Best Jet Ski Lifts

Since a Jet Ski has no wheels you’ll need somewhere to place it. You can either keep it on a trailer or in the water. The trailer works great if you want to go to other water locations to ride, but most people don’t want to be bothered with this. Most people like to keep their jet ski in the water at all times and they will come to find that you just can’t leave a jet ski in the water.

Just with anything left in water, a boat can get lake slime or ocean corrosion that slowly eats away at your PWC. The simple solution is to keep the craft out of the water and to do this you’ll need a lift.

Jet Ski Lifts really come in two different types, drive up on and straight up and down lifts.

The most popular and cheapest solution is to buy one of the drive-up on lifts that connect to the dock. The drive up on lifts can vary in price. These are also the simplest and will last the longest if you can find a used one then buy it! Since all they do is float on top of the water its the only one getting dirty and not your nice new jet ski. To go on to the lift you simply drive up on it and to get off you just pull the jet ski off. Drive-up lift requires no motors and is very simple to maintain and service. Common manufacturers are EZ-Port.

The next lift is the vertical lift that lifts the watercraft into the air and also drops into the water. This lift uses bunks on an aluminum housing like on a trailer that is connected to an electric motor that winches a steel cable that lifts the personal watercraft out of the water. This gets the PWC out of the water and is the only option if you live on a busy cove that has constant water splashing around. This is the more premium of the lifts but is the most effective at keeping the jet ski out of the water.

When getting a lift installed you need to factor in the width and the height. Every jet ski is different in size. The weight of the jet ski and the capacity of the winch that lifts the watercraft out of the water is a major factor too and must be considered before buying. Jet Ski’s are getting bigger and bigger every year so pay close attention the size of the boat before making your final decision.

A free solution is to beach the watercraft, but this only gets the craft slightly out the water. The back end will be in the water which just happens to be the most important part of the craft that needs the most protection. You should avoid beaching jet skis for long period times (days) to avoid doing damage. Plus the constant beaching will also cause damage to the front hull of the ski.

10 thoughts on “Best Jet Ski Lifts”

  1. So I have a boat house with two slips and two boat lifts. One houses my 20 foot Boston Whaler and I am hoping that I can use the other one for the jet ski I plan on buying;GTI 170. The bunks are 28” apart, (inside dimension) and 34” outside dimension. I took pictures and sent the dimensions to my SeaDoo dealer and he replied that those dimensions should accommodate any of the current bigger hull SeaDoos. Does that make sense to you? I will have to add some 2×6 pressure treated boards across the aluminum beams to make getting on and off easier. Is there any reason I shouldn’t use a 7000 pound boat lift for a 800 pound SeaDoo as long as it fits the bunks?

    Thanks in advance,


    • It’s a bit overkill but it’ll work so long as the bunks are correct. I would be cautious when going up as the lift may jump quickly if it’s the one that fills and deflates due to the jet ski weighing less. Also, going down on the fill and deflate lifts will go down very slow if a heavy enough boat is not on it. I’m more of the fan of the drive up lifts or the cable lifts made for jet skis but I’ve have seen several people use modified boat lifts before.

      • Thanks Steve, it is a cable lift so speed is not dependent on weight. By saying, as long as thebunks are correct, what exactly do you mean? The dealer says the dimension should work but is there an area of the hull that should not bear the weight of the ski? The chines I assume?

        • It’s the chines, you don’t want to rest the jet ski’s chines on the wood. When you look under the jet ski you’ll see the spots where bunks are supposed to go. If you have a trailer or when you go to the dealer take a measurement of their bunks and base your lift off of that. You’ll know you’re resting on the Chines if the jet ski sits crooked.

  2. Hey Steven, Great blog! I’ve gotten a ton of useful information and have read nearly all the posts, thank you! Quick question on this one, do you have some out-of-water electric lift brand names that are reputable and proven?


    • It’s hard to recommend just one because they’re so many independently owned retailers across the world for electric jet ski lifts. The best thing to do is call up your local jet ski dealership and ask them who they recommend because they deal with the local guys and from my experience customers really let you know who is the best.

  3. Completely new to the idea of OWNING a PWC, but I’ve ridden a few supercharged Sea-Doos and am comfortable with the idea of getting a mid-powered 3 seater for myself. My question for this though (and excuse my ignorance) is how do these PWC lifts stay in place in the lake? Do they need to be secured with sand bags or anchors or do you just plop it in the water? I’m only considering the up/down type lift not a drive up.

    • Good question. The lifts that go up and down are usually secured to your dock and many even get support poles added to them. Since every home and dock is different each setup is different but its the same idea of it either connecting to your dock or they build poles or a platform for it. Since you’re new to owning please feel free to explore the beginner’s section and ask any question that come to mind. I’m always happy to help.

      • Thanks for the fast reply Steven. I’m looking at a freestanding unit, kind of like the one at this link:

        But probably only 1 to start. It seems like they don’t have anything to secure them, I’m guessing the weight of them is enough to keep them in place? I can’t find any info on this.

        I’ve read through a pile of your posts already, including the beginner section. It’s all been very informative and helpful! Thanks again!

        • I’m not familiar with that style but it would seem they hold in place with there own weight. I would be careful with that style because it looks like they’re close to shore and you don’t want to suck up debris.


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