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Rules are inevitable. They are for your safety. Kayaks, skis, towable wakeboards, and bananas are great toys to have on a mega yacht charter. The most requested aquasport equipment is the personal watercraft (PWC). Jetskis and waverunners are fashionable on yachts for hire, particularly the newest yachts available for charter.
Firstly, charter clients can end up frustrated and disappointed if they are not aware of the rules regarding the use of PWC’s in certain cruising grounds. Waverunners not allowed in certain protected bays and coves, some governments require the operator of the PWC to have a license – and please note: an automobile driver’s license is NOT sufficient.
Secondly, before you sign your rental yacht agreement, look for a very standard clause similar to this:
“Use of personal water craft is only permitted subject to the operator having the appropriate license and meeting with local operating regulations. Any liability arising from noncompliance is entirely at the operator’s risk.”
Bottom line, just because your yacht carries waverunners onboard does not mean you can legally use them.
Thirdly, get a license! One way to obtain a PWC license is via one of many online boating safety courses. Courses may vary from state to state and from country to country. Fortunately, many PWC licenses are recognized and accepted in major charter destinations like the Western Med.
For students who prefer hands-on training, there are many accredited boating safety training centers and schools around the world, such as:
Once you obtain your PWC license, be sure to discuss with your crew your desire to use the yacht’s personal watercraft. You might be surprised to find your cruising ground does not permit the use of PWC’s – license or not!
This is especially true in areas with sensitive eco systems. British Virgin Islands yacht charters, for example, are not allowed to use PWC’s anywhere in the island chain.
In conclusion, knowing the rules for operating personal watercraft before your charter will help make your vacation safer and memorable for all the right reasons!
This entry was posted in Yacht Charter Educational Gadgets and tagged Personal Watercraft (PWC), yacht charter, banana, rules, watersports safety, waverunners, jetskis, towable toys, yacht charter vacation, yacht charter safety, what are the rules for using watertoys on a yacht, know the rules on a yacht, legality on yacht charter, noncompliancePosted on
The sales market for waverunners and jetskis – also known as personal water craft (PWC) – has been on the decline for several years, in part due to the fact PWC have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry.
While the price issue is of lesser concern to the owners of charter yachts, the size and fuel consumption issues do factor into the decision of whether or not a megayacht will carry one or more of these toys onboard for the use of the charter guests.
Now, a smaller, lighter, and far more fuel efficient model has been introduced, and it might have an impact on smaller megayachts, particularly in the 80 to 100 foot range.
The Sea-Doo “Spark” is approximately half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange PWC, and burns nearly ten times less fuel than other waverunners.
Storage space is a major concern on yachts in the 80 to 100 foot range. The aft garage on a mid-size megayacht is rather tight – yet carrying an assortment of watertoys is important as many charterers clamor for water-based activities during their time onboard. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a Florida yacht charter vacation, in the warm, pristine Florida Keys, without spending time in the ocean, snorkeling, wakeboarding, and riding along on a waverunner. The Spark is smaller and lighter than other PWC, and it is easier to get in and out of a cramped yacht’s toy garage.
Many vessels forgo carrying a large PWC, not just because of the size but also because the typical PWC guzzles LOTS of fuel, requiring the storage of large amounts of gasoline to operate the waverunners. This is both problematic and, for yacht owners and crews concerned about sustainability, an ecological issue.
The Spark is the most fuel efficient PWC on the market, burning just 7.3 liters (1.9 gallons) of fuel per hour on the 60-horsepower model, or 9 liters (2.4 gallons) per hour on the “High Output” model. Compare this to a 250-horsepower Sea-Doo RXT-X model, which swallows 76 liters (20 gallons) per hour, and the Yamaha FX Cruiser requiring 80 liters (21 gallons) per hour. Carrying a Spark on a charter yacht would require less gasoline to be stored, and leave a far smaller carbon footprint on the environment.
Yes, there is a trade off in top-end speed, but many charterers have little-to-no experience on a PWC, and high speed can be quite dangerous. In fact, operating a large PWC often requires a special license. Consider the typical language used on most charter agreements between clients and the owners of the yacht for hire. There is often a clause that states:
“The use of any personal watercraft (waverunners) is at the operator’s sole risk and is only permitted subject to the operator having the applicable license, if required, and meeting local regulations.
Any liability arising from noncompliance regarding the use of personal watercraft is entirely at the operator’s risk.”
For most charterers, the speed of the Spark should not be an issue, as the Spark can easily hit 80 kilometers per hour (around 50 mph)!
It’s too early to tell how the charter industry will react to the Spark, and whether owners of mid-size megayachts will choose this new PWC for their toy garages. At approximately half the price and half the weight, the Spark delivers 90% of the speed (and fun) of a more expensive PWC. Hopefully that will be enough to “spark” an interest in eco-friendly yacht owners…
WHAT do you think? Will the Spark catch on with megayacht owners and crews? Share your comments with us, and we’ll send you a complimentary eco-friendly tote bag, courtesy of 1-800 Yacht Charters.