This article was posted on our original site in the fall of 2017. The original comments did not carry over. :(
It can be done!
It feels like it's been a lifetime since we've owned a boat. Counting back from the day I think we sold Rhumb Line, it's been roughly ten months. But, the boat sat on the hard for the last seven months we owned her, leaving us closer to a year and a half without the freedom of cruising the Chesapeake Bay on our own. On the other hand, some could easily say we have been unshackled from the burden of the cost of boat ownership, thus saving thousands in the past ten months. To us, money is of no concern when it comes to having our own boat that affords us the thrill of exploring the bay all on our own!
To me, the scariest burden of owning a boat has always been the threat of sinking. Following very closely behind sinking; an engine suddenly falling silent in a busy, narrow channel. Rhumb Line, at 40 years old, kept these two fears at the front of my mind any time we were out of a boat hook's reach of the dock. Two things eased my worrying mind enough to take the chance of leaving the safety of the dock: BoatUS membership, and having the Sea Doo in tow behind us.
At 130 horsepower, the Sea Doo is powerful enough to tow just about any boat on the water. I once towed a 40ish foot sailboat that had run aground in the West River. The Sea Doo struggled to get the big boat off the bottom, but it did it. The tow to the fuel pier was uneventful from there. Imagine what the bigger personal water craft (PWC) out there can do with as much as 300 horsepower!
In addition to being a great tow vehicle if...ahem...when needed, the jet ski comes in handy in many other situations. For one, sometimes sailing gets boring. Especially cruising. You are at the mercy of the weather, wind, and tide, and if they aren't lining up for you, 30 miles on the Chesapeake Bay can take ten hours to cover. Might as well take turns doing 60 mile per hour circles around the sailboat!
Secondly, a PWC can reach distances most powerboats can't match in as short an amount of time. Want to run up to Vera's on the Patuxent River from Solomon's Island for an orange crush at the tiki bar? That trip could take hours on a sailboat, but only a matter of minutes on the wave runner.
And just like a tender or dinghy, the Sea Doo is great for tooling around ports and harbors. Just remember to enjoy sunset back at the boat, because in the US you can't ride a PWC after sunset. And ALWAYS wear your life jacket while riding, no matter what! Not only is it the law, it just makes sense. You don't want to look like you don't have any sense, do you?
It's worth noting that PWC's aren't designed to be towed at planing speed. In the case of our Sea Doo, we aren't supposed to tow over about 13 mph. There are ways to safely tow at planing speeds on faster boats. See our YouTube video (below) on this topic for more information! And please leave a comment about your adventures on the Chesapeake Bay.
Would a PWC be nice to have along, or would it get in your way?
We are an adventurous couple exploring the Chesapeake Bay by boat, paddle board, jet ski, and whatever other means necessary!
Friends Of chessie
For the best in Chesapeake Bay liveaboard lifestyle and reviews on boating products, visit our good friends at Lifesaport (hint: say it out loud).