How to Make a Jet Ski Stand for Less than $100

Make a Jet Ski Stand

So you’re looking to make a jet ski stand at home, so you can save on the expense of buying one yourself. We have the best how-to guide available.

At the same time, it’s wise to consider that jet ski stands actually don’t cost that much to buy. In fact, we’ve previously created an excellent article showcasing some cheap jet ski stands that you can buy immediately. This can save you hours upon hours of work, which you can otherwise spend riding your PWC.

You can make a jet ski stand out of various components. These components you can source at your local hardware store without much outlay. I’ll assume that you have a basic set of tools already.

Jet ski stand building instructions

We recommend 2 x 2 timber with carpet to protect your hull. The weight rating will be generally be enough, provided you use very strong bolts.

There are various blueprints online that you can download to start building your very own jet ski stand. Note that these are often created as generic guides, so you’ll need to modify them to suit your ski. There is a large hull difference (length, width and weight) between a SeaDoo Spark and a Kawasaki LX 300.

Jet ski stand building instructions

You’ll want to start with knowing how high you want your jet ski stand to be. Some people like them very low, so they can better access the engine for repairs, servicing or simply cleanouts after a ride. Others like the jet ski to sit up high, so they can store canoes and kayaks underneath.

If you’re unsure, you should align the height of your jet ski stand to that of your trailer. That way, if you don’t have anyone to help you slide your jet ski on to the stand (once it’s built), it’s simply easier, as you don’t have to change your working height.

Some people get boat rollers and add these to their jet ski stand. This makes a significant difference in rolling the ski from a stand to a trailer. But these rollers are also expensive, and for less than $100, we just couldn’t include it in this guide.

Step by step

Right, now that we have bought some materials, we would:

  1. Cut the timber to the desired length
  2. Use extra strong bolts at joining points
  3. Apply some varnish to avoid weakness in the future
  4. Add protective materials to protect your PWC hull from scratches

It’s really that simple! You can get complicated, but we enjoy easy here at JetSkiAdvice. 🙂

Make a jet ski stand

What’s easier is buying an already built jet ski stand. Sometimes you can find these on Craigslist for less than $50!

Precautions to the process

There are things that beginners really need to look out for when building their very own jet ski workshop stand. Making one sounds like fun! But it can also be dangerous.

My advice would be:

  1. Invest in the best quality lumber you can source locally
  2. Use very high quality bolts and screws at every joint
  3. Varnish the timber once completed, to seal from water and mold
  4. Use non-slip rubber backing on the feet to prevent slipping away
  5. Attach reinforcing so that you’re 100% that the stand is reliable
  6. Copy the blueprints from someone who has done it before already

I understand that a home-made jet ski stand is ideal for the boat shed at the lake. Because not everyone wants or needs a trailer. It’s just that you need to take some precautions when constructing, otherwise your jet ski stand could break, tumble over or degrade over time.

This could lead to intensive damage to your jet ski, or even personal injury to you or someone else in the vicinity. Imagine if it collapses! This is a key reason why I much prefer buying an established jet ski stand, where other enthusiasts have used them already.

In summary

It’s really going to take hours to build your first jet ski stand for the boat shed, dealership or workshop. Most people simply choose to buy an existing stand, most of which cost less than $300.

You’re already spending a fortune for your personal watercraft. Many avoid catastrophic damage through building a weak stand, and instead purchase one that will last for years.

How to Make Your Jet Ski Go Faster for Under $1,000

Many people simply want more speed from their jet ski, to make it go faster and beyond the manufacturers set maximum. It can be done cheaply!

But how do you achieve this? Well, there are various ways. You can spend lots of money, but for under $1,000, there are some good strategies.

So in this article, I’ll be showcasing how exactly you can maximize the speed of your personal watercraft. Where you can spend a little, or even spend a lot. It’s really up to what you’re looking to achieve.

Going faster with just the basics

Right – let’s look at the things we can do initially without spending a fortune. Because not everyone has $7,000 readily available to performance massive modifications to their jet ski.

Jet skis go faster with:

  1. Getting a full service done, so you’re starting out fresh
  2. Making sure you only use premium fuels when refuelling
  3. Removing anything from the storage locker that you don’t need
  4. Replacing parts that are creating the biggest performance bottlenecks

That’s in order of easiest and cheapest, to the hardest and most expensive.

