No one likes to admit this time of the season is actually here, but if you’re an inhabitant of the northern climates the time has come to think about storing your Sea-Doo for the winter. A few simple, yet critical, winterization steps will have you ready to live the Sea-Doo Life full throttle when the waters warm again next spring. Even if you are fortunate enough to live in warm weather climates year-round, these tips are just as useful for long-term storage of your Sea-Doo watercraft to ensure you get the most out of every ride.
Winterizing your watercraft is imperative to ensuring your Sea-Doo performs up to its capabilities each season. Failure to perform the proper preventative maintenance for long-term storage – wherever you’re storing your Sea-Doo – can have costly consequences. Gummed-up fuel systems, battery failure and damage to vital internal parts are just a few of the things that can go wrong if proper care is not taken. If you’re in an area where temps dip below freezing, complete winterization is a must!
Many individuals can perform the following winterization steps from the comfort of their own garage with a few simple tools. However, if you have any questions or are uncomfortable performing any of the following tasks, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local authorized Sea-Doo dealer for advice or assistance. Even if you consider yourself the handyman or handywoman on the block, consulting with your Sea-Doo dealer is the best way to stay up to date on the latest recommended products, procedures and technical updates for your watercraft.
The following steps should be performed in the order outlined here. It’s the same order you’ll find in your Sea-Doo Owner’s Manual.
Clean jet pump
A quick visual inspection of the jet pump intake and outlet is all that’s needed here. Make sure there are no cracks or other visible signs of excessive wear. If there are, talk to your
Sea-Doo dealer about replacement. Spraying water on both can help remove any debris that may remain from your last ride. Applying a coat of XPS Anti-Corrosive Lubricant to each area is a good idea for long-term storage.
Inspect jet pump
A jet pump that’s been contaminated with water can mean other problems are present and a trip to your Sea-Doo dealer may be in order. To inspect the jet pump, remove the impeller cover to verify no water has collected.
Stabilize the fuel system
Adding XPS fuel stabilizer (or equivalent) will ensure your fuel, and fuel system remain in good condition over the course of long-term storage. It prevents build up within the entire fuel delivery system. Add stabilizer per the instructions on the container. Fill fuel tank completely with fresh fuel. This is also the perfect time to check over the fuel delivery system for leaks. If you see or smell fuel, consult your local Sea-Doo dealer.
Replace engine oil and filter
This maintenance ritual should be performed annually and since you’re already in watercraft maintenance mode, this is the perfect time to do it so you’re ready to ride right away next season. An XPS Oil Change Kit has everything you need right in one box, making it easy to pick up at your local BRP dealer and get the job done.
Flush and drain exhaust system
It’s important to get any contaminants out of your Sea-Doo exhaust system, especially if you typically ride in a saltwater environment (then flushing is strongly recommended after every ride).
To flush the exhaust system, hook a garden hose up to the connector located at the rear (port side of the stern) of the watercraft. DO NOT OPEN WATER TAP YET! Start the Sea-Doo engine and then immediately open the water tap. Run the engine for 90 seconds at idle and ensure water flows out of the pump while flushing. Next, shut the water off and continue to run the engine at 5000 RPM for 5 seconds, then shut the engine down.
Drying out the exhaust system is especially critical in cold weather areas. Freezing water in the exhaust system can cause extensive damage to the exhaust manifold. In order to complete drain the system, blow compressed air at 55 PSI (379 kPa) into the flushing connector the hose was attached to until no water flows out of the jet pump. This will ensure all water has been removed from the watercraft’s exhaust system.
If you own a Switch Pontoon (does not apply to Switch Compact models), you'll need to flush the exhaust system drain plug. The process for this procedure is outlined in your Switch Operator's Guide and almost identical to the steps outlined for flushing the exhaust system above. With your Switch, start by opening the exhaust system drain plug. Then proceed with the same steps and order as previously outlined.
To dry the Switch exhaust system for winterization, open the exhaust drain plug and repeat the same steps using the flush connect to inject pressurized air at 379 kPA (55lbf/in2) into the system until there is no more water flowing from the jet pump and exhaust system drain. With all water removed from the system, you can remove the special tools and close the exhaust system drain plug.
Internal Engine Lubrication (Fogging)
Here’s where things vary a bit depending on your model. For SPARK owners, you’ll need to remove the central body in order to access the engine. It’s a few bolts and the process is outlined in your owner’s manual. For other models, the engine can be accessed by removing the seat.
Once you have access to the engine, remove the ignition coils and spark plugs. Spray XPS Anti-Corrosive Lubricant (or equivalent) into the spark plug holes.
Next you’ll want to crank the engine. To do this, fully depress the throttle lever and hold it against the handlebar. This will disable fuel delivery and ignition during engine cranking. While you hold the throttle, press the start/stop button to crank the engine a few times. This will help distribute the anti-corrosive lubricant to the cylinder walls.
Finally, apply a small amount of XPS Anti-Corrosive Lubricant to your spark plug threads and reinstall them and the ignition coils.
You’ll find the procedures for internal engine lubrication outlined in your owner’s manual. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to consult your local Sea-Doo dealer.
As you 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 Battery Charger/Maintainer 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.
Hull and Body Cleaning
With all the mechanical maintenance complete, it’s time to give your Sea-Doo a good scrubbing to make sure it’s looking pristine when you take it out for your first ride next season. Depending on your Sea-Doo model, you’ll want to use the appropriate XPS cleaning products (or equivalent) to wash your watercraft. XPS products are specially engineered to remove grime and water stains from your Sea-Doo. Take care to remove any marine organisms as well. This is the perfect time to inspect the body and hull for any damage that might need repair. Your Sea-Doo dealer can assist with any necessary hull or body repair.
You’re now ready to store your Sea-Doo. If you plan on storing your watercraft outside, cover it with an opaque, breathable tarp or Sea-Doo pontoon or personal watercraft cover This will protect your Sea-Doo from damaging sun rays and keep it dust and grime free for next season. Do not wrap your Sea-Doo in plastic or other non-breathable material as it may cause mold in certain areas of the watercraft.
No one likes the thought of tucking their Sea-Doo away for the season but following the above steps will have you ready to hit the water ASAP next season!