Centre for Maritime Safety


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You’ll find most PWC have a steerable nozzle at the stern through which water is forced, and helping to propel the boat. The direction in which the nozzle is aimed is controlled by the handlebar or steering wheel. The nozzle is located at the aft end of the pump housing and the direction that it is pointed controls the direction of the exiting water. You should refer to your PWC owner’s manual for more specific operating instructions.

For steering control, power to the pump must be maintained. If the engine is allowed to idle or shut down during a turn, you’ll lose all power and the PWC will continue to move in the same direction, regardless of any movement of the steering controls. If you back off the throttle, the steering capability of the PWC will lessen. Make sure you give yourself plenty of room and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Some newer PWC models have off - throttle steering capabilities, which will give you enough thrust for steering when the throttle is reduced.

Others will drop rudders into the water if the jet has been idle for a certain length of time. Again, you should refer to your PWC manual to determine whether your PWC has these capabilities.

All PWC are equipped with a safety ignition cut off key called a lanyard, which is designed to stop the engine if you fall off your PWC. Lanyards are an important safety device, which can be attached to the your wrist when you’re operating the PWC or, in some cases, your lifejacket.