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Personal Watercraft / March 15, 2021

The exciting world of personal watercrafts

Explore, race, tube, fish, and do it all without a boat! Welcome to the exciting world of personal watercrafts (PWC). Family fun on the water this coming summer has never looked better thanks to the innovation and evolution occurring in the personal watercrafts category. Entering into the exciting world of personal watercrafts can bring more opportunity for fishing, scuba diving and extreme sports without having to own a boat.

Currently, two styles of PWC available in the market: sit-down versions for one or more persons like a Bombardier Sea-doo or Yamaha WaveRunner, or stand-up versions like Kawasaki’s Jet-ski for single riders. Pondering all the activities you’d like to do with a personal watercraft is only half the fun and a good place to begin to determine which style of ride will suit your needs.

Family fun and the exciting world of personal watercrafts

Tour and explore

Versatility and comfort are key for families out to tour and explore the coastline, lakes, and rivers. PWC is an excellent way to take in the views, spot wildlife, and then stop for a little beachcombing. A well-constructed, wider hull makes for easier PWC boarding, a more stable ride up a river, or on ocean waters. Make sure there’s seating space for everyone; some PWC can accommodate up to four people, with ergonomically designed seating that provides lower back comfort, and an ideal seating position for the driver, especially during longer cruises. Other features for touring to consider: cruise control, Bluetooth, and speakers so your playlist adds the perfect soundtrack to the day’s journey.

Swimming and picnics

PWC swim platforms have gotten roomier and some can easily accommodate sunbathing, too. Once you find that perfect cove for a refreshing swim, you’ll want to stay for lunch. PWC designers have been quite innovative when it comes to storage for a picnic and other must-haves for a family day on the water. PWCs even offer modular seating for face-to-face picnicking and removable seating to increase the size of the swim platform.

Tubing, wakeboarding, and water skiing

Tubing, wakeboarding, and water skiing with a PWC have advantages over boats; they are quick and easy to launch so the fun happens sooner, they perform great both in shallow water and while navigating narrower canals. Take note; your PWC will need a minimum of 110 horsepower to get the job done. In BC, you’ll need to have a minimum three-seat PWC for these activities: a seat for the driver, a seat for the spotter, and a seat for the person being towed.

Fishing from a personal watercraft

Finding the fish is half the battle. Imagine fishing on a PWC that allows you to go places that the average boat can’t get to because of its size and propellers. And you’ll get there fast, too. As mentioned above, increased swim platforms mean you can also stand up while fishing. For serious fishing enthusiasts, accessories are available that will customize your PWC making it the perfect fishing vessel: rod holders, cooler/fuel racks, fishfinder tech- everything you need without the big cost of a full-sized boat.

Scuba diving

BC has some of the best cold-water diving in the world. And yes, you can dive into it from a PWC. Divers can customize their PWC with cages designed to hold tanks/equipment. There are more tips to safely dive with a PWC right here.

exciting world of personal watercraft

Speedsters and thrill-seekers

Those with a need for speed and are more into maneuverability and stunt mastery should definitely opt for the single rider, Jet-ski style of personal watercrafts. In other words: the motorcycle of the sea. Experienced riders enjoy stunts like carving, donuts, driving over the wake, wake jumping, surface 180’s, and the always thrilling back-flips. Amateur racing events are held in Florida, the Bahamas, and various European destinations. Don’t forget your watercraft helmet, life vest, and goggles!

Flyboarding and hoverboarding

If you’ve been to Osoyoos, BC or Cancun, Mexico, you’ve probably witnessed the wow factor of Flyboarding, which involves a rider in snowboard style boots, attached to a short board, which is attached to a large hose that is attached to a PWC. Using jet-driven water power from the PWC, the rider is propelled into the air and capable of performing some pretty impressive tricks. Most PWCs can easily be converted to power flyboards, and hoverboards (not as big as a snowboard) then let the head-turning, jaw-dropping acrobatics begin.

What you’ll need

Now that you’ve figured out what you want to do with your PWC, it’s time to make a checklist for some important items you’ll need to acquire:

License and registration, please

All pleasure craft powered by an engine of 10 horsepower or more are required to have a Transport Canada issued Pleasure Craft License. To operate any brand of Personal Watercraft, you must be at least 16 years of age and carry a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card with you. To learn more and obtain the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, take the boater’s exam here.
 

Boating safety courses

Increase your confidence and enjoyment when operating your new PWC by taking a boating safety course. You’ll learn valuable marine information including navigating buoys and markers, how to correctly share the waterways, proper use of safety equipment, including what to wear in a variety of conditions, and maintaining a safe environment while swimming, tubing, and water-skiing around others, etc.

Insurance coverage for personal watercraft 

If you own your personal watercraft (PWC), you’ll want to know about all the ways your PWC policy allows you to stay protected, including bodily injury, property damage, and theft.
  • Personal watercraft (PWC) coverage may cover the following:
  • Bodily injury to yourself, another rider, or swimmer injured in your path
  • Property damage to items such as docks, other PWCs or boats
  • Guest passenger liability
  • Medical payments
  • Theft of your PWC

Most policies include water sports liability coverage, which provides protection when you engage in sporting activities such as waterskiing, kneeboarding, or tubing. Reliance insurance experts will help protect you and your investment.

Trailer/towing

When you enter into the exciting world of PWC’s, selecting the right trailer will be based on a few factors. If your PWC playground will mostly be on the ocean, a trailer constructed of galvanized steel will be a good choice and less expensive than aluminum. Zinc is used in the galvanizing process, and zinc will prevent the steel from corroding, keeping the trailer rust-free. If you require lighter equipment, an aluminum trailer is lighter than steel, and also doesn’t rust. Trailers are available in single and double-sized. Always make sure the trailer size will match the size of your PWC.
There are distinct advantages to making room for a personal watercraft in your garage, and one of the kinder ones is; a PWC is jet-driven, so there are no propellers to harm marine wildlife and underwater vegetation. With 27,000 km coastline to explore and over 20,000 lakes to discover, BC’s waterways will all look a little more spectacular from the saddle of your new PWC.

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