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Another key element in BWC jet boats is stick steering. There’s no wheel. A long lever directs the pivoting jet nozzle. While setups vary, with most sticks, pushing forward turns the boat to port and pulling back turns to starboard. Just like most yacht club launches.
With 12 inches of throw in both directions, the farther you move the lever, the sharper you turn. If you let go, the sticks stay put.
“We like stick steering because it offers a more positive feel and the boat responds more quickly to steering input,” Campbell explained.
Maybe, but it definitely takes some getting used to. Johnson let me take the helm in calm water, and it proved to be a difficult learning experience for both of us. I nearly beached his boat twice before I gained any real type of feel for the stick or throttle.
With a jet boat, you can’t steer without throttle, since the directional jet thrust is what turns the boat. Yet with excessive throttle, you might build too much speed and slide into a rock. Chop the throttle and you lose all control.
“It’s definitely a balancing act,” said Johnson as he happily returned to the captain’s seat. “You need to maintain enough throttle to stay in control and make headway, but also hold some in reserve in case you need to get out of trouble quickly.”