Jet Ski Locks And Tips For Keeping Them Secured!

Personal watercraft (PWC) offer exhilarating adventures on the water, but with this excitement comes the responsibility of ensuring their security.

Whether parked at a dock, stored in a marina, or transported on a trailer, PWCs are valuable assets that require vigilant protection against theft, damage, and misuse.

In this post, we’ll delve into the crucial topic of PWC security, highlighting its importance in safeguarding your investment, promoting safety, and preserving the enjoyment of every aquatic excursion!

Put A Lock On Your PWC!

Even though many watercraft come with a digital key or some type of security to them, it’s still a good idea to lock it down. They can still roll it away on the trailer or drag it off your dock.

  • If you keep your craft on a trailer, I suggest a coupler lock or chaining the trailer to something large like a tree. Sometimes you just need to be more annoying than the other guy, so removing one of the wheels is a great option on long-term storage over the winter.
  • If you store it on a slip in the water, then you can get a cable lock to secure it to the dock or drive-up slip.

Even better is a simple cable lock like this one (Amazon Link Ad) because it will fit most bow hooks on PWCs or the many spots on trailers. It’s simple to use and just effective enough to make thieves look somewhere else.

Keep in mind, it’s not about having the strongest lock, but about being a little more annoying than your neighbor.

Have Insurance On The watercraft And Trailer

If someone really wants your watercraft they’ll find a way and that is why having boat insurance is a good idea.

Most states don’t require insurance, but it’s still a good idea to have it.

I suggest doing a pencil rub of your VIN (HIN) and taking a bunch of pictures of it and the watercraft. This will be super handy and accelerate the process if something does happen to your ski.

Get GPS Or AirTag Trackers

You can buy GPS trackers.

The bad news is that many of them require a subscription, but well worth it if you ask me. Not only the times your watercraft is stolen, but if the kids go on a “joyride” or get lost, you can find them.

Another (more affordable) option is to use an Apple AirTag (Amazon Link Ad). An AirTag is not real time, it relies on other iPhones to update the location, but has no subscription and is super easy to set up. I hide mine in the seat’s foam and another one in the taillight of my trailer. Beyond having to change the battery once a year, they’ve been a “better than nothing” option. It’s just that the GPS trackers are far more accurate.

Keep It Out Of Sight!

You can’t steal what you can’t see, so having your watercraft out of sight is a great option!

This can be as simple as having a cover on it. Covers often mask what the jet ski is, and with many universal fitting covers, they won’t even know the brand.

If you got the space, you could even put it in a small/portable shed, at least during the off-season.

Even an extra-large tarp will work wonderful, especially if it’s a dark-color tarp. Someone walking by may mistake it as a pile of lumber or firewood.

Cameras Can Alert You And Record

Security cameras have improved so much since I’ve started this website that I feel it’s just silly to not have one on your craft at all times.

I know many will think this sounds impossible because you may not have power where you keep your watercraft. The good news is that there are a lot of solar-powered security cameras, with many of them not requiring a subscription.

Eufy has a solar outdoor security camera (Amazon Link Ad) that I, personally, use. It stays charged, so long as it gets enough sunlight, and the video quality is great. The only negative is that it needs to be within 30 feet of the unit to record movement.

The one I have has it where I can set a time and have an alarm go off to scare anyone away. It just needs to be within the reach of the home Wi-Fi signal.

Crime Rates

I’m sure many of you are curious how bad theft is when it comes to watercraft.

I was able to find the NICB crime rate for watercraft from 2019, and it’s more shocking than I realized.

Florida has the highest, followed by California, but not too shocking. What shocked me was my home state of North Carolina being in the top 5.

Of all the boats, people are more likely to steal jet skis than boats. Of that, it seems most people want to steal Yamaha’s more than anything. Is that because more people want Yamaha’s? I don’t think so, since Sea-Doo uses DESS keys on most of their models, making them more useless if you don’t have the right key digital key.



I started working at a power sports dealership in 2007, I worked in parts, service counter, and as a technician before moving to sales in 2013. I created in 2014 to answer common watercraft questions I would get from people. Now managing the site full-time, I continue to provide advice and web tools for my readers about watercraft. I've owned several watercraft, with a Sea-Doo Spark as my current main PWC.

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