- Jet drives use an engine to power a strong water pump. The pump sucks up water and then forces a jet of water out the back of the boat to thrust the boat forward. Directing this jet of water steers the boat.
- Personal watercraft are the most common type of pleasure craft that use a jet drive.
- Jet drives also may power larger boats (jet boats) and are used commonly for boats designed for shallow water conditions. Jet boats can have inboard or outboard jet drives.