9th July, 2019
by Sutton Harbour Group
Summer has finally arrived and we can’t wait to dive head first (figuratively) into some fun water-based activities. Jet skiing is one of the most popular watersports and a great summer activity. Many holidaymakers rent a Jet Ski when they’re abroad, race around the sea and pretend to be in an action movie. A few then decide to purchase one after they return home, and many boat owners also invest in a personal watercraft as an additional vessel to enjoy when out on the water.
It can sometimes be overwhelming when shopping around for a watercraft though, and prospective buyers can be dazzled by the special additions and flashy extras on offer, focusing on power and performance rather than suitability.
Here’s some advice on what you should consider before buying a personal watercraft.
Do your research
It’s certainly a bad idea to pick the first Jet Ski you see for sale. Shop around to get a good idea of what the market has to offer and how much watercrafts sell for, both brand new and second-hand. This way you will have a better idea of what constitutes good value for money. You shouldn’t necessarily go for the cheapest or the fastest watercraft; take your time to see if paying slightly more or sacrificing on speed will be better in the long run.
Read reviews to see what people are saying about a particular model. It’s also worth looking into different brands and manufacturers. Top brands producing popular personal watercrafts include Kawasaki, Sea-Doo and Yamaha.
How much experience do you have?
Take into consideration how much experience you have driving a Jet Ski. If you’re a beginner, consider a second-hand watercraft as it’s likely to be cheaper and you may be more relaxed if it gets damaged.
Think about the maximum horsepower you’re realistically able to handle. Do you want a craft that is supercharged or non-supercharged? Again, research is a good idea as each offers different pros and cons – as is knowing exactly how you’ll be likely to use a Jet Ski. Supercharged models are helpful for family use if you will be towing people on inflatables, while non-supercharged models would be better for a solo beginner.
When you’ve taken the plunge and purchased a Jet Ski, take notes in the walk through or demonstration when you pick it up, especially if you’re a beginner. There will be information you will need to be aware of around the general use of the watercraft that you might not already know – always ask questions.
What size and design will you need?
Will the watercraft be used with the whole family or will you be going solo? You’ll need to decide if you want a one seater, two seater or more. Bigger Jet Ski models are made to carry multiple people and are able to tow other crafts, and these tend to be more stable but will also be slower.
You can also have a stand-up, or a ‘solo’ watercraft with seat. Stand-up watercrafts are less common as they require more athletic ability to control and are mainly used for freestyle tricks. Again, your experience would come into play.
Decide on your budget
It’s important to set a realistic budget, and weigh it up against what you need from a watercraft, the size of the Jet Ski, how often you will be using it – and its potential resale value.
Another key factor to consider when calculating a budget are the additional costs owning a watercraft could bring on top of the purchase price. These can include insurance, safety features and accessories – as well as berthing fees.