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What Are the Risks of Storing a Jet Ski on a Swim Platform?

What Are the Risks of Storing a Jet Ski on a Swim Platform?

When you walk around a marina, you can see that there are boat owners who store a jet ski on their boat’s swim platform.While there are many different solutions on the market for mounting a jet ski on a swim platform, it’s also wise to learn what the downsides of these solutions are upfront.

Another popular solution is towing the jet ski behind the boat, but this needs some preparation and practice, because doing it wrong can damage the jet ski’s engine!

If you’re considering keeping a jet ski on your boat, this post is for you, as we at JetDrift have gathered all of these drawbacks for you under one roof!

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Store a Jet Ski on a Boat Swim Platform

The Risk of Damaging Your Boat

The most important reason many boat owners refrain from storing a jet ski on their swim platform is the potential risk of damaging the boat.

It’s good the know that every swim platform has its own weight capacity, and they’re usually designed to hold a couple of people, or perhaps even store a lightweight dinghy.

As today’s jet skis can weigh between 800-1000 pounds, this means they put considerably more weight on your platform, not to mention the weight of the lift itself.

But now don’t only think about the static load! If the weather is harsh and you have to cruise on bigger waves, these active forces can easily damage your swim platform, and finally, the whole boat.

Because of these high risks, it’s highly recommended you consult with your boat’s manufacturer or a professional before you mount a jet ski on your swim platform.

You can also consider a smaller Rec-Lite or a stand-up jet ski, as these models are much more lightweight, weighing around 300-600 pounds depending on the model. The other way to try to reduce weight is to find a vintage 2-stroke jet ski, but these models usually have lower performance and need more maintenance due to their age.

Damaging the Jet Ski

If you store your jet ski on the swim platform, it’s not only dangerous for the boat, but for the jet ski as well!

When it comes to proper jet ski storage, the best place you can store them is in your garage or a guarded self-storage. These buildings can save your jet ski from bad weather and the elements, theft or vandalism.

If your jet ski spends the whole season on the swim platform, it’s much more exposed to the sun’s rays, rain, wind and even bird droppings. Always keep this in mind and protect your craft with a good quality cover!

Another serious issue could be if you don’t strap your jet ski properly to the swim platform. While it’s bumping on the mounts, it can be damaged in several ways. In the worst case scenario, you can lose your jet ski!

Be aware all of these risks before you mount your jet ski on the swim platform!

Space Issues

Beyond the above risks, one of the main downsides is losing the space on your swim platform. Playing around with a jet ski is always great fun, but let’s face it; most of the time it will simply sit on your swim platform.

Depending on the size of your jet ski, it can hog nearly the whole platform! This means you can’t use it properly, as your access to the water is limited. You can’t go in or out of the water easily, can’t fish or do any other activities you prefer on the water.

This is one of the other main reasons why boat owners avoid keeping their jet ski on the swim platform.

As an alternative, some of them choose an underwater jet ski as these models are much smaller, so it means you can store them somewhere else!

If you stick to keeping your jet ski on the swim platform, you won’t have any place to store a dinghy (tender–add definition?) on your boat — unless you have a large yacht of course!

Dinghies are always a great addition to boats as you can access the beaches easily, or you can even save the hefty marine fees by anchoring your boat on the open water where you can transfer guests and gear from the dock.

However, jet skis can be used as dinghies to a certain extent, being that they have much lower seat and weight capacities, and are less secure compared to boats!

Because of this, when it comes to the question of what to store on a boat, a jet ski or a dinghy, many owners finally go with dinghies due to their versatile use and great capacities.


Also, don’t forget that jet skis burn a lot of fuel which means you have to refill them frequently.

You’ll need to store a considerable amount of gas on your boat, and fueling the jet ski with the cans can also be a hassle or dangerous if you don’t do it properly.

Another way is to fuel up a jet ski in the marina. But be prepared to empty the gas tank in a really short time, so you probably can’t avoid taking extra gas with you, especially if you go for a longer trip with your boat.

Compared to jet skis, dinghies are powered with small outboard engines which consume nearly zero gallons per hour!


Don’t forget about the jet ski’s maintenance, as you have to go through the after-ride checklist after every ride. This means you should flush through the jet ski’s cooling and exhaust systems with fresh water, and perform other steps to keep your jet ski in a good shape.

Can you manage these duties easily on your boat?


If you’re considering storing a jet ski on a boat swim platform, you should always be aware of the potential risks and drawbacks. Surprisingly the biggest problem is not the lack of space on the swim platform!

The main risk is always the active forces, which can damage your boat, due to the extra weight on the rear platform.

Jet skis can reach 800-1000 pounds, so be careful when you select the model. The best practice is to shop around for smaller and more lightweight models like the Rec-Lite or even stand-up watercraft.

Be aware that not just the boat, but the jet ski can be damaged in several ways by the weather, or in the worst case, it can be stolen. Because of this, it’s highly recommended you choose the right jet ski swim platform mounts, and strap your jet ski properly to it!

Additionally, keep in mind that you have to take care of the jet ski’s maintenance and fueling, which could be tricky on a boat.

Because of these risks and drawbacks, many boat owners finally choose a dinghy over the jet ski. If you’re still undecided about which is for you, don’t miss our dinghy vs. jet ski comparison post!______________ Related Articles:Jet Ski vs. Dinghy – Which is the Better Addition to Your Boat?8 Simple Ways to Store a Jet Ski on a Boat’s Swim PlatformTowing a Jet Ski Behind a Boat: Complete Guide and TipsJet Ski vs. Boat: 4 Key Factors to Consider Before Buying