When you start shopping for a Jet Ski, you will notice there are many options from which to choose.
Aside from narrowing things down by the price range, you will have to consider the size, the speed, the reliability, and the features and accessories.
If reliability is a key factor for you, then you will want to keep reading.
Choosing a reliable Jet Ski may mean more time spent on the water and less in the shop.
Remember that Jet Ski is actually a brand name, so we’ll be finding you the most reliable personal watercraft on the market.
What Is the Most Reliable Jet Ski?
The most reliable Jet Ski on the market is the WaveRunner FX.
The WaveRunner is a model that is created by Yamaha, and it is technically not a Jet Ski.
These terms WaveRunner and Jet Ski are often used interchangeably, but only the Kawasaki brand makes the Jet Ski.
Let’s take a deeper look as to why the WaveRunner FX is such a great choice.
We cannot forget to stress the importance of choosing a reliable personal watercraft.
WaveRunner FX Details
The FX Series of WaveRunners from Yamaha are part of their luxury series.
As you can imagine, as soon as luxury is thrown into the mix, there is going to be an increase in the overall price.
The luxury models can be used for some fast rides or simply touring as well.
There are four different WaveRunner FX models.
You have the FX HO, FX Cruiser HO, FX HVHO, and the FX Cruiser HVHO.
Each of these individual WaveRunner models is known for being very high performing and reliable as well.
1. Rider Capacity
Each of the FX models is going to be able to hold between one and three people.
The WaveRunner FX is a sit-down model which allows the driver to be able to operate the personal watercraft from a seated position.
All of the WaveRunner personal watercraft are designed like this.
This is different from the Kawasaki which still offers options to be standing and driving at the same time.
2. Fuel Capacity
Each of the WaveRunner FX models can hold 18.5 gallons of fuel.
This is a good amount and the exact number you would want if you are carrying around a few people at the same time.
Certainly, the heavier WaveRunner models which accommodate more people are also known for burning more fuel.
The 18.5 gallons should allow you to go quite a while between fuel fill-ups.
3. Engine Details
The FX HO and the FX HO Cruiser are both four-cylinder, four-stroke engines.
The HVHO series has a supercharged engine.
The one thing to look for in a reliable Jet Ski or WaveRunner is something that is not necessarily for performance and racing.
Those engines typically have more issues which could go wrong.
They are high performing, which also means high maintenance, and you will end up having to pay quite a bit should something happen.
Finding a balance between an engine that performs well without breaking the bank is going to be really important.
You will notice a difference between the HVHO series and how it performs, but that is not to say that the engine in the HO series is underpowered.
Yamaha knows how to make a variety of engines, and they know how important both speed and performance is.
The HO series of the FX WaveRunners will take regular unleaded fuel.
When you move up to that supercharged engine in the HVHO, you are going to have to use premium unleaded fuel.
This is an important thing to consider before you finalize your purchase on your WaveRunner.
Always purchase something you can afford down the road, not just at the moment.
You can also expect the HVHO series to burn a bit more fuel than the HO as it is a higher performing engine.
When you talk about reliability in a Jet Ski, some of that may have to do with the features and accessories that it will offer.
You will notice that the FX WaveRunners have a quite a few significant details which set them apart and help them be more reliable overall.
Here are a few things that stood out to us.
The automatic bilge is a great feature for not having to worry should you take on a little water.
When you are having fun out on your Jet Ski, chances are there will be a bit of water that comes on board.
The automatic bilge helps to make sure you always stay on top of the water and don’t start to sink.
In addition to the automatic bilge, there are also self-draining foot wells.
This is a premium option which is another excellent addition by Yamaha.
You won’t have to worry about the area around your feet staying wet the entire time as the WaveRunner FX can drain itself.
When you combine these convenient features with the touchscreen that has both security and drive control, you are only making the FX more reliable.
The only real issue you will find with the WaveRunner FX is that it is a bit pricier than other personal watercraft on the market.
Again, as we mentioned earlier, a large reason behind this is that reliability comes at a price.
What to Look For in a Reliable Jet Ski
Now that you have our opinion as to which the best Jet Ski on the market is for reliability, it’s time for you to understand why.
What makes a Jet Ski reliable?
What makes a Jet Ski a poor choice for reliability?
Age is only going to apply when you start looking at both new and used Jet Skis.
The newer Jet Skis should be more reliable, but that is not always the case.
If you purchase a cheaper new Jet Ski and compare it to a higher performing older Jet Ski, you may find the older Jet Ski is more reliable.
Products today are made faster and sometimes cheaper than they have ever been made before.
If you can find a model that is a few years old and in really good condition, it could be a very reliable choice.
It is important to remember that Jet Skis don’t last forever.
