Every jet ski needs a strong battery with a long lifespan. Only then can you get the best out of your sports vehicle. Because no matter how well you take care of your jet ski and the battery, there isn’t much you can do if you bought a dud, right? To get you started, we have some information on how long you can expect a battery to last, what makes a battery a good choice and how you can avoid the obvious pitfalls.
The simple answer is that every jet ski battery charger should be good for use for the first three to five years. Take good care of it and you can extend that to seven years. But that is keeping in mind that you picked the right manufacturer and know how to maintain the battery even when the jet ski is not in use.
There are many things you can do to get the most out of your jet ski battery. The very first lesson here might be to take good care of it even when you are not using it. That can kill the battery. You must also remember not to overcharge it. That’s where smart battery chargers come into the picture. Let’s look at their advantages and then some.
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How Long Should a Jet Ski Battery Last
When maintained well, a jet ski battery is capable of lasting anywhere from three to five years. But there are a couple of things you can do right to get it to last even longer, say, up to seven years.
One of the first such things to remember is to keep it charged even when you are not using the jet ski. That’s right. Regular maintenance includes charging the battery just like you would do with a car battery. Another thing to remember is to keep it away from exposure to extremely cold weather. If you fail on these two accounts, you can expect the battery to die on you in just about a year.
Some jet ski users like to keep a solar panel hanging off the jet ski when it is not in use. This keeps the battery alive just enough to make sure there is no sulfation. If you are unaware of the word, it is a process during which an unused battery develops crystals of lead sulfate on its plates. This slows down the performance of the battery and eventually kills it. There are ways to reverse the process but it is better to take care of maintenance than do damage control later on. As they say, better safe than sorry.
A lot of jet skis also come with smart chargers. These are helpful in the sense that they keep the battery charged when it starts to discharge and they automatically switch off when it is full. Some people consider using a waverunner battery charger as one of the accessories they bring with them when planning to go out on a jet ski ride.
This keeps the battery from overcharging which is a real problem for jet ski batteries. But many individuals prefer solar panels because they are easier to use and don’t need a wall outlet as smart chargers do. Solar chargers also don’t need direct sunlight but if your battery is completely dead, they won’t be of much help. Then it is time to take out the smart charger.
Now, not using the jet ski is just one of the reasons your battery is dying but it is a critical one. The emphasis on charging is because no matter the kind of battery you have, sulfation is inevitable when the watercraft is left unused. Over time, it kills the performance of the battery and that 3-5 year lifespan we mentioned in the beginning becomes moot. When there is too much sulfation, your battery will lack the amps it needs to start the jet ski.
We also mentioned that like cars, jet skis need to be charged even when they are not used. But it is important to remember that, unlike cars, jet skis do not come with alternators. The phenomenon of a dying battery due to lack of use is much common in jet skis because you don’t use these vehicles as often as you would a car. So, you must be a little more hands on with the charging process.
Brands You Can Count On
Obviously, some battery manufacturers do a better job than others when it comes to powering a jet ski. Here are just a couple of examples to get you started.
This is the YTX20L-BS AGM lead acid battery with 12 volts, 18 amps and the Cold Cranking Performance (CCA) is at 270. It is rechargeable and good for power sports. Apart from jet skis, it is also a good option for ATVs and motorcycles among other sports vehicles which makes it a versatile option.
This particular battery is made with absorbed glass mat (AGM) acid on the inside which makes it spill proof which keeps the battery acid inside, where it belongs. This is because of its durable exterior and is also quite easy to maintain. It is sealed which also helps avoid corrosion and allows your battery to have an extended life cycle.
The YTX20L-BS is made for high-powered performance which means when charged and maintained well, it keeps the jet ski fully powered. This is a good battery to replace a variety of MTX, LTX, ETX and UTX models which makes it a very compatible choice. It is a strong battery with a lead calcium alloy and dimensions that world for any jet ski.
These batteries come fully charged, which means you can get going right after they are delivered. The manufacturer offers an 18-month replacement window and also a refund within 30 days of the purchase. If there are any disadvantages, they are that this battery is a bit bulky which makes it slightly heavy. Some might also find it a little difficult to connect to their jet ski and the terminals need to be scrubbed regularly.
This is also an AGM battery that works well for Sea-Doo owners. It is compatible with a range of their GTX models from 1995 to 2001. It is a 12-volt battery with 18 amp hours with the Cold Cranking Performance at 270. This is also an absorbed glass mat design which is meant to keep the electrolyte in the batteries from leaking. And once again, that is the feature that makes it virtually maintenance-free.
It is an affordable battery that is easy to install and has good output amperage. The disadvantages are that it is so lightweight that you might find it to be a bit flimsy and the exterior material is not so great.
This is another option for those who want a battery with a long life for sports vehicles like motorcycles, jet skis, gyrocopters and snowmobiles. It is a great choice as the manufacturer claims that its life cycle is longer than 70 percent of the traditional deep cycle batteries. It is also said to recharge faster than sealed lead batteries that are currently on the market in this price range.
This is a 12-volt battery with 270 CCA and is one of the most efficient models in the market. It is vibration resistant which makes it quite immune to high-impact motion along with mechanical vibrations while in use. It is very tolerant to extreme weather and the manufacturer offers a two-year replacement warranty.
At 80 percent discharge, this Odyssey Powersports battery goes through 400 cycles. It is compatible with many jet ski models and has more reserve capacity than the competition. The plates of the battery also have more surface area which gives it 15 percent more capacity for charging. But keep in mind that some might feel this is a pricey option and the advertised lifespan might not work out if it is not maintained well.