Personal watercraft

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**History and Development:**
– Water scooters were first developed in the UK and Europe in the mid-1950s.
– The Sea Skimmer was introduced in 1961.
– Clayton Jacobson II developed the first stand-up prototype in the 1960s.
– Bombardier designed the first PWC in the late 1960s.
– Stand-up PWCs were first produced by Kawasaki in 1972.

**Sports and Competitions:**
– PWC racing competitions have several disciplines.
– The sport is ruled by the World Powerboating Federation.
– The Aquabike World Championship was established in 1996.
– National federations regulate the sport at the national level.
– Private competitions like P1 AquaX also exist.

**Uses and Applications:**
– PWCs are used for rescue operations.
– Italian police in Venice use PWCs.
– PWCs are used for fishing due to their propulsion system design.
– Lifeguards utilize PWCs equipped with rescue platforms for water rescues.
– Police and rangers use PWCs for enforcing laws in coastal waters.

**Brands and Manufacturers:**
– Personal watercraft are often referred to by brand names like Kawasaki (Jet Ski).
– Other brand names include Yamaha (WaveRunner) and Bombardier (Sea-Doo).
– Honda’s brand for personal watercraft is AquaTrax.
– Elaqua manufactures E-PWCs.
– Various manufacturers produce PWCs for different uses.

**Environmental Impact and Safety Concerns:**
– Electric PWCs were commercialized in the early 2020s.
– Gasoline engines in PWCs produce greenhouse gases.
– Gasoline engines can eject motor oil and gasoline directly into waterways.
– Electric watercraft are increasing in popularity.
– Collisions, mechanical breakdowns, orifice injuries, spinal injuries, and other hazards are associated with PWC use.

A personal watercraft (PWC), also called jet ski, sea-doo, or water scooter, is a primarily recreational watercraft that is designed to hold only a small number of occupants, who sit or stand on top of the craft, not within the craft as in a boat.

A watercraft on the Mekong River

PWCs have two style categories. The first and the most popular is a compact runabout, typically holding no more than two or three people, who mainly sit on top of the watercraft as one does when riding a motorcycle or quadbike. The second style is a "stand-up" type, typically built for only one occupant who operates the watercraft standing up as in riding a motorized scooter; it is used more for doing tricks, racing, and in competitions. Both styles have an inboard engine driving a pump-jet that has a screw-shaped impeller to create thrust for propulsion and steering. Most are designed for two or three people, though four-passenger models exist. Many of today's models are built for more extended use and have the fuel capacity to make long cruises, in some cases even beyond 160 kilometres (100 mi).

Personal watercraft are often referred by the trademarked brand names of Kawasaki (Jet Ski), Yamaha (WaveRunner), Bombardier (Sea-Doo), Elaqua (E-PWC) and Honda (AquaTrax).

The United States Coast Guard defines a personal watercraft, amongst other criteria, as a jet-drive boat less than 12 feet (3.7 m) long. There are many larger "jetboats" not classed as PWCs, some more than 40 feet (12 m) long.

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