Personal Watercraft (PWC) in New Jersey

PWC are defined as power vessels less than 16 feet long that are:

  • Designed to be operated in a sitting, kneeling or standing position

  • Equipped water jet pump powered by an internal combustion engine

In addition to the regulations and laws regarding power vessels, PWC are also subject to the following laws and regulations in the state of New Jersey:

  • PWC may not be operated between sunset and sunrise or during periods of restricted visibility

  • PWC may not be operated on the Point Pleasant or Cape May canals

  • PWC must not exceed minimum headway speed when within 100 feet of buoys or signs indicating swimming zone boundaries, the shoreline, people in the water, or residential dwelling units

  • PWC must not be operated so as to become airborne with 100 feet of another vessel

  • PWC must not be operated by any person under the age of 16

Operators of PWC equipped with a lanyard-type ignition safety switch shall wear the safety switch lanyard while the vessel is in operation.

Only operators of PWC designed to accommodate at least three people may tow a water skier, provided that one person can safely face the stern so as to observe the skier.