Jet skis are an excellent way to get out on the water for some leisurely fun or adrenaline-filled excitement.
New jet skis typically last for about 10 years from the date of purchase or first use, which means an average of 300 hours to enjoy zipping around on the open seas. Efficient and timely maintenance could, however, vastly prolong the life of your personal watercraft.
The average annual usage for a jet ski is about 30 hours although how it is used also contributes to the normal wear and tear.
Jet Ski Engines
When querying the longevity of jet skis, the question comes down to how long the engine can remain at peak performance.
There are two different types of jet ski engines on the market – two-stroke engines and four-stroke engines.
A four-stroke engine will potentially last up to 350 hours, while the two-stroke variety can get up to 150 hours.
Yamaha, who manufactures the brand Waverunner, provides a guarantee on engines for new purchases of PWC of 175 hours of operation or 30 months from the date of purchase.
Naturally, maintenance plays a huge role in how long the engines last as well as how well they perform and Yamaha also gives guidelines on this aspect as well.
As previously mentioned, careful and timely maintenance and care of your jet ski can prolong its life and preserve its value. This also decreases costs associated with any potential repairs which could arise as a result of use.
Daily and seasonal maintenance ensures that the jet ski runs as it should and reduces some of the safety risks associated with operating it.
Frequent use exposes the jet ski to flooding – when it takes on water – and corrosion of certain parts including the engine.
Owners are strongly recommended to carefully flush the PWC of excess water after each use, as well as change the oil after every 50 hours of use.
Maintaining the jet ski’s battery guarantees peak performance and minimizes corrosion. All in all, seasonal maintenance costs average about $100 on each occasion.
Carefully adhering to basic safety and operation rules as well as appropriate storage and towing as necessary will also lend years to the enjoyment of your jet ski.
Used Jet Ski Considerations
Depending on the type and brand, a new jet ski can cost as much as $20,000. If you do not have the means or the desire to sink this amount of money into a hobby, then pre-owned jet skis might be a viable option.
When purchasing a used jet ski, a potential owner should be interested in its maintenance record as well as its low hours. The hours of use may be easily checked on some models by the hour gauge on the dashboard.
The absence of an hour gauge is a strong indication that the model is an older type, which one could assume, has high hours and could be nearer to end of life.
How the watercraft has been used is less easy to determine, however, engine corrosion may be checked by an authorized repair person.
A faulty or corroded engine not only slows the performance of the watercraft, but it also presents significant personal safety concerns in the event of engine failure while out on the water.