Riding a jet ski may just be the most fun a person can legally have on the water. Jet skis are fast, entertaining, and have taken the coasts by storm. Also known as a personal watercraft, or PWC, a jet ski is the closest thing to a waterborne motorbike. Just as a motorbike is usually less expensive than a motorcar, a jet ski is normally less expensive than a power boat. However, less expensive is rarely synonymous with inexpensive, so any jet ski is a significant purchase. As with any significant purchase, there are a few simple tips that can make any buying decision that much quicker and easier.
The first step for any prospective buyer should always be to do their research. If possible, take the time to hire a jet ski to try out. Even a little bit of experience makes it that much easier to relate jet ski specifications to reality. While a jet ski can do many things a boat struggles with, there are other things that are easier to do with a boat. Figuring those things out beforehand makes the whole process run much more smoothly.
Like a boat, a jet ski needs a trailer unless the buyer lives right on the water. While many sellers may include a trailer with a jet ski, and they are relatively easy to buy separately, it does no good to have a trailer without a motorcar equipped to tow it. For most vehicles that can be as simple as installing a bracket and hitch, but some cars are not rated for towing and cannot be equipped with a tow bar or other hardware. The key, as always is making sure to have the information before making the purchase. Preparation makes everything easier.
Depending on a given buyer's needs, it may be worth considering both new and used jet skis. Each choice brings its own unique set of benefits. The biggest advantage of choosing a brand new jet ski is predictability; the buyer always knows what they are getting because every new jet ski is exactly as specified. New jet skis may be the more expensive option, but for many buyers they are worth the price. One reason for buying used is to stretch the purchaser's budget. Choosing a used jet ski can either enable the buyer to get a better jet ski than they might otherwise be able to afford, or to get the specific model they want for less than it would cost new. Used models are a good choice for beginners, as they are often cheaper to repair or even replace.
Before buying a jet ski, think about the number of riders it has to support. A single-seater is more manoeuvrable, but usually leads to either forcing multiple riders to take turns or the purchase of another jet ski if there is more than one prospective rider in the household. A little thinking in advance can go a long way toward solving problems later.
The single most important piece of safety equipment anyone can have while on the water is a buoyancy aid or personal flotation device. It is surprisingly easy to fall off a jet ski, and a flotation device can be a life saver. Riders should also use either an automatic shut-off lanyard or choose a jet ski with a self-circling feature so that it does not race off uncontrolled if they fall off. Riders should also put together a waterproof safety kit that includes a fire extinguisher, a whistle, hand-held flares, and a first aid kit to carry with them whenever they are on the jet ski. Basic tools and a folding paddle can also prove helpful.
Even though jet skis are meant for fun in the sun, a wise owner should spend the money on a proper fitted cover. Not only can the sun and weather damage the finish, but bird droppings or other debris can land in the air intakes, leading to expensive repair bills. Just tying an old tarpaulin over the jet ski is not good enough. It does not provide the necessary protection, and can come off when on the motorway. A good cover eliminates those problems, and is well worth the expenditure.
One of the best places to buy a new or used jet ski is eBay. With a search box on every page, it is easy to find the jet ski you want after only a few moments of searching. Then you can use eBay's many sort tools to eliminate those jet skis that do not meet your requirements. Whichever jet ski you end up buying, it is a great way to enjoy the water either alone or in the company of others. It may take a little research and preparation, but once you find yourself out on the water it all becomes worthwhile.