Lost Seadoo Key – How To Get A New One

Losing the key to your Sea-Doo is not a fun adventure. Sometimes people would forget where they put their key, or a friend loses it… whatever the reason you need a new key. 

So what can you do to get a new key? 

Just like your car, your Sea-Doo watercraft has a code built into the key so that only your keys will start the jet ski. This means you’ll need to get new keys programmed to the jet ski.

Can I Give You My VIN And You Get Me A New Key?

In order to get a new key made to your watercraft, you must take the entire machine to your local dealer.

Your VIN has nothing to do with the key. Your registration numbers have nothing to do with the key. Your customer records have nothing to do with the key.

The whole jet ski needs to be at the dealership if you want a new key.

You also can’t walk in with another key that works, we need the whole jet ski at the dealership.

How Sea-Doo Keys Work

The Sea-Doo key is made up of two parts, a magnet, and a ROM chip.

The magnet is what signals the jet ski to power on and read the ROM chip. The ROM chip contains a certain amount of digits. This combination of digits can make up a million different combinations of numbers. The number that is stored on the chip never changes.

When a dealership programs the key to the watercraft what they’re actually doing is telling the watercraft that it’s okay to let these certain digits start this watercraft.

It also tells the watercraft what kind of key it should be, whether it’s a “normal” or “learning” key. So really the important stuff is stored on the watercraft. You usually have about 8 spots or allow to store 8 keys to one watercraft. If the key is removed the magnet is not there to keep the magnetic switch closed so the watercraft shuts off.

As you can see above from how a key works, you can’t simply duplicate a key like you would a car. One key has a completely different string of numbers than the next key and they can’t be changed because they’re hard-coded into the key.

How Much Is A New Sea-Doo Key?

A new Sea-Doo key will cost about $70 for the key plus $0 to $100 to program the key.

Sea-Doo replacement key

Every jet ski dealership is different, some don’t charge to program the key if you buy the key from them. Some dealers charge a “few bucks” and some charge a lot more than a “few bucks” to program the key.

It’s best to call your local dealer and ask them how much it’s going to cost. 

Also if you have a 2015 and up Sea-Doo Watercraft you have a new style key. So make sure you get the right key programmed to your machine. This key works much the same as the old one, but the new style is easier to put on. These two keys cannot be swapped.

Can You Bypass a Sea-Doo Key?

No, you can not bypass any Sea-Doo with a DESS key. There is no magic button or a way to hotwire and if you try you might do more damage than good. The key data is stored in more than one location and if certain things don’t match up the watercraft becomes a dud.

They do this to cut down on theft and a stolen Sea-Doo does get reported to BRP and it does go in an index that dealers check.

You can not start a Sea-Doo unless you have the key that is programmed to it!

Can I Program My Learning Key as Fast?

A Green Learning Key – Limits Power

If you lost your fast or normal key and still have the learning key you can take the watercraft to the dealership and ask them to make your learning key fast.

To make the learning key a fast key you’ll still need to take it to the dealership to get it programmed.

If you’re going to take it to the dealership you might as well get a new key programmed, it’s always smart to have a spare.

Do You Have Two Sea-Doos?

If you have 2 Sea-Doos you can program them alike.

Make sure to ask your dealership when you buy them to make all the keys alike. This way if you lose a key you have the others from the other watercraft that can start your machine.

Sea-Doo Spark Replacement Key

If you have a Sea-Doo Spark and it does not have iBR then you just need the basic Spark Key* to get going.

Only certain models of Sparks got the DESS key, which is the one you program. The other Sparks just use a magnetic safety lanyard and any of those Spark style keys will start the jet ski.

And no – don’t try to make your own key. Only use Keys made for your watercraft! These things are meant to save lives. 

Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Other Replacement Keys

If you have a Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris, Tiger Shark, or other watercraft then you can buy a universal jet ski lanyard*.

These universal lanyards have many different clips and hooks that work for your machine. These are not keys and instead are safety lanyards.

Kawasaki does have keys that need to be programmed that are located in the glove box. Some models of Kawasaki’s need to be taken to the dealership to be programmed.

Kawasaki Keys In Glove Box

Some Yamaha’s will have a code or fob that will keep a machine from starting. Kawasaki will also have a device that will keep a jet ski from starting, along with the safety lanyard. You can only get these things at dealerships.

22 thoughts on “Lost Seadoo Key – How To Get A New One”

  1. I have a 1999 Sea Doo Bombardier GTI. We bought it used, and it had no key. A local shop has an after market programmer that says they can program key for it if it was the metal and not the plastic. How do I find that out?

    • Sea-Doo had two keys back then, a DESS key with the metal pins and a regular rubber key that was only a safety lanyard, that is what they’re probably talking about. You can only program the DESS version that has the metal pins inside the cap of the key. A 1999 Sea-Doo GTI will have a DESS key that needs to be programmed.

  2. I have a 2004 bombardier rxp supercharger and some one stole the key. we live in copperopolis ca and the dealership we bought it at in lodi has shut down. I need this to do my job cleaning bathrooms at lake melonas. I was told I could buy a mpem. is that a good idea and for the cost would I even be able to install it myself?

    • I would look for another dealer. Those programmers are not cheap and often break due to Sea-Doo releasing patches as they don’t like those devices.

  3. Thankful I found your website. It has been incredibly informative. We are looking to buy our first Jet Ski (used). Do you think a 2012 Sea Doo GTI-130-SE, 59 original hours with a Triton aluminum trailer for $6500 is a good price? Would you recommend this model? We would like to use it eventually for tubing etc.

    • As of now (APRIL 2020), KBB watercraft says retail is $5,700 and for a Triton Single Used I would expect $500. The price is not too far off for that many hours. I would get the VIN and call up your local dealership to make sure all the warranty items are done on it. Other than that the GTI’s are a great buy.

  4. I have a 2008 seadoo speedster 200 430 hp boat. I’ve lost the keys. Do you know if a can just purchase any of the dess lanyards? I know I have to take the key and boat to get programmed. I just wasn’t sure if I needed a special key since it is for a boat and not a jet ski.

    • For that model, any of the Sea-Doo watercraft DESS keys will work (not the RF ones). The trick will be to call a dealer ahead of time to make sure they can still program that boat and to see if they have the keys in stock.

  5. My son lost the 2005 3D seadoo key.. what shall i do or where will i ask or go to have a new key.. what nearest location to go to get a new key.. i live in Lancaster Ca…thank you i appreciate your help

  6. How do I tell if my seadoo has dess. Or do they all have it. It is a 2004 gti std 720 and I just lost the key in the river

    • Pretty much anything older than 1996 will not have DESS. But a way to know is the post where you plug in your key will have metal connectors on it.

  7. Help! Lost key to 2000 Bombardier Seedoo. Our dealer in town could not get us another. Said computer did not go back that far. What am I supposed to do?

    • This is a tough one. Older Sea-Doo (2-strokes) used an old handheld computer to program keys. Over the years these handhelds have started to fail and only a few dealerships even have one that works. Sea-Doo did come out with a computer adapter but it also has faded away. The best thing to do is call around to all dealerships to see if they can program 2-stroke Sea-Doos. Also, call other repair shops since they may have an aftermarket programmer that works with 2-strokes. Other then that there is not much you can do.

  8. Can you please confirm if a 2016 sea do spark 3up model can also get a leaner key.
    I see yes on some forum’s but our local dealer said never seen one.

    • Only the Sparks with iBR had the option for the learning key. They did have an option to get a DESS key installed on a Spark without it, but I think you only got the fast key.


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