Fixing the Nozzle

My friends Steve and Sue and their kids were camping at a nearby park, so I thought I'd ride the ski over to their campsite. I put it in the water, and started riding the three or four miles over through connecting canals and lakes. I was about a quarter mile away when I suddenly lost steering. The engine ran fine, but the handlebars had no effect. Of course this happened only after I got to the main lake, where there were other skis who could watch me flounder about. Now that I think about it, this only happened after I got to the main lake and started getting on the gas and doing hard turns. Anywar, I jumped in the water next to the ski, and found that the steering arm had broken off the steering nozzle. I was able to get to the campsite by hanging my feet off the back and using them to steer. I finally made it and pulled in the ski.

I borrowed a car and went to the nearby Home Depot for JB Weld. When I returned we all collaborated on the repair. Larry had the best idea. That last photo is a closeup of the repaired nozzle after I took it off the ski.

After the JB Weld had dried for an hour I tried it out. It was okay at low speed, but as soon as I started working it, it broke. So I came back in, redid the fix, sat around the campsite for a few more hours, then headed slowly back to the dock.

The next day I began looking on eBay for a replacement nozzle. I was able to find this one, with an adjustable trim. It was a simple screw-type adjustment, that could only be adjusted when the ski was stopped, but it was an improvement over no adjustment. The adjustment mechanism had broken, and been poorly repaired, but I bid $50, so I won the auction, and the nozzle arrived a week or so later.

It was about a week after that that I was able to get over to Allen's house, where I store the ski, so I could put on the new nozzle. You can see the jet pump awaiting the new nozzle, and then the installation photos. The last one shows the nozzle in place.

I took it out for a test ride, and it worked fine. I couldn't really tell whether adjusting the trim made a difference, but it was fun playing with it. Allen's grandson took it out for an hour of high-speed passes, and the trim held up to it.

More exciting jet ski news coming!