How far can a Jet Ski go on a tank of gas?

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 of times a month, while others will use more because they’re on it more.

If I had to put it in terms of mileage you can expect 60 to 120 miles out of a tank of gas on your jet ski. What you carry and the horsepower of your jet ski will affect distance but 60 to 120 miles is average.

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.

Hard Numbers

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 of cruising, 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!!!

Extra Gas

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.

5 thoughts on “How far can a Jet Ski go on a tank of gas?”

  1. Can you use automotive fuel (premium or regular) with the 10% ethanol in it or is it recommended with no ethanol at all? Here in NJ, no Ethanol is non existent. I have not yet purchased a PWC but I am looking.

    • 10% ethanol will be fine, but I recommended sticking to 91 or greater octane especially if you have a supercharged jet ski. You can confirm what gas your jet ski needs by the label that all of them put next to the gas fill. It’s the supercharged jet skis that get super picky about what gas you put into it.

    • Depending on the Jet Ski, how hard you ride it, and the water conditions you can see anywhere from 60 miles to 120 miles on a full tank. 2-Strokes can be worse on Gas than a 4-Strokes and how much stuff you carry can affect distance too.

    • In 2003 I traveled around the entire perimeter of Grand Cayman Island in approximately 4 hours on 1 tank of gas. I used a 2003 Yamaha GTX 4-tec which was a 4 stroke engine. Everyone on the island at the time used 2 stroke engines and they had to refuel at least 2 or 3 times to complete that same journey. So if you’re talking about distance only. 4 strokes are king. Now when I rolled into the harbor my low fuel light had already been on for half an hour and I was going really slow. I didn’t gun it for the entire trip so that was pretty much the extents of the range as I dangerously almost ran out of gas. I had contemplated carrying extra gas with me and trying to reach Cuba once but it dawned at me that that was probably a stupid idea so I didn’t.


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