Personal Water Craft – Jet Ski

What is a Jet Ski?


Jet Ski is the brand name of personal watercraft (PWC) manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The name, however, has become a generalized trademark for any type of personal watercraft. While Kawasaki first marketed a Jet Ski in 1973, a smaller company called Bombardier actually created a workable personal watercraft in the late 1960s. Years after the Kawasaki Jet Ski became a household name; Bombardier came back with the Sea Doo and managed to make a dent in the  personal water craft marketplace .

Since the riding of jet skis has evolved through the 90s, other companies like Yamaha and Honda have joined the sport to make it into a worldwide sport in both racing and freestyle.

A jet ski is part water skiing device and part speedboat, with a definite hint of motorcycle during operation. They may be made with two-stroke or four-stroke engines achieving impressive speeds. Instead of the traditional propeller or screw motor, a jet ski uses an enclosed gas-powered motor to literally push water out in a jet stream. Jet Skis are designed for one to three riders, who may sit or, in the case of one person models, stand. All jet ski models should also have a dead man's switch -- a connection between the driver and ignition system which should kill the motor instantly if the driver falls off.

Do you have to have a jet-ski license to jet-ski?

For many states you don't have to have a license to operate any water craft, but you need a boater education certificate if you are born before a certain date. Most states requiring this will honor other states' certifications that meet US Coast Guard boat safety training requirements.

In NJ & FL you must go to a boating safety course and pass it by 80 % or higher and they will give you a paper that you will need to show the DMV in order to get a boat endorsement. Otherwise if you get caught without you will be fined up to $1,000.00 and your PWC will be impounded. They will also charge you a storage fees and tow bill.

All these boating rules and regulations should be easily accessible at your nearest marine store, mega retailers, or large sporting goods store (Academy/Gander Mountain/Sports Authority/Wal-Mart) if you live in the US. To get more info on this subject and get correct info from your state's laws you shall go to or or to your local state police web site.

How Does a Jet Ski Work?

Personal watercraft, sometimes known by their brand name “Jet Ski,” relies on a gas-powered engine to propel themselves and a few riders through the water. The fuel feed to the engine is controlled by a thumb-button or trigger located on the right handlebar of the watercraft; because the Jet Ski relies on the resistance of the water to slow down, a corresponding brake pedal is not necessary. Like any other gasoline-powered engine, jet skis require fuel and oil to properly function.

When the rider starts the Jet Ski and pulls the throttle trigger, the engine accelerates a water pump known as an impeller. This pump ingests water from the immediate front of the watercraft and forces it out the rear of the jet ski at a high velocity, providing thrust and forward movement. The more fuel supplied to the engine, the more powerfully the water is expelled by the impeller, producing acceleration and faster speeds.

How old do you have to be to ride a jet ski?

You must be 18 years old to rent a jet ski in Florida. If you are between the ages of 18 and 21 years old, you must successfully pass a Florida Safe Boater's test. The Safe Boater's course may be completed at the time of rental. There is a $5 State processing fee for the test. Please allow 30-45 minutes for the Safe Boater's test.

Can you ride a jet ski while pregnant?

I do not advice so. Jet Ski is capable of going over 50 mph. If you were to fall off, it could cause some serious damage to you and your child.

Is it safe to buy a used jet-ski?

This is the same as buying a used car. Best to buy from someone you know who has taken good care of the Jet Ski. First of all you need to  look at the price . If the price is way high for a used one just walk away. Don't worry about the brand name. But have someone with you who is familiar with PWC, or better still a PWC tech. Remember, as with buying anything used, buyer beware. If it seems like the deal is too good to be true, it probably is! Just see where it has been used, any damage, and how long it’s been used.

What should I look for when buying a jet ski?

Of the older two stroke models, Yamaha typically is considered the most reliable, while Sea Doo has a reputation for being troublesome. The rotax engine is prone to getting oil leaks, ran hot, needs specially rated 2 stroke oil, etc.
If you're a novice to jet skis, it's well worth the money to take any prospective PWC you're  thinking of buying to a shop for evaluation. Usually this service costs about $75, but can save you from buying someone's trouble prone ski.
Keep in mind that PWC theft is very common; it might be a good idea to submit the serial # to your local law enforcement.

A guide to Jet Ski purchase

Jet Ski’s have been around since the 1970’s and during that time many different shapes and sizes have been released to suit various uses/riders. There are so many types of Jet Ski to choose from, most don’t know where to start

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