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How to Secure a Jet Ski to a Dock or to the Trailer [Video Guide]

How to Secure a Jet Ski to a Dock or to the Trailer [Video Guide]

We get this question a lot: “How do I keep my jet ski from being stolen?”Losing your jet ski or gear to theft is a bitter experience, so you always have to pay attention to security.

In addition to having insurance on your jet ski, it’s important to take steps to prevent theft or vandalism! For your convenience, we at JetDrift have put together this detailed jet ski security guide.

Jet Ski Crimes

The term “jet ski crime” includes many jet ski related crimes like vandalism, theft, or theft of its parts.

Even new jet skis come with special keys for increased safety, which only prevents the jet ski from starting. But it’s a fact that the majority of crimes don’t happen on the beach or near the dock!

Instead, your jet ski could be stolen or damaged in several ways while it’s stored somewhere. This means that the most common jet ski crimes are:

  • Theft of the jet ski while it’s stored on jet ski lift/floating dock or tied to the dock
  • Theft of the jet ski from the trailer
  • Theft of the trailer with the jet ski on it
  • Theft of parts or gear like seat, battery, cover, anchor – or all of these!
Considering the fact that an average jet ski is used around 30 hours a year, this means it’s stored somewhere for the other 8735 hours.

Based on that, it seems a jet ski spends 99.7% of its life on the trailer or on docks/lifts!

That’s why you have to take care to protect your jet ski while it’s out of use.

Let’s discuss some general jet ski security tips to keep your jet ski safe!

General Jet Ski Security Tips

As they say, prevention is better than the cure, so you have to be prepared to protect your jet ski! Before you even hit the water here are some essential tips to consider:Take pictures: Take some pictures of each side of your jet ski, the registration number, the HIN (Hull Identification Number), the EIN (Engine Identification Number), and your gear.

It’s also wise to write down these numbers as well as the trailer ID, make copies of your documents, like insurance policy, registration certificate, and bill of sale and keep all of them in a secure place. They can come in handy for identification in case of a theft.

Don’t forget to upload the pictures to the cloud or send them to yourself in an email, as your mobile may be damaged or lost.

Insurance: Even if your state doesn’t require it, it’s recommended that you insure your jet ski.In selecting your insurance package, make sure it covers theft and vandalism. Don’t forget the trailer, as the insurance should cover it as well.

Remove the gear and documents: In general, the storage compartment on jet skis storage are not lockable, but even the lockable ones can be easily pried open.

Because of this concern, always remove your valuables and documents like the boating safety card or registration certificate from the storage compartment.

Remove the key: Whenever you store your jet ski on the trailer or just leave it near the dock for a while, always remove the key.

Proper storage: Without question, it’s always best if you can store your jet ski in your garage or another secured indoor space.

But let’s face it, jet ski trailers are quite bulky, so unless you move your jet ski to a dolly it can hog a lot of space in your garage. That’s why you see many jet skis being stored outside, mainly in driveways.

If you are also considering storing your jet ski outside, you need to pay extra attention to security. Sadly, many jet skis are stolen directly from the driveways!

Put on the cover: Covering a jet ski is always recommended if you can’t garage it, as it not only provides protection from the elements but hides your ski from prying eyes.

The best practice is to use a cheaper universal cover as it’s less attractive to thieves. OEM covers usually display the brand names, which makes them more conspicuous.

Use locks: If your jet ski is stored outside it’s highly recommended that you use some heavy-duty locks.

There are many different trailer and jet ski locks on the market, so let’s take a close look at the best ones!

How to Lock a Jet Ski

You can lock a jet ski to its trailer with cable locks or chains, but special jet ski locks are also available on the market. Always make sure to secure the jet ski’s driveshaft to the trailer’s frame. Additionally, you can consider a GPS tracker. Although none of these products provide 100% security, they make taking your jet ski harder.

And many times, it can save your jet ski from being stolen! If removing the locks would mean too much work and noise, the thieves will look at another easier prey.

