Jet Ski Shallow Water Operation ????
I am considering the purchase of my first ski and have alot to learn. Besides just riding and having fun I would like to use the ski to fish the shallow water flats in the Florida Keys.
Frequently there is floating grass on the surface. Will the ski pick up the grass and clog up? How shallow of water can the ski operate in without causing damage from sand, grass, etc? Is it risky to operate in shallow water or does it shorten the life of the engine/pump? Maybe I would be better off with a boat.??????
i read somewhere that they can operate normally (on the plane) in 6inches of water, once u get off the plane, the ski sinks a bit and will probably hit, u will probably suck the grass straight through although if ur unlucky it will go through ur cooling and clog it up.
You do not want to use your ski in this type of area it will suck up the grass and then you will have to get off and clear it.You can ON PLAIN skim shallow water but it not a good idea.Getting a rock,sand and small stones in to the pump isnt a good thing and can and will cost a lot of money to get it fixed.
You can physically operate the ski (mostly at idle) until the hull of the ski bumps on the bottom. But this, or any type of acceleration in shallow water is a great way to suck up sand, rocks and debris all of which will be very destructive to the pump.
The worst are rocks that make it through the impeller, but not the stator and get trapped in the pump (Don't ask how I know...let's just say - In Kansas, it wouldn't be uncommon to see a body of water 1/2 mile wide that you could walk across)
If you absolutely must use a jet ski, I'd recommend an older model that will be lower cost to fix the pump when damage happens, and bring along a good set of tools.
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Re: Jet Ski Shallow Water Operation ????
You are def. better in a pwc for shallow water. You dont have a lower unit hanging down and you also dont have to worry about your cooling impeller failing because of sand injestion.
Originally Posted by Davex1
My riding spot is a huge grass bed probably a mile square. I have no problems riding there. Even if it is 2 or 3 feet deep. The grass is not much of a problem. I sometimes get a clog and have to clear the pump. Not a big deal you can feel the difference in performance of the ski.
The other thing I always suggest is to have your bypasses where you can watch them. I always keep one eye open to make sure I am not clogged.
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The manual recommends 36 inches of water minimum. It doesn't however, state if this is on plane or off. I've found that I haven't sucked up any flotsam, the only stuff I suck up is the stuff that is actually growing from the bottom.
Call me odd, but I prefer to use a small flat bottom boat like a whaler on the flats. If you hit sand with your prop, it's not a big deal because it just plows through it. Worse case scenario is that you have to replace a prop every now and then for under 100 bucks. Just don't hit anything large enough to mess up the lower unit.
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I'd say you need at least 18 inches of water to be able to float/push the ski easily. So this is a safe depth.
get a boat w/ a adjustable trim system on the engine you can control urself, i got a bass boat that i can go across shawlow water i can literly get out and walk accross, like 4-5 in.
Hey man I'm on the southwest coast of Florida and I know what kind of grass you can get into. I ran my ski into one of these patches and didn't realize it until I pulled it out. BIG clump of grass stuck in the intake. The ski was acting funny and I couldn't get it up to full speed (10mph slower). I hope I didn't hurt it. Since my ski is a 3seater, it's a bit difficult to reach underneath and pull the grass out in shallow water, but it can be done. The problem is I only hit a little patch of grass. If you were to ride in all grass you'd totally clog the intake. There might also be some restrictions in fishing in the flats or by Mangro trees... check out the local laws.
It's all no-wake around these areas by me, so it would be a poor use of a jetski made to go 60mph to just idle into these fishing spots.
I got yelled at by a fisherman in the keys for operating the ski in the flats (Wansn't even going fast). He threatened to call FMP on me claiming it was illegal and that FMP regularly ticketed people for it. Might want to double check the local laws. I didn't hang around long enough to confirm his claim.
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