Taking proper care of your personal watercraft is a great way to improve the longevity of your motor. Just like a car, doing oil changes and necessary maintenance will keep your car running strong for years to come. While many of you winterize and summerize your watercrafts, keeping up on maintenance during your riding season should also be on your schedule.
While a proper winterization will allow you to start up your craft at the first sight of spring, you will want to make sure that you won’t be sidelined during the prime riding season. In this article, I am going to give you a few tips and tricks on how you to keep your watercraft looking great and running strong. Some of these tips have come from an article posted on PersonalWatercraft.com.
For starters, washing your ride after a long weekend of riding or a quick day trip is a great way to scrub everything down and do a quick inspection to make sure everything is in good condition. After washing your watercraft all of the way down, use a shammy towel to dry the remaining water and prevent any water spots from showing. Showing up to the boat launch with water spots is not what you want! When riding in freshwater, it is not mandatory to wash your water craft after each ride.
However, it is recommended to wash after every ride if riding in saltwater. The saltwater loves to get a hold of any metal parts and start to corrode. Washing with proper soap and drying, will greatly reduce the chance of any rust or corrosion from occurring. After your wash, using a product such as Corrosion Block is a great product to spray on for added protection.
One particular part that I would like to highlight is your points of contact: your seat and traction mats. These items are generally overlooked but are there for a reason. Having a seat in good condition will keep you settled into your seat when barreling into a corner or going fast on a straight-a-way.
The traction mats are also important because they provide traction for your feet when riding and when boarding on and off of the watercraft. The last thing you want is to have a guest or yourself slip. Many people have reported that their stock seat covers and traction mats are starting to fade after a few years and if that is the case, check out many of the aftermarket dealers. They offer great prices, installation instructions and custom designing.
The last two items I would like to list are fuel maintenance and engine maintenance. When fueling up, try to go to frequently used gas stations. They generally have the freshest gas compared to a smaller gas station on the side of a road. While it may end up costing a few bucks more, using fresh fuel makes your engine happy. Depending on what brand of watercraft you have, look at the recommended intervals for changing your oil. If you put on a lot of hours during the riding season, you may want to change your oil more often. If you are changing your own oil, check the used oil to make sure no metal shavings or anything out of the ordinary is in your oil.
While doing maintenance is not always the most fun thing to do, keeping up on it will keep you on the water longer. By following these tips and reading your manufactures recommendations, your time on the water will be great! Happy riding!