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Marine

BomBoard adds power and performance to its modular PWC

A year and a half ago, BomBoard introduced a prototype of what was billed as the world's first modular personal watercraft, weighing in at a total assembled weight of 150 lbs (68 kg) and kicking out around 40 hp. The company took what it learned from that model and will be launching a new version with a larger engine and other upgrades, resulting in an almost entirely new and more powerful machine.Read More

Marine

Gibbs high-speed amphibious motorcycles – ride straight into the lake and out again

Serial amphibian creator Alan Gibbs has used the American International Motorcycle expo in Florida to launch three new outrageous recreational vehicles. Not satisfied making ridiculously fun-looking amphibious quadbikes, cars and trucks, Gibbs has now built two-and three-wheeled motorcycles that you can ride straight down a boat ramp into the water. At the touch of a button they convert to jet skis, retracting wheels out of the way and switching to jet propulsion. There’s almost no delay – the switch from road mode to water mode is done in less than 5 seconds, so you barely even lose momentum as you ride in or out of the water.Read More

Marine

Experimental Jet Blade personal watercraft features tilting front suspension

A team from Calvin College, Michigan, is trying to put the "ski" back in "jet ski" with a unique kind of personal watercraft (PWC) that features three skis, a tilting front suspension system and a 650cc engine. Inspired by the dual-ski Wetbike of the 1970s and 80s, and perhaps a little by the bizarre Watercross racing movement, the Jet Blade team has completed prototyping and preliminary water testing.Read More

Marine Review

Review: Sea-Doo Spark, the jet ski that might save the industry

The PWC market has been in decline for a number of years, possibly because jet skis have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry that they've stopped appealing to younger folk. Sea-Doo is starting to turn that around, though, with the release of the Spark. Half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange jet ski, the Spark delivers 90 percent of the fun of a more expensive PWC in a way that's much more accessible and attractive to newcomers … and burns nearly ten times less fuel than the big boys. If it's newbies the Spark is hoping to attract, then we've got a total newbie on the team to test it. The completely inexperienced Loz Blain and the moderately experienced Noel McKeegan take to the water to see how she goes. Rejoice, dear readers, that Loz didn't fit into a wetsuit, and is thus not depicted in skin tight clothing.Read More

Marine

Belassi B3R Sport: The world's most powerful PWC

Seven years ago, Gizmag's Mike Hanlon made a bold prediction: the 400-horsepower PWC cometh. With Benelli's top of the line V6 jet ski smashing out some 342 horsepower, and a series of supercharged Hondas, Sea-Doos, MV Agustas and Kawasakis nipping at its heels, it seemed a horsepower war was brewing. But in the aftermath of 2008's global financial system collapse, it seems things have gone back to slightly more sensible levels. We say *more* sensible, because Benelli has just rebranded its PWC business as Belassi and built a brand new, turbocharged engine pounding out 315 horses to take the mantle of the world's current reigning production PWC horsepower champion. It's not the 400-horsepower beast that Mike feared, but it still looks like a heck of a fun way to burn petrol.Read More

Marine

Wokart: The 70 km/h go-kart for the water

The Wokart is a featherweight asymmetric catamaran with a centrally-located 70 hp outboard motor that's designed to have the driving characteristics and power-to-weight of a go-kart. The automotive seating and controls make it just like driving a car ... and in four years of development and testing, no-one has flipped one over. Production begins next month and at €20,000 it offers all the fun of a PWC with a fraction of the environmental footprint. Unlike most toys, a horsepower upgrade is as simple as bolting in an 85hp motor, which makes it "unsuitable for the general public," a nice way of saying, "you can't handle this."Read More

Marine

Asap: An electric alternative to the Jet Ski

Frankly, what I know about water sports can be written on the dorsal fin of my imaginary surf board (what do you mean they don't have dorsal fins?), but I'm not going to let that stop me telling you a bit about Asap, an electric watercraft which combines elements of Jet Skis, body boards and catamarans. Read More

Marine

WaveJet - a motorized surfboard for big waves

In order to surf those massive walls of salt water known as big waves, brave surfers usually need to get towed in by a personal watercraft (PWC). This presents some logistical problems (i.e. having to bring a buddy along to tow you around all day). The WaveJet gives you the power you need without requiring a large tow-in vehicle or separate person. Read More

Marine

EXOCONCEPT takes a distinct position on personal watercraft

Of the various water toys for big boys that were unveiled at last week’s Cannes Boat Show, one of the more intriguing was the EXO, from French company EXOCONCEPT. Perhaps the best way of describing it would be to say that it’s like an electric Jet Ski, but the rider lies down on top of it in a prone position, instead of sitting on it.Read More

Military

'Blackfish' robotic jet-ski to bolster port security

Currently being developed by defense contractor QinetiQ in collaboration with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), "Blackfish" is a robotic jet-ski designed specifically to patrol harbors and search for underwater intruders. The remote-controlled craft carries an array of sensors that allow it to "see" under water and can travel at speeds of 40 mph (64 km/h) as well as tracking at lower speeds than conventional jet-skis.Read More

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