Which Jet Ski is the Most Reliable? [Video]

The most reliable jet skis are the non-supercharged models with as few bells and whistles as possible. Regarding manufacturers, the most reliable jet ski brand is Yamaha. Why? Here are the clues:

  • The majority of jet ski rental shops choose Yamaha
  • Yamaha jet skis feature simpler parts and require less repairs
  • Yamaha jet skis hold their value better than other brands

If you want to read more about jet ski reliability, this post is for you. For your convenience, we at PowerSportsGuide have compiled the most important factors and the most reliable jet skis under one roof!

The Most Reliable Jet Skis

If you are considering buying a jet ski you must weigh several factors. But when it comes to reliability, the most important are as follows:

  • Engine performance
  • Features and accessories
  • The brand

Let’s drill into the details and examine these factors one-by-one!

Engine Performance

In the world of powersports, the performance of the machines is often the main focus. Most buyers are performance minded and the first spec they look at is always engine power!

To satisfy the market, manufacturers have released more and more powerful jet skis. In the early ‘90s, flagship jet skis offered around 50-60 HP, while today entry-level jet skis are powered by 90-110 HP engines! In contrast, the most powerful jet skis these days produce an amazing 250-310 HP!

But when it comes to engines, high performance goes hand-in-hand with unreliability and low durability. That’s why the engines of racing cars need to be replaced so often, whereas average street cars can run for many years without any issues.

Therefore, if you are looking for the most reliable jet skis on the market, you should take a look at lower performance models.

Because of their powerful engines, “Performance” and “Luxury” jet skis are prone to breaking down more often!Many of them are boosted with a supercharger, which is an additional source of problems, and puts a lot of stress on the engine.

Thus, if reliability and durability are important factors for you, it’s recommended that you steer away from the most powerful jet skis, especially the supercharged models!

Features and Accessories

Today’s jet skis come with endless bells and whistles to increase comfort and safety on the water.

Many of them feature brake and reverse systems, Bluetooth speakers, large LCD dashboards, and many other complex systems. What’s more, there’s a main computer integrated into each jet ski to control the engine along with all these features.

But let’s face it, these parts and systems can go wrong in many ways. Just a wrong sensor can completely foul the computer, leaving you stranded on the water!

Because of this, when it comes to jet ski reliability the rule of thumb is: the fewer the features the higher the reliability.

But are there simpler jet skis on the market with simpler features? The good news is yes, you can typically find these models in the Rec-Lite and Recreation categories. Moreover, certain features are usually optional on many jet skis.

Which Brand of Jet Ski is the Most Reliable?

Without a question, Yamaha is the most reliable jet ski brand on the market. Are you in any doubt? Just ask a few service shops or dealerships, most will probably say the same thing: Yamahas mainly require just an oil change and regular maintenance!

Their engines and other key parts are not only bulletproof but also easy to work on. They feature simpler systems like an open-loop cooling system or a coupler instead of a carbon ring seal. That’s why they require less maintenance and fewer repairs!

More clear evidence of the Yamaha jet skis’ reliability is that you can find these models in the majority of jet ski rental shops.

If you visit a rental shop in the U.S., more than likely you will find Yamaha VX WaveRunners in its fleet, and for good reason.

Reliability is always one of the most important factors of any rental service. Unreliable jet skis lead to unsatisfied customers and higher service costs! Finally, these result in a bad reputation and loss of money, not to mention the hassle of towing disabled jet skis back to the dock and servicing the machines.

Because of these concerns, jet ski rental shops are very picky when they build their fleets!

That’s why they prefer the Yamaha VX line, which is arguably the most reliable jet ski family on the market. They come with 1049cc and 1812cc, non-supercharged engines, which still offer 125-180 HP depending on the model.

Thanks to their high quality and optimal performance, these engines last longer than most of the other power sources in the industry.

It’s not uncommon to even see 1000+ engine hours on Yamaha jet skis in rental shops! But keep in mind that these machines are typically serviced very often, and they get much more attention and care than the average jet skis out there!

The reliability of jet skis is also reflected in their resale value. If you take a look at the used market, you can see that Yamaha WaveRunners typically hold their value better than competitor models.


If you are looking for the most reliable PWCs on the market, the Yamaha EX and VX models are for you.

These models are powered with non-supercharged engines, which are the most reliable power sources in the industry. They last longer and require less attention compared to supercharger power plants. Moreover, they are much better on gas!

It’s also recommended that you purchase a jet ski with as few features as possible. The more parts it contains, the greater the chances are that one of them will fail!

Are you wondering what brand of jet ski is the most reliable? Although every major manufacturer offers amazingly high-quality models, it seems that the most reliable jet ski brand is Yamaha.

According to many service shops and dealerships, Yamaha jet skis have significantly fewer failures compared to other brands.

That’s why you can find Yamaha WaveRunners in most jet ski rental shops. Reliability is an extremely important factor for any rental shop, as high service costs and dissatisfied customers are definitely not good for business.

What’s more, Yamaha jet skis’ reliability and durability also mean you can expect less price depreciation on these models. That’s why used Yamaha WaveRunners have a better resale value than other jet skis on the market.

If you still have doubts, don’t hesitate to do some extensive research. Ask repair shops or rentals for further advice. It’s also a good idea to visit online jet ski forums, where you can read about the reliability of each model and brand.

You will likely find that Yamaha is the most reliable jet ski on the market right now!



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