Essential Accessories for Your PWC
What accessories are essential to a personal watercraft (PWC) or to anything else for that matter is subjective, but some items you just shouldn’t go without.
For this particular article, we’re highlighting PWC accessories we think are essential, including some fun accessories we threw in for good measure. After all, having fun is an important part of owning a PWC! (Why else do people buy jet skis, right?) From safety to fun, here are some essential accessories to carry on your personal watercraft.
PWC Personal Safety Accessories
You know what they say: safety first! Before we get to the fun stuff, we’d be remiss not to mention some important safety accessories you should have onboard your personal watercraft.
Life Jacket/Life Vest
More a necessity than an accessory, a life jacket or life vest should top your list of things you must carry on your PWC or any other watercraft for that matter. No matter how good of a swimmer you are, if you fall off your jet ski and can’t get back on it for whatever reason, a life jacket or vest is the best personal flotation device to have on to keep you afloat and alive. And they’re usually required by law.
First Aid Kit
It’s not something you’d probably think of right away when it comes to PWC accessories, but you should have a first-aid kit handy, preferably a waterproof kit. Accidents can and do happen, and a first-aid kit should be readily available if you or a passenger gets hit or cut on the water, on the dock, or on land near where you docked your PWC.
Air Horn and Whistle
When you need help from nearby boaters who may not be close enough to hear you call for help, horns and whistles come in handy. While the air horn works great for calling for attention while on your PWC, keeping a whistle on your body helps if you’re in the water alone away from your PWC and can’t reach for the air horn. A whistle also helps call for attention when an air horn runs out of air. Like the life jacket/life vest, a whistle is more of a requirement than an accessory.
There’s a saying that includes the words “without a paddle” that we won’t repeat here, but we’re sure you know what it is. If your PWC runs out of fuel or the motor fails and you’re stranded out where nobody else is around to help, it’s good to have foldable paddles on your watercraft so you can row your PWC back to safety.
PWC Docking and Anchoring Accessories
Now that we got the safety stuff out of the way, let’s get to some accessories you should have available on your personal watercraft for docking and anchoring.
Pretty much common sense here, but you’re going to need some dock lines for your PWC if you plan on docking. Bungee dock lines work well for protecting your PWC while it’s tied to a dock, as they have padding to absorb shock. However, they’re not recommended for strong windy conditions. Whether you go with bungees or traditional dock lines, it’s good to have them readily available.
PWC Fenders / Bumpers
Protecting your watercraft from dock damage is best done with PWC fenders or bumpers. These essential accessories go between your prized watercraft and the dock it’s tied to provide padding and a protective barrier between them.
PWC Anchor and Line
Even if you don’t plan on docking anywhere, you’re probably going to park your PWC in the water at some point. A lightweight, portable anchor is the way to go, one compact enough to store on your jet ski without weighing it down. Don’t forget to bring some extra anchor lines with you in case the line tied to your anchor gets detached.
PWC Personal Items Accessories
Next up, we'll go into some PWC essential accessories related to your personal items. These accessories help keep your personal watercraft adventures more enjoyable.
Waterproof Dry Bag
Let’s face it, in this day and age our phones have become a necessity, not a luxury. Your phone is practically a detachable appendage, and you want to make sure to protect it with not only a waterproof phone case, but a cell phone dry bag as well. These bags not only protect your precious phone from water damage, but also from sunscreen, dirt and other stuff that can come in contact with and mess up your mobile device.
PWC Accessories Plug
Speaking of your phone, what good is having one on you if the battery dies? This is where the accessories plug comes in handy. The 12-volt plugs have become quite the popular PWC accessory not just for charging phones, but to plug in other devices like air pumps and Bluetooth speakers. Just make sure you get a plug installed that’s compatible with your personal watercraft.
Floating Keychain or Kill Switch Lanyard
People lose keys. Car keys, house keys, boat keys, etc. are easy to misplace. And losing the keys to your PWC in the water is rather unfortunate, especially if they sink to the bottom and get lost in the sand or dirt. A floating keychain does exactly what it sounds like, making it easy to retrieve your keys from the surface should they fall in the water. If your PWC has a kill switch, get a floating lanyard for it instead.
We don’t really need to explain what sunglasses are for, other than to protect your eyes from splashing water as well as the sun. As with many other items on this list, make sure they’re floatable. And if they’re not, make sure they’re not expensive sunglasses, because you’re very likely to lose them if you fall off your PWC. Sunglasses also protect others, as they help you see where you’re going with all that water and sunlight hitting your face while you’re driving.
PWC Fun Accessories
We're glad you’ve read this far, because now comes the fun stuff! Riding a jet ski or other PWC is fun in and of itself, but who says you can’t have a little added enjoyment? Here are our picks for essential PWC accessories for the all-important fun part of owning a personal watercraft!
Towable Tubes, Wakeboards and Tow Ropes
As fun as riding a jet ski alone can be, it’s a hell of a lot more fun with friends. Towable tubes make “ride-sharing” your PWC a blast! Attaching a tube or wakeboard to your personal watercraft adds another layer of fun to your watersports activities. Just know what the laws are for your state as far as how many people you can tow on a PWC like a jet ski, and of course make sure your watercraft has the towing capabilities and the tow ropes to take your friends for a ride.
We mentioned anchoring your PWC earlier, and one fun thing to do while you’re anchored out there is diving. To make underwater exploration faster, more fun and easier to maneuver, add a sea scooter to your list of PWC accessories. These fun little underwater scooters are lightweight and portable, and can usually fit into a storage compartment. And if you need to escape a shark, you can get away faster (we hope)!
As mentioned before, what can be considered an essential accessory is mostly subjective, and there are many more accessories available for your PWC not listed here. Visit the Accessories section of our site to find everything you need for your boat or personal watercraft.