Certainly a jet ski service can be achieved for less than $1,000. Using premium fuels is only marginally more expensive. Lastly, many jet ski buddies of mine store way too much in their front storage locker.

It’s also how you ride

Then, what about the weight of the rider? You might be wearing a lifejacket which is too bulky causing greater wind-resistance. Your helmet might also be contributing to your slower speeds on the waterways.

The biggest issue that I see is the riding position. People want their jet ski to go as fast as possible, much faster than boats or sharks (lol), but aren’t riding properly. There is a certainly way to ride a jet ski where you can attain top speed results.

My recommendation: Go on YouTube and watch past jet ski races. Notice the aggressive riding stance that the professional jet ski racers use to win world championships at close to 100 miles per hour!

Performance modifications for a faster jet ski

Now, the best way to make a jet ski go much faster than anticipated is to start some upgrades. Depending on your PWC, there are various modifications that you can make.

How to make a jet ski go faster
Dealerships can advise how to best improve the performance of your jet ski

The best way is to speak with your dealership. They’ll assess your jet ski and make some good recommendations. It won’t be cheap, but if you can achieve an extra 15 knots per hour, it could make all the difference, and give you bragging rights at the boat ramp. 🙂

Some things include:

  • A new high boost impeller for the rear
  • Upgrade to the air intake system (more flow)
  • Full replacement of the factory turbo system
  • Changes to the engine ICU to increase low-end torque

There are also companies that specifically help those who want to mod their jet ski, so as to maximize their performance. Be warned, however, that your jet ski warranty, whether though a dealership or another shop is likely to be deemed invalid. For this reason, it’s best to start these upgrades towards the end of your warranty lifespan.

Is it cheap to make performance modifications to your jet ski? Absolutely not! Anything reasonable will cost a few thousand dollars. You really need to weight up whether you should make part-upgrades to your existing jet ski, or just buy a new jet ski that already goes much faster out of the factory.

In summary

There are various ways to help your jet ski gain extra knots on the waterways. But it’s also (often) an expensive process too.

More often than not, beginners opt to simply replace their original jet ski with something already more powerful. Yes – even if it has some hours on it already.

Others intentionally look on PWC Trader for jet skis which have already had thousands of dollars of performance mods added to the engine. This way they don’t have to fork out as much money.

Either way, jet skis are already very fast machines. Falling off a jet ski at such high speeds can be dangerous. But if you have the riding ability to handle those fast speeds, then maximizing every extra nautical mile can be achieved quite easily these days.

Jet Ski Insurance: Should you get it?

Jet Ski Insurance

Some people ask us often if you should take out an insurance policy for their jet ski. After all, the premiums can be expensive.

So it’s wise to question to ask. Much of it depends on a range of scenarios:

  • Where you live
  • How often you ride
  • Where you actually ride
  • The type of storage you have
  • Your level of risk-adversion

Today I’ll be answering the question as to whether you should take out jet ski insurance for your personal water craft and trailer.

Jet Ski Insurance overview

In my straight forward opinion, jet skis need insurance. This is often a state requirement, but also, if you’re under finance for your jet ski, your bank will almost always require an insurance policy.

Those in California, Florida, Texas and Georgia are those who generally take out insurance first. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood and only take your PWC out on lakes, it’s still important to have.

Evaluation of PWC insurance
Jet Ski Insurance Evaluation. Should I get a policy now or later?

In other countries such as Australia and New Zealand, jet ski insurance is seen as mandatory by other users. They say that “if you can’t afford the insurance, you can’t afford to go out on the water”. That is to say, do yourself and all others a favor and get a policy that covers you and the machine.

After all, you don’t want to spend so much money, only to write off your jet ski in a crash and have nothing left. Or even worse – have your PWC stolen when you’re not watching. An insurance policy can really give you peace of mind to sleep at night.

Coverage of jet ski insurance policies

Jet ski insurance does cover a range of things, such as theft, damage (both on water and on the trailer) and even public liability. So if you crash into someone out on the water, you can be protected. It really depends on the particular company that you’re using, as to the level of cover that they provide.

How it works generally is that you’ll ring up a company and provide them these basic details:

  1. The make and model of your jet ski including year of manufacture
  2. Your name, address and age, so the insurance company can provide an accurate quote
  3. Any additional performance modifications that you’ve made to your PWC
  4. The hours on the clock, plus registration number and your license number
  5. If you own your jet ski outright, if it’s under financing with a lender

From there, you’ll get a fair idea of what you’re looking for.

