In recent years we have experienced a considerable increase in the number of sailing of Personal Water Craft (PCW), or Jet Skis and this has made it necessary to regulate their use to ensure the safety of both their occupants and bathers, regardless of the model or type of the PWC (SEA BEETLE, SEA BIKE, SURF-Jet, SURF-Ski, etc.) or whether privately owned or leased.
When sailing with a PWC we can do it in a particular way or renting the boat to an authorized company, which can offer us the following modalities: for hours or fraction in circuit; hour or fraction for excursions; and rent for days. The fundamental requirements in Spain for sailing with a PWC are as follows:
- The PWC must be recorded in a Maritime Authority, that is, any Capitanía Marítima (or T/T mother vessel)
- Have public liability insurance.
- Carry the navigation or riding license on board.
- Be the minimum age for use: 18 years or 16 if it is with the written consent of the parent or guardian.
- Rider and passenger must wear certified life jacket and/or n buoyancy aids at all times
- Each individual must carry government issued ID and have the appropriate qualification according to the power of the PWC, which can range from the Federative Authorization of Jet Ski Pattern “C” to Nautical PWC Pattern “A”, for motorcycles with 110 hp or more.
Basic navigation rules for Jet Skis are the following:
- Do not use private PWCs near PWC rental areas or regatta areas.
- Keep a safe distance from swim zones (normally marked with yellow buoys, where there are no marker buoys, keep 200m from shore)
- If entering an unmarked swim zone is absolutely necessary, enter at a speed under 3 knots and follow a path perpendicular to the shore
- Only use in day light hours, good weather and visibility.
- Towing of water toys is prohibited.
- It is forbidden to navigate in commercial ports / marinas, except to go directly out to sea. A maximum speed of 3 knots for transit applies.
In addition to the generic Spanish regulations above, the Balearic islands have some additional requirements:
- Navigation must stay 200m offshore and 100m from any other vessel before exceeding 5 knots
- A method of communication must be carried at all times (i.e. mobile phone / VHF)
- Waterskiing / Wakeboarding are only allowed if a second person is sitting facing the person who is surfing
- No beach drop off/pick ups
Last year some changes were introduced by Royal Decree Real Decreto 238/2019, of April 5th, which established some updates to the nautical qualifications for the government of pleasure boats and updates the safety measures in the use of nautical motorcycles. It entered into force on 1 July 2019 and was based on the he principles of maritime safety, navigation, human life at sea and the prevention of marine pollution, and basically were an updating of the safety measures in the use of PWC. In that sense, it is compulsory to PWC , in the mode of particular use, the user must be in possession of some of the Spanish navigation titles yachtmaster (Capitán de yate of Patrón de yate), Professional Skipper for Recreational Boats (PPER) or Recreational Boat Skipper (PER), regulated by Real Decreto or Royal Decree 875/2014, of October 10th. Jet Skis can also be governed, without limitation of power, by obtaining the license provided for in Article 11 of Real Decreto Royal Decree 875/2014, of 10 October.
There are other changes regarding the requirements and specifications of the rental of PWC.
But the most important rule when sailing a Jet Ski due to the high speed must be respect to other seamen and bathers.
Carlos Espinosa – Solicitor & Tax Advisor
+34 627 41 32 01