5 Tips To Keep Your Personal Watercraft In Top Shape
Updated: Sep 6
No matter what type of Personal Watercraft (PWC) you have purchased, ensuring it stays in top shape is important for not only your investment in the long run, but more importantly your safety. Here are BARR Plastics' 5 tips to keep your PWC in top shape.
Before anything else, your owner’s manual is the holy grail to keeping your PWC in the best shape possible. It's always a good idea to consult the manual or a professional if there is anything confusing.
1. Maintain Engine Fluids
As with any vehicle that requires combustion, checking your PWC engine fluids before going out on the first ride of the season is essential.
This means checking all essential fuels such as oil and fuel. If you have an older PWC, you might have a two-stroke engine, meaning you would require a pre-mix of oil and fuel. If your watercraft is newer, you're more likely to have a four-stroke engine, in which case you do will have separate compartments for the fuel and oil areas. Making sure your engine oil and fuel are suitable for use before taking the first ride of the season ensures no contaminants make their way into the engine and cause corrosion and other damages.
2. Dispose of Old Fuel
When you're ready to bring out your watercraft for the season, dispose of any old fuel and refill it with brand new fuel. Make sure you contact an expert when doing this, as fuel needs to be disposed properly. Disposing it into water cause extreme pollution to the surrounding areas. Disposing fuel into a garbage can has the potential to start a fire. Please contact a professional for proper disposing of your PWC fuel.
3. Clean your PWC
It might be obvious, but the easiest way to fight off corrosion and minor damage such as scratches in the paint, is to clean your watercraft. Whether you are in salt or fresh water the principals of cleaning your PWC are the same. It is good practice to clean your PWC after you are done riding for the day to avoid build up.
First, take your PWC out of the water. Ideally, a PWC lift would be used as it allows you to clean the underside of your PWC easily. More than likely however, a PWC trailer will suffice.
Remove as many accessories as possible, especially with saltwater, you want to be able to clean as much of the watercraft as you can.
Remove any bungs and open any bung plugs to release any water that may be still within your watercraft and begin to use a hose to spray down the entire watercraft. Make sure to get any spots that are smaller and can contain debris, saltwater, or other contaminants.
Lastly adding wax to your PWC is a great idea to protect it from UV damage and add an extra layer of protection to the paint from debris.
4. Winterize your PWC
Once you are done riding your personal watercraft for the season, it is best practice to "winterize" your PWC.
Flushing your engine, cooling system and exhaust should be done after every ride, and is extremely important to do once you are done riding for the season. Refer to your owner's manual or an expert to ensure this is done properly.
Always check your owner’s manual for any specific information and procedures, but in general, it's always a good idea to top up your fuel tank at the end of the season. This prevents condensation in your tank. Additionally, fuel stabilizers are a good idea to ensure your fuel doesn't deteriorate while it's being stored.
Leaving the battery in your PWC can reduce the charge. To prevent this, we recommend removing the battery when you are storing your PWC for the season. Always remember to remove the negative connection first, then followed by the positive connection.
Reference your owner’s manual with this step, as it involved removing the spark plugs and applying specific oil to each cylinder to fight corrosion within the engine.
5. Use a PWC Dock
While not essential, we strongly recommend storing your PWC outside of water when you are done for the day. Leaving it in water increases the chances of your PWC being scratched or damaged exponentially. Salt water specifically is very corrosive and the longer your PWC is exposed to the mineral present, the more damage it can cause.
Overnight storms are also a big concern as severe weather can kick up things such as rocks and other debris and scratch the underside of your PWC. Additionally, extra water in the hull can increase the chances of your PWC sinking. If left overnight through severe storms, water levels can get high enough to damage the engine of your PWC.
Ideally, you would pull your PWC out of the water completely and store it somewhere dry after every session. Realistically however, if you are on vacation on a lake, you would ideally want to keep your PWC in an area that you can easily put it back into the water the very next day. This is where a PWC dock comes in to play.
PWC docks allow you "park" your watercraft with an easy on/off system, keeping it outside of the water and avoiding damages. These docks also allow for covers and locking cables to be used, further protecting your investment from storms, and flying debris and preventing theft.
Our Permaport Xpress PWC docking system is perfect for all major PWC brands and sizes and are filled with polystyrene foam to ensure it is built to last. Commercial wheels that are also adjustable for durability and custom PWC fitment. And lastly, many different add-ons such as:
· Hardware Joiner Kits
· Mounting Hardware Kits
Looking for a demonstration? Check out our YouTube video Highlighting the Permaport Xpress:
For full specifications please visit our product page for Literature and Installation Guidelines: