Personal watercraft have many names with the most common being Jetski, but this is in fact a Kawasaki copyrighted trade name.
For those new to PW’s it’s important to ensure that you have a good understanding of the basics before getting on a craft. In the UK, there are a number of water sports centres that offer tuition and courses for beginners.
The RYA the UK’s national body for all forms of boating and watersport, offers a personal watercraft proficiency course, which takes only a day to complete and is recognised globally. The course provides those new to the sport a safe way to get started. The certificate is a requirement to launch in many harbours in the UK, and can be a condition if you wish to use your ski abroad.
You should choose a PW suitable for your needs. If there is an area that you are particularly interested in, such as cruising, high performance, wakeboarding, freestyle or racing, there are PW’s built for these purposes. Talk to your local dealer who will be able to advise you on what is most suited to your requirements.
Personal Gear – Check List
Traveling across the water at high speeds requires personal protection from wind, cold, spray and sun.
Essential personal kit includes:
- Impact Resistant Buoyancy Aid
- Wetsuit or Drysuit
- Foot Protection
Courtesy to other water users
Remember you are not the only one enjoying the water. Consideration for other users helps to create harmony for all.
Noise travels easily across water. Using a PW in one area for extended periods may annoy others.
DON’T wave jump behind a boat. It’s unnerving for the boat driver and dangerous
DON’T rev in shallow beach areas. It will spray of sand or gravel
DON’T weave in and out of anchorages at high speed
DON’T enter areas where there are swimmers
ALWAYS remember how your wake affects others
ALWAYS maintain a good look out
Christopher Harper, Managing Director of PWP Insurance partner RJP Marine has some advice on PW insurance.
Why Insure? – Well its obvious really. A Personal Watercraft is a major purchase. New craft can cost anything from £10,000 to £20,000+. If you buy anything at that price you need to insure it against, Damage, Theft and Fire. You do that because you, the owner, need to protect your investment.
What about Public Liability? – Where does this come on the list? Usually it’s a case of “I’ve got to have it” and it’s a distress purchase, but it’s vital to consider.
Fortunately most people buying newer craft buy a comprehensive package of cover, which automatically includes public liability. So they buy insurance to ensure their craft can be repaired or replaced in the event of an accident or theft and get that cover plus the public liability cover that is important to everyone else. There are of course lower value and older personal watercraft out there where the need for damage, fire and theft cover is diminished and there are some people who simply “don’t do” insurance unless forced. For them public liability cover can be purchased separately. You can’t however purchase, in normal circumstances, the damage, fire and theft cover without having the public liability.
To find out more about PW Insurance contact our partner RJP Marine: