A Course for Safe Boating
Personal watercraft, or PWC, are small jet-driven powerboats 13 feet in length or less. The pumps
draw water into the housing, through something called the impeller, which compresses the water
and forces it through the steerable nozzle, pushing the boat forward—see picture on page 94.
(PWCs are often called “Jet Skis,” which is a trademark of Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA.)
Personal watercraft come in three main styles: stand-up, sit-down sport class (one or two people),
and sit-down for three to four people. The stand-up style carries only one person, who stands
while operating the vessel, while the sit-down style has seats for one to four people.
The main components of a PWC are the:
Hull—the body of the boat.
Deck—flat surfaces such as the seat, foot wells and compartment covers.
Throttle—mounted on the handlebars, regulates how much fuel goes to
the engine and controls the speed and steering ability.
Other controls—include the on/off switch and the cutoff or “kill” switch
with an attached lanyard.
Steering nozzle—located at the rear of the pump and controlled by the
PWC from Side View
PWC from Back View