Part of the broad appeal of Jet Skis and personal watercraft is their ability to manouvre in shallow water, and park on or near the beach.
However, we would caution against “beaching” any Jet Ski or personal watercraft, for a few reasons.
If the tide is coming in, the craft could float away if you haven’t secured it properly.
If the tide is going out, you could be left stranded, or at the very least be left exhausted trying to get it back into the water. Even with a few hands on deck, it’s not always easy to get a 400kg craft back into the water.
Beaching a Jet Ski can also damage the hull, especially if there are shells, stones and other shrapnel buried in the sand. This can lead to further damage of the hull after starting as a small chip or graze.
Which is why anchoring in shallow water is recommended. There are a few options:
Sand bag anchor
This is, in effect, a bag you can fill with sand once you reach your destination. It takes time to fill if the sand is wet, but when it’s not in use this is the lightest of the options available. Once filled with sand you can place the bag on the beach (attached to the Jet Ski or personal watercraft via a long rope), or leave it submerged. However, this type of anchor is often not heavy enough to hold a Jet Ski or personal watercraft in strong current. Prices range from $30 to $40.
Folding anchors are relatively compact and better suited to being buried in soft sand on the beach, rather than the seabed under the craft. The trouble with this design is that rarely can you get all the splines to dig into the sand, and the narrow arms don’t always grip into the seabed. But they are a good alternative for beach anchoring if you don’t want to spend time filling a bag with sand. Prices range from $50 to $80 either as a whole set up or just the anchor.
Most boating supply stores sell Cooper anchors made out of heavy duty plastic (or nylon) and are available in various sizes. We recommend the 1kg Coopers anchor as smaller ones may struggle to grip in the seabed, especially in a strong current. The key is to use at least 1 metre of chain, so the anchor stays wedged rather than floating up. The anchor by itself ranges in price from $35 to $100 depending on size and weight, but you will need to add rope, chain and shackles.
Michael Byriel Anchors
The most popular anchor solution in the PWC community is a ready-to-go kit made by Queensland Jet Ski specialist Michael Byriel. He started selling anchor kits as a side hustle five years ago and now they’re in stores across Australia. Michael Byriel Anchor Kits use a Coopers nylon anchor but also come with the correct length of chain (available with a coloured sleeve), anchor rope, carabiner clip, D shackle, and a warning buoy. A made-to-fit storage bag is an optional extra. Customers can also order online, with shipping anywhere in Australia. Prices for complete ready-to-go kits start from $165 including postage.
Stockists for Michael Byriel anchors include: