On The Water Swag —
The allure of being a pirate had nothing to do with stealing. Being a pirate was about swash buckle swag on the water — I was about to drive a Jet Ski for the first time! This adventure had been on my wish list for a while, so I could hardly control my excitement. I was about to become that daring pirate I imagined, fearlessly speeding across the waves performing jumps, flips and other daredevil stunts.
Putting on my lifejacket and climbing onto my Jet Ski brought me back to reality and I was soon effortlessly cruising away from the dock. Soon enough I was having the time of my life with the wind blowing in my face and adrenaline coursing through my veins.
I wanted to spend the entire day driving this machine on the bay but a PWC only has one driver, and I had to share turns with my friends. I did get to drive three times that afternoon, and by days end, I would’ve been a PWC pro except for one major mishap.
On my third ride, I was driving with confidence which unfortunately morphed into carelessness. After fiercely zooming around the middle of the bay, I foolishly decided to stop quickly. Immediately I was swamped by a big wave and flew off the Jet Ski — smack into the water. My sudden shock turned into embarrassment as I found myself helplessly floating — far away from land. Trying to flip the PWC right side up was more difficult then I imagined, but I got it done. Pulling myself aboard was exhausting. I slowly rode to shore with a new sense caution. It was clear I needed to work more on developing my PWC pirate swag factor.
Though my misadventure left me with a bruised ego, it taught me a valuable lesson. Because of my first time Jet Ski experience, I’d like to share eight things you need to do to stay safe and prepared for the unexpected while operating a Personal Water Craft.
1) Be Sure You’re Insured
If you’re renting a Jet Ski, the cost of insurance is included in the rental fee. That is, of course, if the rental company is reputable. If you’re riding a friends Jet Ski make sure your friend has insurance to cover the PWC as well as potential damage a mishap could cause to people or property.
If a Jet Ski is your first boat, you may discover you’re in over your head trying to understanding the complexities of boat insurance. Insuring any watercraft is more complicated than protecting a car or home. The crew at Brady Insurance Group are specialists in Florida boat insurance. They love making boat insurance coverage understandable and affordable.
Call now 866.764.1944 to get a Quick Quote from a real person who compares quotes, so you don’t have to. We’ll have you covered in your driveway and on the water at the lowest possible cost. Visit our boating insurance web page for a quick overview. Before you leave, download the Riding Rules for Personal Watercraft published by the Personal Watercraft Association.
2) Always Wear A Life Jacket
U.S.C.G. stats show 84% of boaters that drowned were not wearing a life jacket. If I had not been wearing my life jacket, I wouldn’t have had been able to tread water and flip my Jet Ski upright. My story would have a different ending.
3) Carry Useful Emergency Items
Waterproof storage compartments are part of most Jet Skis. Stow essential items like a first aid kit, sunscreen, and a cell phone while you ride.
4) Wear Your Safety Lanyard.
Mant PWCs have a lanyard that attaches to your life jacket or wrist. If you fall off, the lanyard will detach from the PWC and stop the engine, preventing further mishap and allowing you to safely re−board.
5) Remember You Can’t Stop On A Dime
A few years ago, Sea-Doo introduced the first intelligent brake and back-up system. A “bucket” near the jet in the back drops down, slows the boat by redirecting the water forward. It slows you down quicker than PWCs without brakes, which have to coast to a stop. But on a dime? No—so slow down.
6) Inform Others Of Your Plans
Be sure to let others know where you are going and how long you plan to be out. If there is an accident, they will know where to find you and be able to help.
7) Always Be Alert
Part of the excitement of boating is not knowing what is around the bend. To ensure the safety of yourself and others, you need to be continually conscious of many factors like the wind, waves and other boats.
8) Follow Basic Boating Rules
Know who has the right-of-way. If you’re behind another boat, know when you can pass, and how to do it safely. Obey no-wake zones and posted speed limits. Read these Riding Rules from the Personal Watercraft Industry Association. (link)
All in all, essential elements for a great boating day are being careful and responsible. It’s easy to get hooked on the Jet Ski experience. If you want swag along with fast fun, a flashy PWC is a reasonably priced way to get into boating or even add an addition to your fleet.
Here are a few personal water rockets that will turn heads and pump your heart.
With an MSRP of $5,399, the Sea-Doo Spark is an entry-level option into the PWC world with plenty of spunk. The dry weight of a Spark is 405 pounds and is available with a 60 or 90 HP three-cylinder engine. One of the 25 graphics kits is sure to express your personality. Sea-Doo says their Spark will seat 2 or 3, but I think the third person needs to be small.
Kawasaki Jet Ski STX15F
Although the cost is a bit more, this $9,699 Kawasaki is a great entry level Waverunner because its steering system is engineered to assist in watercraft handling when the throttle is quickly released at high speed. Ease of handling will help new riders learn to maneuver a personal watercraft safely. The STX 1, four-cylinder 1,498cc engine provides an exhilarating ride worth the extra cost of a first time PWC.
Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO
If you like luxury with speed over the water, then this Yamaha PWC was made for you. All the creature comforts of a yacht are packed onto this 11’8” PWC fit for three. A 1,812cc Supercharged 4-cylinder, 4-stroke engine provides all the power you can imagine. With a dry weight of 836 pounds, the FX Cruiser is on the heavy side, but that’s why there are boat trailers.
Have fun, stay safe, and protect you and your PWC with cheap boat insurance from Brady Insurance Group.