As the summer season starts to cool down, it also brings an end to boating season. Now it’s time to start planning on removing your watercrafts from the water. Every year, watercraft must undergo winterization to ensure they will be in the same condition they were left in for the next boating season. Without winterizing, water that remains inside the watercraft for cooling will freeze and expand, damaging the engine and other parts. So to protect your investment, the best course of action is to winterize.
How to Winterize Your PWC
Winterizing a smaller watercraft such as a jet ski is much easier than a larger boat. To winterize your jet ski, just follow these steps:
1. Drain all water.
As stated earlier, water will freeze and expand during the winter which can cause damage to your engine and other internal components. To drain all water out of a jet ski, tilt it up by using a boat ramp or jet ski lift. Start the engine for around 30 seconds, and rev the throttle periodically to shoot all water out. After no more water comes out, turn off the engine.
2. Clean your PWC.
Now is the time to scrub and clean the outside of our jet ski. Take some soap and water and clean the hull. After that, clean and wax the outer shell to keep it looking new and protect it from UV damage. Last, clean the bilge area of the jet ski to remove all grime and gunk.
3. Run Anti-Freeze through your system.
For colder climates such as here in Indiana, you’ll want to make sure any leftover moisture doesn’t expand and cause damage. Get some marine grade anti-freeze, either pre-mixed or concentrate that you mix yourself, and place a hose in the flush outlet. Turn the engine on and make sure the anti-freeze is cycled into your system until the mixture has passed through the exhaust.
4. Stabilize and fill your fuel.
You always want to store your jet ski with a full tank of fuel to prevent condensation. Start by adding a fuel stabilizer to your tank and running your engine in 30 second intervals. This gives your fuel a longer life, which prevents you from wasting a full tank of gas.
5. Lubricate all cables and connections.
Using a lubricant recommended by your PWC’s manufacturer, spray all cables and seals to prevent them from corroding.
6. Oil your PWC.
To further ensure that water and moisture won’t settle on your components, spray fogging oil on the carburetor and spark plug cylinders. You can access this by removing your air filter. Spray the fogging oil while your engine is turned on, and keep doing so until it stalls. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into each hole. You’ll want to cover the holes with a rag and turn on your engine to ensure the holes are properly lubricated. It’s normal for your engine not to start at this point. Don’t forget to replace your air filter and spark plugs once you are done.
7. Remove and safely store your battery.
Leaving the battery inside the PWC will usually result in a dead battery once spring rolls around. It’s recommended to remove your battery by disconnecting each terminal, and store it in an area that won’t go below freezing. It’s recommended to store your battery on a mat, rather than placing it directly on concrete.
8. Cover the exhaust to prevent critters.
As it starts to get colder, animals and insects are gonna look for a dry, safe space to stay. By covering your exhaust with steel wool or dryer sheets, you’ll remove their method of entry.
9. Cover and store your PWC.
The final step of the PWC winterization process is to cover the PWC with a tarp or jet ski cover. It’s recommended to store your PWC on a trailer for easy transportation. Don’t store your jet ski in your house, as it will emit deadly fumes since it still is full of gas.
PWC Winterization at Deaton’s
While Deaton’s Waterfront Services is currently not offering winterization services, we are planning on eventually offering once we have the space to store boats and trailers. We estimate this service to be ready for the 2021 season. If you have any questions or comments related to PWCs, or anything else, feel free to call our office at (317)747-4933, or you can request a quote here. Our team of experts will work with you to find the best solution that fits your needs.