If you live in an area that experiences a cooler environment, now is the time to start thinking about where you will keep your personal watercraft (PWC) or jet ski throughout the winter.
Investing the time and effort necessary to properly winterize your watercraft is essential to ensuring that all of its systems will function to the best of their ability the following sailing season. If you don’t undertake preventative maintenance on your vehicle throughout the year, you could end up with expensive problems like a dead battery, backed-up fuel systems, and damage to various internal components, among other problems.
Before the temperature drops below freezing, it is crucial to take a few straightforward actions that are nonetheless essential in order to winterizing any boat. Your first stop when looking for information should be the owner’s manual. It will provide in-depth instructions that are tailored to the particular brand and type of device.
Check out the procedures that are outlined below for a concise rundown on how to put a jet ski or personal watercraft (PWC) away for the winter.
1. Clear out all of the gear
When getting ready for winterization, the first thing that needs to be done is to clear out any gear, towels, or other items that might be stored in the compartments. You may also take advantage of this chance to completely wipe down these areas, making sure that they are both clean and dry before you move on.
Think about leaving the storage compartments slightly split open to minimize the formation of mold and mildew, which can be caused by excess moisture that accumulates inside the compartments. However, you shouldn’t leave them wide open. After that, there is a possibility that animals and insects will nest inside throughout the winter.
2. Clean jet pump
After that, clean any debris that may still be stuck in the jet pump with some soap and water, and then add a layer of lubrication to protect it against rust. Additionally, check both the intake and the output of the jet pump. Examine the surface for any cracks or other obvious evidence of severe wear. If you see any damage, you might want to think about repairing it or getting a new one. You should also remove the lid of the impeller to ensure that there has not been any accumulation of water.
3. Use anti-freeze
Antifreeze needs to be circulated throughout the system at all times if you reside in a location where the average temperature falls below freezing on a regular basis. This will prevent any moisture that has been left behind from expanding and causing damage to its surroundings.
To get started, combine equal parts of water and antifreeze in a bucket. The mixture should then be placed on the other end of a hose or water pump that has been inserted into the flush outlet. Repeat turning the engine on and off until the solution has completely traveled through the exhaust system. Continue doing this until the problem is resolved.
4. Maintain the system's fuel stability
Taking the next step will guarantee that both your fuel and your fuel system will remain in good condition all through the winter. When storing a personal watercraft, it is critical to ensure that the tank is completely full to avoid the formation of condensation on any exposed surface within the gasoline system. Put in a good fuel stabilizer and keep the engine running for 30 seconds at a time to make sure that it gets mixed in with the fuel. Because of this, the possibility of fuel deterioration will be reduced.
Leaks in the gasoline distribution system should also be checked for at this time because it is the best time to do so. It is likely that there is a leak if you either see or smell fuel. Before placing it into long-term storage, it ought to first undergo the appropriate maintenance or be replaced.
5. Coat cables and seals in lubricant
Apply a lubricant and a protectant that has been advised by the maker of the personal watercraft to any and all exposed cables, seals, and other parts. Lubricant will assist in preventing the rusting of portions that were inadvertently left exposed to water while being stored.
6. Spray fogging oil
The carburetor and spark plugs should both be treated with fogging oil. This is another strategy that can be utilized to protect against corrosion and water damage.
To begin, take out the air filter, and then spray fogging oil over the carburetor as well as the cylinders containing the spark plugs. Idling the engine and waiting for it to cut out is the most effective way to complete this task. After that, take out the spark plugs and spray some fogging oil into each hole, leaving it there for a few seconds.
After covering the holes with clean rags, rotate the device to ensure that the oil reaches all of the internal components. Bear in mind that it is quite likely that the engine will not start at this point. That is completely acceptable behavior. In addition, while you have the opportunity, inspect the spark plugs and make a note if any of them will need to be replaced before the next season.
7. Take out the rechargeable battery
It is now time to take out the battery and put it away in a secure location. In that case, it is likely that it will evaporate over time.
To begin, you should disconnect the terminal with the negative charge, followed by the terminal with the positive charge. Then put them both someplace where the temperature won’t drop below freezing. Remember that you should never store a battery where it will be in direct contact with concrete. It ought to be set down on a different kind of surface.
8. Place something over the vents
During the winter, insects and other animals are actively looking for a place to spend the season that is both safe and warm. Don’t allow your personal watercraft (PWC) to pollute this house with its emissions.
You can hide it with a variety of materials, such as galvanized metal sheets, for example (the same material used to install flashing along a chimney). This will create a physical barrier that will prevent small animals from entering and constructing nests inside the room.
9. Make sure that the exterior is spotless
Before putting the personal watercraft away for an extended amount of time, you should give the hull and the body a thorough cleaning. After the boat has undergone all of the necessary mechanical repairs and before it is covered, this step needs to be taken.
The type of cleaning materials that should be used to wash the watercraft will be determined by the model of the watercraft as well as the recommendations made by the manufacturer. There are a number of products available that are meant to clean marine creatures, water stains, and filth off of the body. However, washing with soap and water is also an effective method.
While you are cleaning, you should also check each and every location for any damage that may require you to make repairs.
10. Cover and store in a secure location
You should always make sure that your personal watercraft (PWC) is adequately covered or shrink-wrapped, regardless of where you choose to keep it (a marine-dedicated storage facility is the best option). If it is left outside in the rain or snow, this will prevent dust and grime from settling into the cracks, as well as water buildup from precipitation.