Its always best to know generally how something works before you take it for a ride, especially jet-skis because they are quite different than the propeller propulsion boats you see on the water. So, what is the excitement all about?
Well, as an inveterate aficionado of this great water sport atop a speeding machine, I can attest to hours of fun in the sun on any river, lake, or stream. The scenery is delicious. It is equally great along the seashore amid white-crested waves that leave a foaming trail as evidence of your path. You can make certainly your mark the right way if you follow the rules and know how a Jet Ski operates.
Before you make the memories of a lifetime, entertain friends, and take a slew of digital photos, you need to be prepared. If you are a newbie and hate reading manuals, I have advice for you. You don’t have to read it cover to cover to learn the basics of a watercraft. If you have any kind of scientific background, you will soon realize that the device feels like it is moving like a rocket in space. What does that mean?
While rocket thrust is generated by high-pressure gas, a personal watercraft uses a jet drive to create thrust, producing a water stream in a rearward direction. A jet drive is not unique to a Jet Ski because you will find that it powers larger boats and is especially useful in shallow water. The propulsive thrust is what reminds me of a rocket.
Not to belabor the point, a jet drive is when water enters the jet drive through the unit intake located on the bottom of the craft and is tunneled into and through a high velocity turbine operated by the engine. The turbine forces the water as discharge at a high velocity, producing the excitement you feel every time you are riding.
Have you heard of a rooster tail? That’s when these engines push water so hard that it shoots out of the water sometimes as far as 50 feet behind you!
In short, the Jet Ski has a propulsion engine built with a propeller and rotating blades that suck in the water to be ejected. But before we leave the subject, you might want to know that the machine has a throttle, akin to that of a motorcycle. If you apply pressure, you will go faster. But beware, there are no brakes.
That’s right, no brakes! But don’t worry, in most PWC’s (personal water crafts) the discharge valve where the water comes out, there is a shield that essentially turns the force of the water and shoots it toward the front. The force of that water shooting toward the front is what makes for a surprisingly effective brake. It is very helpful too, for maneuvering in tight spaces, or heavy currents, to nearly pinpoint where you want the jet ski to go.
Now you know what it is all about and it is time to get on board your own water rocket ship and have a good time.
For more reading, check out our post ‘ 5 Radical Reminders to Stay Safe on Jet Ski’s‘ to learn more about safety on Jet Ski’s.
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