The Jet Ski Refueling Guide: Tips and Tricks for New Owners

While refueling your jet ski may sound simple, many quickly learn it’s not as simple as they once thought.

What gas do you use, where can you refuel at, and even how to get the gas in the jet ski while on the docks are just a few questions new jet ski owners have.

In this post, I want to go over all the details about refueling your jet ski and give you tips to help you have a better time as a jet ski owner.

What Gas To Run

All jet skis run on gas, but if you have a non-supercharged (under 200HP) jet ski, you can run regular (87 octane).

If your jet ski is supercharged, you should run premium (93 octane).

If you’re in doubt, there is usually a sticker next to the gas cap to let you know what octane the manufacturer suggests. If the sticker is missing or not clear, then run premium.

Jet skis don’t need any special fuel, they use the same gasoline your car uses, it’s just that supercharged jet skis need higher octane (premium) gas that is also found at the gas station.

Ethanol Or Non-Ethanol?

You should avoid running ethanol in your jet ski if you can, but under 10% is fine for modern 4-stroke jet skis.

It’s getting harder to get gas that doesn’t have ethanol in it, so it’s fine so long as it’s under 10%.

You can get Marine Ethanol Treatment* if all you can get is ethanol gas, it will help, and I say a must for supercharged engines.

Filling Up At Gas Stations

Filling up your jet ski at the gas station is one of the best ways to get gas for your jet ski.

You will need a jet ski trailer and a truck to get it to the gas station, but it’s the cheapest and easiest way to fill up your jet ski.

You can get gas on the water, but it’s always more expensive. Not every waterway has gas pumps for boats, so your local car gas station may be your only option.

Jet Ski Gas Cans

Another option for refueling your jet ski besides taking them to the local gas station or lake gas pumps is to use gas cans.

You fill up the gas cans at the gas station following proper procedures at the gas stations and then take it back to your jet ski.

Gas cans often come in 5 gallon containers and jet skis can hold 8 to 18 gallons of gas, so multiple gas cans are needed. There are several gas can options, and I cover the best gas cans for jet skis here.

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up?

It can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 to fill up a jet ski gas tank that is empty, depending on the jet ski and the cost of gas.

The Sea-Doo Spark has an 8 gallon gas tank, and if gas is $4 a gallon, it would cost $32 to fill it up.

Most jet skis have an 18 gallon gas tank, and if gas is $4 a gallon, it would cost about $72 to fill up.

If you’re wondering about the other costs that come with owning a jet ski, I cover that here.

Vent Your Jet Ski After Refueling

It’s common for a boat owner to turn on the blower to vent fuel vapors out after refueling their boat, jet ski owners should do the same.

A jet ski doesn’t have a blower fan, instead you take the seats off and let it air out for a minute. Some jet skis like the Sea-Doo Spark and EX don’t have access to the engine compartment from the seats, so you need to open an access port to air it out. Your owner’s manual will tell you what to open to vent your jet ski after refueling.

You must vent your jet ski after refueling, as some gas vapor can escape the hoses and tank and hang around the engine compartment. With the right spark, it can ignite and blow your jet ski or boat!

Marina Refueling

If you keep your jet ski at a marina, they will often have a place to get gas for your jet ski, and some may even refuel it for you when asked.

You do pay more for gas on the water, on top of the marina fees, but it’s worth it for some as it takes away a lot of the pains of owning a jet ski.

Not every marina will sell gas to you if you’re not a member or know the right people. A gas can, or a local gas station, is the only option for many.

Refueling The Easy Way

5 gallon gas cans are heavy, and if you’re hunched over refueling on the water, it’s a pain to do.

One solution I like to use is a fuel transfer pump*. With a lot of these gas cans being a pain to use, the fuel transfer pump makes it so easy, and I find I make less of a mess.

You can buy large gas cans that have wheels*, which is great for refueling with the jet ski in the water and the can up higher. The problem is getting the large gas can to the gas station and then back home, it’s heavy and unless you have a trailer with a gate you can’t lift it by yourself.

I tend to stick to the smaller 5-gallon gas cans and use a metal cart* to roll them to the dock. I avoid plastic carts due to the fear of static electricity near gas cans.



I began working at a jet ski dealership in 2007, initially in the parts and service area. I then transitioned to the technician side before eventually joining the sales team in 2013. I've done it all! While in sales, I created this website in 2014 to assist others with their common questions about watercraft. I now manage this site full-time, where I answer common questions, offer advice, and assist others with their PWC needs.

I've owned several watercraft and continue to buy, sell, and repair them. Currently, keep my Sea-Doo Spark as my main PWC. Additionally, I have developed tools like a used watercraft value calculator, a pricing calculator, an hour calculator, and more to better assist my readers.

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