Don’t forget, the lighter the jet ski the easier it is to steal. So, if you have a stand-up or a rec-lite jet ski, you have to pay double attention to its security.

How to Secure a Jet Ski to a Dock

Although it’s not recommended that you leave your jet ski in the water unattended, sometimes it’s simply unavoidable.

The easiest way to secure a jet ski to a dock is by using cable locks. Just run the cable through the bow (or rear) eye and attach it to the dock. You can’t go wrong with a combination cable lock as keys can be lost or easily dropped into the water. Make sure to secure your jet ski to the dock with dock lines as well, never just use the cable lock for this purpose!

Additionally, never leave the key attached to the jet ski. Another common mistake is leaving your life jacket on the jet ski while the key is still attached to it.

The best practice is to remove the key and take it with you at all times.

Also beware that although these cable locks offer a certain degree of security, they can be cut easily, so it’s not recommended that you leave a jet ski in the water overnight at a dock.

How to Secure a Jet Ski to a Floating Dock

Another common problem is how to secure a jet ski to a floating dock, as jet skis are usually stored on these docks long term.

Unfortunately, many docks don’t feature any eyes to which the jet ski could be fastened!

If you want to secure a jet ski to a floating dock, you have to purchase a dock that features one or more attachment points. You can secure your jet ski to these with a cable lock or chain, but as you’ve seen these locks can be cut easily even with small tools!

This means that storing your jet ski on a floating dock or a lift could be risky in many cases.

How to Secure a Jet Ski to the Trailer

As you can see, leaving your jet ski in the water long term is not considered safe. The best practice is to remove your jet ski from the water and store it on the trailer, in your garage or another secure indoor place.

But let’s face it, garaging a jet ski is not for everybody, that’s why you see many jet skis being stored on driveways.

When it comes to outdoor jet ski storage, one of the most common safety tricks is to secure the jet ski to the trailer to make it harder to remove it from the trailer.

How to Secure a Jet Ski to the Trailer

You can secure a jet ski to the trailer with regular or alarm cable locks, heavy-duty chains, or even special jet ski locks. Whatever lock you use make sure to secure the jet ski’s driveshaft to the trailer’s frame. The bow and stern eyes aren’t strong enough and the intake grate also can be easily removed, so never attach the locks to just these parts.

Are you wondering which are the best jet ski locks on the market? If yes, don’t hesitate to read more!

Regular Cable Locks and Chains

The entry-level solution again is to use cable locks. If you’re considering securing your jet ski to the trailer in this way, make sure that you purchase a longer, high-quality cable lock or chain.

You should run it through the trailer’s frame and the wheel rims, which makes it difficult to remove it from the trailer. Again, make sure you secure the jet ski’s driveshaft to the trailer, even if it’s a hassle!

You may want to choose a vinyl-coated cable or chain to protect the paint job.

Although you can secure your jet ski with cable locks and chains, as you already know thieves can remove these locks easily.

Alarm Cable Locks

Unlike regular locks, the alarm cable locks do a better job. The main advantage of this award-winning technology is that it can detect when a thief tries to cut the cable or force the lock. When the system detects any damage it automatically turns on a siren.

With the 8-feet long cable this small lock is not just easy to use but very compact as well.

SkiLock PWC Trailer Locks

SkiLock is a unique jet ski lock designed to secure the jet ski to the bunks.

This device features a long J shape rod, which hooks over the driveshaft, while the other part should be mounted under the bunks.

It’s a heavy-duty and durable jet ski lock that offers more protection compared to cable locks.

Any drawbacks?

It’s a little bulky and harder to store and install compared to cables. Another issue is that it’s more difficult to find this product on the market these days.

The good news is that it sometimes appears on eBay. Just search for “SkiLock PWC Trailer Locks” to find this product.

How to Secure a Jet Ski Trailer

Are you wondering if your jet ski is safe once you’ve secured it to the trailer? Unfortunately, no, as thieves can simply hook up your trailer and tow it away!

