Jet skis are built for fun but they do have the ability to cover a lot of ocean. Which jet ski boasts the longest range?
Jet skis aren’t typically measured by their range capabilities, as it’s a massively hypothetical area. However, the Sea-Doo SPARK 60 HP reportedly takes the crown. Its tiny engine is extremely fuel-efficient, and estimates suggest it could cover 166 miles with a single tank of gas.
Read on to learn more about high-performance personal watercraft and their abilities.
Doing the Distance
When it comes to the maximum range of a jet ski, there are so many factors to take into account. It isn’t as simple as working out the MPG of a car, as the list of criteria is massive.
You have to consider the weather conditions and the roughness of the ocean. Then, there’s the rider’s weight, equipment, and riding style.
Have you got more than one rider on the jet ski? What are they wearing, or carrying on board the personal watercraft?
There are many customizations that occur with jet skis, including weight reduction. This would obviously increase the maximum range of the vessel, but it isn’t an official reading.
Ultimately, it boils down to working out the maximum capacity of the gas tank, and the rate at which the fuel burns. Then, you can make a rough estimation of the maximum distance a jet ski can travel.
Most jet skis on the market boast an average fuel capacity of around sixteen gallons. However, there are some that have much more than that, and others that carry dramatically less.
The smallest gas tanks tend to be less than five gallons. They can be found on cheaper, lower-end models, or on jet skis that don’t have a massive power output.
For example, the Krash range of jet skis (not the best name for personal watercraft) comes with just a 4.75-gallon gas tank. There are a series of Sea-Doo jet skis that are fairly small, being equipped with just an eight-gallon gas tank.
These minute vessels are powered by a ninety horsepower engine, one of the smallest on the market. However, they’re designed to be entry-level, underpowered, and easy to learn on.
Understandably, it’s one of these tiny-engined crafts that has the longest estimated range. The Sea-Doo Spark 60HP has a very small engine, but reportedly eats up 166 miles on a full tank of gas.
Sitting at the Top
At the top end of the jet ski spectrum are the Kawaski STX 160 and Kawasaki ULTRA 310X models. These behemoths (particularly the latter) are equipped with huge gas tanks, boasting a capacity of almost twenty-one gallons.
The STX 160 has a 160-horsepower engine, while the 310X tops out at around 310-horsepower. That difference is a huge gulf, and that alone impacts the range of the vessel massively.
For example, while the STX has less horsepower, it drives less aggressively, and therefore uses less fuel. But, the 310X can go much faster, albeit for much less time.
There’s also a considerable cost difference between the two vessels.
The 2021 STX 160, at the highest tier, started at around twelve thousand dollars. As it was more substantially more luxurious, the 310X topped out at around twenty thousand dollars.
These are obviously some of the best models on the market, boasting ample storage, Bluetooth systems, comfortable seating, and cruise control.
The Longest of the Long
There have been many world records associated with personal watercraft like jet skis. The most prevalent records involve distance travel, given that it is a considerable challenge to achieve any real mileage on a jet ski.
According to Guinness World Records, the longest distance traveled by jet ski is almost eleven thousand miles. Although, it wasn’t a simple point-to-point journey, as you might expect.
In 2006, two South African riders set out on their tuned jet skis with the goal of traveling thirteen-thousand miles. It took them ninety-five days to travel from Alaska, down to the Panama Canal.
Reportedly, they rode on the ocean for ten hours a day, averaging around forty miles-per-hour while onboard their jet skis. It was just the two of them, as they had no formal support team or back up in place.
It was a massively arduous journey, rife with struggles and tribulations. They completed the journey on modified Yamaha FX Cruiser jet skis.
Tragically, Adriaan Marais, one of the riders, went missing while diving in 2013, and was never found. Marinus Du Plessis, his partner, would continue to uphold their watercraft legacy.