Please note that most jet ski insurance providers won’t help those under the age of 16. This is because very few states, if any, provide licensing for minors, nor do they have the confidence or ability to handle the bigger machines without adult supervision.

Why insurance is important

Now that we have an overview of what is required plus coverage, let’s look at why you should get a jet ski insurance policy ASAP.

Because it shouldn’t just be a case of “I hope everything will be OK” because it’s those without any insurance policies which are often caught out when they crash their jet ski on the rocks.

Jet ski insurance compulsory
There are varying prices for jet ski policies across the country and even the world!

It’s very important to get jet ski insurance for these reasons:

  • Makes you feel more confident as you’re protected from liabilities
  • Is a requirement of many banks and lenders when taking out finance
  • Helps you sleep better knowing that you can simply replace the ski
  • Thieves still can get through the biggest locks and alarm systems
  • Hull damage and engine problems can sometimes be covered with policies

The biggest one I discovered is the organized group rides. You know – when a whole bunch of people get together and aim to ride somewhere for the day. 100 miles out.

What the group leader(s) will ask for is a photocopy of insurance policies from each PWC rider, no matter which brand that you are riding. Yamaha riders are just as likely to crash and cause damage as SeaDoo riders.

So it’s very important to have an update to date jet ski policy to cover any damage or theft, but also, to avoid embarassment and having to ride on your own, whilst others are having fun as a group.

Choosing the right policy

One mistake that many beginners make when choosing the right jet ski insurance for their particular make and model, is selecting the right policy.

There are things you’ll want to look out for. After all, there is cheap jet ski insurance policies out there, but they only cover the real basics. You need to read the fineprint, to make sure you know exactly what you’re looking at.

I would recommend you ask things such as:

  1. If your insurance policy will carry-over year after year
  2. How many passengers are also covered in the event of a crash
  3. Any restrictions on the rider, such as age, speed and their abilities
  4. Whether the jet ski insurance also covers the trailer and accessories
  5. If your engine and hull is covered in the event of a sinking
  6. Interstate or overseas coverage, such as day-trips to the Bahamas
  7. If you can get a discount if you pay your policy yearly instead of monthly
  8. What happens if your jet ski catches fire. Are you still protected?

The right policy isn’t the cheapest policy. Jet ski insurance policies really do vary a lot, so I wouldn’t recommend that you choose one at the bottom.

I do have my #1 recommendation. A resource that helps beginners find the right insurance for their personal watercraft, as well as for themselves, so they’re protected for personal injury too.

Cost of jet ski insurance

The pricing for a PWC insurance policy can really vary. A good question to ask is “What is the cost of NOT taking out this policy?” as you could damage someone else’s boat or jet ski out on the water, and not have the financial ability to pay for that damage.

Jet ski insurance cost
There is a range of jet ski insurance policies where the cost can really vary

When researching for my own jet ski, I found that insurance policies varied in price from $400 per year, right up to $2,700+ per year! It really depended on a range of factors. This is why it’s important to look at various options.

Certainly, a new model off the showroom floor is more expensive than a 10-year-old ski. Because generally those with older skis which aren’t worth much in the marketplace only decide to get 3rd party damage cover.

As I mentioned in the part about choosing the right policy, you’ll want to look at what you really want with your insurance. There are various add-ons which can increase your monthly or yearly premiums, but some of these you could do without, depending on your situation and riding style.

In summary

As I’ve mentioned, jet ski insurance is almost mandatory for the serious rider. Most people who take up this sport are riding fast and are often sharing waterways with other riders.

If someone crashes into you, having a jet ski insurance policy that’s up to date will give you peace of mind that everything will be covered. Likewise, you can also sleep better knowing that if your jet ski is stolen, that everything will be alright.

So the main question: Should you take out a policy? In my experience, yes – you should! As they say, if you can’t afford the insurance premiums, you probably can’t afford to go jetskiing on the waterways.

For that reason, I recommend that you highly consider taking up a policy starting today. Our #1 recommendation here at JetSkiAdvice.com is to look at this policy comparison site for the lowest prices.

4 of the Best Quality Jet Ski Covers available

Jet Ski Covers

So you’re looking at different types of very high-quality jet ski covers to protect your PWC from the harmful effects of sun and water.

Sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it? That the two biggest elements that your personal watercraft is exposed to, also happens to be its main enemies.

