Jet Ski Checklist: Keeping Track of Boating Documentation

Maintaining proper documentation and equipment may not be the most glamorous or fun part of owning a jet ski, but it is one of the most important. It ensures you not only stay on the right side of legal regulations but that you can keep your vehicle in optimal condition for as long as possible. 

Whether you are a seasoned jet ski owner or a first-time buyer, it’s important to have all of your boating documentation together, in order to keep your jet ski safe and legal. 

Pre-Launch Checklist

Before you take off on your jet ski, you should go through a pre-launch checklist to make sure that everything is in good shape and that you have all the equipment and paperwork you need.

1. The first step is to verify that all of the required equipment and documentation is on board. This can include:

  • Buoyancy aid
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flares
  • Whistle or horn
  • Navigation lights
  • Anchor
  • Bilge pump
  • Tool kit
  • First aid kit
  • Fuel
  • Battery
  • Registration
  • Insurance
  • Safety certificate
  • Emergency contact information
  • Means of communication (VHF or mobile phone in waterproof pouch)

It is important to check each item to ensure that they are all present and in good working condition and within date. 

  1. 2. Following this, inspect the jet ski for any damage or wear. This includes checking the hull for any cracks, scratches or other damage. You should also inspect the engine, propeller, steering and control systems for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any issues, it is important to address them before launching.

    3. Check the fuel and oil levels to ensure that there is enough for your intended trip. It is also a good idea to perform tests on the battery to check it has enough charge to start the jet ski.

    4. Test the navigation lights to ensure that they are working properly, especially if you will be operating your jet ski at night or in low light conditions.

    5. Ensure that communication devices such as mobile phones or radios are working properly. These devices can be essential in case of an emergency or if you need to call for assistance.

    6. Check the weather forecast to ensure that conditions are safe for jet ski operation. Avoid launching your jet ski in hazardous weather conditions.

    7. Finally, let somebody know your plans, ideally a trusted person. This should include details of your trip, such as where you will be going and when you plan to return. This can help in case of an emergency or if you fail to return as planned.

Information and Documentation

In addition to having the necessary equipment on board, there are several pieces of information and documentation that you should have with you when operating your jet ski.

First and foremost, you should have your jet ski registration with you and ensure that your registration is up-to-date and that you have the necessary paperwork on board.

Insurance is also an important item to have with you. Whilst not required in all areas or waters, it is highly recommended to have insurance coverage in the event of an accident. 

Even if it is not required by law, it is highly recommended to take a safety course to ensure that you know how to operate your jet ski safely and responsibly. These are offered by RYA (Royal Yachting Association) centres around the UK. Click here to find out more.

By having all the necessary information and paperwork with you on your jet ski, you can just concentrate on having fun out in the water.

You can benefit from free access to our digital boat organiser, MyBoat. This easy-to-use tool keeps all of your essentials in one place, enables you to set reminders (for routine safety checks etc.) additionally if you are a GJW Direct policyholder, you can enjoy access to discounts from a host of recognised marine brands.

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