The Jet Ski Versus the Boat – Is There a Winner?

Time to open the wallet and purchase a watercraft for some summer pleasure on the pond, lake, or ocean. The decision to buy some form of watercraft has been made but the decision of the exact make, model, and type has yet to be determined. By type of watercraft I mean boat or jet ski… Jet ski is actually a trademarked term for the Kawasaki personal watercraft. Personal watercraft (or PWC for short) of any brand have been called jet skis for years. The model name stuck to PWC’s the same way the word band-aid is used in reference to virtually any bandage. By habit, I too refer to all PWC machines as jet skis. But back to the issue at hand. Purchasing one particular type of watercraft for summertime pleasure can be a tough choice. I’ve personally both a personal watercraft and an open-bow power boat. Let’s explore the differences, the benefits, and disadvantages of each. These two types of watercraft have many differences that may affect your final decision.

Boats, first of all come in many sizes and shapes and they can be priced for many budgets. In all fairness, we will use an eighteen foot bowrider as the boat of comparison since base models can be priced in the ballpark of higher end jet skis. The boat differs form the jet ski in its size first of all. This is an advantage if you are looking for room to move aboard the craft. This is also an advantage if you plan on taking multiple family or friends. An eighteen foot open bow boat and carry anywhere from six to eight passengers depending on model. Size is a disadvantage if you are short on storage space or if you aren’t the best driver when it comes to trailering a boat. Boats can also be a challenge to launch from a boat dock. Whereas a jet ski can be launched and even sometimes carried into the water with ease. The boat can be less than economical regarding fuel consumption versus the more fuel friendly pwc. The boat has the advantage of being versatile. Family and friends can be towed in a tube or similar toy. Water skiing becomes and option with the power boat as well. Then there is fishing… with plenty of room for rods, reels, and accessories why not try to catch dinner? The jet ski can’t accommodate water skiers, tubers, and fisherman in quite the same way. The personal watercraft however, offers something a boat cannot.

The ride can be compared in many ways to a cross between a snowmobile, a powerful sportbike, and a speed boat. It offers the thrill of riding instead of driving. Earlier models were mainly comprised of stand up configuration but the newer models mainly consist of sit down versions. The passenger capacity has also increased to two, three, and even four passenger models. The open-air feel of jet ski transportation is the main draw and competitive racing and watercross events add to the excitement. The PWC mainly appeals to the young and the young at heart.

I guess when it comes time to choose between a jet ski and a traditional boat, I’d recommend a visit to your local marina as well as a dedicated boat dealer, and a motor sports specialist. It won’t take long, you’ll know in your gut the direction you’d like to take on the water. Both choices have distinct advantages over the other, and both choices are ideal for creating many new memories on the water.