Steering and Stopping a PWC
- PWC are propelled by a jet drive where water is drawn into a pump and then forced out under pressure through a steering nozzle at the back of the unit. This “jet” of pressurized water is directed by the steering control—when the steering control is turned, the steering nozzle turns in the same direction. For example, if the steering control is turned right, the nozzle turns right and the jet of water pushes the back of the vessel to the left, which causes the PWC to turn right.
- The most important thing to remember about steering most PWC (and other jet-drive vessels) is that you always must have power in order to maintain control. If you allow the engine on a PWC or other jet-propelled vessel to return to idle or shut off during operation, you may lose all steering control. Many PWC will continue in the direction they were headed before the throttle was released or the engine was shut off, no matter which way the steering control is turned.
- Always allow plenty of room for stopping. You may not stop immediately even after releasing the throttle or shutting off the engine. Even PWC that have a braking system do not stop immediately. Never use reverse (if equipped) to stop a PWC because you or your passengers could be thrown from it.