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Jet Ski and Sea Doo are two brand names that have become generic names for stand-up and sit-down personal water craft (PWC) respectively. But just like any other story, these two have their own stories which are closely related to each other. As you are familiar with the names today, Jet Ski is manufactured by Kawasaki while Sea Doo is manufactured by Bombardier.

Here is the brief story:

During the mid-60’s, Bombardier started a project that would create and market a personal water craft. The company lunched its first sit-down model in 1968 with the name Sea-Doo. During that time, the company already had an established market on the snowmobiles. Here, the name Sea-Doo is an altered version of the Ski-Doo (Bombardier’s brand for snowmobiles). Unfortunately, the company has pooled out the Sea-Doo from the market in 1970 just before the new line of Sea-Doo will be released.

This was because there are several problems on the design for the water craft that could not be answered during that time. Technology was insufficient then and to solve the problem means spending a lot of money and engineering, which Bombardier could not afford since the Ski-Doo was so hot in the market.

Meanwhile, as Bombardier discontinued the Ski-Doo, Kawasaki become very aggressive in developing this personal water craft.

On the early part of the 70’s Clayton Jacobson II, the man who gave a lot of inspiration to the Bombardier in term of design and personal water craft specifications, sold the rights to his patent to Kawasaki. This deal gave birth to the Jet Ski.

The Kawasaki Jet Ski was released with a little promise and gave only several hundred sold units. However, in the 80’s, the Jet Ski sales skyrocketed and sold several thousands. Here, the name “Jet Ski” has become the generic name for stand-up personal water craft.

The Bombardier had responded with the rebirth of the Sea-Doo. It did not intend to capture the market of the Jet Ski. Instead, Sea-Doo created a personal water craft that could be used by anyone (since they thought that the Jet Ski was only for athletic people). Bombardier had created Sea-Doo as a sit-down personal water craft. The design of the second generation of Sea-Doo may not be very different from its predecessor but it has already overcome their original problems.

Today, Sea-Doo and Jet Ski are two major manufacturers of personal water crafts and have eared the name on their own.

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