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Jet Ski vs. Boat Race – Which is Faster? [Video]

Jet Ski vs. Boat Race – Which is Faster? [Video]

Jet ski vs. boat race videos are becoming more popular in social media, and it’s no surprise!

When it comes to motorsports, you can see legal (and illegal) races everywhere on the streets. Why would it be any different on the water?

If you dive deeply into the internet, you can even find surprising videos like jet ski vs. motorcycle racing!

Jet ski riders, as well as boat owners, usually like the high speed and extreme adrenalin rush, so a jet ski vs. boat race makes sense!

For your convenience, we at JetDrift have compiled the best videos for you in this post, as well as some interesting performance specs and facts about boats and jet skis.

Comparing them could be very interesting, especially if you’re thinking about purchasing your own vessel. You’d be surprised how many buyers are thinking about which to buy, a jet ski or a boat.

For those who can’t choose, there are several great jet ski-to-boat converters on the market like the Sealver Waveboats. These unique and convertible vessels are definitely worth a look!

But now without further ado, let’s check some jet ski vs. boat racing videos!

Jet Ski vs. Boat Race I – The Drag Race

When it comes to comparing a jet ski with a boat, based on their performance, some would argue that it’s completely pointless.

Many jet ski models have extremely powerful, supercharged engines and much smaller and lighter hulls which can lead to better power-to-weight ratios.Thus, jet skis usually accelerate much faster. In fact, the supercharged performance jet ski models accelerate extremely well; you can reach 30 mph (cca. 50 kmh) just in 1.5 – 2 seconds!

What’s more, even a non-supercharged model can reach the same speed in around 2.5 – 4 seconds.

When it comes to boats, due their larger weight and hull dimensions, this makes starting much harder. An average speedboat can reach 30 mph in around 5-8 seconds, depending on its power, weight and design. Jet boats accelerate better, as these models are usually powered with two jet engines!

Let’s face it, when it comes to jet ski vs. boat drag racing, a jet ski wins over a boat in any case, especially against vessels in stock condition.

We also have to mention the modified and custom-built boats, as well as the special drag race boats. Unfortunately, there’s no competition so far between the fastest jet ski and the fastest drag race boat, but we’d be very curious about the results!

Jet Ski vs. Boat Race II – The Long Run

Jet skis

Comparing the top speeds of jet skis to boats wouldn’t be completely fair, thanks to a speed limiter on every high-performance jet ski.

While even the average family jet ski can reach around 50-55 mph, the top speeds of the fastest models are limited to 67 mph.

Without this speed limiter, these high-performance jet skis are able to run as fast as 75 mph, but with special racing kits installed, it’s not uncommon to hit 80-90 mph.

When it comes to the world’s fastest jet ski, it can reach an incredible 127 mph on the water!

Are you wondering why jet skis can’t go much faster? One of the main reasons is lack of stability. Jet skis have a really small hull and a light weight, so this can lead to instability at high speeds. Only one little mistake or a mechanical issue can end in a serious accident!It’s definitely a huge responsibility handling a high-speed vessel on the water. That’s why the stock jet ski’s performance is limited by the manufacturers, as too much speed on the water can be dangerous and can lead to injuries, especially if the rider is inexperienced!


Moving to the boats, the average models that you see every day (i.e., bow riders, fishing boats, etc.) can run around 40-50 mph depending on the model. So based on these numbers, it seems they’re pretty close to the average non-supercharged jet skis.

What about the modified and custom boats, or even the special speed boats which are designed for racing purposes? Based on the numbers, it’s clear that these vessel’s speeds are in another dimension!

These models known as “go-fast boats” or “cigarette boats” refer to their long and slim hulls. These boats’ hulls are made of a mix of carbon fiber, fiberglass and aluminum.

Keeping stability in mind, these boats have a really large, deep V-style hull, around 20-50 feet long. These hulls are also really narrow in the beam for reaching the highest top speeds. The biggest models can even reach the 10,000-20,000 pound weight range! It means they can speed through high waves easily.

These large speed boats can reach an amazing 150-200 mph on the water. They’re usually powered with engines which can produce 1,000-3,000 horsepower; it’s not common to use dual engines on many models. Surprisingly, you can even find electric models among them.

These models are definitely among the most powerful boats in the world, and can outperform any stock or modified jet ski models really easily!


When it comes to jet ski vs. boat drag races, it’s clear that jet skis win over the boat, thanks to their lightweight hull, great power-to-weight ratios and better acceleration.

On the other hand, jet skis are prone to instability at high speeds, so the current world record is still “just” 127 mph.

Unlike jet skis, boats can be built very big, so stability is not an issue here. “Go fast boats” known as “cigarette boats” can even run 150– 200 mph on the water, while the racing boats can reach 300-400 mph speed range.

So it seems based on the numbers, boats are faster than jet skis!