Admittedly, this article is going to come off as pretty silly for most of our more “technically minded” readers. Yet, for those new to personal watercraft or are a little more timid to break out the tools and start wrenching on their brand new Yamaha WaveRunner themselves, we hope to take a little of the fear away and instill you with a bit of confidence. But first, what are we talking about?
Yamaha, unlike any other OE manufacturer, is the only brand to feature what is called a “visibility spout.” This spout shoots a pressurized stream of water vertically from a flush-mounted nozzle in the swim platform, creating a 10-foot-high rooster tail while the WaveRunner is under throttle. It’s purpose is similar to a buggy whip antenna on a four-wheeler or quad, helping nearby boaters identify the presence of the personal watercraft from a distance.
First developed for the original WaveRunner 500 in 1986, the visibility spout has remained a legacy feature for 35 years. Unfortunately, the visibility spout has also become a bit of a nuisance to enthusiasts who ride in large groups, as the spray can inadvertently cascade down into the faces of persons behind you. Equally, riding with extra fuel or a cargo rack means that the spout will blast the underside of the rack the entire day.
Thankfully, disengaging the visibility spout requires almost zero mechanical ability a few tools and a couple of minutes of your time. It begins by removing the quick release linkage attached to the reverse bucket. It’s a spring-loaded sleeve that simply slides back, releasing the ball socket mounted to the bucket. Pull that back and move the reverse cable off to the side.
Next, drop the bucket down to access the jet pump cavity. Here you’ll see a black rubber hose that connects to the jet pump up to a black plastic nozzle that mounts flush to your swim platform. With a flat-head screwdriver or a 5/16’s nut driver, simply back off the worm gear-style hose clamp until its loose. Then you can wiggle the hose free.
If your goal was to just disengage the visibility spout, you’ve done it. The stream of water will now just shoot out of the back of the jet pump. But we like being a little more thorough than that, so remove the bottom end of the hose attaching to the pump. The aluminum nipple on the pump can be plugged with a rubber cap and a hose clamp, but you’re not going to hurt anything by leaving it open. Now just move the reverse bucket back up and reattach the quick release linkage and you’re done.
But, what if you wanted to have a little fun? What if we told you that you could convert your visibility spout into a high speed squirt gun? It’s pretty easy! With the reverse bucket still down and disconnected, unscrew the white plastic retainer holding the flush-mounted nozzle to the swim platform. The two come apart easily.
Next, feed in a length of half-inch inner-diameter rubber or flexible plastic hose. We went with 8-feet of clear vinyl hose from our neighborhood hardware store. While we were at it, we also picked up a brass barbed-end male hose fitting and a regular old garden hose adjustable spray nozzle. The hose slips right over the aluminum nipple jutting out of the jet pump. Tightened that down with a hose clamp.
Next, with your hose coming up through the swim platform, install the brass barbed fitted and screw on your adjustable spray nozzle. Our nozzle hooked nicely on to the handgrips for the rear passenger.
On the water, our nozzle setup works pretty good. Obviously, at idle the pump isn’t generating the pressure necessary to shoot a decent stream, so you’re going to need to give it some throttle to really work. (Goosing the RiDE reverse throttle at a standstill works rather well.) Now around 15-to-20mph, we found we could send off a nice spray. At 30mph and above, the wind simply was turning our spray into more of a shower. Still, it’s enough to wash down your friends, so it’s a fun modification that is entirely reversible and can be installed in minutes.