The First Ride

I posted this on the Jet boat board after the first ride.

I put the boat in the water yesterday! The engine is back together, the wiring is fixed, I replaced the ski rope on the winch with real cable, charged the battery, changed the trailer bearings, etc, etc. I ran the engine for a couple seconds on the trailer to make sure it would start, and I didn't have any more excuses.I launched it, got the engine started, but could not back away from the dock. When I pulled the control back the engine revved up, but the boat didn't go anywhere. I finally pushed it back from the dock out in the water, pushed the control forward, and off we went. The speedo is broken and I didn't bring the gps, but it felt like about 45mph at 4000 rmp. The impeller looks really worn from what I can see of it through the grate and nozzle.So when the throttle is all the way forward, the diverter is about 3/4 up. It slowly goes up as I push the throttle forward. When I pull the throttle back, the diverter goes about 3/4 down, but the boat doesn't reverse. The guy I bought the boat from had had new cables put on it, is it possible they need adjusting? What should the diverter travel be like? Thanks for any info. Can't wait to take it out this weekend.

Then I got this response from Jim Lee:

You're serious? They hooked the diverter to the throttle? Its the previous owner, I tell 'ya!

Lets get some terms defined.

REVERSE GATE: This is the metal flapper thing that coloses off the nozzel outlet. Closing off this outlet, forces the water to come out the bottom and forward, giving reverse. 1/2 closeing it gives something like nutural. 1/2 and 1/2 goes nowhere.

DIVERTER: Optinal doohickicky that adjusts the nozzle itself up and down. This controls the ride trim of the machine and allows shooting roosters. You may, or may not have a diverter.

CONTROL LEVER: Controls the reverse gate. Forward, nutural-ish, backwards.

THROTTLE : Typically a foot throttle like in a car.

You need to be able to control the engine (gas) without changing the reverse gate. Or, this thing just isn't going to be much fun.

Now, using these terms tell us -exactly- what is going on? Is the throttle hooked to the control lever? That -should- have been hooked to the reverse gate? Or, do you really have a diverter and the control lever is controlling that?

Do you have a foot throttle? Or is it also hooked to the control lever?

-jim lee

And my response:

Oh, okay. I was using the wrong words. Yeah, I have a diverter, it's controlled by a lever (says Place on it) on the floor. Works fine, I can feel the boat pitching up and down as I adjust it.

There's also a reverse gate and a control lever for it mounted on the inside of the boat by the steering wheel. No foot throttle, instead the throttle is incorporated into the control lever (says Morse on it). I pulled the control lever apart, and there's a fancy linkage in it. The linkage raises the reverse gate and opens the throttle when the lever is forward, lowers the reverse gate and opens the throttle when the lever is back, and closes the throttle and lets the gate go up and down when the lever is in the intermediate position. There's an unmarked knob on the control that rotates as you move the throttle, and something that looks like a reverse lockout on the front, that doesn't move. I just took the boat back to the storage yard, or I'd take a picture of it. I'll get one this weekend.

It's kind of exciting when you pull the control lever back, and the engine revs and the boat shoots forward. Really makes those jet ski boys jump out of the way. I can see the point of having separate throttle and reverse gate controls. I wasn't able to make the boat back up, even with the engine running almost wide open. And I have to open the throttle pretty wide to get the engine started, so when it does catch the reverse gate is wide open, and the boat really starts to take off. The fisherman on the dock wouldn't look directly at me, but he kept watching me out of the corners of his eyes. I think it made him nervous when I kept banging into the dock. I was paying close attention to everything I was doing, so that later on I would be able to remember where it all went wrong. But I ran the boat, and got it back on the trailer without it sinking or catching fire. Only problem is that I only filled the gas tank on one side, so the boat is cocked at a 20 degree angle on the trailer because it was listing to one side. I'll take a video camera next time.