The Evolution

11978First: An old concept proves successful

It has been debated when the first personal watercraft was constructed. A US patent proves that the idea of a motorised surfboard was thought of as early as 1927! It was however not until the late 1960s that the first commercial PWC (personal watercraft) was introduced to the world market, combining the elements of self-power, small size and a manoeuvrable vessel. It has been accredited as the first sit down model but had limited success. A few years later the stand-up personal watercraft made its appearance on the market. It turned out to be the first commercially successful PWC.

 

21990And then: Personal watercraft market grows

In the early 1990s, the personal watercraft quickly became very popular with the public. It became the fastest growing category in the recreational boating market and the PWC industry was for a time the fastest growing segment of the marine business. US sales of PWC peaked in 1995 with 200,000 sold.

 

3TodayNow today: Cleaner, greener and quieter

Significant progress has been made in personal watercraft technology since the late 1990s. Today PWCs are 75% quieter and up to 90% environmentally cleaner than pre-1998 models. They can accommodate up to three people, feature environmentally friendly engine technology and increased safety precautions such as impellers (covered propellers), steering enhancement and speed-limiting systems. Considering that 99% of all PWC sales are multi-person vessels and the average purchaser is 41 years old and married with children, the personal watercraft is today mainly a family vessel.