How Far Offshore Can a Jet Ski Go?

how far offshore can a jet ski go
how far can a jet ski go

You may be wondering how far you can take your jet ski offshore. Whether you are going out to fish off of your PWC, or just want to go further out than normal, it is important to make sure you do not run out of gas before you can get back to the shore.

The average jet ski holds 16 gallons of gas, therefore it is common sense to never go farther than 8 gallons worth. Calculate how far offshore your jet ski can go by testing how many hours of use you get with one tank of gas. Dividing those hours by 2 will give you a very general idea how far you can go.

Again, if you have a smaller jet ski, you have a smaller tank which means you will not get to spend too much time out there before you have to come back.

How to Calculate Your Jet Ski’s MPG (Miles per Gallon)

Every jet ski has its own distance it can travel and it is good to know exactly how far your jet ski can go. Because jet skis are smaller than the average vehicle, their gas usage varies more. There are many factors that can affect how far your jet ski can go. Some examples include adding an extra passenger, riding in the ocean rather than a lake, how much you open your throttle all the way, etc.

Here is the process you would take on your jet ski to find out the exact MPG:

  1. Fill the gas tank up completely and then reset the odometer
  2. Take your jet ski out on the water and ride until the tank is almost empty (you have to reach at least half a tank, but the closer you get to an empty tank, the more accurate calculation you will get)
  3. When you are done riding, refill the tank all the way again
  4. Divide the number of miles you rode by how many gallons you refilled the tank with and you get your MPG. (miles you rode/ gallons refilled=MPG)

You still need to keep in mind that there are many factors that affect how much gas a jet ski uses each time you take it out. If I were trying to find out how many miles per gallon my jet ski traveled, I would calculate the equation above a few different times on different days to get the average MPG. Some of these include but are not limited to:

  • The faster you ride the faster the fuel runs out
  • Smooth water uses less gas
  • Choppy water takes more gas
  • The engine (the more cylinders the more fuel consumption)
  • The more people on board the more gas used


Some people think it is easier to keep track of how long they have been riding than how far they have gone. This is why people go by GPH (gallons per hour) rather than MPG.

The average number of GPH on a jet ski is 6.5 GPH-8 GPH at a cruising speed of 35 MPH. The difference between a cruising speed and full throttle is big: full throttle a jet ski uses 20 GPH-25 GPH.

You can determine how long you have been out on the water to how much fuel you have burned through. The average amount of time that you can be out on the water is around an hour. Once you spend about 30 minutes cruising around, you should have about half a tank left.

Jet Ski Long Distance vs Boat Long Distance

Some people think they can have a great time fishing on their jet ski, but there are reasons why you shouldn’t go too far into the ocean on a jet ski.

The main reason why you should not take a jet ski out into the ocean to fish is that the gas runs out faster in a jet ski than a boat. In the ocean, there are bigger fish and jet skis are not large enough or sturdy enough to hold the weight of those large fish. Big game fishing is not safe on a jet ski, so if you are wanting to go fishing in the ocean, take a boat.

Jet skiing is safely done close to shore because there are too many things that can go wrong on a small engine and gas tank. You still can go fishing on a jet ski, and they make some jet skis specific for fishing, but you should not go too far away from shore.

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Best Jet Skis For Distance

If you cannot afford a boat, then there are options of jet skis out there that are made specifically for fishing. When looking for a fishing jet ski make sure you look at ones that have:

Here is a guide of the best choices of jet skis for Distance Riding

  • Kawasaki Ultra LX: This is the top choice of a distance jet ski because there is a bunch of storage space, a large gas tank, it is fuel efficient, and for all of the features that it has, it is reasonably priced. This jet ski also has 3 seats which are great for friends.
  • Sea-Doo GTX: The GTX does have a fair amount of storage, a large gas tank, and also has 3 seats. Sea-Doo ‘s have the most variety of jet skis so there is something for everyone.
  • Sea-Doo Wake Pro 230: Even though this jet ski is known for tow sports, it is also one of the best jet skis you can get for distance riding. This model has a deep V-shaped hull, a large gas tank, and a lot of storage. You can fit 3 people on board and this is one of the most popular options out there.
  • Yamaha Waverunner FC HO Cruiser: Even though this PWC is more expensive than the Sea-Doo and the Kawasaki Ultra LX, it is an excellent choice for riding in the ocean. There is plenty of storage, a large gas tank, and a NanoXcel2 hull.
  • Yamaha VX Waverunner: This is another popular option that is best for beginners and families. It is used most for tow sports and fishing. There can be up to 3 people onboard, there is a large gas tank, and it has the same NanoXcel2 hull as the Waverunner FC HO Cruiser.

It is important to remember that if you are going riding in the ocean and you usually don’t take your jet ski into salt water to take all precautions. Salt water is not good for the engine of watercraft because it can cause corrosion. After finishing up in the ocean water, you will need to rinse your jet ski off inside and out to flush out all of the sea water.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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