The summer sun gets hotter by the day and that nearby (or maybe not so nearby) lake is calling your name. Too bad you have no water toys to enjoy that cool water with. It must be time to fork out the money and get that personal watercraft (also known as a Jet Ski) you’ve been eyeing for years.
Summer is the most common time to buy personal watercrafts, so you know the stock will be plentiful. However, you aren’t an expert in the water vehicle field, so you aren’t really sure how to go about this buying process. Let us help.
1. New to Personal Watercrafts? Don’t Buy New
This may surprise you, but there is more to a personal watercraft than just pushing the power button and squeezing the throttle. If you have never owned one and are not at least moderately familiar with the rules and regulations of operating a personal watercraft, you should probably opt for a used version. It is a much better idea to use a cheaper personal watercraft while learning the ropes instead of risking ruining a brand new ride.
2. Pay Attention to Warranty
Although we admire you for trying to be responsible, you may want to take a look at the warranty before you purchase a protection plan on your personal watercraft. Many of these rides come with at least a year warranty, sometimes as much as four years. Buying a protection plan when this is the case is pretty much just a waste of extra cash.
3. Know your Rider Number
Are you planning on getting the personal watercraft for your own personal enjoyment, or do you plan on taking friends or family along with you? This is an important question to ask before you begin your quest for a new watercraft. One-rider watercrafts should only hold one rider at any given time, so make sure you are aware of that ahead of time. Only get the watercraft that will hold the number of passengers that will be accompanying you.
4. Don’t Skip the Cover
Even if you are planning on storing your watercraft in a shed or garage when it is not in use, you should still have a cover to protect it. Personal watercrafts contain a lot of areas that dirt and grime can easily damage, which can easily be avoided by keeping a tightly fitted cover over it. They will also fade and receive exterior damage if not properly protected.
5. You CANNOT do it yourself
As handy as you think you are with a land vehicle, water vehicles are much different. Unless you are seasoned at fixing boats and personal watercrafts, do not plan on doing any DIY repairs. Always take your problems to an accredited watersports mechanic.
A personal watercraft may not be the biggest investment you make in your lifetime, but it will definitely require a decent chunk of money. It may be a good idea to bring along someone you trust with watercrafts for their advice while you are shopping. No matter what you choose, be smart and make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Have fun enjoy that water!
Written by Carey Wooldrige, owner of Yacht Club Powersports. Based out of the Lake of the Ozarks, Yacht Club Powersports is the leading SeaDoo dealer in the state of Missouri, serving Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City and more!