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Things to Consider Before Buying a Used Jet Ski

Snehal Motkar
So, you have planned to purchase a jet ski, and want some tips on buying a used one? Here is a compilation of all the important factors that should be touched upon while buying a used jet ski. Take a look.

Did You Know?

Jet Ski is a brand name for the watercraft manufactured by Kawasaki, which has become synonymous with a personal watercraft.
To enjoy a watercraft ride in the sea, you can either rent a jet ski or purchase one for yourself. Renting a watercraft has its own set of limitations like, it can be very expensive, and depending on the location, it can have specific riding rules and regulations as well. Therefore, buying a used jet ski can be a better option than buying a new one outright.
However, to make a wise jet ski purchase, there are a few things that you should consider like, the type, size, its working, maintenance, and possible technical problems that you may face in the future. You should also be aware about the questions to be asked to the seller, and what answers to expect from him.
Here are a few pointers to help you make the best jet ski purchase.

Look for Signs of Wear and Tear

Every used jet ski is going to have a few scratches here and there, but that does not mean it is not well-maintained. You just have to look for any major damage done to the ski through any accidents or excessive wear and tear. Following are the indicators that can help you determine the condition of your prospective watercraft.
Rust on any Part of the Hull
This is a good indicator to determine whether the jet ski is in a good condition or not. Look for signs of corrosion on the nuts and bolts of the motor. This is a prime indicator that very little to no maintenance has been carried out on the engine and its parts.
Also, remember that, rust and corrosion on the outside may indicate major damage to the engine, and hence, if you find even slight rusting or corrosion anywhere on the nuts and bolts, don't buy that ski.
♦ Problems in Wiring
It is extremely important to check the overall wiring of the jet ski, because it can lead to a whole lot of problems in the future.
Ensure that all the terminals are secured without any bare wires hanging out. Hanging or loose wires are hazardous and invite accidents. It may also damage your watercraft and cause you to pay a hefty sum for its repair. If the wires are not taped properly, they can corrode after coming in contact with water and affect the smooth functioning of the jet ski.

Water Leaks

The possible areas of water leakage could be the head, the exhaust, or any of the hoses inside the hull.
This is a huge red flag to avoid purchasing a particular watercraft, because it may indicate old and cracked hoses that are not replaced during maintenance. It can also mean loose fittings, and bad seals or gaskets. A sea trial of your prospective jet ski is the best time to look for water leaks present in the hull.

Registration is Important

In almost every state, each watercraft needs to be registered and have a title before taking it to any river, lake, or ocean. It simply means that if you don't have a title for your watercraft, you can't use it. Hence, if the seller does not have a title for his jet ski, don't buy it.
If the seller has a title, ensure that the HIN (Hull Identification Number) and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) displayed on the hull match with the one mentioned on the title. Also, make sure that the numbers written on the hull are not tampered with, and reject the deal if you find such signs.
The places where the registration numbers are displayed are on the back of the jet ski, somewhere near the exhaust or drain plugs. They can also be found under the battery, below the battery box, or under the fuel tank. If you find the numbers in these locations and if they match with the title of the watercraft, only then think of proceeding with the deal.

Don't Miss the Hours

The number of hours on the jet ski is the best indicator to determine the age of the ski. Knowing how old a jet ski is can help you determine its wear and tear at a glance.
A low-hour jet ski would show a usage of less than 50 hours, whereas a high-hour jet ski will indicate a usage of around 150 hours. This can be the basic criteria for inspecting a used jet ski, but remember, it is not the only factor to judge the condition of the ski.
This is because, a ski can be used for less than 30 hours, but it might have survived many accidents or may not be well-maintained by the owner. On the other hand, a ski might show a usage of 200 hours, yet be well maintained and accident-free. Hence, in addition to the hours, touch upon other vital factors as well, while looking for your first used jet ski.

Mechanic Check is Important

You can inspect the jet ski from its appearance, and determine its condition at the superficial level. However, along with its looks, inspection of the engine and the internal parts is also extremely important. Therefore, a mechanic check of the ski may prove beneficial in this context.
He will be able to tell you exactly what is the condition of the jet ski; is it well maintained or not, and should you consider its purchase. If the seller does not allow a mechanic check before purchasing the ski, know that there is some problem with the ski, and don't carry the deal any further.
It is also important to have knowledge about how the owner has stored the ski. For instance, if he keeps it in the sun or shade, or if it had a cover or not, etc. The skis that are stored in the shade stay in good shape and tend to last longer.