Flying on the Water with Jet Cats and Boats
Owning a Jet Boat is both a fun and a rewarding experience. Capable of reaching extremely high speeds, especially when powered by a Jet Cat turbine, driving a Jet Boat is almost like flying on water. You can use them for fishing, for pulling tubes, or for going where no other boat can go. But while owning a Jet Boat may no doubt be one`s pride and joy, it is also one`s privilege and their responsibility to operate one safely. If you want to operate a Jet Boat, you must be a responsible and careful person.
You share the water with countless other people in their own boats, so it`s up to you to be absolutely safe and to act by your own judgment.
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What exactly is a Jet Boat?
First of all, a Jet Boat is a boat that uses a pump to expel water from the back of the boat and propel the boat forward very quickly. This differs from the propeller that is used in other types of boats, such as Power Boats and Motor Boats. Jet Boats are designed to go higher speeds than Power Boats or Motor Boats; an average Jet Boat can easily attain speeds of over sixty miles per hour. Jet Boats are also sometimes more expensive in terms of both the cost of the boat itself and of maintaining it properly.
Most new Jet Boats can be found at your local dealerships for $40,000 to $70,000, more money than an average new car these days.
In addition, Jet Boats are also significantly less fuel efficient than other types of boats and require more special care to maintenance requirements to keep the boat in good condition. A Jet Cat is a turbine designed to deliver the maximum performance; these will typically run you anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, so you should probably think twice before deciding if you really need one.
In all regards, owning a Jet Boat means that you must be at your most responsible.
As long as you take the guidelines seriously, and have fun while you`re at it, feeling like you`re almost flying on the water should be one of the greatest pleasures in your life.
To be the kind of person to safely operate a Jet Boat, you must follow these guidelines very seriously:
Safety Boating Course
While this may seem like a childish piece of advice at first, it actually rings true for newcomers to the world of Jet Boating. Yes, it costs a lot of your time and money, but not only will a Safety Boating Course teach you how to boat safely and the rules associated with that, it will teach you the insides and outs of Jet Boats themselves and help you learn how they operate (as a joke, so you don`t have to read every sentence of the Owner`s Manual). You should come out of a Safety Boating Course with a much greater knowledge of and appreciation for boating safety and the fundamentals of how Jet Boats work.
Know your Boat
This may sound line-in-line with the previous guideline, but every Jet Boat is technically different. You have to know all the features and details of your particular Jet Boat and how it works. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment for boating and that your boat is legal and complies with Coast Guard rules (should be a no-brainer, right?) The last thing you want to have happen is to for your day of fun to be cut short simply because your boat wasn`t legal!
Be Aware of your Surroundings
This is perhaps the most important rule in boating, because how you act and drive the boat all relates to how you perceive your surroundings. If there are fishermen in row boats nearby, it`s probably not a good idea to create wakes and gain speeds. If the particular bay you`re in is crowded or there are people swimming in the water, you should seriously consider losing speed or keeping your distance. Also, being aware of your surroundings isn`t just limited to how many other boats or people are in the water. It certainly applies to your geographical and weather surroundings as well.
Before you go boating, you should plan ahead and see what the weather`s like.
A nice, sunny day is a beautiful time to get out there and enjoy the water, whereas a cloudy, rainy day…not so much. Also look out for shallow areas, floating driftwood or garbage (which can cause terrible damage to your pump if it is caught), and again, other boaters and swimmers.
Obey the Signs
If you see any signs posted, obey them.
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous guideline about knowing your boat to make sure you don`t break the law, but too many people disregard the signs by the water as mere guidelines rather than actual rules. They are laws set in place either at the local, state or federal level and if you are caught breaking them, your boat ride will be cut short. Don`t ride into any waters with a “restricted” sign nearby.
Allow Enough Time to Stop
Whether you`re coming into shore, swimmer in the water suddenly pops up, or another boat (with a crazy driver) suddenly zooms past, having the ability to stop is critical. A good tactic for this is to find water that`s deserted of other boaters and swimmers and practice going high speeds and then slowing down. Also practice slowly coming into shore.
Wear a Life Vest
As you can see, Jet Boats are vehicles that are a great privilege to be able to own and great fun for out on the water, but owning one means being a responsible person. As long as you follow the above guidelines seriously, you should have a fun and safe time out on the water.