But of course, all beginners have some questions:

  • How big of a jet ski cover do I need for my particular model?
  • Is it going to survive for years and years in harsh conditions?
  • Should I even buy one for protection, or just ‘wing it’ for now?
  • What are the differences between brand name and non-brands.

So those questions, and more, will be answered below in as best accuracy as I can.

Jet ski cover sizing

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the actual size of your jet ski. There simply is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ with PWC rain covers. Anyone who markets one is generally lying, as either it will be too small (and require stretching) or be good big and flap about on your trailer to and from the boat ramp.

Pro-tip: There is a false belief that you can’t use your cover when transporting the jet-ski. Truth is: You can! It won’t tear to shreads. The secret is to buy a brand-name cover for your personal watercraft, as opposed to a cheap one which uses low-quality materials.

Also use some extra straps. This can prevent it flying away when traveling at highway speeds.

Jet Ski Covers

So here is what you’ll want to do:

  1. Find out the size of your jet ski in length and width
  2. Look at jet ski covers that are matching or slightly bigger
  3. Avoid the cheapest models. These will only last a few months

You can always tie down a little if you buy one that’s a bit too big. Just avoid anything enormous.

Quality and branding

I’ve touched on this already – you’ll want to invest for the best. Avoid the cheap PWC sun cover listings on Amazon that claim they have high quality, when the price is super low. Read those reviews and see what others are experiencing.

You’ve already spent a fortune on your jet ski, so it’s wise to protect your investment. Both sun and water can really damage your surface, and having your seating upholstery replaced isn’t cheap. Let’s not forget the electricals which can be easily damaged from rain events.

My recommendation is that you buy OEM if possible, particularly by the same manufacturer of your PWC. Whether that’s SeaDoo, Yamaha or Kawasaki, you’ll likely find something that suits you.

Then again, the argument against OEM is that they are sometimes a bit hard to fit. This is because they’re snug – they’re designed to fit your jet ski. So you won’t get the lag that universal covers provide.

Best Jet Ski Covers

Now we’re on to the fun part! Actual personal watercraft rain/sun covers that will protect your machine.

This list of jet ski covers are all from non-manufactuers. This is because you can easily find the ideal cover from the manufacturer who built your jet ski.

But you’re also looking at pricing. They can be 3x to 4x the price. So for a lot less, you can still get a reasonably good quality PWC cover for protection on the trailer.

Jet Ski Covers
Protect jet skis like this which are in the sun all day long, with a high quality cover.

I can recommend:

  1. Budge Jet Ski Cover
  2. North East Harbor Trailerable PWC Cover
  3. Jetpro Jetski Watercraft Cover
  4. EliteSheild 3 Seater Jetski Cover (My #1 choice)

Of course, in front of that list is still your own manufacturer. They have covers that perfectly fit your make and model, with a much higher quality, though also, at a much higher price too.

My helpful advice

As someone who understands jet skis very well, especially as he runs JetSkiAdvice.com, I’ve learned a thing or two.

In particular, that jet ski covers vary a lot in their quality and fit. For that reason, you’ll want to make sure that you get the right fit. Having a cover which can slip off is embarrassing and frustrating, but also, so is a super-tight fit.

Going ‘bare back’ and not purchasing a jet ski suncover is a bad idea, unless you do have undercover storage to protect your machine from the sun and rain. Even if you do have storage, how will you ensure your jet ski is protected between the boat ramp and home?

I would also advise that you care for your cover too. Regular cleaning is essential as well as checking for holes and leaks. Check the straps too, as these are often the first things that break.

Some food for thought. 🙂

In summary

These 4 options are great for beginners. They’re much more affordable than the jet ski covers from Yamaha, SeaDoo and Kawasaki. With that reduced price does come reduced quality, but more often than not, these models do hold up for the medium-term.

I would 100% recommend a jet ski cover for most people. It’s a cheap insurance policy knowing that your pride and joy is protected and ready to hit the water!

Best Jet Ski and PWC Anchors in 2020

PWC Anchor

Choosing the right jet ski anchor to protect your PWC from floating away can be challenging for the beginner, especially as there’s many types.

Dealerships sometimes give different advice than what you’ll find within Facebook groups. Guess what? Everyone is sort of correct!

Jet Ski Anchors

Today I’ll detail some of the best jet ski anchors available, so you can lock down your jetski and prevent embarassing swim-outs.

Best types of jet ski anchors

So let’s firstly see what are the best types. The type that you can rely on.

