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There’s nothing quite like the thrill of skimming across the surface of a vast, majestic body of water. The wind in your hair, the spray on your skin, all from the deck of your chosen watercraft!

So, imagine you have access to personal watercraft types, such as:

  • Jet skis
  • Kayaks
  • And powerboats

With so many options, you might need help selecting your watercraft for a day on the water. What are the pros and cons of different types of watercraft?

Before proceeding, let’s review some safety tips for going out onto the water.

Safety First When Using Watercraft

Operating any watercraft can be an exciting experience, but prioritising safety to prevent accidents and ensuring a pleasant outing is always a good idea.

Here are some general safety tips when using any watercraft.

Wear a Life Jacket

Wearing a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD) is essential when using or boarding any watercraft, regardless of your swimming abilities. If you are on a large commercial watercraft, ensure your PFDs are accessible and ready to use.

Check the Weather

Before getting onboard any vessel, check the local weather forecast. Avoid going out if a potential storm is on the horizon.

Inspect Your Vessel

It’s in your best interest to inspect your vessel before launching it. Ensure the watercraft is not damaged, has loose fittings, or exhibits signs of mechanical issues.

Final checks should ensure all equipment, including navigation lights, horns, and safety gear, is in good working order.

Follow Safety Regulations

Make sure to familiarise yourself with all the local boating laws and regulations. These will include:

  • Speed limits
  • Navigation rules
  • And required safety gear

This leads us to the following safety tip:

Stay Sober and Alert

Avoid consuming any alcohol or drugs when operating a watercraft. These substances will impair your judgement, coordination, and reaction time. You must stay vigilant while on the water, watching for other vessels, obstacles, and swimmers.

Operate at a Safe Speed

Always make sure to operate your watercraft at a safe and responsible speed. This is especially true when operating your vessel near a crowded area or a dock in conditions of lower visibility or bad weather.

Also, always maintain a safe distance between your watercraft and others.

Lastly, make sure to inform someone who is onshore of your planned timeframe just in case something goes wrong.

Now that you know the safety tips, let’s discuss watercraft and their pros and cons!

Jet Skis

Everyone’s dream holiday watercraft is fast, fun, and agile, such as jet skis. They bounce across the waves, whip the wind through the riders’ hair, and spray water into their faces.

Exhilarating as jet skis are, they do have some downsides. But for those looking for adventure and speed, it is the perfect watercraft.

Jet Ski Pros

Jet skis are incredibly maneuverable, can navigate tight spaces, and easily make sharp turns.

With this agility also comes speed. Jet skis allow the rider to go incredibly fast across the water’s surface.

Jet skis are relatively easy to operate in good conditions compared to mastering other watercraft.

While most will talk about jet skis’ speed and agility, they can also be a leisure vessel for nipping between larger watercraft and the shore or relaxing along a coastline.

They are also incredibly stable on the water’s surface, allowing easy mounting and dismounting.

But what are the downsides of using a jet ski?

Jet Ski Cons

While jet skis are fun, their speed and maneuverability can make them a safety concern, mainly when operated irresponsibly. If the rider pushes their vehicle too fast and attempts to corner at a high speed, it can be dangerous for the passengers and the public around them.

You can use a jet ski to transport up to two additional passengers. This might not be a big con, but if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with family and friends, you might want to bring everyone along.

Also, jet skis are not relaxing vessels, as they tend to be loud. If you’re trying to avoid the sounds of motors, the presence of a jet ski will be unsettling.

Another issue with jet skis is that if not maintained and serviced regularly, they can pollute the water.

So, a jet ski is the perfect watercraft if you’re looking for adventure, adrenaline, and fun. But what if you want to get close to nature?


There’s no better place to enjoy nature than seated in a comfortable kayak. And, because of the large variety available, you can select the perfect kayak for any situation, such as:

  • Fishing kayak
  • Tandem kayak
  • Sea kayak
  • Pedal-operated kayak
  • Sit-in kayak
  • Whitewater kayak
  • And the general sit-on kayak

A sea kayak is incredibly narrow and challenging to sit on, and a sit-in kayak requires the user to understand how to perform a kayak roll to right a capsized kayak using one’s body’s motion.

So, this article will focus on the general sit-on kayak, which requires the least training.

So, what are the general benefits of a kayak?

Kayak Pros

When using a kayak, you will be aware immediately of its maneuverability. Most paddlers can turn a kayak on a dime and navigate shallow and narrow waterways.

With larger kayaks, you can also store luggage in their haul for longer trips that can take place over several days, giving the paddlers an intensive workout.

Using a kayak also means working your muscles and getting a full-body workout to improve strength, cardiovascular health, and balance.

For those looking to enjoy nature, the silence of a kayak can allow you to drift up close to wildlife and really take in the surroundings. And as you’d imagine, no fossil fuels power this boat. However, that will hamper you, which leads us to the cons.

Kayak Cons

Kayaks are not the fastest means of transport between points A and B. As a relaxing mode of transport, this is not a problem for those with time on their side, but if you need to be somewhere, you’re better off-boarding a motorised boat.

While kayaks can offer some storage solutions, don’t expect to be able to take more than the bare essentials.

A major downside of using a kayak is stability. Some kayaks are incredibly narrow to ensure an increase in speed. But this affects stability and requires exercising some caution.

With kayaking trips, most will travel in large groups, allowing you to bring along friends and families. But what if you need to travel in groups that are not incredibly active?


Whether you want to refer to it as a:

  • Speedboat
  • Motorboat
  • Powerboat
  • Or just a boat

We’re referring to a small private vessel with an outboard motor. There’s nothing better for a group activity than going out onto the water with family and friends.

So, what other benefits are there?

Powerboat Pros

Comfort is a major benefit of this type of watercraft as there’s ample space to move, stand, and stretch.

Most powerboats will allow multiple passengers onboard to get comfortable and relax. This extra capacity for space extends to storage as well.

Powerboats are also incredibly versatile, allowing various activities, including:

  • Fishing
  • Cruising
  • Watersports
  • In some cases, an overnight stay on the water.

In addition, as the name indicates, powerboats can travel long distances across the water at high speeds.

But there are some drawbacks.

Powerboat Cons

The biggest downside of powerboats is the cost of getting into the segment. Buying the boat is just the first financial hurdle to overcome, but there are loads more, including:

  • Operational costs
  • Maintenance
  • Fuel
  • Insurance
  • Docking fees
  • And storage solutions out of season.

Another factor with powerboats is that you need to possess a skipper’s licence to operate them and acquiring one can be a time-intensive task.

The last major factor is the environmental impact of a powerboat, which can pollute the waterways and the air. As they are incredibly loud, you will also likely scare off wildlife so care should be taken in this regard.

Owning a powerboat means hours of fun on the water in a relaxed environment, and if you’re looking for the best quality marine battery, we can easily help.


  • Andrew McFarlane

    Andrew Macfarlane has accumulated over a decade of experience in content creation - graduating from the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business with a Diploma in Copywriting. When he is not engrossed in writing at his computer, he can be found tending to his garden or engaging in various DIY projects. His contributions as an author have been acknowledged in reputable publications such as the Sunday Times, Bizcommunity, and HotCars, further solidifying his reputation as a skilled and versatile writer.

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