The restoration of a older model jet ski can be a rewarding experience upon completion. If you’ve lived by the water for the better part of your life, you should be at least remotely familiar with jet skis, maybe even intimately familiar. This read is for those personal watercraft enthusiasts who may wish to restore a jet ski. The phrase “how to restore a jet ski” is not necessarily a how to rebuild carbs or pumps, but how to approach a restoration project from day one. First of all it is important to consider that the people who can best afford to restore a jet ski, usually don’t. Those who can’t afford restoration projects are usually the ones that desire and ultimately attempt them. Many times, these projects usually come undone because the owner failed to anticipate the cost properly. Fixer upper jet skis are rarely good deals. Money is a very important aspect in these projects.
If you haven’t got cash, then it’s likely a mistake to think that you can perform a complete restoration. Looking at it from another point of view however, taking a well designed, well built, older jet ski and restoring it can be the most cost effective way to get yourself onto a good quality jet ski that you would not otherwise be able to afford. Older models tend to have less bells and whistles but when you’re cruising across the water with a breeze in your hair, does that really matter? Regarding your best bang for the buck, it is possible for the economics of such a project to work out because a lot of the investment is going to be old fashion elbow grease. The similarities between jet skis and older homes are astounding. This is evident by watching just about any home improvement show on television. Someone takes an older home, restores and rebuilds the house and reaps heaps of profit and pride. The restoration of vintage model jet ski, or even a late model personal watercraft with an enormous amount of hours, can produce a high resale value in some cases, but the pride of a self restored jet ski is a guarantee.
Here are some basic concepts to guide anyone in the right direction regarding their own jet ski restoration project. First, there is a matter of legalities. Be sure the jet ski comes equipped with a title of ownership or some form of legitimate registration. One could only imagine the horror of a fully restored personal watercraft that was not legal to operate on public waters.Of course, laws vary greatly among the states so check your locality either at the department of motor vehicles or other appropriate governing office. Now on to the fun stuff… The hull of the watercraft should be sound and not require any type of substantial reconstruction. A solid foundation is the best way to start any project. If you plan on investing your hard earned money, be sure it is a desirable model based on the possibility you’ll need to resell at some point. Do your financial homework, an accurate estimation of overall cost is essential to any project. next of course be sure you have the funds allocated to complete the job, maybe even a buffer is even a good idea. Too many projects go uncompleted thanks to a lack of funding. A very liberal consideration needs to be given to total restore time as well. Chances are that it will take about twice as long to complete your project than originally anticipated. Being that personal watercraft are a seasonal vehicle in most cases, off-season work would be best so there is no hurry with critical portions of your work. Patience is key from start to finish.
Another thought to consider is partial sub-contracting. If there is any part of the engine or hull where an expert can achieve better, or longer lasting results, than go for it. There is no shame in hiring out a portion of the restore if you feel you may not do the best job on your own. Some mechanics are not strong electricians and vice versa. It is important to know when assistance is necessary. Painting or refinishing the hull with a custom paint scheme is a great example of something that may need to be handled by a professional.
Nevertheless, these types of restoration projects are not for everyone. But for those that have desire, skill, time, and plenty of money, such projects can be rewarding and ultimately enjoyable. Maybe the trick to your success is to attack the restore with a business-like attitude. Guaranteed you’ll feel like a million dollars on the day you place the jet ski back in the water.