Personal Watercraft Regulations

PWC are classified as inboard boats. PWC must be registered and display valid registration decals and registration numbers. PWC operators must obey all boating regulations. In addition, PWC operators and riders must comply with the following regulations.

All persons operating or riding a PWC must wear a PFD of the proper size and type. If a PWC is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard, it must be attached to the operator. It is illegal to operate a PWC facing backwards. No person may operate a PWC from sunset to sunrise.

PWC designed to seat three people may tow persons engaged in water skiing or similar activity. PWC towing of stranded or disabled boats is allowed if speeds do not exceed no wake.

Operation of a PWC within 100 feet of another boat is allowed only if the PWC speed does not exceed no wake and neither boat is involved in any type of water skiing or similar activity. A PWC that is towing persons engaged in water skiing or similar activity must follow the same rules as any motorboat pulling a skier.

No person may operate a personal watercraft faster than no wake within 200 feet of shore on any lake in Wisconsin.