When you look at the number of hours a Jet Ski has on it, you will have a general indication of the life it may have left in it.
For instance, a Jet Ski with more than 200 hours on it is going to be getting up there in age.
You may start having to deal with some maintenance issues and problems as the age of the Jet Ski increases.
Pay attention to the hours on a Jet Ski when you want something with a bit more reliability.
2. Features and Accessories
When you are shopping for a reliable Jet Ski, you will have to balance the need for features and accessories with your desire for reliability.
The more features a Jet Ski has, the better the ride will be and potentially more fun.
However, each one of these features also opens up another door for something to go wrong.
When things are more complicated or complex, there can be more problems long term.
Some new Jet Skis feature high-end electronic systems, and some of them even have brakes.
When you use brakes on a Jet Ski, you will have to engage quite a few complicated processes inside the Jet Ski.
Although we don’t recommend choosing a Jet Ski with no features and accessories, it is smartest to choose something with very reliable options.
Get a Jet Ski with great safety features, and look for waterproof electronics and good quality names on any of the additional accessories on your Jet Ski.
If you decide to add any upgrades or customizations to your Jet Ski yourself, make sure they don’t compromise the Jet Ski in any way.
The three most popular Jet Ski brands are the Kawasaki Jet Ski, the Yamaha WaveRunner and the Sea-Doo.
Each of these three options is high performing, well known, and backed by a very strong company.
With these three brands, reliability is going to be much easier to obtain.
Of course, our top pick for a reliable personal watercraft was the Yamaha WaveRunner FX.
This option is the most reliable because it has the perfect mix of quality, affordability, and features.
It is not a speed craft that focuses on racing, so you won’t have to worry about the issues that could come up from the performance side of things.
4. Model Type
Jet Skis are offered in many different model types.
You will notice that some models are more reliable than others.
Although this sounds a little funny, the lower performance models are very likely going to be more reliable than the high-performance options.
Look for something that is a luxury model or a base model as opposed to a racing Jet Ski.
You will find that the lack of super-charged engine is going to help you keep your Jet Ski in great shape for years to come.
Do I Need a Reliable Jet Ski or a Performance Jet Ski?
Knowing which type of Jet Ski is right for you is a large part of the battle.
As we mentioned, some of the lower performing Jet Skis are going to be more reliable than the high performing.
The question then becomes, do you really need a high performing Jet Ski?
What will you miss if you go to the more reliable models?
There are lots of questions you must ask before you settle on your final Jet Ski choice.
One of the biggest is choosing a brand.
If you stay with Kawasaki, Yamaha, and SeaDoo, you will already be guaranteeing some reliability.
These three are the true leaders in the market, and it is essential to stick with something that has a strong name behind it.
Each year, these three companies come out with more and more options.
If you think it was hard to choose a Jet Ski this year, it may be even harder next year.
Think about what you are going to use your Jet Ski for.
Some want to tour around a lake, and others want to tow their kids on a tube.
The various ways of using your Jet Ski are part of what makes the decision so difficult.
If you think you are going to miss out if you switch to a lower-performing, more reliable Jet Ski, then you should consider the following things.
Is this your first Jet Ski purchase, or have you been operating Jet Skis for years?
If you are new to the world of personal watercraft, you are probably not going to notice the difference in reliability vs. performance.
If this is the case, choose the reliability factor as it will save you money in the end.
What are you going to use the Jet Ski for?
If you want to race and you need speed, then you are going to have no choice but to go for the more powerful model.
The engines in these models are going to be supercharged, and if something goes wrong, chances are your invoice will also be supercharged.
This is part of a price we pay for adding performance to the mix.
Some of the lighter models are not equipped to tow.
Although they are rather reliable and will help you make sure you don’t end up in the shop all that often, they aren’t great for towing.
When you can’t do what you want to with your Jet Ski, you might as well choose something that works best, even if you sacrifice reliability.
Of course, the budget is almost always going to come into play.
However, the good news is that, when you are looking for reliability, it does not always mean you need to pay more.
Most of the time, you can find something reliable in the middle price range.
If you have an unlimited budget and you don’t care if you are going to have to pay to have your performance Jet Ski fixed and serviced, then go for it.
Most Jet Ski owners will find themselves most comfortable in this mid-range of Jet Skis.
By now, you should be able to see that the WaveRunner FX is the most reliable personal watercraft.
You should also understand what makes something a reliable Jet Ski.
Doing a bit of research before making your final purchase could save you a lot of money down the road.
Purchasing a reliable craft will also help you when you try and sell it in the future.
Chances are people are going to know that the model is more reliable than others, and they will be willing to pay a bit more.
Purchasing a Jet Ski is a bit of a process, but once you get out on the water, you will be enjoying yourself immensely.