Keep Your Jet Ski Free From Winter Damage


With us, it is time to winterize and store all your mild-weather toys and that includes your Jet Ski or Waverunner. It is a sad fact, but you can't use your own personal watercraft (a.k.a. PWC) all year. With a cost of $10,000 to $15,000, the pleasure of a PWC doesn't come cheap. Make sure that you make the most from your investment by keeping it secure during the winter. Here are a Couple of easy ways to ensure your Jet Ski remains in pristine condition until you can haul it out again in the spring:

1. Drain the Engine

Before you winterize your favorite summer toy, then take it out for one final twist. You'll miss this in the winter, so be sure to soak it in. When you contact the loading dock, tilt the PWC up on the trailer so the stern (back) is lower compared to the bow (front). Start the motor a couple of times, being sure to not run it for over 30 seconds to stop overheating. While the motor is running, turn the handle back and forth as many times as possible. This may force any excess water out of the engine.

2. Wash It Away

Then wash down the exterior of the PWC. Use a vehicle secure soap (not dishwater or hand soap) and a scratch-free cloth. Wipe down the whole vehicle, paying extra attention to the bottom where slime and algae may accumulate. Allow to dry completely. Then end with a buff and wax using a regular high-shine protectant vehicle wax.

3. Fill the Gas Tank 

Next, top off the gas tank. Use a fuel stabilizer, such as STA-BIL Ethanol Fuel Treatment & Stabilizer, to reduce corrosion and Ethanol buildup. Follow the directions on the bottle to the correct ratio of fuel to solution. Start the engine up for short 30-second intervals to permit the treatment to clean out the motor and carburetors. While you're at it, check for any leaks or cracks which may need repair.

4. Change the Oil

A quick oil change will make sure that your engine stays clean and lubricated throughout winter. Use fresh synthetic oil and a brand-new oil filter to make sure your PWC will begin right up at the spring. Also oil any moving parts of your car or truck, such as the steering nozzle pivot points and braking mechanisms, to prevent corrosion over the winter.

5. Disconnect the Battery

Batteries may lose their charge over time so that it's important to remove the battery from your PWC to make sure there is not any draw over the winter. Store the battery inside in a shed or garageaway from flammable materials. Attach the battery into an automated battery charger to keep it fresh and healthy through the weeks of storage.

6. Store It

Now your PWC is properly winterized, you will need to discover a safe place to keep it. Remember to keep it away from flammable materials as your PWC is going to have a complete tank of gasoline. You might opt to remove off the tires of your trailer to prevent dry rot. In this case, use concrete blocks to hold the trailer set up. Otherwise, set the tires of your trailer on blocks of wood to help keep corrosion at bay. Next, put a rag within the exhaust pipe to prevent any nesting animals from staying there. In the end, use your cover to keep your Jet Ski protected and clean.

While these are general hints, be certain to read your owner's manual to make certain you take all the necessary measures for winterizing your specific vehicle.