jet ski towing laws

Surfing, parasailing, kite-boarding – we love our water activities in Florida! But when it comes to jet skis, it is important to remember that they are considered a vessel, and as such there are rules that need to be adhered to. To keep everyone safe and compliant, here are the jet ski towing laws for Florida.

Jet ski operators may tow individual(s) on water skis, surfboards, inner tubes, or any similar devices, as long as they are acting safely and responsibly, following the following guidelines.

  1. All persons being towed behind a vessel must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD. Please note that inflatable PFDs and ski belts are not approved PFDs for water-skiing.
  2. Every vessel towing any device with person(s) on-board are required to have a person other than the operator on-board, for the purpose of maintaining clear observation of the towed individual at all times. Alternatively, a wide-angle rear view ski mirror designed to allow the operator to observe the towed person at all times is acceptable.  Caution, factory-installed mirrors on personal water craft may not adequately meet this requirement.
  3. When towing a parasail, when a rear view mirror is not acceptable and there must be a responsible person on the tow vessel watching the parasail at all times.
  4. Persons may be towed behind a vessel during the hours of one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset only.
  5. Jet ski towing laws state that it is illegal to cause the person being towed to collide with any object or person. Therefore the operator is responsible for keeping the towed individual a reasonable distance from anyone in the water, another vessel, a bridge, pier, dock, buoy, platform or piling, or channel marker.
  6. A person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft in Florida, or 18 years old to rent one.
  7. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 is required to either have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or have passed a course equivalency or temporary certificate examination. They must have their boating education ID card and a photo identification card in their possession when operating a personal water craft. (for more information on jet ski towing laws, visit the Florida Boating Regulation Website)

At Sign and Glide, we are committed to making sure that everyone is safe out on the water.