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What Are Jet Ski Covers?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated: May 23, 2024

Jet ski covers are used to prevent the sun and other elements from damaging the personal watercraft's decals, paint and vinyl due to overexposure. Typically manufactured from Naugahyde™, nylon or another type of water-repellent material, jet ski covers also protect the watercraft from rainwater and other potentially damaging substances such as bird droppings, blowing debris, sand and leaves. Commonly custom-fitted to a particular type of watercraft, jet ski covers are manufactured and sold by the makers of the jet ski and from aftermarket companies as well. Many aftermarket manufacturers produce covers in a plethora of colors, designs and custom graphic packages.

The jet ski type of personal watercraft is designed to survive in the water and sunshine, however, repeated and prolonged exposure to the harsh environmental conditions found on and near a large body of water can take their toll on the machine's finish. By placing jet ski covers over the vessels when not in use, the paint and decals can retain the vibrant coloring originally used in the manufacturing process. The tight-fitting covers also eliminate much of the rain and moisture that can find its way into air intake openings, potentially damaging air breather filters, fuel injection units and carburetors.

The constant exposure to sunlight and heat can cause the foam used in watercraft seats to disintegrate and become hard and brittle. Placing jet ski covers over parked watercraft helps allow the seats to retain their original pliable condition for years. The colors used to dye the seating materials are also protected from the dulling ultraviolet effects of the sun while stored under jet ski covers. There is also the primary benefit that drives many consumers to purchase a cover in the first place, keeping the vessel clean and free of falling leaves, dust and similar contaminants.

Some of the less-expensive jet ski covers are intended solely for use on a parked watercraft. These covers are typically equipped with hook-and-loop fasteners and are manufactured from lightweight materials. There is, however, a higher-priced option that offers protection against stone pecks and other road debris damage while towing the jet ski. Commonly manufactured from a thicker and often lined material fitted with tie-down loops and steel grommet anchoring points, these jet ski covers are made for travel. The heavier travel cover will protect the watercraft from damage while it is being transported by trailer to a riding location and will not be easily blown off of the machine like the lighter-weight jet ski covers.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon997361 — On Dec 26, 2016

I have a Seadoo road cover, just brought it. Has anyone had issues with them blowing off? Or am I to put ties over top of cover? Or just use as is?

By sunshined — On Feb 17, 2012

@bagley79 - You should be able to tell by taking a close look at the jet skis if the owner took good care of them or not.

Once when I went to look at a jet ski for sale, it was covered, and at first I thought that was a good sign.

I could tell after the cover was removed though, that he must have just put that on before he was ready to sell it so it would look good.

This jet ski was very weathered and I had a feeling it was rarely covered when this man owned it. Needless to say, I didn't buy those jet skis.

If you keep looking you can find some good jet skis that have been taken care of, which includes being covered when not being used.

By bagley79 — On Feb 16, 2012

I have a high quality Yamaha jet ski cover for my jet skis, and do a good job of keeping it covered during the off season.

Many weekends in the summer when we get home from the lake, it is late, and I don't take the time to cover the jet ski until I am ready to use it again.

It is amazing how much toll the water and sun can take on them over time. When I see a covered jet ski going down the road, I know the owner is taking very good care of his jet skis.

If I was going to buy some used jet skis, knowing that the owner went to the trouble of keeping them covered on a regular basis would be a good selling point for me. That would be a pretty good indication he took good overall care of them.

By Mykol — On Feb 16, 2012

My dad is extremely particular at making sure his jet skis are covered when not in use. Even when hauling them down the road, he makes sure to keep them covered to protect them from rocks and other highway hazards.

Jet ski boats are a lot of fun to have, but they can also be expensive to buy and maintain. My dad wants to make sure he takes good care of his investment.

There are a lot of times I don't have the patience to always cover my jet skis when not in use, but I must say, they don't look as nice as my dads do either.

Even though he has had his jet skis for several years, by looking at them, they look brand new. He also takes very good care of them mechanically too. The last thing he wants to have happen is something go wrong out in the middle of the lake.

By summing — On Feb 16, 2012

I know that jet ski covers are great. But to have the maximum protection for my jet ski, especially in the winter months when I am not riding it, it has to be stored indoors. Has anyone done this before? I am trying to gauge how the experience went and how much it cost. I know that it's the best thing to do I just need to run the numbers to make absolutely sure it is worth it.

By tigers88 — On Feb 15, 2012

The article is right, sun is the biggest enemy of the jet ski.

If you see one that has been left out in the sun too long it looks like a shriveled up raisin.

I have seen some for sale at used jet ski covers that look like they've been sitting in a desert for a decade.

If you are going to buy a jet ski take care of it properly and invest in a cover

By gravois — On Feb 14, 2012

If you are going to own a jet ski and store it outside it is vital that you get a jet ski cover. Trust me, I learned from experience.

I have had 3 or 4 jet skis over the years and one of them I left on a trailer uncovered in my backyard. Well, we had a big storm one night with lots of wind and rain and fallen branches and my jet ski looked like it had been through hell and back the next morning. The paint was damaged in dozens on places and one of the throttles had been damaged by a falling branch. A jet ski cover wouldn't have saved it from all the damage but it would have helped.

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