Letters to the Editor

Tips on personal water craft (over)use

Jet skis, or personal water craft (PWC), look like a blast.

Tearing up the water on a warm summer day, towing tubers, turning tight circles, jumping wakes and just playing fast on the waves is a way to get on the water without a huge investment.

While the newest models with higher prices are more for the serious users, most people I know tend to have ones that have been around a while. It seems like those screaming two cycle engines just won’t die.

Part of the fun of a PWC is the acceleration. Just as with a motorcycle or fast car, acceleration is addicting. Imagine the fun of jetting back and forth from a standing start, powering through a sharp turn then hitting the throttle hard back to where it all started. That was fun, let’s do it again — one more time, two more times, 20 more times, 100 more times. Acceleration is fun.

Now, imagine the joy neighbors and other water users receive from this show, hour after hour, circle after circle, acceleration after acceleration, all within an area equivalent to that of a city block. What is there about a PWC that is so familiar? Don’t tell me. It’s on the tip of my tongue. Wait a minute. It’s coming. I’ve got it — a chain saw!

There must be an unwritten boating rule governing PWC operating areas, something like; Ride your PWC within as small an area as possible, or ride with multiple jet skiers to amplify engine noise, or do not venture farther from where your sound may not travel back to your starting point, or do not go somewhere — anywhere where others don’t have to listen to that chain saw hour after hour. The jet skiers I know are all nice people but I think are unaware of how irritating their machines can be. Any boat performing their maneuvers close to others would probably have the marine authorities after them in no time.

If you have a PWC, go somewhere with it! Take a tour of the bay. Visit Bainbridge Island. Race down to Illahee or Suquamish. Do some donuts in one bay then hurry over to a distant bay and do some more if you want. Stop polluting countless marine enthusiasts’ pleasant afternoons and evenings with hours of chainsaw music doing circle after circle in the same place.

Boats have been travelling up and down Puget Sound and its inlets for more than 100 years. Take a hint, go somewhere. You can have fun on your machine but allow the rest of us to enjoy a tranquil summer day.

Dave Johnson


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