The 5 Best Places to Put a GPS on a Jet Ski [Video]
Based on our research, the five best places to attach a GPS on a jet ski are as follows:
- OEM GPS mount systems
- Top deck
- Glovebox lid
- The center of the handlebars
- Left handlebar
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about each in detail!
Do Jet Skis Have GPS?
Although more and more jet skis are featuring an onboard GPS unit, this device is actually intended to be used to measure the speed of the machine rather than for navigation. Only a few purpose-built jet skis come standard with a GPS like the Explorer Pro 170, and the Sea-Doo Fish Pro.
Keeping jet ski fishing in mind, the latter features an advanced Garmin GPS/Fishfinder.
However, some flagship jet skis come with an innovative digital gauge that allows you to use a navigation app on the screen.
These dashboards feature a large color screen that can communicate with your smartphone via a dedicated application.
One of the most well-known systems is Sea-Doo’s BRP GO app, which can also be used as a GPS navigation device.
What’s more, the app allows you to invite friends to ride along with you and then track them in real-time directly on your gauge.
You can also handle incoming calls and messages without taking out your phone from its watertight storage case.
If your machine lacks this advanced gauge don’t worry, as there are many ways to install a GPS on a jet ski.
The 5 Best Ways to Put GPS on a Jet Ski
1. OEM Jet Ski GPS Mounts
The easiest way to mount a GPS on a jet ski is by using OEM mount hardware. The key advantage of OEM jet ski GPS mounts is that they can be installed without any drilling or cutting.
These mount bars usually fit in cup holders or they can be attached to factory-installed attachment points on the deck, ensuring a quick and hassle-free installation.
One of the most popular attachment systems is Yamaha’s RAM mounts, which can accept a GPS, speakers, fish finder, and even an action camera.
If these systems are not available on your ski, your other option is to attach the GPS unit to the handlebar or top deck.
Let’s talk about each option in detail!
2. Top Deck
It’s safe to say that the best way to put a GPS on a jet ski is to attach its mounting hardware on top of the top deck.
The optimal location depends on the design of the top deck and the mounting hardware, but the sweet spot is somewhere in front of the handlebars.
Unfortunately, installing the mounting hardware requires drilling holes into the top deck, which discourages many owners.
If you want to keep your GPS charged on your trips, don’t forget that you have to connect it to the battery.
Here’s a great tutorial on how to install a GPS on the top deck of a jet ski:
3. Glovebox Lid
Another options could be installing the mounting hardware of the GPS to the glovebox lid. It is much less stressful to drill holes into the glovebox lid rather than the deck!
When it’s time to sell the ski, you can easily replace the lid to make your ski more appealing to potential buyers. (Let’s face it, not everyone needs a GPS on a ski!)
The drawback of this spot is that it can only accommodate a small GPS unit, while you can attach a fairly large screen to the top deck.
4. The Center of the Handlebars
On most jet skis you can find a bulky plastic cover at the center of the handlebars, which could also be a great spot for your GPS.
The main flaw of this spot is that it’s not the safest location for your GPS.
Surprisingly, some older skis like the Kawasaki Ultra 300LX were available with an optional GPS handlebar pad. This unit was a special plastic handlebar cover featuring a dedicated nook for the GPS.
5. Left Handlebar Lever
Surprisingly, some owners prefer to attach the GPS to the left handlebar, right next to the left grip.
This looks like a mirror on a motorcycle, which can be strange at first glance. But this spot makes sense since the GPS is not in the way and it’s easy to read and control.
Just like the aforementioned solutions, this spot offers less protection and safety for the GPS.
Takeaways – Can You Put a GPS on a Jet Ski?
Some flagship jet skis come standard with a GPS, which is typically mounted on the top deck. High-end models can connect to your phone, allowing you to use the gauge for navigation.
If your jet ski lacks these factory-installed solutions don’t worry, as there are many ways to attach a GPS to it.
The easiest and simplest way is to use an OEM jet ski GPS attachment system like Yamaha’s RAM mounts. These systems are designed to fit in cup holders on the top deck, so they offer a quick and drill-free installation.
If these systems are not available for your jet ski, your other option is to install the GPS mount on the top or side of the deck.
This position allows you to install a fairly large screen but requires you to drill holes into the top deck.
If you are happy with a smaller GPS unit, you can attach it to the glovebox lid, or even to the handlebars.
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