Time to Winterize Your Jet Ski

Jon Fesmire |
Cold and snowy winters are bad news for vehicles, be they cars, boats, or jet skis. Yet you can’t just take your vehicle and place it in storage without preparation. Winterizing your jet ski is just as important as doing the same for your car, and the process has its own specific steps. This article should allow you to prepare your jet ski to bear out the long winter within a day. To complete the winterization, you will need the following.
  • A jet ski storage base
  • A jet ski trailer
  • A rubber mat.
  • A sponge
  • A steel wool rag
  • A tarp/cover
  • A warm storage area for battery
  • Car or nautical vehicle wax
  • Car washing soap
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Fogging oil
  • Gasoline
  • Multi-purpose lube
  • New air cleaners
  • Water from an outdoor hose
  • Wooden planks

Instructions

To start, read your owner’s manual. It may have specific winterizing instructions, and it will tell you where all the various parts of your jet ski are, should they vary at all from the description here. Pick the Day
  • The last day you ride your jet ski is the day you should winterize it. Plan to take it out for some fun, but have your cleaning materials ready.
  • Pull the jet ski out of the water and onto a ramp, dragging it out with a trailer. Keep the stern high to best drain the water.
  • Force more water out by turning on the engine and turning the steering handles from side to side for 30 seconds. Turn off the engine and let it rest for thirty seconds. Repeat this two more times.

Cleaning

  • Take your jet ski to where you will store it, which may be your own garage, a friend’s, or a self-storage facility that accommodates vehicles.
  • Outside, place the jet ski on a stand and away from any flammable materials.
  • Wash the vehicle thoroughly with the sponge, soap, and water. After your ride, the dirt and algae should be as loose as they get and easier to wash off. It will probably take several washes to get the jet ski really clean.
  • The bottom portion of the vehicle will likely prove tougher to get really clean, so use a non-abrasive brush and give that area a good scrub. It’s critical to remove all algae.
  • Rinse the entire body with clean water.
  • Dry the hull with soft, absorbent towels.

Protecting the Body

  • Apply car wax or a good nautical vehicle wax, if available, to the exterior according to the instructions that come with the product. You may need to let it sit for a little while before wiping the wax off.
  • Apply lube, lightly, to the metal hinges.

The Fuel System

  • If the storage facility allows, fill the gas tank. This lowers the risk of engine condensation. Also add stabilizer according to the instructions. This is generally 0.5 oz per gallon, but may vary. Start and run the engine for three seconds to circulate the stabilizer through the engine system.
  • Remove the air filters to access the engine. Start the engine and spray fogging oil into the carburetors. When the engine stalls, stop.
  • Ground the wiring for your safety, and remove the spark plugs.
  • Spray the spark plug holes with the fogger and then place a cloth over them. Press the start button. This disperses the fogging oil without starting the jet ski.
  • Install the new air filters.
  • Unlatch and open the seat to let any excess water there evaporate.

Final Touches

  • Disconnect the battery. Do the negative side first, then the positive.
  • Remove the battery and store it on a rubber mat.
  • Put the steel wool rag in your jet ski’s exhaust port to prevent nesting pests.
  • Cover the vehicle with a tarp.
Now, enjoy the holidays! With these steps finished your jet ski should be ready to take you on more water adventures come spring. StorageFront makes no guarantees or warranties regarding the information contained in this article and is not responsible for any damages. We’re enthusiasts and provide this guide as a starting point. Consult your mechanic for questions.