While renting our jet skis to tourists and local residents in Clearwater Beach, Florida, we often take a moment to educate and inform our renters on who invented the first jet ski. To make sure we had our facts straight, we searched Google and Wikipedia.
In our search, we stumbled on a great post on Explainthatstuff.com by Chris Woodford. Here’s what Mr. Woodford writes, “Clayton J. Jacobson is the man generally credited with inventing the modern PWC in the 1960s, although it’s possibly unfair to give credit to a single inventor. (Who, for example, invented the boat, the fiberglass hull, or the propeller—three other inventions on which Jacobson’s PWC was based?) If you flick your way through the records of the US Patent and Trademark Office, you’ll find quite a few personal watercraft, including the three interesting examples I’ve selected in the illustrations here. I’ve used the same color scheme to quickly give you the essence of each machine: red shows the main body of the craft; gray indicates the steering (handlebars in each case); green shows the seating area or back section; and blue shows the engine, motor, or propeller (and fuel tank).
On the top left, you can see Theodore Drake’s Aquatic Device, patented on June 16, 1942, which is a bit like a modern sit-down PWC, except the power is provided by a built-in engine and propeller, similar to an outboard motor, just in front of the driver. Underneath that, we have Julius Hamori’s Water Ski Skooter, patented July 30, 1968. Taking its inspiration from traditional water-skis and hydrofoils, it’s designed to tilt backward and plane over the surface of the waves. Power is provided by an inboard motor and propeller in the blue section at the back. On the right of the figure, we can see two drawings from Clayton Jacobson’s 1969 patent for a Power-driven aquatic vehicle (granted February 11, 1969). It contains all the key features you’ll find in a modern PWC, including an internal combustion engine, handlebar steering, water-jet power, and a two-part hull that sits partly above and partly below the water (enabling you to stand up while you drive).”
At White Knuckle Water Sports of Clearwater, we use Yamaha Wave Runner (PWC) that are maintained by our own maintenance crew to ensure that all jet ski rentals are as flawless as possible.
To rent a jet ski in Clearwater, call us at 727-373-6655 or book a jet ski rental, by the hour or for a tour, on our website: www.whiteknucklewatersports.com