Personal watercraft go by many names—water bikes, wet bikes, thrill craft— and they all mean fun. You see them everywhere these days. They're fast, powerful and fairly easy to operate.
But personal watercraft are also involved in many boating accidents and injuries. Operators often go too fast, don't pay attention and don't have much experience. You'll have fun on a personal watercraft when you treat it like a boat—with skill and respect. This chapter will show you how to prevent accidents, be aware of hazards, and use courtesy and common sense.
You will learn:
♦ The legal requirements for operating a personal watercraft
♦ Personal watercraft operating guidelines
♦ Personal watercraft and personal safety
♦ Navigational rules and aids
♦ Accident prevention and rescue
♦ Other important features of operating a personal watercraft
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.