How To Lower Fuel Costs On Sea Doo Tours…

Conserve fuel to save a few bucks

Photo ©2017 by Allan Glanfield

Related: PWC Fuel Economy


Many recreational boaters are exploring ways to conserve fuel to combat high gas prices on their PWC adventures. Because as much as roadside gas stations are charging motorists, jet ski riders can expect to pay even more on the water.

Although personal watercraft are considerably less expensive to operate than most other recreational boats, savvy PWC touring riders know about fuel economy and plan fills ups ahead to save a few bucks while riding.

Boating Inherently Inefficient

Use regular grade to conserve fuel

Photo ©2016 by Allan Glanfield

That’s because recreational boats, even PWC’s, aren’t exactly the most fuel-efficient. Their fuel economy lags far behind that of many of their land-based counterparts like snowmobiles, ATV’s and motorcycles.

In large part, that’s because recreational boating is inherently more inefficient. Simply put, thrusting any vessel across the water burns a bunch of fuel. Generally, consuming more gas more than other recreational vehicles going the same distance on asphalt, earth or snow.

Tips To Conserve Fuel

Filling up with regular to conserve fuel

Photo ©2017 by Craig Nicholson

Use Regular

So to stretch your dollars farther while Sea Doo touring on the water, make your first consideration riding a PWC that takes regular 87-octane gas. You’ll save a pile right there by not having to buy premium. Unfortunately, some marinas only pump premium fuel. So this is where your planning comes in…and if you have any tips I’m missing please let me know!

Fill on Land

A good place to start is with my jet ski fuelling tips. These include always filling up at roadside gas stations when your personal watercraft are on the trailer. Preferably, trailer your jet ski empty as far as possible to reduce tow vehicle fuel consumption, and fill up as near your launch point as possible. You can also avoid marina prices by filling up your jet ski at the cottage or launch ramp from jerry cans with gas purchased on land. But what if you need to refill mid-ride?

Carry Extra On Board

Try carrying extra fuel on board for Sea Doo tours. Anyone with a new-platform Sea Doo (2018 or later) can do so easily with a new LinQ System fuel caddy. Others may have to get creative. Look for properly sized or configured jerry cans that can be securely fastened on the back of your watercraft. Or add a link bracket to your jet ski.

Or go all-out and install a Turtle Pack Fuel Bladder. I spotted these nifty devices a couple of years back on Sea Doo watercraft specially equipped for long distance touring. You can even rig Turtle Packs to act as an auxiliary fuel tank. Just the flick of a switch avoids any pouring!

Slow Down to Conserve Fuel

Topping up at a town marina

Photo ©2017 by Craig Nicholson

My next tip for conserving fuel is to back off the throttle. Like other engines, those in personal watercraft have a cruising sweet spot that optimizes fuel efficiency. But as soon as you exceed that speed, fuel economy plummets. Same goes with the fast starts of hard acceleration. If fuel cost is really a big issue, you won’t do any better than a Sea Doo Spark or one of their premium models set in ECO Mode.

I know, I know. Many of you are now thinking what fun is that? Well, that’s the trade off, isn’t it? If you want to let ‘er rip, then don’t complain about gas costs. Or put it to the bar or play to your heart’s content close to home base, where running on empty isn’t such a big deal. But for jet ski touring, you need to be a fuel miser.

Plan Ahead To Conserve Fuel

Using jerry cans to conserve fuel

Photo © by Craig Nicholson

You can also save a few bucks by planning your PWC touring rides better. Avoid marina prices by keeping your return ride distance less than the range of fuel on board. Failing that, check with marinas en route beforehand to see who has regular fuel and the best gas prices. Check out a discount program like Docklinks which offers fuel savings at participating marinas. If you have friends along the way, try arranging in advance to have fuel on hand for a quick top up.

All of this assumes that you care about high gas prices while Sea Doo touring. If not – and you’re one of the many who are willing to pay to play regardless – then ride on…

But if conserving fuel and managing costs are a priority then hopefully, this blog is helpful. And by the way, consider carrying a syphon, pour spout & no-splash funnel to make it easier to fill up from jerry cans. Finally, wherever possible, fill your jet skis on land, not over the water!

Check out my favourite Sea-Doo rides!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my other riding tips.

The tips and advice in this article are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.


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