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Old 05-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
diceksox1809
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Default Can a Non-Licensed Person Drive a Jet Ski If...

Hi everyone, first post here.

We are looking at picking up a few Jet Skis for our family this year, but we have a few questions.

On most weekends, we have people up to the lake, and many of them do not have boating license. I have mine, and so does the rest of my family.

We will be getting two Jet Skis, and ideally, we would like to be able to drive side by side with one of our friends, but if they don't have a license we don't really want to risk it if we can get in trouble.

So my question is...

Are non-licensed people allowed to drive a Jet Ski if I am riding next to them and the jet ski is owned under my name?

Are they strict about enforcing that? Or will it not be an issue.

If I haven't made myself clear, please let me know.

Thanks for all responses,

Matt
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:21 AM   #2
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diceksox1809, I just noticed that you are fairly new to the forum and glad you have joined us. Have fun and enjoy the Winni Forum while making many new friends. I’m sure that one of the great members will be able to give you the correct answer so that everything will be legal.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
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Default Welcome as well...

A couple of problems with your scenario of riding side by side...PWC's have to abide by the 150 ft rule....and the state requires any one over age 16 to have a boater ed certificate.

Can it be done? yes. Legally? No. Is it done? high likelihood . Can there be a problem? Yes, if you are stopped for any reason by the Marine Patrol. Even a safety check, which they can do at any time.

Even when one is rented, the renter is required to have a cert. or take an exam and get a temp certificate. Good for one time. Hope this statement doesn't open up a whole new can of worms and take away from your post.

Short answer is that it can not be done legally. Sorry.

Again, welcome to the forum and enjoy your time at the lake and on the jetskis. Just take your friends for a ride with a licensed operator.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
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The post above pretty much sums it up. It is illegal, but it happens ALL the time.

Jet skis can be a dangerous thing for an inexperienced rider, be careful who you put on one as it puts others at risk as well, not just the driver of the ski.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the posts.

Yeah I don't plan on throwing someone on a Jet Ski and saying "Go!"

I would teach them the basics till they are comfortable and then let them have a go with it. I just wasn't sure if there were any special PWC laws.

Thanks for the replies guys, I'll make sure to take it easy with em.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diceksox1809 View Post
Thanks for the posts.

Yeah I don't plan on throwing someone on a Jet Ski and saying "Go!"

I would teach them the basics till they are comfortable and then let them have a go with it. I just wasn't sure if there were any special PWC laws.

Thanks for the replies guys, I'll make sure to take it easy with em.
Does NH still offer temp boating certificates? My step-son rented a jetski over at Weirs a coupla years ago. He was 18 at the time. He was able to take a test, then drive the jet-ski. The certificate wasn't expensive maybe 10 bucks?

Most of the rental shops offer the test right on site I think. Please correct if my info is wrong.

Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfinn View Post
Does NH still offer temp boating certificates? My step-son rented a jetski over at Weirs a coupla years ago. He was 18 at the time. He was able to take a test, then drive the jet-ski. The certificate wasn't expensive maybe 10 bucks?

Most of the rental shops offer the test right on site I think. Please correct if my info is wrong.

Thanks!
Anchor Marine's website has information about the temporary certificate with links to the applicable laws:

http://anchormarine.net/safety.htm
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Be very careful letting people drive your jet skis, many years ago (before licenses) a co-worker wanted to go jet skiing. I took him out with me on the back, explained the 150 rule, showed him how to maneuver, told him no throttle near the docks or me. He seemed to get it, but didn't. Luckily no one got hurt, but he had several close calls before I could get him back to the dock, off the jet ski and on my boat. Since then I am very picky about who gets to ride, no license no drive makes it much easier to say no.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
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Keep in mind that most PWC's of recent vintage are considered boats by NH rules. If the ones you buy can hold 3 or more people, it's a boat.

No matter what, in the scenario you describe, I'd be more worried about insurance and liability if something happened after allowing someone without a license to use your craft.

And to clarify an earlier statement, someone can operate without a license if they are under 16, but only if there is a licensed adult on the craft with them to supervise or take over.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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Temp certificate looks great!

Anybody know how hard it is to pass one of those tests?
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diceksox1809 View Post
Temp certificate looks great!

Anybody know how hard it is to pass one of those tests?
Try one for yourself: http://www.boat-ed.com/cgi-local/exa...tice.cgi?st=nh
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #12
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I was appalled when I read side by side! An accident waiting to happen!
Disclaimer: I've been boating all my life, on many water bodies of water.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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Hahah Im sorry guys I should have made myself more clear.

When I said side by side I didn't mean it literally. I meant that we would be riding together to the same place, rather than having someone on the back of just one Jet Ski.

