Cruising Essentials & Recommendations

Today we went...

Personal Watercraft have come a long way in recent years, they're quieter, more reliable and with greater fuel efficiency cruising has gained in popularity.  Nowadays 60 or 70 mile trips are not uncommon.

Whether just exploring the coast with friends, having a barbeque in a quiet cove or joining in on a large scale organised event there are some things you should think about first.... 

Things to think about before going on a days cruising. 

  • Check the weather and tides.

  • Pre-plan your route. Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return

  • Carry some form of communication, preferably VHF radio but definitely a mobile phone.

  • Never ski alone always buddy up.

  • Take some cash, food & drink

Pre launch checks.

  • Is my pwc seaworthy?

Carry out pre use checks as per manufacturer guidelines.  Pay special attention to battery terminals and HT leads as these can work loose. Ensure the bungs are in.  Fill fuel and oil tanks before setting off.

  • How far can we go? 

It is a general rule to use up to 1/3 of a tank of fuel out and 1/3 back.  This allows for unseen problems such as worsening conditions (you'll use more fuel as you tend to go on and off the throttle more often) or the need to tow a broken down buddy!

  • What if I plan a route and I need to refuel?

It is always best to know which ports have fuel available and to phone the relevant harbour master's office to check if open and if they supply 'unleaded'.  Always obey local bylaws and speed restrictions.

Note; some harbours still have bylaws forbidding the use of pwc!





Personal Equipment

  • Wetsuit or Drysuit (its up to you!)

  • Buoyancy aid

  • Gloves, goggles, boots

  • Kill cord (attached to wrist or buoyancy aid)

  • Sun lotion, high protection factor

Safety Equipment

  • Flare pack
  • Tow rope
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Spare spark plugs
  • Tool kit
  • First aid kit
  • Knife
  • Torch
  • Bag anchor

It is good practice to have the above stowed in the pwc even if you're not planning on going far.  Don't assume someone else has the kit, be prepared yourself!

Additional cruising equipment

  • VHF Radio or phone

  • Compass

  • Chart



Be courteous to other sea users, learn the rules of the road.

For more information on rules, safety, reading charts, reading waves, tides, etc why not book yourself on the RYA's PWC proficiency course...there's more to this than doing 'donuts'!

Click on the pic for info.

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