Personal watercraft (PWC) have become a popular form of recreation on Colorado waters. PWC regulations have been established to keep our waterways safe and enjoyable. Be sure to follow these regulations:
- Operation of a PWC from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise is prohibited.
- Operators and passengers of PWCs must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) of the appropriate size.
- Emergency engine shut-off lanyards must be used if the vessel is equipped with them.
- A three-person minimum PWC must be used for water skiing so that there is ample space for the operator, observer and person being towed; that way when the person is being transported to/from their area and if they get hired or hurt, no one will go over the manufacturers capacity limit, increasing the chances of capsizing, swamping or sinking.
- Do not operate your PWC carelessly and recklessly by becoming airborne while crossing the wake of another vessel at an unsafe distance, unsafely weaving through traffic, or operating at such a speed and proximity to another vessel that the operator of either vessel must swerve or abruptly cut speed in order to avoid a collision.
Remember, you must be at least 16 years old to operate all motorboats, including PWCs. Fourteen- and 15- year- olds may operate a PWC if they complete a boating safety course accepted by Colorado State Parks. For more information, see the Boating Safety Courses