Sand anchor

In my opinion and experience, you’re better off with a sandbag anchor for your PWC first and foremost. How it works is that you fill the bag up with sand, then the rope connects to your front hook.

Many beginners prefer to start with these, because:

  • Very minimal risk of damaging your hull and its paintwork
  • The bag packs up small once the sand has been emptied out
  • Can be purchased for reasonably cheap from Amazon.com
  • Generally will last for years, so it’s there when you upgrade

Some people also put rocks in the bag, though I generally don’t recommend this. Rocks can wear out the bag liner faster than if you were to just use sand. But to each their own!

The main disadvantage of a sand anchor is that it isn’t so reliable in rougher swells and surf beaches, or rapidly moving tides. Also, there is often going to be a tiny bit of residual sand going into your jet ski storage compartment.

My #1 recommendation is the Sea-Doo generic sandbag anchor.

Fluke anchor

This is the most popular type of anchor for boats. That said, jet ski enthusiasts will also use them in rougher conditions.

This type of anchor is best suited if you wanted to anchor in the middle of the water, as it’s better designed for tidal conditions than the popular sand anchors. Those who go jet ski fishing absolutely love the sand anchor.

Fluke anchors work well for jet skis that are anchoring in both sand and muddy areas. It is generally an overkill if you’re simply looking to ride the hull up on to the sand and use this as a security device.

There are some key reasons why people don’t choose this type of anchor:

  • It’s really quite expensive for a piece of metal
  • They’re big and bulky, with rec-lite jetskis not offering enough storage
  • In rough conditions, they can bang around in your storage compartment
  • Potential damage to the hull of your PWC as you throw it over the side

Not only do you have the capital outlay, you also need some anchor chain, shakes and rope. So this can be an expensive exercise and reduce your PWC performance, plus take up a lot of storage space in the front locker.

Umbrella Anchor

Sometimes known as a mushroom anchor, this ‘upside down umbrella’ is really the best of both words. These do weigh quite well just like the sand anchor, but that weight also can’t be disposed off. Wrapping them with a towel can work very well.

I recommend a jet ski umbrella anchor that has plastic or vinyl coating, as opposed to metallic. This is because you’ll be less likely to scratch your personal water craft hull when retrieving the anchor.

These sometimes can be more pricer than typical fluke anchors, but make up for less potential damage. I would use a 12-pound minimum for even a rec-lite PWC, especially in high tidal-flow areas.

Screw Anchors for Jet Ski

This is my favorite if I’m beaching my jet ski and don’t want it to go anywhere whilst I’m out of sight. Sometimes you’ll bring your ski up to the shoreline without realizing that there is an incoming tide. Just an hour later and your PWC is starting to float on the water once again!

With these, there is a physical side of it. You have to screw the anchor into the sand, then unscrew it when you’re ready to leave. For that reason, it simply doesn’t work when anchoring normally, but is ideal for beaching your jet ski.

These are very lightweight and highly secure, though less popular for the reasons I mentioned.

Beginner tips

Some people will avoid purchasing an anchor all together, in the hope that they will find a tree, pole or something to latch on to if they need to physically stop their personal water craft from drifting. In my experience, this is a wrong move. You’ll simply need a jet ski anchor more often than you think.

Kettlebells and weights are often recommended, but will last just a few weeks before rust inhibits them. Then you’ll have a rusty weight that lives in your storage compartment. A very bad idea!

Anchors are generally deadweight, but the sand anchor bag can also hold a normal fluke anchor at the same time. As you almost always bring a towel for a day out on the water, it’s great to wrap one around any type of PWC anchor that you pack.

Lastly – I would always recommend at least 30 feet of anchor rope. Invest in some quality rope, not the cheap stuff. This is especially handy too if you’re needing to tow someone whose jet ski has broken down. That 30 foot of rope allows some ‘lag time’ in case you need to suddenly stop.

PWC Anchoring: In summary

As you can probably tell, it’s tough to give the most precise anchor. There is a good range of jet ski anchors on the marketplace and available worldwide.

You will have to anchor your jet ski at some stage, even as a beginner. You won’t always have a nice sandy beach in which to ride up on. Even if you do, a sandbag or screw anchor is extremely handy to have for that peace of mind feeling.

At the end of the day, anchors for PWCs and small boats are extremely affordable. When you outlay so much capital for your new water toy, it’s wise to spend the minimal amount on a good bottom anchor to protect it drifting away.