The way you charge your jet ski battery is very simple and not too different if you were charging a battery in a car.
It’s important to read the directions on your battery charger before using it, but these are some general directions that can help you.
How to Charge a Jet Ski Battery
- Make sure the jet ski is in a secure area where water can’t get to the battery charger or the jet ski won’t roll away on the trailer.
- Make sure the jet ski is near a power outlet if you’re using a wall charger or make sure you have long enough extension cord. (See What You Need Below for more details)
- Remove any access panels so you can get to the battery. The battery location is either in the front, middle, or rear. Yamaha and Kawasaki’s batteries are mostly in the rear under the passenger seat. Sea-Doo is often under the driver’s seat but 2010 to 2015 it would be in the rear or front. 2016 and up Sea-Doo it’s mostly under the driver or in the front.
- Before you charge the battery you want to disconnect the negative (black) cable. This keeps from damaging the computer on the jet ski.
- Plug in your battery charger to the wall and wait for it to power on and give you the okay to use.
- Connect the Red Charger Lead to the positive post of the battery.
- Connect the Black Charger Lead to the negative post of the battery.
- How you hook up to the battery to charge it and unhook it is very important. When you want to connect the battery to the charger you do the positive first, and when you want to disconnect the charger you do the negative first. An easy way to remember this is when you want to add (+) you do the positive first, and when you want to remove the charger you remove (-) negative cable first.
- Before you wander off you’ll want to wait for the battery charger to test the battery if you got a smart charger that we recommend getting. The charger will let you know if the battery is good enough to take a charge by either turning a LED green or it will become solid. If the LED is blinky or shows a RED LED then something is wrong with either the charger or more than likely the battery.
What You Need
- Smart Battery Charger (Amazon Link Ad) (under 2 amp @ 12 volts)
- Water Resistant Extension Cord (Amazon Link Ad)
- A splitter if charging more than one ski at a time
- Or use a Solar Charger as we talk about below
How Often to Charge a Jet Ski Battery?
How often you charge your jet ski battery will depend on how often you don’t ride your jet ski. For most people, this means charging your jet ski battery once a year after getting it out of storage during the winter.
If you won’t ride your jet ski for over a month it’s best to charge it the night before you ride or keep a smart battery charger on it.
The number one cause for a jet ski not starting after getting it out of storage is because the battery died. So make sure to charge your battery the night before you want to ride!
Can You Leave The Charger On The Battery?
You can leave the charger on the battery only if it’s a SMART CHARGER like this one here (Amazon Link Ad).
If the battery charger is not a smart charger then you run the risk of overcharging the battery.
Most, if not all, jet skis use a 12-volt battery. The biggest thing to worry about is the physical size of the battery. Every battery is given a size, for example, a typical size for a Sea-Doo is a size 30, 20 or a 16. Make sure you get the correct size battery for your jet ski when you replace it.
A Trickle Charger is not as common as they used to be and have been replaced with Smart Chargers. A Trickle Charger would be a very slow way to charge a battery but I would not recommend a trickle charger.
I recommend using a Smart Charger instead for the simple fact that a Smart Charger turns on and off when it needs to. A Trickle Charger is always giving power which can be bad if you plan on keeping your battery charger on for long periods of time. The Trickle Charger could overcharge the battery and kill it if you give it enough time.
Solar Battery Charger
If you don’t have a wall outlet near your jet ski and keep them outside all the time then a great option is a Solar Battery Charger.
A solar battery charger is more of a maintainer but given enough time it can charge a battery. The great thing about solar chargers is that they’re a lot easier to deal with and hold up better to water.
How Long Does It Take?
It can take several hours, sometimes overnight to charge a jet ski battery. How long you should charge a jet ski battery should at least be for 4 hours but I recommend letting the smart charger charge it till it’s fully charged.
The most common thing I see happen is that someone forgets to keep their battery charged during the winter and when spring comes around they want to ride. So they hop on their jet ski and find out that the battery is dead. If they kept a Smart Charger or the Solar Charger above on the Jet Ski during the winter then they could be riding.
Can You Jump Start A Jet Ski?
Do not jump start your jet ski with a car or truck!
The batteries and charging systems in cars or trucks are too powerful for a jet ski to handle and you’ll fry the electronics.
But you can use a jump pack like we talk about in our 107 tips and accessories post here.
Charge A Jet Ski Battery Fast?
You should not try to charge a jet ski battery fast and you should stay under 2 amps when charging. Going above the 2 amps could damage the battery and force you to buy a new battery.
If the battery has been sitting for a while then the battery might be dead no matter what and you’ll need to replace it. If you’re looking for a good battery to put in your jet ski then check out my post on the best jet ski battery here.