143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 4 X Personal Watercraft

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.


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.


water flow

water flow

water flow

steerable nozzle

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.


f Do not follow or operate too closely to other watercraft. f Do not jump the wake of another boat within 100 feet of that boat. f Do not operate a PWC while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. f Do not pollute the waterways.


California Course for Safe Boating

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