Buying a new PWC is a great investment. Moving forward from this day on, you are destined to have loads of fun on water. How long it will last will depend on you. If you want your personal water craft to last for several years, you need to maintain it regularly and provide it with its much needed TLC. If you don’t do this, then there’s nothing you can really do but stick it on the boat dock or trailer until next time. You might have fun now but that won’t last a long time for sure.
Do you want to enjoy your investment for the years to come? Listed here are five maintenance tips that can help extend the life of your watercraft.
Break The Engine In Correctly
Although it is quite tempting to push that throttle and tear your way across the lake using all the power that your new PWC can give. This kind of tough, arduous effort, is not what your personal water craft needs during the early phases of its life. As a matter of fact, this kind of high speed use could actually shorten your engine’s lifespan.
Your craft needs a proper break in period. Avoiding extended drag runs and varying speeds are involved when it comes to breaking in the engine. Generally, that means you have to practice patience as well as self-control. Keep off the throttle for now and you will reap the rewards later. The components would wear in and then polish on their own, creating those important tolerances that will surely give you performance benefits down the road.
The question now is how long you need to wait. Don’t forget to refer to the individual owner’s manual. However, bear in mind that different manufacturers have varying requirements. Generally, you need to use different speeds when using the craft during the first few hours. Begin by allow your engine to warm up properly by using only less than one quarter throttle during the first five minutes. You then have to increase that speed up to three quarter throttle during the next hour, again with different speeds. You are all set to go once that is done. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Although it might seem too much, there are also those that recommend the use of full throttle for up to two full tanks of gas, or the first ten hours of operation.
Remember To Flush
This refers to giving your engine a flush of clear, cool, and fresh water. It is also important to this after riding your PWC in the ocean. Salt can damage a personal watercraft engine, which could lead to rust as well as corrosion that can cause obstructions to the cooling passages and even shorten the lifespan of your craft. Your engine is not the only one that is at risk. Any metal, may it be the steering linkages, pump, or the driveshaft is vulnerable.
Give the components mentioned above a good flush. Any spot where salt has been should be rinsed. However, the engine requires special attention. There is a possibility that your craft already features a flush fitting. In case it does not then be sure to go to your favorite aftermarket supplier or dealer. You can easily install flush kits.
It is important to flush correctly to avoid problems. Start up the engine first and then switch on the water supply for around 15 seconds. If not, water may be forced to move backwards through the cooling system. When it is running, leave the engine steadily idle for a period of between five to 10 minutes. Increase the RMP slightly with a few punches of the throttle. This can also break up the monotony. Always remember that you should not run the engine without water for more than 15 seconds. When you are done, switch off the engine, unlink the flush hose, and then cup the flush fittings (if required).
Flushing is not only for ocean riders. Freshwater riders should do this as well. Rivers and lakes also contain debris, contaminants, and gunk that may obstruct cooling passages and significantly shorten the engine’s lifespan.
Keep The Fuel Fresh
If it has been awhile since you have used your PWC, you have to top off your tank to prevent the formation of condensation. You should also add fuel stabilizer, especially with the truth of the ethanol blended gasoline that are offered in the market today. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or consult your dealer for manufacturer’s recommendations. A lot of people are going to suggest the addition of stabilizer when the craft is not being used so that you could prevent phase separation, oxidation, or diluting the octane rating of the fuel. There are also those who suggest that it be added regularly. Also, it is not ideal to fill the tank of the PWC with E85, which has 15% alcohol as it is not made for it.
Wax On, Wax Off
Waxing will greatly help in warding off harmful UV rays that could fade or damage the exterior and colours of the craft. If it is not being used, think about storage or maybe a trailering cover. The more barriers you can add between your hull/seat/traction mats and the sun, the better.
Don’t Forget Your Battery
Finally, do not forget about the other power sources of your water craft – the battery. In between riding sessions, you have to keep the battery fully charged. This will help lengthen its life because a battery that is charged will be able to resist the sulfate crystal formation on the plates, which will decrease the ability of the battery to hold a charge. One easy way to make sure that battery is charged is by using a maintenance charger. Apart from longer life, you will also be guaranteeing your water craft is all set to go if you are.
Another great idea is to safeguard the battery terminals using a light coating of dielectric, waterproof grease. Put some on if you have a brand new craft. In case the terminals show indications of dirt or corrosion, be sure to clean them first using a solution that is comprised of water and baking soda, dry them, and then coat.
Consider the long term. Yes, all of these are inconvenient. You just want to ride your water craft and just leave it on your boat dock Shelby once you are done. By spending some time on preventative maintenance, your PWC will have a longer life span.
Call Shoco Inc. for more information about boat docks and trailers.
2056 E Dixon Blvd
Shelby, NC 28152