A personal watercraft can be an absolute pleasure to own and provide you with many hours of entertainment on the water. However, you need to keep in mind that maintaining a personal watercraft is a responsibility that shouldn’t be ignored. A lack of maintenance can lead to serious problems with your watercraft and could also pose a safety hazard to you or others who enjoy its use.
With that in mind, below are three important maintenance tips that can help you keep your personal watercraft well-maintained and functioning for years to come.
Protect the Exterior of Your Watercraft
Hopefully, you take pride in the appearance of your personal watercraft, as this is important from not only an aesthetic point-of-view but also from a practical one. If you fail to care for the exterior of your watercraft, you may be dismayed at how this can cause other problems for you.
That’s why you should take time to wash and wax the watercraft’s exterior. Washing and waxing protects the boat’s skin from the degrading effects of sun, wind, sand, and salt. When choosing a cleaning solution, select one that is made for boats or personal watercraft. In addition, waxes are available that are designed for marine use, and these will better endure the harsh conditions that the sea can throw your way.
After finishing a day on the water, you should also properly store your personal watercraft to provide maximum protection. That means either covering the watercraft using a form-fitting cover designed for your boat, or keeping it stored inside a covered facility.
The most important reason for this is preventing your watercraft’s exterior from becoming brittle or cracked. The ultraviolet rays of the sun will rapidly deteriorate the exterior of your personal watercraft and shielding them is necessary to make your investment last.
Properly Winterize Your Watercraft
Once the warm days of summer are at an end, and you are ready to place your personal watercraft in storage for a season, you will need to properly winterize it. Winterization is the process of preparing a motorized device, such as your watercraft, so that extended disuse will not cause damage.
To winterize your personal watercraft, begin by flushing the discharge with fresh water to remove all traces of salt or other debris that might have accumulated. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for flushing.
Next, add fuel stabilizer to the tank to prevent fuel evaporation from leaving behind varnish and other sticky residues that can cause fuel line clogs and other engine problems. Fuel stabilizers come in variety of formulations, so choose one that is appropriate for use in personal watercraft.
Once you add the fuel stabilizer, remove the spark plug from the motor and spray fogging oil into the cylinder. Fogging oil is designed to provide long-lasting protection against corrosion inside the dormant cylinder; without it, the engine oil inside the cylinder would drain and leave bare metal exposed to moisture.
Adhere to the Maintenance Schedule
Most people understand the need to change engine oil regularly on a motorized device, including personal watercraft. However, they may not always realize that other important procedures should be performed on a regular basis.
The manufacturer of your personal watercraft has gone to great lengths to provide a schedule of maintenance that suits your craft. This checklist includes not only knowing when to change the oil, but also how to inspect and change coolant, if your watercraft is so-equipped.
In addition, personal watercraft contain moving parts that are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, and these components will need to be periodically lubricated. Be sure to use the correct oils and greases when lubricating your personal watercraft, as incorrect types could wash away quickly and leave your machine vulnerable and exposed.
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