Water Sports Towing Tips

Apr 8, 2024 | Blog Post, boating safety | 0 comments

How to Pull Skiers Safely

boat insurance coverage for water sportsBoat insurance coverage is important for protecting you against liability, but knowing how to pull skiers safely can greatly reduce the risk of injury for those in the boat, being towed, and on nearby boats. To ensure that everyone has a fun and safe boating adventure, it’s important to learn the techniques for pulling water sports enthusiasts safely and ensure you have the correct boat insurance coverage in the event of an accident. Boaters who operate a vessel or watercraft while intoxicated by alcohol or narcotics or who exceed the capacity of a boat could not only endanger people around them but also void their boat insurance coverage.

Water sports are great fun, but they are also among the more dangerous activities on the water. Statistically, water skiers are in the top five most common boating accidents. Here are some tips for keeping everyone safe and your boat insurance coverage intact:

  •  Know the laws of the state because some only permit boaters to pull skiers, tubers, or wakeboarders during specific hours.
  • Stop the fun if the weather conditions turn bad and impact visibility.
  • Do not operate the boat if you have been drinking or using drugs.
  • Ensure you have a spotter – a responsible person (preferably an adult – some states stipulate a minimum age requirement for the spotter) to watch the skier and relay hand signals to you as the boat driver.
  • Ensure that you, the spotter, and the skier know hand signals for ready, slow down, speed up, turn left, turn right, cut the motor, turn the boat, and okay.
  • Ensure the skier knows that if they fall, they should hold up a ski to be more easily visible to you and other boaters.
  • Everyone on the boat and the skier should wear a personal flotation device (PFD) for safety.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks; if the water is busy and congested, don’t ski there or wait until it is less congested.
  • Before you start to tow, ensure the skier is ready, then increase your speed slowly – let the skier indicate with hand signals if you should go faster or slower.
  • If the skier falls, immediately decelerate; this alerts other boaters that the person has fallen and lets you slowly turn and approach the fallen skier on the driver’s side without swamping.
  • If your area utilizes flags, present your orange caution flag anytime you have a person in the water to notify other boaters.

Water skiing, surfing, and wakeboarding can be a lot of fun when the towing boat operator is knowledgeable and doesn’t compromise the safety of the skier and others on the water. Knowledge, skill, and the right boat insurance coverage are the best combination on the water. Contact the boat insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance for the best recreational boat insurance coverage.

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