water skier behind your jet ski is so fun but remember there must be a minimum crew of two onboard - the driver and an observer. The observer (14 years or older) must face backward, so they always watch the person you are towing. The driver (17 years or older and hold an RST) must always face forward to see where they are going and keep a clear path. Suppose you're planning on going water skiing with your friends -we recommend you familiarise yourselves with the rules and regulations of the ski areas you intend to use.


There you have it - everything you need to know about PWC rules and regulations. And don't forget, if you have questions, give us a ring.


Why Choose Friday's Jetskis for Your Sea-Doo jet ski In Perth?

Friday's Jetskis is one of Perth's most trusted jet ski dealerships. We're here to help you realise your outdoor action and water sports dreams – and we want you to do it safely!


Give us a call or come in for a visit with any questions you might have. Even better, we also offer excellent financing options, which means you could be out and about on your new all-terrain vehicle in Perth asap. We're open seven days a week. Come in and see us today!


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