What am I required by law to have on my boat?
Your MasterCraft has been equipped at the factory with most of the federally required safety equipment for inland waters (Class I, 16-foot-to-26-foot watercraft). This equipment includes:
ABYC-approved marine mufflers with water injection.
USCG-approved marine flame arrestor.
USC-approved engine box ventilation with spark-less power blower.
ABYC-approved electric horn sound-warning device.
USCG-approved inland lighting.
Additionally, you should always check that you have onboard a fire extinguisher, which is mandatory equipment and sold as an optional purchase from the factory.
Federal law also requires at least one Type I, II or III Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for each person on-board or being towed on water skis or other recreational equipment. In addition, one throwable Type IV PFD must also be on board. As the owner, obtaining the appropriate PFDs is your responsibility.
Your MasterCraft Dealer can and will be happy to assist you.
Note: Requirements for coastal waters and inland waters differ. Check with the local authorities for more information.
Tell me more about a float plan?
A “float plan” is a written record indicating
the planned destination and approximate length of time for the outing. Sample
forms are available here from the Coast Guard’s website.
One should be completed and left with a relative
or friend prior to each trip. In case of an emergency or failure to return
within a reasonable period of time, pertinent information will be available to
assist local marine police or the Coast Guard in determining whether a search
should be performed.
Be sure to notify the float plan holder upon
What can you tell me about tower safety?
Do not tow more than two persons at one time on a tow tower. The tow tower should be used only for water skis, wakeboards, or recreational towables and not for parasailing, kite flying or towing other boats. Do not add any attachments that are not installed by MasterCraft. Do not climb on, sit on, stand on, jump off or dive off the tower. Never allow passengers to sit behind the tow rope attachment point. Never allow loose tow rope ends to dangle. Always be certain that all bolts are in place and tight before and during use. When the tower is up, watch for low obstacles such as tree limbs, bridges or power lines.
Any tips for wakeboarding or skiing safely?
The below recommendations are not all-inclusive. It is the boater's responsiblity to operate the boat in a safe fashion and become familiar with any and all rules and laws governing boat operation:
- Never put your arm, head or any other part of your body through the handle/bridle of the ski line, nor wrap the line around any part of the body at any time.
- Never ski at night, or directly in front of other boats.
- Never jump from a boat that is moving at any speed, nor enter or exit the water when the engine is running or "ON".
- Make sure that everyone knows and uses approved skiing hand signals and common skiing courtesy.
- Never ride on the ski platform or hold on to the platform while in the water during engine operation, including at idle. Carbon monoxide fumes are expelled from the lower transom area of a boat and can cause serious illness or even death.
How do I dock and tie-up my MasterCraft boat?
Approach docks slowly, with the starboard side of the boat if possible. The natural tendency to torque steer with the rotation of the propeller at slow speeds makes docking easier on that side. Also, use wind and current to your advantage when docking. Before tying-up the boat, be sure to use enough dock bumpers to protect the boat from damage. If possible, tie-up with the bow toward the waves. Use good quality double-braided nylon line. Tie-up only to the lifting or tie-down eyes. Never use the handrails or ski pylon. If the boat is to be moored for a long period of time, use chafing protectors to protect the gel coat finish. Leave a little slack in the lines, allowing for some wave movement or tidal action where applicable.
Or, you can option for MasterCraft’s new DockStar Handling System. This innovation gives drivers of any ability a boost of confidence by making tight spots like docks and marinas easier to navigate. DockStar’s breakthrough design delivers the ultimate control with a system of additional rudders that deflect prop wash beneath the boat. The result is precise steering while reversing—in both port and starboard directions.
What about Carbon Monoxide safety?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless and poisonous gas that accumulates rapidly and can cause serious injury or death.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal in a matter of minutes. Exposure to even low concentrations of carbon monoxide must not be ignored because the effects of exposure to carbon monoxide are cumulative and can be just as lethal as at high concentrations.
Carbon monoxide from exhaust pipes of inboard or outboard engines may build up inside and outside the boat in areas near exhaust vents. STAY AWAY from these exhaust vent areas, which are located at the stern of the boat, and DO NOT swim or engage in any watersports or other activities in or near the stern area of the boat, including, without limitation, the swim platform and the rear sun deck, when the engine is in operation.
Under no circumstances should teak surfing or similar activities be performed during the operation of your MasterCraft boat - such activities are a misuse of this product.
How many people can I tow from the tower?
Do not tow more than two (2) persons at one time on a tow tower. The tow tower approved for use on your boat should be used only for water skis, wakeboards, surfboards or recreational two-person towables, and not for parasailing, kite flying or towing other boats. Do not add any attachments that are not approved for use on your MasterCraft boat. Do not climb on, sit on, stand on, jump off of or dive off of the tower. Never allow passengers to sit behind the tow rope attachment point. Never allow loose tow rope ends to dangle. Always be certain that all bolts are in place and tight before and during use. When the tower is up, watch for low obstacles such as tree limbs, bridges or power lines.
What should I do with the safety lanyard?
The emergency engine safety switch, called the "lanyard", is an ignition cut-off switch designed to stop the engine in the event of an operator being thrown from position or moving too far from the helm. The lanyard is equipped with a hook on one end for attachment to your clothing or PFD, and the opposite end has a slide that fits over the switch. Be sure that the slide is firmly attached to the switch before starting. The switch is located near the throttle control box. If the slide is left off or loose, the engine will crank but will not start. The safety switch lanyard must be attached to the operator whenever the engine is started. Failure to do so may result in serious injury or death.
What can you tell me about loading my MasterCraft boat?
Never overload your boat. The maximum weight capacity as listed on the certification plate includes all items added to the boat (persons and gear).
Also, proper distribution of weight is critical to boat and wake performance. Allocate the load as evenly as possible. These capacities include filled ballast bags, whether they are factory-installed, dealer-installed or added by the customer.
Note that adding ballast bags reduces the number of people and the amount of gear that can be added. Failure to adhere to the total maximum capacity may result in too much strain on the drive train or can sink the boat.
How long should I run the blower?
To prevent a possible explosion, operate the blower for at least four (4) minutes before starting the engine and always when at idle or slow-running speed. Explosive gasoline and/or battery fumes may be present in the engine compartment. Failure to do so may result in serious injury or death!
With the engine start button, do I even need the ignition key?
Yes, you need the ignition key to start the boat. All models will have a removable ignition key. Its purpose is for safety and security. The key should be inserted prior to starting an outing, and removed at the conclusion. This is intended to prevent theft or unapproved use of the boat.
The process for starting the boat is:
- Insert the key and turn...this turns ON the electrical system and prompts the battery(ies) to
- Momentarily press the ENGINE START-STOP button