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How to Winterize a Jet Ski

One of the most depressing dates of the summer is the final day you’re able to take your jet ski out on the water. While your last PWC joyride is bittersweet, you need to remember to winterize your favorite toy after your run to ensure your vessel functions properly the following boating season.

Our steps below will teach all personal watercraft owners how to winterize a jet ski properly. Learning how to winterize jet skis can keep your PWC in tip-top condition for years to come. Keep in mind that while our advice will help prep your vessel for next year, we always recommend consulting your owner’s manual for your manufacturer’s specific instructions on jet ski winterization.

1. Drain The Water

Right after you take your watercraft out of the water for the season, we advise you drain the excess water from your PWC’s cooling system. A jet ski naturally utilizes the cool water from the lake or ocean to lower the temperature of your PWC’s internals.

To do this, we recommend running the engine in 30-second intervals while tilting your jet ski’s handle back to drain all the water. After all the water is out of the system, we suggest flushing the cooling system to ensure all dirt, algae and grime is removed from the vessel. Again, you should follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to ensure you flush your system thoroughly.

2. Clean Your Toy

It’s extremely important that you clean your jet ski before you dock it for the season. Wash the hull of the PWC with a mild soap. After you scrub the hull, clean and wax the shell of your vehicle to protect it from UV damage and wear. Next, clean the bilge area of your PWC to wash away any excess grime.

3. Fill & Lubricate Your PWC

Another important step in winterizing a jet ski is to fill the gas tank up to the top with a stabilizer to keep it clean. Make sure to read the directions on the stabilizer bottle before adding it into your fuel tank. You should run the engine in 30-second intervals to ensure the stabilizer is well mixed in the fuel. After stabilizing your fuel, you should lubricate all seals and cabling using a lubricant and protectant recommended by the PWC manufacturer.

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4. Oil Your Jet Ski

Your next step in this jet ski winterization process is to spray the carburetor and spark plug cylinders with a fogging oil. To do this, you will need to remove the air filter from your jet ski in order to access these parts. Once the filter is removed, turn on the engine and spray the spark plug cylinders and carburetor while the engine is idling. You should continue to spray until the engine stalls and replace your air filter once you’re done.

When this is complete, make sure your spark plug wires are grounded and then remove the spark plugs. Spray fogging oil into each hole for a couple of seconds. We suggest placing a rag over the holes and turning the PWC on. This will allow the oil to coat the internals of the vessel. It is normal if your engine does not start. Once this is done, clean the mess you might have made and reinstall the spark plugs.

5. Remove The Battery

Leaving your jet ski battery in over the winter can reduce its charge. Take the battery out of your jet ski by removing the negative connection first, followed by the positive connection.

6. Safely Store Your PWC

We suggest storing your jet ski on a trailer with the trailer wheels off for easy maintenance. You should place some kind of noninvasive material in the exhaust to prevent animals or bugs from crawling in the engine. Believe us, this does happen! Next, cover and store your vessel in a safe spot.

While this winterization process might seem like a lot of work, just remember that by taking the proper steps of winterizing a jet ski, it will be ready to go for the opening run of the season. We also suggest investing in one of our jet ski docks or lifts in order to make cleaning your jet ski easier. JetDock lifts are able to completely raise your vessel out of the water, preventing hull delamination and intake fouling. If you have any questions or need more information, contact us today!


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