A Course for Safe Boating
How a PWC Jet Pump Works
While propeller powered boats move forward by a rotating prop, a PWC jet
pump pulls water in through the impeller and uses a nozzle to powerfully
push water out. When you turn the handlebars to the right, the steering
nozzle also turns to the right and the water stream pushes the back of the
boat to the left, causing the personal watercraft to turn right.
Off Throttle Collision Risk and Stopping
Older PWC do not have a way to stop quickly because they have no brakes.
Depending on how fast you’re going, you will keep moving forward for several
seconds, and possibly several hundred feet after you let go of the throttle.
Without power or at idle speed, most of the steering control will also be lost.
You must apply the throttle and steer away to avoid obstacles. This loss of
control is a common cause of PWC accidents. Since 2003, most of the personal
watercraft manufacturers have developed off-throttle steering (holding some
RPMs on the engine after throttle release) on many models, as well as adding
braking systems using drop down rudders. However, it is important to learn
the steering and stopping ability of your personal watercraft before operating
the vessel in crowded and/or unfamiliar waters.
PWC JET PUMP IMPELLER
follow or operate too closely to other
jump the wake of another boat within
100 feet of that boat.
operate a PWC while under the
influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
pollute the waterways.
It may take several hundred feet to
stop after throttle release to come to
a complete stop. Loss of steering also
occurs in personal watercraft without
off throttle steering (OTS) systems.
It is important to be alert and always
be ready to apply power and steer
away from a person, vessel or object
when riding personal watercraft not
equipped with OTS.