Can You Take Jet Skis Out in the Ocean? How Far?

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You may be wondering whether you can take jet skis out in the ocean or not.

If you are interested in offshore jet ski fishing or longer tours, you probably want to know how far offshore a jet ski can go.

We at JetDrift, have gathered the most important information on the topic. Moreover, you can learn which jet skis are best for the ocean!

Can You Take Jet Skis Out in the Ocean?

In the past jet skis were small water toys that looked like tiny scooters. As they were too lightweight and unstable, offshore rides were big challenges for these vintage models.

What’s more, their 2-stroke engines were thirsty and featured small fuel tanks, which resulted in low fuel ranges.

But those times are over as jet skis have gotten bigger and bigger over the years. The larger dimensions mean more weight, more storage capacity, and more importantly, much better stability.

Finally, the largest jet skis have become real alternatives to boats with wider usability.

Can You Take Jet Skis Out in The Ocean?

Yes, you can take jet skis out in the ocean, as today’s jet skis are much more stable compared to the vintage 2-stroke jet skis. But beware that riding a jet ski out on the ocean poses more dangers compared to riding on inshore waterways. Because of this, it’s essential to choose one of the most stable jet skis available and be prepared and follow some basic rules to stay safe on the ocean.

Are you wondering what these rules are, as well as the risks of an offshore jet ski ride? Don’t hesitate to read more!

The Risks of Riding a Jet Ski Out in The Ocean

Weather: The biggest concern with offshore jet ski rides is arguably the fear of harsh weather. Wind, rain, and especially big waves make it much more difficult to ride your jet ski.

Longer Distances: If you want to ride your jet ski out in the ocean you probably want to go longer distances. This can be risky in many ways, like if you get injured, run out of fuel or your jet ski breaks down.

Navigation: Don’t forget that if you take a jet ski far offshore you will need some navigation equipment and skills.

Traffic: The ocean is not like a neighborhood lake with a few pontoon boats. This means you have to be prepared for much more traffic, especially if you launch your jet ski in a crowded area. Cargo ships, cruisers, fishing boats, submarines (yes, literally!), and many other vessels can make your job harder. Not only do you have to pay attention to avoid a collision, but large boats generate huge wakes, which can be scary especially you are a beginner.

Objects: You can come across many objects in the water, especially near shorelines and marinas. These could be buoys, pilings, docks, and many other things that you can bump into. And this is all without mentioning submerged rocks and shipwrecks!

Sunburn and Heat: As you usually can’t go to the beach on an offshore jet ski ride, you can hardly find any shade. On a hot sunny day this can be critical, especially out on open waters. That’s why proper sun protection and staying hydrated is so important!

Sharks: When it comes to offshore jet ski rides, many people are afraid of being attacked by sharks. But in fact, if you follow some basic rules the sharks will leave you alone!

As one of the main concerns is running out of gas when you’re out on the ocean, let’s see how to calculate your trip, so you know how far you can safely go offshore with a jet ski!

How Far Can You Go Offshore with a Jet Ski?

The distance of how far a jet ski can go offshore varies widely depending on its fuel consumption, tank capacity, riding speed, and weather conditions. As a rule of thumb, jet skis can go 25-50 miles offshore without carrying extra fuel in jerry cans or auxiliary fuel tanks.

You may be wondering, why jet skis have such a low fuel range. This is because of the jet ski’s high fuel consumption and relatively small sized fuel tank.

Sit-down jet skis have gas tanks that can hold around 8-21 gallons of gas, which gives you 75-150 miles of fuel range.

But you should NEVER burn all of your fuel for safety reason if you go offshore with a jet ski. This is because jet skis burn more gas in strong wind or when on choppy water.

This  means that if the weather turns bad during your trip, getting back to the dock will take more fuel than you expected!

To keep safety in mind, on jet ski offshore rides the rule of thumb is to use 2/3 of the gas for your trip, and reserve 1/3 for unforeseen situations. NEVER divide the jet ski’s fuel range by two to calculate the distance, as you shouldn’t dry your tank completely!

So finally, if we do the math:

– Jet ski’s average fuel range: 75-150 miles
– Fuel range with 2/3 of the tank capacity: 50-100 miles
– The distance a jet ski can go safely offshore: 25-50 miles

In summary, if you go offshore with a jet ski always follow the 1/3-1/3 fuel management rule. This means that you should use 1/3 of the gas to go out to the spot, use the other 1/3 of the gas to get back to the dock, and reserve the rest 1/3 for emergency situations.

Running out fuel on the ocean can be dangerous, so try to prevent such situations. If this does happen by accident you may want to know how to tow a jet ski properly with another vessel.

If you want to cover longer distances, you can carry extra gas on you in jerry cans, or you can even consider installing an auxiliary fuel tank (secondary external tank), if you go offshore with your jet ski regularly.

With the extra gas, you can significantly increase your jet ski’s fuel range!

What is the Best Jet Ski for Ocean Use?

