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  1. #1
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Earth, USA, California

    PWC Weight Load Limits and Towing an aquaplane device (tubers)


    WASAGA BEACH --One man was sent to hospital and a second man was charged after an inflatable tube collided with a moored boat on the Nottawasaga River.

    According to Huronia West OPP, a personal watercraft was towing four people on an inflatable tube up and down the river, swinging the tube back and forth, causing it to jump waves. Police say that after hitting several buoys, the tube collided with a moored boat. One of the riders, a 23-year-old Woodbridge man, was taken to General & Marine Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

    The operator of the personal watercraft, a 36-year-old man from Maple, Ontario, has been charged with dangerous operation of a vessel causing bodily harm. His first court appearance is Sept. 25 in Collingwood.

    Interestingly enough last week in San Diego Harbor while teaching a US Border Patrol class a group of people on a PWC were doing the same thing. The difference? Let me spell it out. PWC's have a weight load limit capacity.

    The type of PWC they were using had a load limit of 530lbs. not including stowable gear. Yamaha FX 140 Waverunner. They had 2 people up on the seat, forward facing driving. They were towing a tube that held 4 people.

    This exceeds the safe load capacity, and should be limited to one person towed and 2 on the PWC.

    Why? What if the tub broke, deflated or they had an injury? How could they transport the towable gear and 6 people on a 530lb total load limit boat?

    And that load limit has to be 3 persons not to exceed 350 lbs, so even 2 people could reach the max load limit?

    My Sheriff instructor drove out and reprimanded them for not using the flag when they lost two tubers in the water with other vessels operating in their near vicinity. The flag was on board but not being used. They returned to shore, but a few hours later were back on the water again.

  2. #2
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Earth, USA, California
    Sent to me this morning from an Arizona BLA via email:

    Shawn, here's what's on the books and I've bolded in red that which seems to apply:

    Arizona statute notes:

    5-344. Overloading

    A. No watercraft shall be loaded and operated with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity or the limitations on the manufacturer's load capacity plate.

    B. All new watercraft twenty feet in length and under designed to carry two or more persons and to be propelled by machinery or oars, offered for sale or manufactured in the state after January 1, 1971, shall have affixed permanently thereto a manufacturer's load capacity plate in a location easily observed from the position designed or intended to be occupied by the operator. Canoes and sailboats shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

    C. The load capacity plate shall be certified by a licensed manufacturer or the United States coast guard.

    5-346. Water skiing
    A. No watercraft which has in tow a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard or similar contrivance shall be operated in or upon any waterway unless such watercraft shall be occupied by at least two persons, an operator and an observer. (Recent law now requires the observer to be 12 or older and competent).

    B. The operator shall observe other watercraft traffic, swimmers and hazards and shall not tow a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard or similar contrivance so close to other watercraft, swimmers or structures as to constitute a hazard to life or limb of any person.

    C. The observer shall continuously observe the person or persons being towed and shall display a flag immediately after the towed person or persons falls into the water and during the time preparatory to skiing while the person or persons are still in the water. Such flag shall be a bright or brilliant orange or red color, measuring no less than twelve inches on each side, mounted on a handle and displayed as to be visible from every direction.

    D. No watercraft operator shall have in tow a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard or similar contrivance during the hours between sunset and sunrise.

    5-350. Personal watercraft; requirements for operation; definition

    A. A person shall not operate a personal watercraft unless each person aboard is wearing a wearable personal flotation device that is approved by the United States coast guard.

    B. A person who operates a personal watercraft that is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard type engine cutoff switch shall attach the lanyard to his body, clothing or personal flotation device as appropriate for the specific watercraft.

    C. A person shall not operate or knowingly allow another person to operate a personal watercraft under his ownership or control in a reckless or negligent manner endangering the life or property of another person.

    Prima facie evidence of reckless operation exists if the person commits two or more of the following acts simultaneously:

    1. Operates the personal watercraft within a zone of proximity to another watercraft closer than sixty feet unless both are leaving a flat wake or are traveling at a speed of five nautical miles per hour or less.

    2. Operates the personal watercraft within the vicinity of a motorboat in a manner that obstructs the visibility of either operator.

    3. Heads into the wake of a motorboat that is within a zone of proximity closer than sixty feet and causes one-half or more of the length of the personal watercraft to leave the water.

    4. Within a zone of proximity to another watercraft closer than sixty feet, maneuvers quickly, turns sharply or swerves, unless the maneuver is necessary to avoid a collision.

    D. If equipped by the manufacturer, a person shall not operate a personal watercraft without a functioning spring-loaded throttle mechanism that immediately returns the engine to an idle speed on release of the operator's hand from the control or without any other engine cutoff feature that is installed by the manufacturer.

    E. A personal watercraft shall not be loaded and operated with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity or the manufacturer's recommended limits.

    F. A person who owns, leases or hires a personal watercraft or who has charge or control over a personal watercraft shall not authorize or knowingly permit the personal watercraft to be operated in violation of this section.

    G. This section does not apply to a performer who engages in a professional exhibition or to a person who participates in an officially sanctioned regatta, race, marine parade, tournament or exhibition.

    H. For purposes of this section, "personal watercraft" means a watercraft that is less than sixteen feet long, propelled by machinery powering a water jet pump and designed to be operated by a person who sits, stands or kneels on rather than sitting or standing inside the watercraft.

  3. #3
    Banned User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    San Jose, CA
    This stuff is SO scary to me. When I was frustrated with my Seadoo HX and tried to sell it in the classifieds, I was so shocked at how many phone calls I got from clueless people. They wanted to know how good it was at towing tubes.

    The HX is actually rated as a single passenger craft and a 250 lbs load limit. It has NO storage on deck for things like a skier flag. So the answer unequivocally NO, it is not a towing PWC.

    Which brings me to my actual rant - when buying a PWC, prospective owners should seriously do their homework on specs for the skis they are considering. Hell these people obviously were using a computer to read the classified ad I posted the boat on - why can't they Google the model and read up on the specs and capabilities?

    So much crap can go wrong with poor decisions for the right type of boat along with simply failing to learn or follow safety practices for any boat as well as specific matters for their model.

    Least of all you will get busted by a ranger or cop - get kicked off the lake, ticketed, look like an idiot in front of your friends, etc.

    More frightening is the notion that towing beyond weight limits and passenger capacity endanger so many lives - possibly kill friends or family.

    Please keep spreading the word about this stuff Shawn.

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