The 3 biggest questions I would get selling Jet Ski’s is how far, how much, and how fast. How much and how fast are super easy to answer, but how far is not so easy.
There is no simple answer to how far you can go on a full tank of gas on a Jet Ski. It’s a lot harder to measure MPG’s on something that floats. And honestly, Jet Ski’s are not that fuel efficient.
What I always tell people is that you can get “about” a weekend worth of riding before needing to refuel.
About a Weekend
Two days is about what you’ll get for riding time. This does not mean you can go 48 hours straight without refueling. No one rides for 48 hours, or even 8 hours straight.
The average person will travel for about 1 to 2 hours before needing a break. Then after the break, they’ll go and ride some more until they get tired again.
Between the breaks and regular daily life, you can get about a weekend’s worth of riding out of a jet ski. Some might get more as they don’t ride their jet ski only a couple times a month, while others will use more because they’re on it more.
When you first get it
When you first get your jet ski, you will find that you’ll use more gas often. When something is new, you’ll play with it more. This is just the nature of getting something cool like a jet ski.
Also, you’ll be getting the worst gas mileage from your new jet ski when the engine has not been broken-in yet. This goes for just about anything with an engine. So prepare to use a slight bit more gas in the first 10 hours. When I say a slight bit, the average person might not notice it.
I know some people like hard numbers, so let’s do that.
Since every jet ski is different, with different engines, different fuel tanks, and other factors – it can be hard to give you real numbers. So what we will do is use what I consider average numbers to help give you a better understanding.
The good news is that Jet Ski’s are getting a lot more fuel efficient these days. Watercraft like the Sea-doo Spark and Yamaha EX are very fuel efficient! If gas mileage is a concern then look at those machines only – but you do give up other features like comfort and speed.
The average gallons per hour (GPH) at wide open throttle (WOT) is about 10. This means that an “average” watercraft will consume 10 gallons of gas in 1 hour. The “average” gas tank size is about 16 gallons. So this means you can go FULL THROTTLE for 1.6 hours on a full tank of gas on our “average” jet ski.
But no one does this!
No one goes full throttle and never let’s go once. People change up their speed, jump waves, and idle/cruise around.
Let’s say that you go 35mph, how long can you go? The “average” jet ski would use about 6 gallons per hour at that speed. So with a 16-gallon gas tank, we can go about 2.6 hours.
Let’s be clear – you can go about 2.6 hours if you kept the watercraft at 35mph non-stop. Not once slowing down or speeding up, always keeping the same speed.
As you can see, no one ever keeps their watercraft at one speed so it can be hard to determine how much gas you’ll use. Plus you don’t have a mileage gauge on your watercraft so you can’t get an MPG rating either. You do have an hour meter, and that is why data like this is given in gallons per hour.
Since every watercraft is different, it can be hard to say what exactly to expect. Some of the higher HP (250HP+) can use over 20GPH! That’s a lot of gas!
While other Jet Ski’s like the 60HP Seadoo Spark can use about 2 gallons per hour at WIDE OPEN THROTTLE. That’s super good gas mileage!
Many of your watercraft you get today actually have an ECO mode or even a Touring Mode to give you better gas mileage.
Note: Never carry an extra gas can inside your watercraft!!!! It is too dangerous!!!
While you should not carry extra gas inside your jet ski many models today have addons that allow you to carry gas on the rear of your watercraft.
Sea-Doo makes a LINQ Fuel Caddy Kit 4 Gal (Amazon Link Ad) that installs super easy on any model with the LINQ system.
Many of the fishing rod and coolers attachments have the gas can mounting systems on them so you can carry extra gas on your jet ski. The Brocraft Jet Ski Aluminum Fishing Rod Rack & Cooler Holder Combo with Gas Plates/PWC Rod Holder is a great example here (Amazon Link Ad).
Before You Get A Jet Ski
Before you get a jet ski you need to make sure you have the correct gear. I have gathered some of the must have accessories for jet ski riders here.
Also, it’s important that you wear the correct clothing too. Here is my guide on what to wear on your watercraft.