Handy Hints for Teaching PWC (jetskiing):

Coming alongside:

The key to teaching any manoeuvere: 


Consider P.A.M.E. –


  • Plan – How you are going to get there safely
  • Approach – What angle you should take, considering the wind/tide effects
  • Manouvere – What speed and other considerations you need to make
  • Escape – Always have an escape route! 

Also consider S.L.O.W. 

  • Speed of approach
  • Lookout for hazards and obstructions
  • Observe what the wind / tide are doing
  • Watch out for other vessels

Syllabus states – ‘Can – Come alongside another craft, pontoon or floating dock’


Why? Setting up a tow, refueling, marina operations


Fundamentals: Always demonstrate first, introduce the manouvere later in the day, once your student has had plenty of practice and in particular understands stopping distances and can pick up a MOB. Get your student to practice coming alongside a buoy first. Once they have mastered this, then move them on to coming alongside a pontoon, craft or floating dock. During your demonstration and your briefing you must emphasise the importance of:

• Using Neutral and reverse to control speed (if they have it, otherwise to turn the engine on and off to maintain a slow speed).

• Angle of approach – this will depend on the strength of the elements (wind/tide) but be aware that if the turn is too sharp, the stern of the PW will continue to swing into the pontoon even once the engine is turned off.

• Effect of wind/tide – use these elements to help slow you down.

• Aim to stop the PW within 2-3 foot (reaching distance) from the pontoon rather than directly alongside it, this will minimize the possibility of knocking it and will allow enough space for an escape route.

Buy PWC teaching aids: