Do Jet skis use a lot of gas? Plus 5 Fuel Economy Tips


If you are a smart jet ski owner, you consider the time you will be out on the water and factor in the amount of fuel you have in your tank. It is always good jet ski practice to fill your fuel tank before starting to ride for the day. But, how long can you get on a tank of fuel for a jet ski? Also, do jet skis have an excellent fuel economy, or are you forced to keep filling up because they are inefficient crafts? Luckily, we will answer these questions and more about fuel capacity and economy in jet skis as the focus of this article.

Do jet skis use a lot of gas? Yes, jet skis do use a lot of gas. They are not very efficient crafts, and that’s saying quite a bit when you think about the fuel economy of boats. The average fuel tank size is 16 gallons on a new 3 seater, and an average hour of riding can quickly burn through 10 gallons of fuel. You do the math!

What Is The Fuel Economy Of Different Jet Skis?

As with any vehicle, the larger the engine and the higher the horsepower, the lower the fuel economy mpg will be. This is no different for jet ski watercraft. Fuel economy on waverunners and jet skis are measured in gallons per hour. Typically, the posted numbers are at full throttle. The table below will give you an idea about how much gas you can burn through and a typical gallon per hour rate. (all at full throttle)

Before we get to the table, let’s discuss what it means. To give you some data, let me give you some insight into the following table. The fuel consumption is at wide-open throttle. Most of the time you are varying your throttle and it is hard to ping the throttle for an hour straight riding 70 mph. Typically, you will use less than half of the fuel consumption per hour as you are usually riding at more moderate speeds with some quick acceleration bursts.

Definitions

  • Gallons per hour is the Maximum fuel consumption per hour at wide open throttle (WOT).
  • The Tank size is the fuel tank size.
  • Hours of fuel at WOT is how long you can go at WOT.
ModelGallons Per Hour (full throttle)Tank SizeHours of Fuel at WOT
2020 Sea-Doo Spark 60HP1.947.94 Hours
2020 Sea-Doo Spark 90HP 2.47.93 Hours and 20 minutes
2020 Sea-Doo RXT-X30025.118.545 Minutes
2019 Yamaha Superjet7.74.835 Minutes
2020 Yamaha GP1800R2218.550 Minutes
2020 Yamaha EX7.913.21 hour and 35 minutes
2020 Kawasaki SX-R11.46.132 minutes
2019 Kawasaki STX 151220.61 Hour and 45 Minutes
2019 Kawasaki Ultra 310LX2420.650 Minutes
2007 Honda F12X12.216.61 Hour 20 Minutes

How Do You Get a Better Fuel Economy On A Jet Ski? 5 Tips to better fuel economy.

Jet Ski gas tanks usually hold enough fuel for an hour and a half of riding HARD. If you are casually riding or cruising, you can expect to get much more time and mileage out of your tank. If you are towing tubes and watersports, you may not get as good of fuel economy.

This is an average that is determined by the fuel tank size and horsepower of the engine. However, there are a few tricks and tip s for getting better mpg fuel economy on your jet ski that may help you to save a few bucks! Check out the list of tips below and make the most of your jet ski fuel.

1. Cruising Speed For Best Gallons Per Hour

According to Boattest.com, on a 2019 Yamaha GP1800R, the best cruising speed is about 25.5 mph using 7.8 gallons per hour, if you speed up to 37 mph, your gallons per hour about double. Hit full throttle and you are using about 23 gallons per hour.

On my Honda F12x, if I am at full throttle I am burning 12.2 gallons per hour. At 35 mph, I only burn 3.1 gallons per hour. There is a much greater economy if you are cruising around at lower speeds than at full throttle.

2. Drive Slower

Faster Speeds burn more fuel. If you can stand it, ride at lower speeds, and your fuel will last longer. If you are being sped and fuel conscious, it might be a good time to check the high rates on your speedometer to make sure that you are getting accurate readings and staying slower for a longer ride and better mpg.

3. Keep The Oil Fresh

Regular oil and oil filter changes can keep the engine running at full efficiency. This improves fuel economy and keeps your jet ski running longer with the proper lube. Just like a car, oil is the lifeblood of your jet skis engine. However, driving slower is not always possible for those looking to have fun, so at least if you keep the fluids updated and fresh, like with oil change, you will know that your engine is at its maximum efficiency for whatever type of driving that you are doing.

4. Get A Lighter Jet Ski

When jet ski shopping, buying a lighter jet ski usually will result in better fuel economy. However, if the lighter jet ski has a supercharged 300hp motor, you may not.

5. Forgo the Supercharger

If you have a supercharged jet ski, they will literally eat gas. Looking at the table above, you can blow through 20 gallons in less than an hour. If you want the best ski to allow you to ride the furthest, you may want to skip the performance model.

Commonly Asked Questions:

How far can I go on a tank of gas on a jet ski? To find your range, you will want to use the optimal cruising speed. For example, a 2007 Honda F12X can go about 187 miles on a tank at 35 mph. At full throttle, it can go about 81 miles. Most newer jet skis can go about 120-150 miles per tank at the optimal cruising speed.

How much gas does a jet ski use in an hour? On most jet skis today, a jet ski will use between 2 to 24 gallons per hour depending on the size of the jet ski hull as well as engine size. Supercharged jet skis will go through more gas than non supercharged waverunners.

How many gallons of gas does a Waverunner hold? Waverunners typically hold between 8 and 20 gallons of fuel. A Seadoo spark holds 7.9 gallons whereas a Kawasaki Ultra 310LH holds 20.6. Stand up jet skis will hold much less at about 5-6 gallons.

Conclusion

Jet skis and pretty much all watercraft use a lot of gas. That is the name of the game with its efficient impeller system of propulsion. The fuel tank size and weight of the jet ski along with the horsepower amount of the engine are important factors to consider when calculating the fuel economy of your PWC.

If you are in the market for a new jet ski and don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg on fuel prices every time you go out on the water, consider getting a smaller jet ski with lower horsepower and a lighter hull.

Otherwise, driving more carefully and slower can make small differences. In the long run, know that fuel burning is all a part of being a watercraft owner. Keep your engine up to date on fluids like oil, and at least you will know that the engine is guzzling fuel with the best efficiency it can muster.

Eric

I have been an avid boater / jet ski fanatic since I was a kid.

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