Jet boats do not have an alternator but instead, use a stator.
The way a stator works is similar to an alternator but also not the same either.
Jet Boat Stator Vs. Alternator
An alternator will charge batteries, and so does a stator.
What makes a stator different is that a stator is more for maintaining a charge, and an alternator is for charging completely.
A stator will only put enough energy back in the battery that it needs to keep everything functioning. Think of a stator as a slow charger in comparison to the alternator.
A stator is not like a magneto as that is only for spark. A stator supplies the power for that and then some.
You can’t expect a stator to charge your battery if it’s entirely dead. I mean, it will charge the battery, but it’ll be slow.
Since jet boats use a jet ski engine, it’s the same stator that a jet ski would have too. So the charging system on a jet boat is very much the same as the charging system on a jet ski.
How To Keep Jet Boat Batteries Charged?
One question I get is, how would you charge your batteries if you’re not using them?
A lot of people will take their boats out and sit while listening to music. They may even camp or use something that needs the boat’s electrical power.
If this is you, the best thing you can do is to use two batteries—one battery for starting the engines and another for long-form power draw.
This means getting a starting battery and a deep cycle battery.
You can get the battery switches that allow you to swap between batteries. When idle, you use the deep cycle battery. When it’s time to go, you fire up using the starting battery.
Once running, you can switch to both batteries so you can put some charge back, but it won’t be as much as what an alternator will give you.
If you’re worried, you can always keep a jump box like this one on Amazon (Amazon Link Ad) with you when you go out. You may never use this jump box on your long trips but does give you peace of mind.
Solar Panel Battery Charger Can Help!
Another option is to use a solar battery charger.
When you’re not using the boat, hook up the battery to the solar panel, and it will charge the battery. The charge is slow but is often all you need.
A solar charger works excellent if there are no power outlets to let you charge your battery. So if you have a lake or river home, this will be ideal.
It also doesn’t hurt to get a portable 10-watt solar charger like this on Amazon (Amazon Link Ad) to keep in the boat at all times. When in the hot sun, it can help put back what the radio takes from the battery. It also works well when you’re not using the boat and want to keep the battery from dying.
Don’t Worry Too Much
If you’re going out for the day and relaxing, this is not a huge deal unless you have some crazy aftermarket stereo system.
If you’re noticing your battery is dying after a lot of use, I would make sure the battery is not bad. A good battery in a jet boat won’t have any issues with someone going out and riding and then resting for the afternoon.
This problem could affect any boat and not just jet boats.
To make this a non-issue for any boat, you can get boat towing membership like from SeaTow or Tow Boat US. It doesn’t cost as much as you think and worth it for the peace of mind.
Don’t forget to ask if your boat insurance has towing as a part of your membership.
And if you’re still worried get a jump pack as we talked about above.