08-05-2008, 02:52 PM #1
Welcome Flipper, stick to this forum, the members here are the most knowledgeable anywhere, and will help to make you an expert in no time!
This may not be what you want to hear, but I think it is the best, and safest thing for you...
Due to your serious lack of basic watercraft knowledge, and your friend's lack of basic watercraft knowledge, I DO NOT think you need to put your ski in the water this weekend. I mean no offense by this, I just want you to be as safe as possible.
There is a lot you need to know before attempting to operate your ski. Not only can you hurt the ski by not doing things properly, you can hurt yourself (or someone else) by not doing things properly. The most common reason for bodily injury is due to the fact that there are no brakes. You have to make sure you give yourself plenty of room to stop, since you have to coast to a stop without any brakes. The second most common reason for bodily injury is due to the fact that there is no steering ability when you let off the throttle. Most first timers panic and let off the throttle if they are about to run into something, which is very bad. You can't turn the ski if you aren't giving it gas...the water coming out of the pump is directed to either side when you turn the handle bars, if you are off the throttle, there is no water coming out to steer the ski. Then there are the many rules of the water...I believe the third most common reason for bodily injury is due to people not knowing the rules of the water. You need to know what all the buoys mean, who has right-of-way, when you can pass & on what side, etc.. These are just the major things, there are many more things that you need to know before operating and getting out on your ski. Oh, wear your kill-switch cord!
You really need to take the time to learn everything there is to know about your particular ski, and all the things about watercraft in general, especially water safety rules. You do know that you need a vessel license to operate your ski, right? You are going to need to fully understand how to fuel up your ski; what fuel to use, what oil to use, where it all goes, etc...you will also need to know at least how to perform general maintenance, for regular maintenance and in case something happens to your ski. Properly maintaining your ski will guarantee that you get the most fun and the best reliability out of it.
I can't stress enough that you learn how to safely operate your ski, and learn all the rules of the water, before you put it in. You will need to know both to keep yourself, as well as the others on the water, safe. It seems petty, but I have watched many people get hurt, and even killed, due to their lack of basic knowledge. They thought they didn't need to know anything special and just headed out on the water...never to return. I live on the river, and have a vacation house on the lake, and I have seen a lot in my years...please learn, and be careful, before heading out.
08-05-2008, 03:18 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- near Toronto, Canada
We very much want you to enjoy having a PWC, Polaris or otherwise.
The very best way to hurt yourself, others, or the machine, is to be ignorant of the ways of the marine world.
It is NOT just like a motorcycle on the water. On land, if you fall down and hurt yourself, you can lay there until someone picks you up, or until you get yourself pulled together.
On water, the water itself can kill you in seconds. One bad move or a surprise wave at speed, your head cracks against the machine (perhaps as you fall off), and you drown.
What makes these things dangerous, or safe, is the rider (you).
The more you learn, and understand, about riding on the water, the better. You will enjoy it more, and you will be MUCH more likely to be around next week to continue to enjoy it.
There is an entire forum on here dedicated to water and PWC safety, including a moderator of unparalleled experience. Read a couple of dozen threads there, to see what can happen.
Let's see if someone on here can find an owner's manual for you...
Last edited by K447; 08-05-2008 at 03:36 PM.
08-05-2008, 03:36 PM #3
ditto; slow is smooth,smooth is fast, (and a whole lot less expensive)
08-06-2008, 07:33 AM #4
check yourself on that (no license required) depending on your age and where you live/operate you may need a boater safety class/pwc certificate. example in michigan where i live, if you arent born after 12/31/1978 you must have a boating saftey certificate. that means you have to be 30 to ride without one. im 55 and have one for insurance purposes and to comply with an earlier law. also different areas may be restricted. (time of use, speeds, etc)
fines are very expensive ($100 min) and not a lot of tolerance is given in my area. if cited you may also have equipment confiscated until fine is paid (court).
so yah i think chad/447 gave you some very useful advise.
keep posting and you'll get it running in no time. greenhulk members are the most knowagable and freindly ive found anywhere.
so ck your local boat/pwc laws, most are available at dnr/bmv/bmv branches or online at your states agences.
08-06-2008, 09:01 AM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
Why do you and chad assume Im going to be some water hazard?
I'm old and Im tired. Im just going to take this ski to a little lake near here and try as best as I can to learn how to operate it as far away from anyone else as I can. The people I'm going with know how to operate the thing they just dont know how to take care of it. They've taken it out many many times. They've never had any problems with any other people on the water. It just breaks down a lot and they don't know how to fix it. Thats why I'm involved. The deal is I get it and keep it running good and all I have to do is let them use it when they want. To me it's a sweet deal. I chose not to assume they knew anything at all about the thing and came here to ask my questions. They probably know how to fuel it. I just wasn't willing to trust them to know so I didn't ask them. I asked here.
Don't beat me up ol man
08-06-2008, 09:41 AM #6
08-06-2008, 09:58 AM #7
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
well yes I stated they know less "about maintaining the ski" I never said they didnt know how to operate it in the water...
anyways I get what you all are saying but youre mistaken about me and my friends. Im 41 and over the top on safety. My kids think Im Mr spoil all the fun, and my friends arent maniacs either. There wont be any flips or high speed turns and if I see anyone 1/2 mile from any other people Ill probably be yelling at them and when they dont listen the ski will be going on the trailer. Its probably more likely that some of the people on here "the people that think they know what they are doing" that Ill be worried about running into me while Im trying to mind my own business and quietly learn how to operate this thing in a quiet corner of the lake. I know I have a lot to learn but Ill never learn until I put it in the water. Im also not an idiot or foolish.
perhaps due to your friends accident recently its just a sensative area
I can understand that.
thanks again for your help!
Here is the law where Ill be going...(so people will stop telling me to go get some license I dont need)
Restrictions on operation
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to:
- Operate a personal watercraft unless he is at least sixteen years of age, except any person fourteen or fifteen years of age shall be allowed to operate a personal watercraft if he (i) has successfully completed a boating safety education course approved by the Director and (ii) carries on his person, while operating a personal watercraft, proof of successful completion of such course. Upon the request of a law-enforcement officer, such person shall provide proof of having successfully completed an approved course;
- Operate a personal watercraft unless each person riding on the personal watercraft is wearing a type I, type II, type III, or type V personal flotation device approved by the United State Coast Guard;
- Fail to attach the lanyard to his person, clothing, or personal flotation device, if the personal watercraft is equipped with a lanyard-type engine cut-off switch;
- Operate a personal watercraft on the waters of the Commonwealth between sunset and sunrise;
- Operate a personal watercraft while carrying a number of passengers in excess of the number for which the craft was designed by the manufacturer; or
- Operate a personal watercraft in excess of the slowest possible speed required to maintain steerage and headway within fifty feet of docks, piers, boathouses, boat ramps, people in the water, and vessels other than personal watercraft. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a personal watercraft from towing a person with a rope less than fifty feet in length
A person shall be guilty of reckless operation who operates any personal watercraft recklessly or at a speed or in such a manner as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person, which shall include, but not be limited to:
- weaving through vessels that are underway, stopped, moored or at anchor while exceeding a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time;
- following another vessel or person on water skis or similar device, crossing the path of another vessel, or jumping the wake of another vessel more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vessels and the traffic on and the condition of the waters at the time;
- crossing between the towing vessel and a person on water skis or other device; or
- steering toward an object or person and turning sharply in close proximity to such object or person in order to spray or attempt to spray the object or person with the wash or jet spray of the personal watercraft
Last edited by Flipper; 08-06-2008 at 10:12 AM.
08-06-2008, 02:29 PM #8
I'm into this sport about 14 months. In that time, I KNOW that I've avoided costly mistakes due to the selfless people on this board, BUT at the same time I've had close calls mechanically and with safety in spite of my desire to do it right.
Everytime I pull into the boat ramp, I ask my kids "what's the number one priority today?" "Safety!" they reply. "What's the second priority?" "Fun!!". When we're all done and driving away I tell them how proud I am that they accomplished our safety, then fun goals.
It's the "I don't know what I don't know" factor that bites us all when we're new. For example, if a newbie doesn't understand a ski's engine cooling system, then motoring through the weeds may seem like fun watching them get thrashed by the prop. Or someone who doesn't take a tow line with them and doesn't have a buddy nearby is likely one day to be stuck in the middle of a lake or river or ocean totally at the mercy of the weather and circumstances and a setting sun.
All the best intentions are great but the best safety net is a vast knowledge of everything involved in skis in particular and boating in general. The beauty of a board like this is that you don't have to make our mistakes. We might seem like mother hens, but that is because we've learned the hard way here and there.
So you are reading very passionately here to be extra cautious about riding, not because we don't think you have what it takes, but only because we know from our mistakes that jetskiing and boating are minefields to the unaware. We've all had close calls and know people that have been injured or worse with jetskis or blew $1000's on a blown motor or smashed hull.
On the other hand, we had some of the best fun money can buy!! Enjoy your ski, and enjoy the fact that on this board is whatever you are looking for...ideas, solutions, friendship, etc, and know that everyone here is passionate about skis!
08-06-2008, 03:20 PM #9
The only reason we all said what we did was because of your own admission to your lack of boating knowledge and skills. Being 41 and a safety maniac does not over-ride never having been on a PWC before. You can be 100, and the safest person in the world, but if you do not know the basics of operating a PWC, you can get hurt. Jumping on a PWC with no knowledge of how to operate it can only end badly...we are just trying to protect you. "Learning as you go" is not the safest way to learn how to operate a PWC. You need to learn and understand the basics while still on dry land, and then apply them on the water, further improving your riding ability. We are not just harping on you...we are simply trying to protect you, keep you and all others safe, and make sure you have a good time (without any accidents). Simply assuming your age and [non-pwc] safety record are enough to keep you safe on something you don't know how to [safely] operate is actually taking safety for granted, and taking safety for granted is just asking for injury. We are also trying to make sure you understand how to properly maintain the PWC, as it is not very difficult to damage it...and since you admitted to knowing absolutely nothing about them, we want to help you learn everything we can teach you.
Now, I am not some maniacal safety freak...in reality, I am a bit lax on PWC safety, as I ride very aggressively and often take chances I shouldn't. I am telling you this so that you don't think I am just some safety-crazy freak who is harping on you about being safe. I just want you to understand that there is a lot more to riding a PWC than jumping on it, hitting the gas, and learning as you go...things can quickly go wrong that way.
For instance (and this is an instance that fits you perfectly); My next-door neighbor at the lake was 53 years old, never had a ticket or wreck in his life, and was a stickler for general and water safety. His Grand-kids were required to wear life-jackets whenever they were in the water, and he always made sure his boat (or anyone's boat) was never over-loaded, both weight and persons capacity. Well, he decided one day that he wanted to get a couple of skis for himself and his family, so he bought two Yamaha WaveRunners (3-seaters). Because he wanted to make sure they were safe enough for his family, he took one out for testing in front of our houses. He got it cranked up, and bumped into the pier a few times, but he finally managed to get it away from the pier. For some reason, he then nailed the throttle, and was heading straight back toward the pier. When he got too close to the pier, he panicked, and immediately let off the gas. With no power, he had no steering, and slammed into the pier at approximately 35mph, face-first...the ski went under the pier, but his face didn't. The paramedics said he most likely died instantly. To make things even worse, his 51 year old wife, 28 year old daughter, 32 year old son-in-law, 8 year old grand-son, and 6 year old grand-daughter watched it happen. They will probably be haunted by his disfigured and bloody face for the rest of their lives. I am sure that, just like you, he thought his age and safety conscience was enough to keep him safe...he was wrong, dead-wrong.
08-06-2008, 04:52 PM #10
That's a sad story...
I nearly broke my kneecap when I hit a canal wall and had a few close calls with other skis that no one intended, no one was being reckless, just luck of the draw stuff. My wife's cousin was new and I gave him a thorough checkout and he was doing great, taking it easy, then later I see him with the ski totally out of the water on the canal bank. No injury to him, but my hull was damaged badly and took a long time to fix. A friend of mine had one of his kids nearly kill the other from reckless riding. I've seen first-timers at the dock put skis in without the hull plugs in or pull skis out of the water without strapping it to the trailer at all.
More than likely, the biggest risk is to the motor, especially two strokes. Oil issues if not understood will destroy the motor. You can quickly learn the handling quirks of skis (no steering at idle, more steering at full throttle) in a couple hours of practice, but mechanical issues will eat you alive without knowing how these things are cooled or lubed.
And also, threads like these serve to educate newbies into eternity so much of what is said is said with that in mind. I used to literally read every Polaris thread for months just trying to build my base knowledge. I also read the service manual cover to cover to unlock insights. You've come to the right spot! Maybe you never thought that jetskiing would be this serious, but what you're seeing is passion for a great sport.
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