Personal Watercraft 101: Types & Uses

Aug 22, 2017 | Boat Rentals | 0 comments

When folks think of watercraft, they tend to think primarily of boats. But if you have excluded personal watercraft (PWC), you have missed the big picture and limited your fun significantly. To broaden your scope, we would like to give you a crash course in personal watercraft 101: types and uses.

A PWC is a jet propelled recreational boat commonly known as a jet ski, which it’s primary propulsion system is regarded as an inboard jet drive. As you would expect, this jet propulsion system is able to provide power from 60-300 horsepower. But don’t let the term ‘personal’ fool you. Due to the inboard drive system, the PWC is included the USCG’s boaters description of inboard vessels less than 16’ feet in length. Therefore, governed under those boating regulations.

PWC’s can be ridden by either sitting or kneeling, but there are a few with a standing variation and passenger capacity varies by model and desired function. However, most are available models are 2 – 3 passengers from leading PWC manufactures like; SeaDoo, Kawasaki, Polaris, TigerShark and Yamaha – with SeaDoo ahead of it’s time. These unique watercraft can perform freestyle tricks and towing watersport accessories. Many have gained popularity and superior technological advancements over the years with features like improved steering, braking, visibility and overall performance.

Personal watercraft are divided into 5 basic performing categories – each with their own unique abilities. Quality characteristics including intelligent braking and reverse (iBR), cruise control, intelligent throttle modes like touring, sport and Eco on SeaDoo PWC’s are a perfect example. To determine which best suits your needs, find the appropriate category classification below.

Rec Lite

This category is a relatively new one. Leading the industry charge, is the popular lightweight SeaDoo Spark – designed for the trickster. The rec lite shows off your playful style by performing precision maneuvers like tail stands, nimble flips, and 360 spins without sacrificing power However due to it’s light weight, the rec lite is not conducive to rough waters.


Recreation models offer more comfort, weight and speed. Horsepower can vary between 110-165, which translates to the ability to reach 50 mph. More than enough to get your afterburners toasty. Many offer braking and neutral switches to make docking a lot easier and overall seating comfort is better than the rec lite, but not as plush as luxury.


The performance category has a maximum speed of 70 mph – the fastest any jet ski can go straight out of the box – with all the comfort and spiffs of the recreation category.

Sport (available only from SeaDoo)

Made for serious watersport goers, the SeaDoo Wake models feature Tow Sport options enabling you to tow wake boarders, skiers and tubes. Additionally, you can opt for Ski Mode and  cruise control in luxury models.


Do you want it all from high speed and towing package, plush comfort and sleek styling with retractable dock line and depth finders to cruise control and reliable stability? Then the luxury PWC is your dream come true!


If you’re ready to start your own adventure on a PWC on Lake Travis, contact VIP Marina Lake Travis now for available rentals!


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