Texas law requires that all persons riding a personal water craft (PWC) must wear a Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V life jacket at all times. In addition, each occupant must carry a portable PFD approved by the USCG. Inflatable life jackets are not accepted for use on PWCs. Anyone who is towed by a PWC is considered an occupant and must also wear a life jacket.
If you are under 13 years of age, you can operate a PWC if you are supervised by someone who is 18 years of age or older. It is important to be aware of the regulations and laws for riding a jet ski in the state of Texas in order to safely enjoy your time on the water. In Texas, you cannot operate a PWC or boat if it has more than 15 horsepower, or if it is a wind-blown vessel that is more than 14 feet long. You must not travel on the bow, deck, or board of a ship as this can result in the possibility of falling overboard.
Don't let your passengers or yourself sit on the backs of the seats, in the aft mirror, on the edge, or in the seats of a raised deck or in the bow. It is illegal to operate your boat more than 5 miles per hour while operating less than 100 feet from the coast, dock, raft, float, or a boat anchored or moored. It is also illegal to drive recklessly through traffic, swerve at the last moment to avoid a head-on collision with another boat, or overload a boat above its capacity. You must have all necessary safety equipment on board your PWC including Coast Guard-approved life jackets for each occupant, fire extinguishers, ventilation systems, and navigation lights.
You must also not operate your PWC under the influence of drugs or alcohol as this puts yourself and others at risk. In Texas, you are considered to be under the influence of alcohol if your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher. If you are towing someone behind your PWC, you must comply with certain rules and regulations created to keep both the operator and passenger safe. You must also have an approved flame control device installed in your carburettor and an approved silencer or exhaust water manifold installed in your engine's damping system to minimize noise. You must also carry a minimum of three visual distress signals on board your PWC and place your fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place. It is illegal to dump plastics or trash into any water controlled by federal or state government so you must keep all trash sealed and contained on board. Finally, you must have a garbage disposal sign if you are sailing in federal waters and especially if your boat is 26 feet or larger.
This sign helps notify passengers and crew of unloading restrictions. Riding personal watercrafts (PWCs) can be an exciting way to enjoy time on the water but it's important to be aware of Texas laws and regulations before getting out on the lake. All riders must wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets at all times and those under 13 years old must be supervised by someone 18 years old or older. Additionally, boats with more than 15 horsepower and wind-blown vessels over 14 feet long are not allowed to be operated in Texas waters.
It's also important to have all necessary safety equipment on board including fire extinguishers, ventilation systems, navigation lights and three visual distress signals. Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited as it puts both yourself and other riders at risk. When towing someone behind your PWC there are additional rules that must be followed such as having an approved flame control device installed in your carburettor and an approved silencer or exhaust water manifold installed in your engine's damping system. Finally, it's illegal to dump plastics or trash into any water controlled by federal or state government so make sure all trash is sealed and contained on board.
If sailing in federal waters with a boat 26 feet or larger you must also have a garbage disposal sign onboard to notify passengers and crew of unloading restrictions. By following these regulations and laws for riding personal watercrafts in Texas you can ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time out on the lake while staying safe.