That’s why you shouldn’t overlook trailer security.

To secure the jet ski trailer you can choose from several different solutions like hitch locks, coupler locks, or wheel locks. Also, you can use a cable lock as well to secure a jet ski trailer’s wheels. Speaking of long-term storage, you can simply remove the trailer’s wheels for the off-season.

Let’s move on and take a closer look at each of these options!

Cable Clocks/Chains

You can simply use a cable lock to secure the jet ski trailer by just running the cable through the wheels. One of the best products on the market is probably the above-mentioned alarm cable lock.

If you store your jet ski outside, you can even install a ground anchor to attach your cable lock or chain to. Trees or fence poles also could be used for this purpose if they are within reach.

Coupler Locks for Jet Ski Trailers

Coupler locks are designed to secure the trailer’s coupler, which provides some protection against trailer “tow-away” theft.

These locks could be useful but only if the coupler is welded to the frame on your trailer, as otherwise it can be changed easily in a minute or two with a battery-powered impact wrench.

Speaking of quality, you should choose a heavy-duty coupler lock as cheaper products can be easily removed.

If your trailer is attached to your car, don’t forget to use a coupler latch lock to secure the coupler onto the hitch ball. If your car features a receiver hitch, you will also need a hitch lock to secure it to your car.

Sometimes these locks are even available in one package.

Wheel Lock

According to WatercraftJournal, wheel locks also do a good job if you want to secure a jet ski trailer, and they have a remarkable visual appearance to deter criminals.

They come with different designs and sizes based on your needs.

If you want to take this lock with you regularly, make sure to choose a smaller wheel lock!

Remove the Wheels

When it comes to winter storage, you can consider removing the trailer wheels. It’s not just good for the tires but makes your trailer much harder to steal.

GPS Tracker in a Jet Ski

Let’s face it, casual thieves aren’t looking for jet skis. And if professionals really want to steal your jet ski, you can hardly stop them!

That’s why you should consider hiding a GPS tracker in your jet ski. This small device can help you retrieve your jet ski, unless criminals find it first!


On one hand, this tracker won’t deter a thief since he won’t know about it. That’s why you should combine locks and a tracker for higher security.

Another con is the cost. You should be prepared to pay around $100-$150 for the device and a $10-$15 monthly fee.

If you’re considering installing a GPS tracker in your jet ski you may find this tutorial video useful:

Conclusion: How Do You Stop a Jet Ski Theft?

Jet ski theft happens frequently so the best you can do is to prepare. You need to think of the situation from a thief’s perspective; what is the easiest way to steal your jet ski?

Proper jet ski security always starts with safe storage. We’ve listed the most common jet ski storage solutions. You can find the most secure options at the top:– Guarded self-storage, boat house, or marina (safest options)

– In your garage (less security but still safe)

– In your yard

– In your driveway (most common solution – unfortunately NOT safe!)

– In an unattended place

If it’s not possible to store your jet ski indoors, you should invest in some high-quality jet ski locks and other security accessories. The most commonly used jet ski security equipment are:– Heavy-duty chains with padlock

– Cable locks

– Alarm cable locks

– Special jet ski locks

– Wheel locks

– Hitch/Coupler/Receiver Locks

– GPS Trackers

In summary, here are some of the best tips to improve your jet ski security:– No.1. Safety tip: get insurance – Take pictures of the jet ski and its documents (don’t forget the VIN and EIN numbers)

– Always remove the key

– Store your jet ski indoors if it’s possible. If not: – Put the cover on (use a universal cover)

– Secure the jet ski’s driveshaft to the trailer

– Secure the trailer as well

– Remove your gear and documents from the storage compartments

– Use locks and a GPS tracker

Don’t forget the more preparation, the less of a chance your jet ski is of getting stolen!

As a final word, never forget to remove the locks before you start towing the trailer or launch your jet ski!