Why do Jet Skis Only Last 300 Hours?

You might be surprised when you hear that jet skis only last for 300 hours. While a quality jet ski that is well-taken care of can certainly last for more than 300 hours, you might be wondering why some don’t last very long. In today’s article, I will go into detail on the main reasons why jet skis only last 300 hours.

Why do jet skis only last 300 hours?

Jet skis only last for 300 hours due to strict maintenance requirements, environmental factors, wear and tear, improper storage, and lack of development.


The main reason that some jet skis only last 300 hours is because they require A LOT of maintenance. If the owner of a jet ski doesn’t keep it properly maintained, it will almost certainly experience malfunctions by the 300 hour mark.

Some of the most important maintenance requirements for a jet ski include regular oil and filter changes, lubricating seals, and bearings, and replacing spark plugs.

You will also need to change your jet ski battery every couple of years. If you don’t replace your battery on time, it can cause strain on other parts of your jet ski’s engine. It’s important that you get a good battery for your jet ski so that you don’t have to replace it as often.

Another really important aspect of jet ski maintenance that is often overlooked is winterizing. If not done correctly, the lifetime of your jet ski will certainly be decreased.

Environmental factors

Another reason jet skis don’t last very long is because of their constant exposure to environmental factors. For one, water can be very taxing on your jet ski’s body and engine. Water can also cause rust to grow on both the external and internal parts of the jet ski.

In particular, salt water can be very corrosive to a jet ski. For this reason, it’s extremely important to flush out your jet ski after you use it in salt water.

Constantly being in the sun and exposed to UV rays can also take a toll on jet skis. Not only can it cause damage to your jet ski over time, but it can also cause the color on your jet ski to become faded.

To help limit the damage of environmental elements on your jet ski, you should make sure that you properly store your jet ski in a safe space. Ideally, you should keep your jet ski out of the water when you are not using it, and it’s also recommended that you put a jet ski cover over it. This will help prolong the life of the cushion and rubber that is on the jet ski.

Wear and tear

Another reason that jet skis don’t last very long is because of rough riding conditions. When you go really fast on a jet ski or ride in rough waters, the constant banging of the jet ski against the water can take a toll on the engine. It can cause things to get loose and wear down on bearings and wiring. For this reason, it’s important to watch your speed on your jet ski when the waves are rough.

Aside from speed, it’s also important about where you ride your jet ski. For example, you should try to avoid riding your jet ski in shallow water. This can cause debris and sand to get sucked into your engine, which can cause a plethora of issues. You also risk the chance of rocks getting stuck in your jet ski impeller.

Improper storage

Another reason jet skis don’t last that long is because people don’t store them properly. For example, leaving your jet ski in water for a long period of time can increase wear and tear, especially if water is constantly brushing up against it. This is why I recommend using a floating jet ski dock.

Also, in the off season, it is important to store your jet ski in moderate temperatures. If your jet ski is regularly exposed to freezing temperatures, it can wear down a lot of the components in the engine. It can also cause the paint on your jet ski to wear off quicker.

Lack of development

I don’t mean to criticize the jet ski industry as a whole by saying it lacks development, but it is true that jet ski’s just aren’t as developed or innovated as much as other watercraft vehicles. The biggest reason for this is simply time.

While the first jet ski came out in 1973, the first motorized boat came out in 1888. This means that boats have been around and innovated for almost 140 years. That has led to a huge improvement of boat models and quality, which is one of the main reasons why boats are able to last longer than jet skis, even though they are exposed to similar conditions.

The good news is that new jet ski models are released every year. While the new models sometimes focus on aesthetics or technological advances such as touch screen panels, there is almost always some aspect of performance improvement.

While it might seem that jet skis don’t last long enough, I’m sure we will have longer lasting jet skis in the coming years.

If you are currently shopping for a new jet ski, you should check out my guide on the best jet ski for the money.


It can be pretty intimidating when you hear that jet skis only last for around 300 hours. For example, if you plan on riding it for 2 hours a day, and for 50 days out of the years, it would only last for 3 years.

While some jet skis may very well last only 300 hours, with proper maintenance and care, you can have your jet ski last much longer.
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