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Jet Ski Maintenance: Hidden Costs to Owning Your Jet Ski

Perhaps you are thinking of buying a Jet Ski but are unsure of what you are signing up for. When buying any vehicle, you need to consider more than just the price but also the after-purchase costs, such as spending on maintenance. And on fuel as well. So, the main question you should be asking is, are jet skis hard to maintain?

If you perform proper preventive maintenance regularly, then maintenance is not that expensive. Doing it yourself could run you around $50-$100 a year. And dealerships can cost upwards of $300. Another factor is what kind of jet ski you have. As one with more horsepower, it will be much harder to maintain due to the pricing.

But this is just a surface-level look at what you can expect. In the article, I will dive deeper into the jet ski maintenance cost, as well as mention some other costs and expenses when it comes to owning a jet ski. So, please read the article till the end.

Hidden Cost To Owning Your Jet Ski

Buying a Jet Ski, or any other vehicle for that matter is not the last time you will be spending money on it. Jet Skis have a few hidden costs attached to them. In this article, I will go over each one of these hidden costs in detail.

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Fuel

Fuel is a cost that you will always need to consider. After all, you need fuel to run your jet ski. Not all jet skis consume fuel at the same rate. For this reason, you need to know what the GPH of your Jet Ski is. This denotes the amount of fuel your vehicle consumes on average. 

This can change depending on how you are riding your jet ski. For those who ride the Jet Skis full-throttle, their GPH is around 10. This means that, on average, they are consuming 10 gallons an hour.

On the other hand, a more casual rider would use half of that, with their GPH being around 5. Newer models of Jet Ski are also more fuel-efficient, providing a better GPH.

On an average jet ski, you should ride your jet ski for around 30 hours a year. If you are a casual rider, you will be spending around 150 gallons of fuel. Depending on the price of gas at the time, you can expect to spend $600 or more on just fuel.

Insurance

Insurance is another important factor that you should take into consideration. It is both protection for your Jet Ski in case of accidental damage to your watercraft and fuel spill protection.

When it comes to insurance for your Jet Ski, it depends on the year, model, and make of your watercraft. Based on this, it should be around $100 to $500 annually. More expensive jet skis will also need more expensive insurance.

There are a few other things that will affect the insurance. These include modifications made to the vehicle, the engine type, and horsepower.

Maintenance 

Maintenance is one of the biggest hidden costs behind owning your own jet ski. A jet ski requires a significant amount of upkeep if you want it to last. Let us look at some of the maintenance costs.

First Service Maintenance Costs

The first service maintenance of your Jet Ski is going to be the most expensive maintenance service you will need to do. But it is also equally important, performed after around fifty hours of riding. You can also ask your dealer to schedule one for you at an appropriate time.

Though this is very costly, it also means fewer servicing trips and less spending on your watercraft. The next major service that your Jet Ski would have to undergo would be around the 100-hour mark for riding. 

This service will include an oil change as well as a general inspection of the watercraft and an inspection of the battery. The cost will vary from jet ski to jet ski. It should cost you around $300.

I recommend trying to negotiate the first service into the purchase of your watercraft from your dealer.

Oil Changes

Oil changes on the watercraft are some of the smaller services that you can perform on 4-stroke Jet Skis. On average, you can change the oil in your Jet Ski after 50 hours of riding, or once a year. 

If you can change the oil on your own, this should cost you $50. But if you are going to the dealer for a new filter and oil, it should cost you around $100.

Changing the Spark Plugs

How much you spend on changing the spark plugs depends on the kind of watercraft you have. Whether it is a 2-stroke or 4-stroke jet ski, 2-stroke Jet Skis will require 1-3 plugs, as 2-stroke can have up to 3 cylinders.

Each of these plugs costs $5, so depending on how many cylinders your Jet Ski has, it could cost you between $5 and $15.

4-stroke engines are more efficient and result in a longer lifespan for your spark plugs. However, they are also more expensive, each costing you $10. So, you would need to spend a total of $40 on it. 

Battery Maintenance

When it comes to the battery of the Jet Ski, replacing it at an interval of 3–5 years is best. Depending on what kind of battery your Jet Ski comes with, the battery can last anywhere between 3 and 12 years. 

But it is better to be safe than be stranded in the open water. Pricing for these batteries is between $40 and $100. 

Storage

Some other costs associated with owning your Jet Ski might be storage. The best and most affordable place to store your Jet Ski would be in your garage. But not everyone has enough space in their garage.

Renting indoor storage for your Jet Ski should run you about $50-$100 a month. This price variation is due to demand. Outdoor storage can run you around $25, but it lacks the same security as having it stored indoors. 

A more expensive option would be to store it in the marina. The advantage of having it stored at the marina is the ease of accessibility. This can run around $1000 annually, so unless you have money to spend, I would recommend against it.

Accessories

Accessories are another thing that most new buyers will not consider. One of the most important accessories for any jet ski is your life jacket. Not only will it save your life, but you are also required by law to have one.

 Another important purchase would be a dry box for your phone and other electronic devices. This will protect them from getting wet. Keeping your phone safe is very important when on the water in case you need to make an emergency call.

If you ever get stranded on the water and you can’t seem to make a call, paddling to shore might be your only option. Under those circumstances, you have a collapsible paddle. This allows you to make it to shore. 

There are many other accessories on the market that you can investigate purchasing based on your needs. But I would recommend getting these three as they ensure your safety.

Final Thoughts on Maintenance and Hidden Costs

In this article, I answered the question: are jet skis hard to maintain and what kind of maintenance cost would they have? I went over these in detail, providing you with an estimated price based on the kind of Jet Ski you would be using. 

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Written by Water Diversions

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