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Personal water craft (PWC), also known as jet skis, provide water lovers with the excitement of skiing down a snow-covered mountain or on water on a hot summer day. The vehicles transport easily and are light enough to load quickly into and out of the water. Because PWC are much lighter than boats, owners prefer to park them out of the water, rather than mooring them to the side of a traditional dock. Many docking systems are available for those who want to modify their existing docks to accommodate a PWC.
The Basic Dock
PWC docking systems mount to any type of existing dock. Whether the existing dock floats or is anchored into the lake bed, PWC docking and lift solutions adapt easily to the fixed dock. Some of the simplest PWC docks are made from polyvinyl buoys. Other systems provide PWC owners with smaller versions of a traditional boat lift.
A PWC drive-on dock resembles a floating mattress, composed of individual floating cells. Since the PWC don't have propellers or a keel, the PWC drives directly up onto a floating platform. The platform lifts the PWC out of the water and offers the driver a small walkway on either side of the craft. Once the watercraft is on the dock, owners tie it off with traditional mooring lines.
Dockside boat lifts are a standard mooring option for small to medium sized power boats. The boat drives into the center of the underwater lift carriage. Once the passengers debark, the entire boat is lifted from the water with a pulley and harness system. This type of lift is also available for PWC and is often used in combination with the drive-on dock. The drive-on dock is used during the day. Then at the end of the day, or when inclement weather threatens, the PWC is lifted from the water and secured via a PWC lift system.
Addons for PWC homemade docks are available to make sure that the craft enters and leaves the water safely. A small add-on lift looks like the PWC carriage on a mobile trailer. The lift has two aluminum arms that extend into the water. The PWC drives over the lift arms and the owner winches the craft out of the water. Other add-ons include mooring lines and heavy duty cleats that bolt to the side of the dock. Even when owners use a simple drive-on dock, the PWC should be tied off to protect the PWC, and for the safety of those using the dock.
Since 2003, Timothy Burns' writing has appeared in magazines, management and leadership papers. He has contributed to nationally published books and he leads the Word Weavers of West Michigan writers' group. Burns wrote "Forged in the Fire" in 2004, and has published numerous articles online. As a trained conference speaker, Burns speaks nationally on the art, science and inspiration of freelance writing.