Sea-Doo owners who live in the northern climates are ready to send their watercraft into hibernation for the winter, not to be heard from again until the first blooms of spring arrive. Winterizing is a critical maintenance function to ensure your prized Sea-Doo watercraft will be ready to go spring rolls around.
Even Sea-Doo owners in the south may be working towards winterizing their watercraft, not necessarily for the same reasons, but to prepare it for storage during the cooler winter months of non-use.
Winterizing is about preventive maintenance and the steps needed for proper storage, and where and how you choose to store your watercraft will vary depending on temperature exposure, weather, duration of storage, etc. Non-use can be damaging if specific procedures and maintenance products are not used, leaving you on the shore next spring while the others are on the water.
Many negative implications can result from improper storage: gummed-up fuel systems, prematurely failed batteries, rusted precious internal metals to actual broken engine cases, and other areas with cooling jackets. Going through the proper motions is key to keeping your watercraft at peak performance. If you are in an area that reaches the water freezing range, complete winterization is a must.
Some individuals are able to do this on their own, but we recommend consulting your authorized Sea-Doo dealer as they offer valuable advice and can assist in the maintenance of your personal watercraft. This way you can be assured the right maintenance products, the right tools and technicians armed with the latest tech updates from BRP engineering, are utilized to ensure the best preventive maintenance is performed.
Here are a few tips to help you in the process of winterizing your watercraft.
Dry it: The biggest enemy of cold winters is water freezing where it isn’t supposed to be. Before you do anything, start your watercraft engine and give it several short bursts of power to blow out any excess water in the exhaust system. Do this until you don’t see any water existing the exhaust port, but not more than 20 seconds.
Soak it: Another option to protect the exhaust system from freezing fluids is to run a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water through the exhaust system via the flush system. Produce a two gallon mix of antifreeze and water in a five gallon bucket and using a hose or using a water pump or bilge pump attaché to the flush outlet and start the watercraft engine. Flush the system with the antifreeze mix and then shut the engine off when the mix has filtered through the exhaust system thoroughly and completely. The antifreeze should protect any fluids from freezing in the exhaust system.
Battery Care: As you are prepare your Sea-Doo watercraft for hibernation, pay special attention to your battery. Your battery is where it all starts (or doesn’t start) and batteries can and do lose their ability to maintain a charge over time and proper battery storage is essential.
Your watercraft battery should be removed from your watercraft to ensure no draw of any kind is made on the battery during months of non-use.
To keep your battery fresh and healthy we suggest a Yuasa Smart Shot Automatic Battery Charger be attached to the battery to maintain a full charge. Ensure the battery is place on a secure surface in an open-air location away from any flammable substances. If the battery is not showing a full charge after a day or two on the charger, ensure all connections are solid and if the battery still does not charge, it is time to replace the battery with a new Yuasa battery. Please see your local dealer about purchasing a new Yuasa battery for your Sea-Doo watercraft.
Fuel System Care: Time is the enemy with fuels that are untreated. This procedure should be conducted in below freezing climates as well as any time the Sea-Doo watercraft is going to be stored for an extended amount of time.
First, add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. The XPS’s fuel stabilizer will help prevent fuel contamination and residue build up in carburetor, fuel injection system and gas lines. This stabilizer should always be used before storing your Sea-Doo watercraft for a long period of time and is suitable for all gasoline engines. If you do not have a full tank, we recommend adding the stabilizer before you fill your tank, and we recommend to fill your tank with premium gasoline if possible.
To further ensure your fuel system will deliver fuel to the engine properly, check fuel hoses for leaks and loose or damaged hose clamps. If you smell fuel or worse yet see fuel in the bilge you will need to trace the source of the leak using your hands and/or fingers and replace worn or cracked fuel lines, clamps, or gaskets. Ensure you inspect your fuel cap and rubber gasket for cracks or leaks.
Winterizing is also the ideal time to check other normal wear items and possibly replace them if needed.
Drive Line: Wear on the impeller and impeller wear ring can negatively affect the performance of your watercraft. Even if you avoid ingesting a large rock into the jet pump system, shells, sand, pebbles, and other debris can wear the edges of the impeller and/or grind away at the wear ring.
The wear ring is a plastic ring that encases the impeller and is intended to sacrifice itself when debris is ingested as it is much less expensive and easier to replace than the high-performance stainless steal impeller. If you feel the acceleration isn’t what it used to be on your Sea-Doo watercraft a new wear ring can help return that legendary acceleration. The Sea-Doo wear ring is made of a high density polymer material and the part number can be found in the Sea-Doo Parts Catalog or contact your local dealer.
The impeller is what ultimately grabs the water and pushes you over it and even though it is produced a very high grade and hardened stainless steel. It is a finely tuned piece of the performance equation and a rock or other hard object can cause damage to the blades leading edge and rob performance. The impeller damage is usually easier to see than the wear ring as the leading edge is usually bent, chipped, torn. If the impeller is damaged a replacement is in order. If your impeller is damaged, we recommend consulting your local dealer.
And finish by completing the jet pump maintenance with a fresh dose of XPS jet pump oil. The water jet pump put tremendous pressure on the drive line and it is important that all moving parts are properly lubricated including the jet pump and the impeller shaft.
Lubrication: A fresh oil change with XPS 4-Stroke
synthetic oil and fresh oil filter is recommended to again ensure that your Sea-Doo watercraft will be ready to go as soon as you unwrap it for spring. XPS synthetic 4-stroke oilis specifically engineered to meet the particular lubrication requirements of Sea-Doo watercraft equipped with Rotax 4-TEC 4-stroke engines. And to finish the pre-storage care should always include a lubrication of all moving parts such as the steering nozzle pivot points and reverse/brake mechanisms with XPS Lube. It is also helpful to mist over the engine and electrical components with XPS Lube as it also displaces any left over water on components.
We know nobody looks forward to putting their Sea-Doo watercraft in hibernation but if you follow the above recommendations, come spring you will be on the water trouble free. Please consult your local dealer directly with any questions regarding winterizing your Sea-Doo watercraft.