Find out how to replace your Sea Doo key and how much you should be looking to pay in our guide.
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you either lost your key, or you’re looking for a Sea Doo key replacement.
If that’s the case, then there’s some good news and some bad news. The good news is, yes, you can get a replacement key. The bad news is, it can be a little tricky sometimes.
If you happen to be looking for information on lost keys from other manufacturers, then stick around. There’s some good info here for that too.
Preventing a Lost Sea Doo Key
Keys are probably one of the easiest items to lose that people use daily. They’re very small, and they get moved around a lot, so it’s not hard to misplace them. However, there are a few things that help prevent losing not just a Sea Doo key, but any keys that you may use.
- First of all, consider getting a PWC safety lanyard, preferably one that is bright. Lanyards don’t just make it easier to hold keys, but they make them much more noticeable as well. Check out our PWC accessories guide for lanyards and other helpful tools.
- Consider buying a key tracker. Key trackers are small receivers that attach to sets of keys, allowing you to track them down using an app on your phone. This is a great way to hunt down lost keys, and avoid having to get a replacement. Just make sure you get a waterproof case for your key tracker, or it probably won’t last very long on a jet ski. The one below is waterproof.
- The last thing you can do is store your keys in a consistent spot. This may seem like a no brainer, but a lot of people have a bad habit of leaving keys in different spots. If you always put them in the same spot, it’ll be much easy to remember where they are.
How to Get a Sea Doo Key Replacement
Unfortunately, getting a Sea Doo key replacement can be somewhat of a hassle. That being said, it’s very possible to do.
Unlike traditional metal keys, Sea Doo keys need to be programmed for a designated watercraft. They essentially work like most “push to start” cars. The problem is unlike with cars, a Sea Doo key can be a little tricky to replace.
In order to get a replacement Sea Doo key, you first need to take the watercraft to a reputable dealership. You can’t call in with the VIN number, and you can’t bring a spare key for them to duplicate. You must be there in person, with the watercraft.
This may seem a little unnecessary, but it’s important to realize how a Sea Doo key works. When a Sea Doo is programmed to a key, the watercraft has a matching digital code with the keys it is assigned. In order to change this code, the watercraft has to be present. Aside from needing the watercraft in order to reprogram it, most dealers will run the VIN through a stolen boat database as well. This might seem like a hassle, but it’s a much-needed precaution to have in place.
Most Sea Doo watercraft can have up to 8 different keys assigned to them at once. Owners with several watercraft often take advantage of this by making their keys cross-compatible for all of their machines. This eliminates some of the hassles of searching for different keys and helps ensure there is always a backup key available.
How Much Does it Cost for a Sea Doo Key Replacement?
The cost of a Sea Doo key replacement is going to vary depending on the model, the year, and the dealership. Most reasonable dealerships will charge between $25 and $50 for a replacement key. There are a few places that may charge less, and other places that may charge more. Some people end up paying as much as $150 for a replacement key.
Some people choose to look for repair shops with aftermarket programmers to get replacement keys made. These shops use similar key programmers, so they can do just about everything that a dealership can. However, since they don’t have the same business costs as a dealership, they don’t have to charge the same price. Often they charge less to replace a lost Sea Doo key than the actual dealership will. This isn’t guaranteed, but frequently it’s the case.
It’s worth it to call several dealerships/repair shops before making any final decisions to not only make sure you can get a replacement but to make sure you get a good price as well. This is the best way to prevent overpaying for Sea Doo key replacements.
To really get a good price on a new key, try negotiating. This is something more people never even think of, but it can definitely work. After all, you’re unlikely to get a lower price without asking first. If possible, use the other shop’s prices as leverage. Both dealerships and small shops may be more inclined to give a fair price knowing a customer might go somewhere else.
Related: We review the Sea Doo Fish Pro next.
Reasons Why You May Not be Able to Get a Replacement Key
For most people, getting a new key is as simple as bringing the watercraft to the dealership. However, it can sometimes be more complicated than that. These are a few reasons why you may have trouble getting a replacement, or why you may not get one at all.
- Stolen Watercraft: As mentioned above, most dealerships will run the VIN number through a stolen watercraft database before issuing any spare keys. If you purchased your Sea Doo from a reputable dealer, then you have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if you bought it used, then there’s a potential chance that it could have been stolen. This basically leaves you “holding the bag”, and will make it very difficult to get a replacement key.
- Older Model: A lot of people who try to get a replacement Sea Doo key for an older model find that some dealerships can’t reprogram them. If this is the case, the keys may need to be reprogrammed by another dealership, or even a private repair shop.
- No local dealership: Depending on your location, there may not be very many local dealerships. If you don’t have a local dealer, you may have to look around for a repair shop with an after market programmer. They most likely wont charge more than a dealership, but if they do then it may be worth the convenience. If no repair shops can reprogram it, then road tripping to the closest dealer is the only other option.
Other Jet Ski Replacement Keys
If you own a Yamaha or Kawasaki, the process of getting a replacement key may be a little different. Ultimately it depends on the model and year of your watercraft, but if you lost jet ski keys, your best bet is usually to contact the dealer.
The dealership should be able to give some advice on what to do, or at least present some options. Keep in mind that they are a business though, and it’s always good to get a second opinion. Be sure to contact more than one dealer, private repair shops, or even ask around your local watercraft community.