In 1967, Inventor Clayton Jacobsen took his original ‘sit-down’ design and patent to Bombardier, to license as a boating product. It was a sit down style of boat, yellow with black accessories. There were under 100 units in production with Bombardier, which unfortunately never took off in terms of recreational consumers interest. The original model contained an 18 hp (13 kW), 318 cc Rotax, air-cooled engine, in all honesty its still the same concept, just with increased technological advantages.
The patent then reverted back to Mr. Jacobsen from Bombardier after they declined the project for further production in 1971. Mr. Jacobsen returned to the drawing board and designed a product that he felt would better suit what operators would possibly be interested in purchasing. The day after the first patent expired he went into a partnership with Kawasaki and sold off his patent rights to them.
He developed a stand-up personal watercraft like his original concept design, which Kawasaki branded the JET SKI. The difference between his first design was that this stand up featured a collapsible vertical pole which dropped down onto the deck of the craft resting on the engine hood. The design was meant to be for a more personal craft and had room for only one person typically in a kneeling or standing position.
A lawsuit would ensue that last many years in litigation. Jacobson and Kawasaki created six different prototypes in 1972, before bringing two to market in 1973, the WSAA and the WSAB models. More to come soon...