I Had No Idea That My Sea-Doo Watercraft Was Invented Over 40 Years Ago


The other day when I was looking for seadoo covers sites, I started reading about seadoo history, and how the Sea-Doo (pwc) and Jet-Ski actually came about. So since I like to know why things are as they are, and where things come from, I did some procrastinating on the sea doo covers research, and kept reading about the beginnings of seadoos.

I have to admit that I’m definitely part of the older crowd now, so you would think I already know when these water machines were created. I didn’t have the money back then to even consider buying one, so in fact I didn’t pay close attention to them at the time. I had always thought that pwcs came out in the 80’s, but little did I know that was only the refinement – digging a little deeper gave me a much better picture of the early evolution.

It was actually in the mid 1960’s that the Canadian family who invented the ski-doo snowmobiles (the Bombardier family) started to think of a snowmobile type water vehicle for getting around their lake in Quebec, Canada. After starting some design ideas they ran into some difficulties, at which point they found an inventor from the US by the name of Jacobsen who was already designing a similar vehicle.

Jacobsen was interested in motorcycles and his dream was to create a machine similar to a motorcycle that would travel on water. Jacobsen and Bombardier joined forces. Before long, Jacobsen had designed the first Seadoo. Bombardier bought the rights from Jacobsen and added the signature yellow and black coloring from their famous Ski-doo snowmobiles. Bombardier also designed and manufactured the yellow and black seadoo covers. Bombardier produced these Seadoos and offered them to the market in 1968 and 1969.

The Bombardier Seadoos were limited by the market technology of the times. The 1968 engine was air cooled. This posed as a great problem as the hull wasn’t big enough to allow the proper air circulation. In 1969, the design was changed to allow a liquid cooled engine. This helped a bit there were other problems to contend with. Most of these Seadoos were sold on the east coast and used in salt water. The salt corroded everything. Apparently Jacobsen had some ideas to improve the engine and reduce corrosion but these ideas were not adopted by the Bombardier family.

After a few false starts the Bombardier family moth balled the idea of the modern day Seadoo for the next 20 years. Jacobsen bought the rights to his ideas and joined forces with Kawasaki. While at Kawasaki, Jacobsen developed the first Jet-Ski. The history of Seadoo pwc is colorful and interesting.

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