The 2013 summer boating season is upon us and Sea-Doo owners are preparing for a full summer of family fun on the water. As you are taking your beloved Sea-Doo watercraft or boat out of hibernation there are some technical aspects that Father time may have had his way with over the past few dormant months. 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 but there is another crucial component that can also lose its charge, your mandatory fire extinguisher.
The beginning of the season is the time to check both of these essential items as both your Sea-Doo watercraft battery and fire extinguisher can lose their charge over the winter months of inactivity. Regardless of age, your battery should be given a full charge as step one in pre-season prep. Be sure to remove the battery from the PWC to avoid gas fumes and possible fire, and set it on a cleared work bench. Connect a battery charger to the battery and let charge over night (please refer to owners manual for exact charging procedures). Most modern battery chargers include “fully charged” indicator and this indicator should inform you if the battery is accepting the charge - meaning the battery is still good – or not. If the battery is not accepting the charge or holding the charge and shows signs of being weak after a 6+ hour charge, it is time to replace it with a new Sea-Doo specific battery from an authorized BRP/Sea-Doo dealership. Be sure to bring your old battery with you to your dealership so it can be properly and responsibly disposed of.
Every PWC, including Sea-Doo watercraft, must carry a fully charged fire extinguisher onboard at all times. This is for not only your safety but potentially the safety of others.
But you may ask, “why?” Why do I need a fire extinguisher on a watercraft when I am going to be surrounded by water? That is a fair question. The answer is you never know what can happen during a day of boating. If something were to happen where there was an open flame while you were riding you would be able to extinguish it. Having a fully charged fire extinguisher on board can also be very helpful when encountering another vessel with an open flame situation. The Coast Guard and local boating law enforcement agencies check fire extinguishers to ensure they are up to date and fully charged. The best rule of thumb is, if your fire extinguisher doesn’t have an actual pressure gauge, is to replace it every year.
And while we are discussing safety the Sea-Doo Safety Kit can also help you in, or out of, an unexpected situation. In case your friend didn’t replace his older battery the kit includes a whistle that he can use to let you know he needs you to tow him back to shore with the buoyant 50′ nylon rope that is also included in the kit. The Sea-Doo Safety Kit also includes a flashlight to help inspect the engine compartment and the container can be used as a bailer.
These three items should be first on your todo list when preparing your Sea-Doo for the coming season and all three products can be purchased at an authorized BRP/Sea-Doo dealer. Check the Doctor Doo column of OnBoard for regular maintenance, service, and DIY tips to ensure you get the greatest reliability and most fun from your Sea-Doo watercraft.