Insurance can be your best friend when it comes to personal water craft (PWC) this will help you in the case of an accident, injury, or if your craft becomes stolen.
We have full coverage on our ski’s and it is well worth the cost as we also have roadside assistance and water towing just in case the watercraft breaks down. One on water tow will pay for a whole years worth of insurance for two ski’s.
Make sure your insurance coverage covers theft as well as theft of items you take with you on your jet ski. This will pay you for electronics, water accessories, or other items that may be stolen with your craft.
Keep Proper Documentation
One of the first items you can do once you buy a jet ski or waverunner is to take photos of your jet ski, take photos of the hull identification number which is usually located on the rear, take photos of the registration number, as well as the serial number on the engine. Prior to purchase, you will want to make sure these match the title.
If you have a trailer, you will want to take a photo of your license plate and serial number as well.
This documentation will come in handy if it does in fact become stolen, you will have all of the data to deliver to the police as well as your insurance company. These details are also handy to keep in your vehicles glove box.
Protecting your ski on the water
There are several things you can do to protect your ski when you are out on the water. The best deterrent is to keep it within eyesight at all times. We know that isn’t always possible, so the tips below will help.
Never leave the lanyard attached, take it with you when you leave your ski. I have been to marinas several times and people think as they are on a boat or jet ski they can leave the keys in the ignition or lanyard attached to the key. This is a huge mistake, not only for theft, but for liability. How silly would you look if your vehicle did get stolen and you had to tell your insurance company it was due to you leaving the keys in the ignition in plain sight.
Use locking code on PWC
Our Honda has a feature that makes you input a numerical code in order to unlock the ski in order to drive. Even with the lanyard, the ski cannot be started. Even if you know the code, the buttons to push to input the code can keep some people out, like family you don’t want riding. 🙂
If you disconnect the battery, the ski wont start so a thief will believe it is dead in the water. This can be done physically on the battery or with a waterproof battery disconnect switch. Some of these switches are keyed, so once again, they will need a key in order to have power. This will keep most thieves of opportunity at bay.
Lock It Up
If you are leaving your ski and will be out of sight, it may be a good idea to lock your ski to the dock. If available, lock it to a post or structural part of the dock not just a dock cleat which could be unscrewed. This model is 12′ long which should give you plenty of length to reach a secure spot on the dock or piling post and get through your ski bow.
When you leave your ski, as the storage compartments are not lockable, remove any items of value so you don’t loose your tube or any other items that could be stored while you are gone.
Cover your Ski
A ski that is covered takes just that much longer to uncover and figure out how to steal. This will also keep thefts of opportunity at bay from keeping your storage easily accessible. A cover will also protect your ski from UV sun damage and keep it looking new. A generic cover that doesn’t advertise the brand and model on the side can keep thieves guessing on if you have a brand new ski or 20 year old ski.
Protecting your Ski On the Trailer
Trailer Coupler Lock
A trailer coupler lock will protect your trailer from being stolen. Couplers can be removed typically with only 4 bolts, so the serious criminal will get away, but this will keep most at bay. We have a few of these hitch locks as well as hitch pin locks to keep our trailers locked to our vehicle when traveling. This set is great as well which includes a coupler lock, hitch pin lock, and hitch lock.
Lock ski to Trailer
Even though you lock your trailer to your vehicle or lock your coupler so someone cannot tow it away, that doesn’t mean someone cannot lift your ski off of your trailer and move it to theirs or into the back of a pickup. If you lock your ski to your trailer, and even to your vehicle when parked, this will keep your ski in your possession. We like this cable lock as you can also use it when docking to lock your ski to the dock. If you need 6′ this works, or 12′ this one is great.
Lock Trailer to Unmovable object
If you are parked at a hotel, store, or even at your house, you can lock your ski and trailer around an immovable object such as light pole, basketball hoop, pillar on a house, or anything you can find. For this, you will need the longer cable lock in case you cannot get close enough. A chain can also be used, but a cable lock with vinyl over the cable will protect your hull and trailer from damage from the chain.
Bow Lock Pin
If you have a trailer that can allow you to use a bow lock pin, this will keep your jet ski secured by lock to your trailer easily. This bow lock pin will work great.
Trailer Wheel Lock
While you are parked, a trailer wheel lock can assist you by keeping people from stealing your trailer. You can try to jackknife your trailer into the corner of a building, back up as close as you can to a wall so someone can’t remove your trailer from your hitch, or other deterrents, but having the boot on it will be a pretty safe bet to keep your trailer from being stolen. Our favorite model will keep your trailer tire from being able to spin.
Remove Trailer Wheel
Another theft deterrent is to remove your wheel from your trailer. This will not work if the thief has a spare, but will keep the opportunity criminal at bay.
Parking While Traveling
If you are traveling with your watercraft, the position or where you park can help keep your watercraft from being stolen. Follow these next tips to help protect your asset.
Park in well lit part of parking lot, if you park in a dark area, a criminal will not be seen when they are trying to rip off your ski. A well lit area will keep you being able to see your ski, but others will see it and hopefully call the police if they sense something fishy.
Park behind a wall or another car so trailer cannot be disconnected. If you park close enough to items or cars, thiefs cannot get the trailer off of your vehicle or manually get your jet ski off of your trailer by hand. Hopefully you are taking advantage of the tips above and they walk on by.
Chain Trailer to Light Pole
As we mentioned above, chain your trailer and ski to a light pole or post when you are traveling. This will keep criminals from being able to hitch up and drive away in less than a minute. This cable lock is highly recommended.
A GPS tracker in your watercraft can be easily hidden and can be tracked by the police in the event of your craft being stolen. These typically require a monthly fee, but usually they are minimal. This model is great for jet skis as it is waterproof with the addition of this case and has one of the lower monthly fees on the market.
All in all, we hope you don’t have your ski stolen, but taking some or all of these precautions into place will keep your jet ski in your possession for years to come. We hope this article is helpful and can protect you in the case of an emergency.