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PWCs A History

PWCs and Jet Ski History

PWC's: A History

A brief history of personal water craft (PWC's), Jet Ski's and Jet Skiing and PWC manufacturers: Bombardier, Kawasaki, Yamaha WaveRunners, Sea-Doo, Arctic Tigershark, Aquajet and Innespace.

A History Of PWC's And Jetskiing

A PWC (Personal Water Craft) is a type of watercraft where the rider rides or stands on, rather than inside like in a boat.  PWC's are often referred to by their brand names, such as Jet Ski (Kawasaki), Waverunner (Yamaha) or Sea-Doo (BRP).  PWC's are designed to carry between 1 person (Stand-up PWC), to upto four on a Sit-down PWC.  A Jet Ski is the brand name of Kawasaki's personal watercraft (PWC), but is often applied to any type of PWC.

The invention of both major types of personal water craft, the stand-up and sit-down models, is credited to Clayton Jacobson II of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA.  By 1965 he had produced a working prototype and a fibreglass prototype in 1966.  In the late 1960's Bombardier, founded by Joseph-Armand Bombardier as L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée in 1942 in Quebec, produced the first PWC.

Kawasaki Jet Ski History

The first Stand-up PWC, using a handlepole and standing tray where the rider stands while riding instead of sitting, appeared in 1973 and were produced by Kawasaki, when they introduced the WSAA Jet Ski 400, which featured a flat bottomed hull, and the WSAB Jet Ski 400, which featured a V shaped hull.  In 1975, Kawasaki began mass production of the JS400-A which featured an SMC hull (Sheet Moulded Compound) and a 400cc two-stroke engine.

The next model produced by Kawasaki, was the JS440 and featured a new jet pump, handlebar mounted ignition controls, and a 440cc two-stroke engine and first appeared in 1978.  The JS550, produced between 1982 and 1990, was an extremely popular jet ski, it had a 530cc two-stroke engine with a unique mixed flow pump. The first sit-down model for Kawasaki was introduced in 1989 with the Tandem Sport/Dual-Jetters (TS/DJ).

http://www.kawasaki.co.uk/jetski

Yamaha Waverunner History

Yamaha's entry into the PWC market started in 1986, with the introduction of the WaveRunner 500 which was the first st-down PWC.  In the following year, 1987, saw the introduction of the WaveJammer 500 which was a fixed steering column PWC designed for solo riding.  Yamaha's first 3 seater Waverunner was the Waverunner III 650 and was first made in 1990, in the same year they also introduced the Super Jet 650 a single rider stand-up model.

Throughout the 90's Yamaha continued to produce both sit-down and stand-up PWC's with models like the WaveRunner VXR650, WaveBlaster 700, WaveRaider 700, WaveVenture 700, and Wave Blaster II.  In 2011, Yamaha marked it's 25th Anniversay of producing PWC's.  Their 2012 range, announced in August 2012, consists of 12 models, including the stand-up Super Jet and 11 sit-down models.

http://www.yamaha-motor.co.uk/uk/products/waverunners/index.aspx

Sea-Doo History

In 1968, the first Sea-Doo PWC Jetski is launched, Bombardier left the PWC market prior to 1970 and it wasn't until 1988 that they re-entered the PWC market with a new generation of Sea-Doo watercraft.  In 1991, they introduced the Sea-Doo XP, which was a high performance runabout (sit-down PWC) and continued to be manufactured until 2004.  It was based on the original hull introduced in 1988 and it featured a 580cc Rotax engine.

In 1995 they introduced the Sea-Doo HX, another High Performance model, featuring a 85hp 720cc Series Rotax engine and Direct Action Suspension.  In 1996, Bombardier introduces D.E.S.S. (Digital Encoded Security System) technology on some watercraft models.  On February 28, a 1997 Sea-Doo GTI watercraft makes history by becoming the 500,000th unit produced in Valcourt, Québec.

In 1999 they introduced the Sea-Doo LRV, which was a four passenger PWC, at over 13ft long it is the largest mass-produced personal water craft.  In the same year the Sea-Doo GTX DI and RX DI watercraft models were equipped with new Orbital direct injection technology, which offered reduced emissions and substantially improved fuel performance. The D-SEA-BEL sound reduction system comes standard on all Sea-Doo watercraft.

In August 2001, Bombardier Recreational Products introduced the Sea-Doo GTX watercraft with the Rotax 4-TEC four-stroke engine, equipped with the O.P.A.S. (Off-Power Assisted Steering) system. The 2011 See-Doo range of jetskis and personal watercraft consists of 12 models.

http://www.sea-doo.com/

Artic PWC History

An American based company that produce Snowmobiles and ATV's, but also made PWC's.  In 1993 Arctco began it's PWC division introducing it's Tigershark Brand, however due to failing sales in the PWC market in 1998 they announced their descision to exit the PWC market beginning in Sept 1999.

Polaris PWC History

Polaris Personal Water Craft production started with the 1992 SL650, Polaris stopped making PWC's near the end of 2004.

Aquajet Corporation PWC History

Aquajet Corporation manufactures the Jetbike; a Grand Prix motorcycle styled aquatic SUPERBIKE.  The Jetbike is a cross between a motorcycle and a Jet Ski.

The principal difference between the Jetbike and all other personal watercraft is that the Jetbike has patented dual, simultaneously controlled, front and rear steering and is very narrow, like a motorcycle.

The Jetbike WX-1 comes with a 165hp 1263cc race engineered 2 stroke-engine, or a 150hp 750cc 4-stroke engine, with a 152mm Axial Flow, single stage jet pump. 

http://www.aquajet.com/

Innespace Seabreacher PWC

The Innespace Seabreacher (or Sea Breacher) is a two-seat submersible personal watercraft, designed by Rob Innes and Dan Piazza.  The are currently 3 models in the Sea Breacher Range: The Seabreacher J was designed and engineered exclusively for the recreational boating market.  The Seabreacher X is based on the dolphin inspired Seabreacher J, but it has a more aggressive Shark-style body.  The killer whale inspired Seabrecher Y is the latest watercraft to join the Seabreacher fleet.

http://www.seabreacher.com

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