Should You Take the Cover Off When Towing a Jet Ski?


After you have spent your day on the water, you start packing up and get your jet ski on the trailer. Do you need to put the cover on the jet ski before you drive off or should you keep it off? I answer all of these questions and more below.

There are people who do not put the cover on when towing, but there are also people who do put the cover on. Some people do like to put their cover on to avoid rocks and dirt getting on their jet ski. However, other people do not put their cover on when towing because even if it is a snug fit, they have had the covers fly off when driving.

There are obviously pros and cons to both options, but here is my opinion:

I would put a cover on and then use a ratchet strap to keep the cover in place. When a strap is put across the middle, it will hold it even if the cover slips off of the ends. You can quickly fix the cover this way as well.

This solves both problems of the cover falling off and keeps the dirt and rocks away. This is the best way to care for your jet ski and I would highly recommend investing in a ratchet strap.

This is a link to a great 4 pack of ratcheting tie-down straps that I recommend. click here

Covers for Towing

There are two simple options when it comes to getting a cover for your jet ski. You can either go to your local dealer, however this can be more expensive than option 2. You can just go on Amazon and find some great covers that will fit your PWC snug. They have a lot of options and lots of ratings so you can specifically see what is best for you.

Fitting the Cover

Just like you have to break in new shoes, your jet ski has to break in the cover. It is completely normal for the cover to be tight and very difficult to put on. Start at the handlebars, then the nose, and finally the rear. Never put the cover on rear first because that will be close to impossible.

One tip I have after you buy a brand new cover is to lay it out in the sun for a few hours before you take off and need to put it on. This will help stretch it out a bit so that it isn’t too hard to put on. Just like it gets easier to put on shoes, it will be easier over time to put on your cover.

Why do I Need a Cover While Towing?

Unless you have a Sea-Doo Spark, your watercraft is made out of Fiberglass. They are made out of fiberglass because they are light but strong at the same time. This makes it a more affordable material to use.

Fiberglass is porous, just as your skin is, and it dries out fast. Just like we need lotion to keep from getting dry, our jet skis need cover from the sun which is where the cover comes in.

Covers also keep dirt, bird poop, and rainwater off which will help keep your jet ski looking brand new. Covers are the second most important thing to have besides insurance because it is what is going to keep your jet ski alive and in optimal shape.

If you store your jet ski outdoors during the offseason, a sturdy cover is vital in the protection of your watercraft. Anything from bird poop all the way to a tornado could happen so make sure your jet ski is in a safe place.

Keep in mind that there are animals that can come across your jet ski and bite into your cover, I would make sure to check your jet ski every few weeks to make sure it is not getting damaged.

Why are Covers so Expensive?

Covers have a lot of demand and that is why the prices are raised every year. You will need a new cover every 3 to 5 years so it is important to look at your options of affordable covers. One thing to keep in mind is that the covers you get online are going to be different than the ones that are made just for your jet ski.

The covers that are created by the manufacturer are in better shape than the ones online because they usually have a thicker material that holds up better. Some even have cotton padding that protects the hood. When you get a Sea-Doo cover for your Sea-Doo watercraft it is going to fit better and will be easy to put on. The covers made by the manufacturer will fit like a glove which means you would not have to use any extra straps.

The covers that are made by your jet ski brand are also more thought out in that they include zippers by the gas tank and other compartments you may need to get to. These are more expensive, but the materials are better and will hold up longer than the universal fit covers.

The universal fit covers that you would find on Amazon or other sites can be compared to wearing baggy jeans. You have to get some extra ratchet straps, like a belt, to get the cover to be snug on your jet ski. These covers are usually made with thinner materials that are not as durable and do not last as long. I would recommend reading the reviews to see which of the modern universal fits are worth buying.

The universal covers most likely have ratchet or clips that you have to use to tighten around the watercraft. There are lots of options out there, but remember to keep in mind that your jet ski’s protection is worth some good money. You want your jet ski to last as long as it can, so take care of it and get a cover that works.

Cover vs. No Cover

Sun and water do a lot of damage to your cover which is why they do not last more than 5 years. The worst thing for your jet ski is water and sun, and this is why the cover is the most important part of the protection of your jet ski.

Just think of this; if your cover looks bad, then imagine how your jet ski would look if you didn’t use a cover?

You will want the thing that protects your expensive watercraft to be damaged and not the jet ski itself. Yes, you may only use your jet ski 3 months out of the year, but your cover is taking damage that whole year, not just the three months. Never forget the importance of a jet ski cover or you will regret it.

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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