If you love to jet ski, but don’t own a truck or SUV, you may have wondered if buying, borrowing, or renting a Sea-Doo is even an option for you. Unlike many other watercrafts that require larger vehicles for towing, jet skiing is accessible even for people with smaller cars, but there are some limitations and other factors to consider first. Before you purchase a jet ski, you may find yourself wondering, Can you tow a seadoo with a car?
Most likely you can tow a Sea-Doo, Jet Ski, or WaveRunner with a car as long as your car has the towing capacity to accommodate the weight of the PWC, trailer, and any additional gear you may need. Many cars have a towing capacity of 1,000-1,500 pounds and a single jet ski, trailer, and gear can range from 630-1,300 pounds.
There are many factors to determine if you can tow a Sea-Doo with your car such as weight, towing capacity, as well as safety, so lets dive in to them now.
The Main Factors to Determine if you can Tow a Sea-Doo with your Car
What’s Your Towing Capacity?
The first step in figuring out whether or not you can tow a jet ski with your car is determining the maximum towing capacity. This information can be found in your car’s owner’s manual.
On average, most sedans only have a towing capacity of 1,000-1,500 pounds (though there are a few, such as the Volvo S80/S90 that can tow as much as 3,900 pounds). The combined weight of the jet-ski, trailer, and additional gear should not exceed the max towing capacity of your vehicle.
Here are the towing capacities for some of the most popular sedans.
|Make||Model||Towing Capacity (in lbs.)|
Jet Ski Weight
It’s also important to factor in the weight of your PWC, which can vary widely between models. An average jet ski weighs between 400 and 1,000 pounds depending on if you have a stand-up model or a newer sit-down model, without any added gear. Because of this, it is best to choose a lighter waverunner if you are planning to tow it with a car.
Below are the weights of some popular jet ski models. (See here for more Sea-Doo, Jet Ski, and WaveRunner model weights).
|Model||Dry Weight (in lbs.)|
|Spark Trixx 3-Up||439|
|GTI (130, SE 130, SE 170)||739|
PWC Trailer Weight
You also need to consider the weight of the trailer itself. Trailer weights vary by material and carrying capacity. Most trailers are made with either steel or aluminum, and while both have their pros and cons, if you’re trying to minimize weight, aluminum is the better choice.
Most single ski aluminum trailers, such as the ones below, weigh between 170 and 250 pounds.
|Trailer||Weight (in lbs.)||Carrying Capacity (in lbs.)|
Other Weight Factors
Lastly, don’t forget to factor in the added weight of additional gear, such as storage items, fuel, and other accessories. These items can add anywhere between 50 and 200 pounds to your total weight.
Adding It All Up
If you combine the weight of your Sea-Doo, trailer, and additional gear, you are looking at a combined towing weight of anywhere from 630 to 1,300 pounds. For a car with a maximum towing capacity of 1,000-1,500 pounds, you will be able to tow this load.
Because of the weight to towing capacity, it is likely that you will only be able to tow one jet ski with your vehicle. Be sure to check your total weight against your car’s towing limits before driving off.
How to Increase Towing Capacity
If you want to tow a second Sea-Doo or you’re concerned about the weight of your single Sea-Doo and trailer, you can try looking into purchasing a trailer with brakes (such as the WC2-2 from Triton) or adding brakes to your existing trailer. Doing so could potentially double your towing capacity.
For example, although a Maxza 3 hatchback pulling a trailer without brakes can only pull a maximum of 1,400 pounds, the same car pulling a trailer with brakes can pull up to 3,300 pounds. The added brakes increase the car’s towing capacity because they increase the car’s stopping power, which is especially important for maintaining control on hills and to the safety of passengers as well as other drivers.
Be sure to check your owner’s manual for more information on your car’s towing with brakes capacity.
Other Factors to Consider:
- GVWR/GVM– This stands for “gross vehicle weight rating” or “gross vehicle mass” which includes the maximum total operating weight of the car. Be sure to check this number in your owner’s manual. It may affect how many passengers or added supplies you can carry in your car in addition to what you are towing.
- Safety Check– Before driving off with your Sea-Doo, make sure your hitch is properly attached with the right size receiver coupler, your tires are properly inflated, no straps, chains, or cords are hanging down from the trailer, and that your trailer lights are working properly.
- Terrain Issues– Be careful hauling your Sea-Doo over long distances or rough terrain. All of these factors can affect the maneuverability and stability of your car. Take it slow, keep a safe distance from other cars, and be aware of potentially hazardous surfaces.
- Front-Wheel Drive vs. Rear-Wheel Drive– In general, rear-wheel drive is preferable for loading and unloading a jet-ski, especially if you are on a steep, wet launch ramp.
Sea-Doos are a great entry into the world of personal watercraft recreation, and unlike many other watercrafts, they can be towed without a truck or SUV. However, keep in mind that most cars will only be capable of towing a single jet-ski, unless your trailer has brakes.
To see if your car can safely tow your Sea-Doo, be sure to calculate the total weight of the jet-ski, trailer, and gear you wish to tow against the maximum towing capacity of your car and consider other safety concerns like the distance and quality of the terrain you’ll be driving on and whether your car has front or rear-wheel drive and how steep the boat launch is.
Despite these considerations, towing a Sea-Doo, Jet Ski, or WaveRunner with a car is definitely doable. As long as you follow these precautions you’ll be ready to hit the water in no time.
Enjoy the Waves!