If you are looking to invest in a personal watercraft (or jet ski) there are a variety of points that need careful consideration, such as size and type, safety, transport, insurance, and storage.
Below is a quick overview of what to look for when buying a PWC:
Top tips for buying a jet ski
- Size – A jet ski is designed to accept 1-4 passengers and the sports ready machine is even able to tow a Wakeboard, skis, or inflatable tube. So, before getting to the stage of investing in a PWC, make sure to determine the right type and size of machine to match the application.
- Safety – All modern PWC’s are fitted out with safety features to ensure the driver and passengers are kept safe at all times. A standard safety feature is a lanyard, which is needed to cut the ignition should the driver dismount.
- Specification – A jet ski is usually classified in related to the size of the engine. Hull design, engine, and horsepower will have a significant impact on the speed. A PWC with a long, wide design is able to give a more stable ride, but this shape doesn’t give the most desired maneuverability. A sportier version is narrow and short and gives much more favorable speed and handling opportunities.
Other factors include stroke type, aspiration, and fuel consumption.
Types of Jet Ski
- Stand-up – This style of Jet Ski is small in size and built with no seat and requires the driver to stand-up while riding it. A 1-person jet ski can be difficult to fully master and relies on a certain degree of athletic ability to maneuver. Solo stand-up Jet Skis are highly agile and used by those wishing to perform freestyle tricks. The stand-up machine is more practical for the thrill-seeker with a certain degree of experience.
- Sport craft – A solo sport craft is again intended for the single rider and comes with a stationary steering control and seat. The sport craft is larger than the stand-up model, but able to move quite fast and corner aggressively. This is a further type of PWC that can benefit from an experienced hand to control.
- 2-seater – A 2-seater Jet Ski has a longer hull with space for two seats, so room to accept another person. The speed and maneuverability are slightly diminished on a two-seater, but they do offer a higher degree of stability while traveling straight or making corners.
- 3 or 4 seater – A 3 or 4 seater Jet Ski is highly versatile, comfortable, stable, and a great choice for families. Common features include an enhanced suspension, cruiser seats, and navigation systems. Even thought these PWC have the longer hull and extra seats, they can still perform quite well with a single rider on-board. Plus, a 3 or 4 seater is a practical choice for towing objects like inflatable tubes.
Additional costs and thoughts
- Storage – Storage options need to be taken into account. A compact solo Jet Ski is the easiest to store at home (in the garage), while the 4-seater model will need a lot more space. So, if you are space limited for storage, it might be necessary to go for a model that offers ease in storing.
- Trailer – An appropriate trailer in aluminum or similar material is required for transporting the PWC from storage to preferred body of water. Plus, the towing vehicle will need to have sufficient capacity to tow the trailer/jet ski combination on the highway.
- Insurance – A comprehensive insurance plan for the Jet Ski is a must-have before starting out on the water. Price and cover vary significantly with the different insurance companies, so make sure to shop around.
- Fuel – Jet skis rely on fuel and costs differ based on the efficiency and size of the actual machine.
- Servicing and maintenance – A regular service from a skilled mechanic is certain to help keep the PWC in tip-top condition.
- Safety equipment – Safety gear of a desirable natural includes life jackets, gloves, slip-resistant footwear, goggles, and wet suit.
- Protective cover – PWC covers give a desired level of protection while the Jet Ski is laid up. Prolonged periods of sunlight exposure are certain to cause issues with the paintwork. Air intakes can become damaged if left exposed. Plus, a cover can protect from the elements (rain, wind, snow, etc.) if stored in an exposed area.