A jet ski is one of the most popular and fun recreational vehicles you can find. Jet skis lets drivers fly over the water like never before. Great for practicing balance and coordination, jet skis can also help develop leg muscles. Jet skiing is a relatively accessible water sport and it is easy to get into.
There are many things that make jet skiing so awesome, but it is probably the fact that it is one of the fastest and most adrenaline-fuelled water sports that makes it so attractive. Unlike traditional motorboats that use an external propeller, jet skis are known to use an internally mounted impeller. With its unique corkscrew style, a Jet Ski impeller is used to generate forward thrust.
It draws a large water volume into a propulsion channel and then forces the water out through a size restricted cone-shaped jet nozzle. This setup allows the Jet Ski to work in shallow water and reduces the risk of injury to the rider as there are no moving external parts.
Meanwhile, just like most water sports, jet skiing is intuitive and is different for each person. Naturally, some people will find it difficult and others will find it easy, but for the most part, it is pretty straightforward. Although Jet Ski rental can be a wonderful business opportunity for certain types of entrepreneurs, the financial dimension of launching a Jet Ski rental business can spell disaster for other entrepreneurs, especially those who have unrealistic profit expectations.
From the very beginning, you will need a beachfront rental location costing thousands of dollars per season and the number of jet skis you can rent will be limited by the amount of frontage you lease. In addition, you will require a minimum fleet of five or six jet skis to have a shot at a profitable business enterprise.
Note that Kawasaki doesn’t have any jet skis suitable for the rental industry and so you’re left with only Yamaha and Sea-Doo to work with. It is normally the rec-lite series that works best to reduce upfront expenditure and ongoing maintenance costs.
What are the Best Reliable Jet Skis to Buy for Rental Purposes?
Yamaha’s EXR (or R-spec EX model) is a well known and potent lite recreational class PWC that offers solid performance and even better bang for your buck. Backed by Yamaha’s famous reliability, the EXR is powered by the Tuning Fork Company’s high-output TR-1 marine engine that sends 110 horses to the water via a 144mm high-pressure pump with a stainless steel impeller.
Note that the latest version of the EXR is built atop a hull constructed from Yamaha’s NanoXcel 2 fiberglass-based Sheet Moulding Compound (or “SMC)”, which is the same material utilized on the Hamamatsu manufacturer’s flagship Waverunner. Add this with an updated engine tune, the lightweight hull material allows for an impressive top speed of 54mph.
Sea-Doo’s RXP-X 300 is a beast of a flagship vessel, built around a supercharged and intercooled Rotax 1630 ACE Engine—the most powerful lump currently offered by the Polaris-owned outfit—with a polished high-performance impeller and a closed-loop cooling system that’s good for a cool 300hp.
Well fitted with race-inspired ergonomics and control setup, the RXP-X 300 sports Sea-Doo’s all-new T3-R hull which helped in shaving 86lbs of weight (compared to the outgoing model). Other noteworthy standard fare on the Sea-Doo include variable trim system and a handlebar-activated launch control feature, the marque’s Intelligent Brake and Reverse function, and a 7.6” digital display, though there are also numerous optional factory upgrades including a BRP premium audio system.
SEA-DOO GTI 90
The GTI 90 is ideal for the rental industry as its upfront cost is quite reasonable and the non-supercharged model is great for reducing fuel overheads. Aside from that, this Jet Ski is quite safe and won’t cause concern for the individual since the power is quite tame.
Some rental businesses tend to go for the GTI 130 but this is really best for those who are running open ocean tours. If you’re only running a lake-side rental business, then the GTI 90 makes the perfect model.
YAMAHA EX and EX DELUXE
The EX really does mirror the GTI 90 mentioned above quite well and if you’re a Yamaha fan, then this model will suit your business very well. For one, the EX is actually slightly cheaper although its mid-2000’s aesthetics don’t look quite that good for marketing.
Yamaha has their own in-house finance and could help you set up the entire business with remarkably low-interest rates. The EX Sport and Deluxe models are also excellent if you don’t like the aqua-look of the 2021 EX.
SEA-DOO SPARK TRIXX
This Sea-Doo SPARK TRIXX is the PWC-equivalent of a naked hooligan motorcycle, specifically designed to perform all manner of tricks on the water. Powered by an Austrian-built Rotax 900 ACE HO engine that generates 90hp and built around a lightweight Polytec composite hull, this nimble PWC boasts an excellent power to weight ratio that’s more than sufficient for getting the nose up, while step wedges make it easy to show off on the water.
Even with the minimalist nature of this model and its sub-$8K MSRP, it indeed comes fitted with a multi-way adjustable handlebar riser and Sea-Doo’s Intelligent Brake & Reverse (aka “iBR”) feature as standard.
Note that sometimes the recreational-lite series just isn’t enough for riding in some areas. If you intend to head out into the ocean and expect the entire party to be hauling at 40-knots, then the Spark and other models will struggle with their lighter hull design.
The VC-C is a recreational jet ski that starts to verge into the performance spectrum. If riders have a passenger then this ski will better cut through the waves leaning to a smoother ride without feeling like being thrashed around.
This Jet Ski is ideal for the rental industry as an ocean-going contender. The GTI SE is also a great model to consider in this spectrum. Although some would say that the GTX is overkill for first-time riders and yes it might, but sometimes you need the right Jet Ski for the owner or tour leader.
The cost of the GTX (almost 2.5x the cost of a Spark) obviously puts off many who have a hard budget for the entire fleet.
Notably, it was 30-years-ago that Yamaha unveiled its original Superjet PWC model, and after an extended hiatus, the Japanese marque has now returned the iconic stand-up Waverunner to production for the 2021 model year. For the modern incarnation of the Superjet, Yamaha has replaced the predecessor’s carburetted 73hp 701cc two-stroke twin mill with a retuned version of its TR-1 marine engine, while the old Superjet’s SMC deck and hull have been swapped out in favor of redesigned VaRTM Fibreglass units.
A padded foot tray and handlebars that offer 50mm (or 2”) of play allows for a comfortable rider’s quarters, too. Despite the updates, the 2021 model retains the wild character of its predecessor, while upping its reliability and lessening emissions output. Outlined above are top choices for fitting out your rental fleet with personal watercraft. You’ll have some budget options as well as those better suited for when conditions aren’t so glassy.
Nonetheless, when you include the cost of these Crafts, PFDs, insurance, maintenance equipment, and other start-up expenses, the bottom line is that you’ll need at least $80k to get your operation off the ground. And if your location isn’t a year-round travel destination, you’ll need to do enough business in five months to cover a year’s worth of costs.
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