I know how dangerous it is for jet skiers to be super close to each other. Not a good idea at all!
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diceksox1809 View Post
Temp certificate looks great!
Anybody know how hard it is to pass one of those tests?
If you've studied and know the material, it's easy.
If you haven't, it's hard.

Many people on these forums have expressed discontent over the existence of the temp certificate. In the wrong hands, it offers a false sense of security.

Personally, I don't think it's too much to ask that your guests to be expected to pass a test before operating. If they're reluctant, do you really want them driving?

Then there's the liability question.

The GOOD thing about respecting that rule is this: When the "crazy drunken uncle" shows up and wants to drive while you run for another beer for him, you've got an "out".
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:00 AM   #15
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I highly recommend that anyone 16 years old or older who wants to operate a PWC or any other vessel in the state of NH take the classroom Boater Education course put on by the NH Marine Patrol. Not only will the instructors go over the basic rules of the road and the unique laws in NH but they will also give you tips on safely navigating the waters on the big lake.
Classes this year are fewer and farther between around the lake but are being held in Gilford and Moultonboro starting in June.
See the Boating Education Program web site for futher information and class schedules: http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/ss/boatinged/
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:26 AM   #16
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Middle son 17 and youngest daughter 16 just got their boating licenses after attending the class and taking the test. I was worried that it might be tough for them but Son passed with a 97% and Daughter with 100% (my poor son will NEVER live that one down- haha). Remember the 150' rule only applies to NO WAKE SPEED! You can absolutely go no wake speed and be within 150' of each other.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diceksox1809 View Post
Temp certificate looks great!

Anybody know how hard it is to pass one of those tests?
Don't quote me, but for info:
When NH was first implementing the certificate, I've lived in Lakes Region 30 years and had boats; I've got boating & navigation experience from south shore of Boston & Cape Cod waters and Caribbean, since infancy! A child.

I looked at the requirements online and decided to try the sample test. I did also have experience on Lake with my 20' sailboat and others. In the online test, I passed, but did not follow through to obtain the certificate. Doing it now, I find one of the classes, and go for it.

I feel it's very important to understand inland waters navigation, boat handling and general safety. There are lots of boat users without any common sense or respect for others on the lakes. I can correlate it to highway road rage, and lack of courtesy on the ski slopes.

Marinas used to sell a boat, give the buyer the keys, and say off to the waters! Have a good one!
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:31 AM   #18
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Default two cents

The state does still allow for 14 day temporary certificates. Generally used for folks renting. it is 25 questions multiple choice questions and you have to get 20 out of 25 correct in 25 minutes. if you fail you cannot take the test for another 24 hours (literally), and you can only do this once a calendar year. there are presently about 18 places in the state that provide the temprary test as agents for the state. Most businesses that have rental such as Anchor, Channel, Meredith Marina, Shep Brown's etc. do have it as a service. Some charge a fee and some will apply the fee towards your rental if you rent from them best to call ahead. And it is best to study the states boating safety guide before hand as many folks, even those with boating experience don't pass. I always tell folks the questions are written by the same folks who make up the SAT's and to read the questions very carefully as they are written to lead you to the wrong answer!
As for your PWC scenario, Anyone operating a vessel with more than a 25 horsepower engine is required to have a state approved certificate (issued by a state agency with the NASBLA emblem on it.) I personally wouldn't risk haveing family or friends stopped and ticketed or putting someone on a bullet with no brakes without some training
I've been boating since I was 14 (and that was a long time ago) and still picked up a couple of pointers when I took the course.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:28 PM   #19
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Default tell your guests ahead of time

If you invited me to your place for a day or a weekend and told me that we might want to take a ride, but I'd be stuck on the back unless I got my boating certificate... I'd get the certificate if I really wanted to drive. If I was happy sitting behind you, I probably wouldn't. At least I'd know what to expect.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #20
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So, it's OK for me as a licensed driver to let another unliscensed adult drive my jetski if I'm sitting right behind them on the machine, correct? To facilitate teaching.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Shortstop View Post
So, it's OK for me as a licensed driver to let another unliscensed adult drive my jetski if I'm sitting right behind them on the machine, correct? To facilitate teaching.
As long as they are under 16 and you have it reg as a boat (3 pass)
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #22
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Default Unlicensed PWC/Boat drivers..

As crazy as it sounds, I believe that is only true if the unlicensed driver is under the age of 16. Otherwise a safety certificate is needed.

CHeers...

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortstop View Post
So, it's OK for me as a licensed driver to let another unliscensed adult drive my jetski if I'm sitting right behind them on the machine, correct? To facilitate teaching.
So, your statement is incorrect, as typically someone under sixteen is not considered an adult
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