The best jet skis for ocean use are arguably the Luxury and Performance models with at least 160 HP engines. These jet skis are manufactured with the largest, most stable hulls in a deep-V design, which offer the highest security and best handling on the ocean. Moreover, these models have the largest fuel and storage capacity as well!

Let’s discuss these key points one-by-one in a nutshell!

Hull size: The larger and heavier the jet ski, the more stable it will be on the ocean.

Deep-V hull design: A deep-V hull ‘cuts’ the waves, so it offers a more comfortable and smooth riding experience.

Performance: You will definitely need a powerful (160+ HP) jet ski out on the ocean, especially when the weather turns bad.

Fuel capacity: As a larger fuel capacity results in a longer fuel range, it’s recommended that you choose a jet ski with 15-20 gallons of fuel capacity.

Storage capacity: For an offshore jet ski ride you will probably want to take some gear with you. The largest jet skis are not only more stable, they usually offer the largest storage capacity as well!

How do You Ride a Jet Ski in the Ocean?

To safely and properly ride a jet ski out in the ocean you must always prepare carefully for the trip. Checking the weather forecast, calculating fuel range, planning the navigation, gearing up with the safety equipment are all important tasks before you head to the water. Once you are on the water always be careful, and if the weather turns bad, follow these rules on how to ride on rough water.

Let’s see one-by-one what you have to look for if you jet skiing on the ocean.

Check the weather forecast: Make a habit of checking the weather forecast before you hook up your trailer!

Know the rules: Know and follow the applicable laws to stay safe and legal. Keep in mind that most states require you to obtain a jet ski license!

Navigation: Beyond the laws it’s highly recommended that you learn the basics of marine navigation, especially if you want to go far offshore with your jet ski.

Calculate fuel range: As we’ve discussed above, it’s very important to know your jet ski’s fuel range, and also keep in mind the 1/3-1/3 rule when you’re planning your trips.

Best Cruise Speed: If you want to cover the greatest possible distance on the ocean with a jet ski, always operate it at a steady speed. Every jet ski is most fuel-efficient when ridden at its “best cruising speed,” which may vary by the model, but generally it’s around 25-30 mph. (RPM: 3500-4500)

Learn how to ride: Riding on rough water can be tricky, so it’s recommended that you learn the basics before you go offshore with your jet ski.

Avoid wave jumping: It’s a lesser-known fact that wave jumping can be dangerous, not just for you but for your jet ski as well.

Safety Gear: Beyond the necessary jet ski safety gear for the ocean, you should consider some extra safety gear like a VHS radio, flares, first-aid kit, map, and compass.

Other Gear: Additionally, don’t forget the other gear you may need on the water. Sun protection like a hat, mask, sunscreen, and a towel are barely the minimum. It’s also recommended that you take bottled water and some snacks with you as well. You can find a massive list of the recommended jet ski accessories here!

FAQs About Jet Ski Offshore Rides

Can you jet ski out on the ocean?

Yes, you can jet ski out on the ocean, but beware because it can be more dangerous compared to jet skiing on inshore waterways.

Can you jet ski across the ocean?

Yes, you can jet ski across the ocean if you have the mental and physical skills for challenging trips. Beyond a jet ski you will need a support crew with a ship that can carry your extra gas and food and can help you in emergency situations.

Can you jet ski from Miami to Cuba?

Yes, it is possible to jet ski from Miami to Cuba, as Varadero is just 200 miles from Miami. But for this trip you should carry extra gas on you. But the best (and safest) way to jet ski from Miami to Cuba would be with a support boat that can carry your gear as well.

Has anyone crossed the Atlantic on a jet ski?

Yes, the first one who crossed the Atlantic on a jet ski first was Alvaro de Marichalar. He made an amazing 4-month jet ski tour from Rome to Miami in 2002. Marichalar has ridden tens of thousands of miles on jet skis and holds several jet ski world records.

How long would it take to jet ski across the Atlantic Ocean?

It takes several weeks to jet ski across the Atlantic Ocean. It depends on your average speed, the weather conditions, and the distance and this may vary depending on your destination. As an example, the distance between New York and Lisbon is around 3,400 miles, which means you would probably need at least a month or even more to jet ski across the Atlantic Ocean.


Today’s jet skis can go out on the ocean, as they have larger and more stable hulls compared to the vintage 2-stroke jet skis. If you want to ride a jet ski out on the ocean regularly, it’s recommended that you choose a larger model with at least a 160HP engine.

Also, beware that riding on the ocean is always more dangerous, so careful preparation is a must before every ride.

How far you can take a jet ski offshore depends on many factors, like its fuel consumption, gas tank size, the speed and weather conditions.

If you plan your trip, it’s highly recommended that you follow the 1/3-1/3 fuel management rule.

And finally, don’t forget that you have to flush the jet ski carefully after you’ve used it in saltwater!

Related articles:

How Far can a Jet Ski Go on One Tank of Gas? [MPG Chart]
Jet Ski Fuel Consumption vs Yamaha vs Sea-Doo Gas Mileage
How to Ride a Jet Ski in Rough Water [Video]
Is Saltwater Bad for Jet Skis? How to Clean It After It’s Been in Saltwater?

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