7 Facts About Buying a Used Jet Ski

Having a Jet Ski can be one of the most fun adventures you’ll experience in your life. One of the best ways to get into the sport is to buy a used watercraft since they offer a more attractive price points. In all the years I’ve found 7 facts when it comes to buying Used Jet Skis.


1. Don’t Buy a 2 Stroke!

2 Strokes are a dying breed and many manufacturers are discontinuing parts for them and many dealers have stop working on them too. The biggest reason why 2 strokes jet skis are fading out is due to them polluting the environment and are so much more noisier and harder to start.

The way you can identify a 2 stroke is whether or not it has a dipstick. You should also avoid Jet Skis that are older than 12 years, but this number keeps increasing due to the reliability of 4 strokes these days.

2. Don’t worry about the hours

Just like how cars have a gauge that tells you the miles a car has traveled, a boat has a hour gauge. I have found that hours really don’t mean much these day since I’ve seen jet skis with high hours work better than ones with lower hours. I would be more focused on how well the watercraft was taking care of, mostly focus on how many dings on the fiberglass and the condition of the seats.

Some people claim that a 100 hours is a lot for a jet ski but the average person puts 30 hours a year on their watercraft and that would mean that after 3 years they would have too many hours. High hour jet ski’s usually mean that they have gotten many joyful hours out of them and it usually means they have less problems out of it. Focus more on the appearance of the watercraft such as fiberglass damage and don’t worry too much about hours.

3. Buy from a trusted source

You can usually find some great deals from private sellers but you’ll get better results from buying from dealers. Dealers know what sells and have a name to hold so they avoid junk skis like the plague. Also dealers will do all the hard work for you, like take care of tax and title work so that you can spend more time on the water. Even if the watercraft doesn’t come with a warranty and is sold as is all the good dealers will still help you out if you have a problem after you bought it since they have a reputation to hold up.

4. Lake Test it before you Buy

Looking at the used jet ski is only half the battle, the other have is what moves it. Every jet ski rides differently but when lake testing they all share the same feeling of take off. When lake testing the ski make sure it takes off and launches out of the hull fast.

If the Jet Ski is struggling to take off such as its skipping or feels like its got all the power in the world but takes forever to get to top speed then it might be due to the pump. Be careful since it’s common for Jet Skis to now have different modes so make sure you are aware of what mode and even what key you are using before jumping to the conclusion the ski maybe damaged.

When lifting the seat off while you idle out in the water, preferably hooked to the trailer or garden hose, you should be able to see if you’re taking on water or if the hull is feeling up with water from somewhere it should not be. Avoid Jet Skis that are taking on water for obvious reasons.

5. Check the bottom of the hull

Its easy to hide damage to the bottom of the hull because no one ever checks there. You’ll notice any serious damage when you water test it. Some scratches are normal since many people will beach it on sand but if the ski is missing some serious chunks from the fiberglass then avoid it since it will only get worse.

6. Get your local dealer to check it out

Your local dealer can tell you things about this ski that no website can. They seen it all and know what to look for which makes them great to buy from.

The dealer can also give you a checklist of the watercraft and one of the main things you want to look at is compression. Every Jet Ski will have different compression numbers but what you want to see is that all compression numbers on the watercraft are close to each other. If the compression is off by 20 psi or is under 100 psi then it would be best to avoid it.

7. Sometimes it might be cheaper to buy new

With the introduction of the new Seadoo Spark you can now get a $4,999 jet ski. This new jet ski has hurt the used market a great deal and makes it harder to justify a purchase of something used when you can get something new with warranty. If you want to know if its worth it to get a Spark you can always contact me.

6 thoughts on “7 Facts About Buying a Used Jet Ski”

  1. So I realize this is a few years old nut o figure it’s a good time to ask your opinion of the Sea Doo Spark now that it’s been out for awhile. Still the best bang for your buck or not?

    • The Seadoo Spark is still the best bang for the buck even in 2017. If you want more comfort then go for the GTI 90.

  2. I am relatively new to riding. I want a pwc that I can tow my kids on and use in both the lake and the ocean
    I’m thinking a GTI 130. Would this be a good buy?

  3. Hi and thanks for your advice on buying a used jetski. I need your advice lol. Im looking at 2015 seadoo gtx 155 with 86hrs and was wondering what to look for as its a private seller and this will be my 1st ski

    Thank you


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