Tempting as it is to just zip over the waves without a care in the world on your jet ski, you mustn’t. That’s because jet ski etiquette exists and must be followed to ensure safety on the waters.
Here are the safety rules and protocols when operating a jet ski in Australia.
Right of way
When approaching another vessel head-on, you must always keep right. You should pass one another with both left sides of the vessels facing each other. On the other hand, the vessel on the right has the right of way whenever two vessels are crossing paths.
So, whenever a vessel is crossing your path coming from your right side, you should always slow down and let it pass first. You should also do the same for non-powered vessels like canoes, kayaks, and sailboats.
Buying a jet ski in Queensland? Read our helpful article ‘QLD Jet Ski Licence: Do I Need One?‘
Jumping is perhaps the most exhilarating move you can do with your jet ski. But before you do this trick, take note of the things you mustn’t do. First is jumping off the wakes of vessels you did not ask permission from. It’s considered rude and unsafe, so always talk to the boaters first before performing jumps or wheelies.
Second is don’t race with another jet skier just to hit a wave. It’s dangerous and can cause serious accidents. Lastly, once you’re in the air, there’s no chance of going back or steering the jet ski to a safe landing spot. So, make sure that you’re landing in a clear area with no swimmers or other boaters to hit accidentally before making that jump.
The jet ski speed limit varies per state and territory. In general, there is a speed limit for each body of water within each state and jet skiers between 12 to 16 years old should not drive at a speed greater than 20 knots. If you’re in boat harbours and marinas, the speed limit is 6 knots.
Whichever state or territory you live in, remember to always drive your jet ski at a safe speed. That means you can stop the jet ski in time to avoid any immediate danger on your path.
Never exceed the speed limits and always consider the visibility, currents, waves, wind, and the presence of hazards whenever hitting the waters. Some speed limits are displayed while others are not. So, you need to do your due diligence of researching before heading out with your jet ski.
Another important jet ski etiquette is keeping your vessel’s noise to a minimum whenever near people. Jet skis create a loud noise when speeding can be a real hazard. So, be careful not to speed up near other boaters, the shoreline, or waterfront properties. Also, avoid travelling at a high speed in the early morning when people can still be snoozing on their beds.
If you’re travelling at more than 10 knots, you must maintain a safe distance of 60 metres from people in the water and non-powered vessels, and 30 metres from any of the following: 1) boats anchored, moored or aground; 2) a boat ramp, wharf, pontoon, or jetty within 30m of people in the water; and 3) powered boats.
By jet skiing at a safe distance from any person or object, you’ll not only be able to enjoy jet skiing better, but also reduce the chances of accidents on the waters.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t do anything that will pollute the environment when using your jet ski. That includes throwing rubbish on the waters, spilling oil or fuel, and jet skiing near reefs and aquatic animals. This is a jet ski etiquette that’s easily overlooked, so make sure to remember it. Having fun on the waters should not come at the expense of the environment.
We are currently not taking any new applications as result of COVID-19 but will be keeping a close watch on the situation and will be re-assessing soon. In the mean time if you have any questions, just call Aussie Boat Loans on 1300 769 999 or send us an enquiry online.