Gone Outdoors

How to De-Winterize a Jet Ski

by Susan Revermann

There are certain procedures that need to be accomplished to winterize a jet ski for winter storage. Once spring and summer roll around again, you get to gladly roll that Jet Ski back out. To properly prepare the vessel for a season of fun in the Sun, you need to de-winterize it. This will ensure that everything is in good working order and help keep you safe on the water.

1. Change the engine oil if you didn't change it when you placed it into winter storage.

2. Examine the battery cables. If they are showing corrosion, wipe them clean with a washcloth. Fill the battery with water, if it takes water and the levels are low. Reattach the battery cables to the jet ski battery terminals. Test the battery with a tester to make sure you have proper volts and amps. If not, you will need a new battery.

3. Fill the cooling system back up. Rinse the strainer and examine the hoses for cracks or any other damage. Replace any hoses that are showing signs of damage.

4. Remove the distributor cap and wipe it clean with a washcloth. Replace it when you are finished.

5. Examine the engine belts. Look to see if there is black soot on them. This will indicate that they need to be replaced. Push down on the belt to check the slack. If the belts are tight-fitting, they are in good shape. If you can push down on them and they are not snug, you need to tighten or replace them.

6. Replace the spark plugs. Consult the owner's manual for proper gap sizing. If they are not gapped properly, they will not work efficiently and your engine performance will suffer.

7. Check the state of all hoses, examine the power steering cables, put the drain plug back into position, check out the prop to see if it is in good working order, make sure the horn and radio are working, examine the trim and test the bilge pump to make sure it is working.

8. Look to see if your personal flotation devices are on board, your anchor is on the jet ski and that your fire extinguisher is full and not expired.

Items you will need
  • Engine oil
  • Washcloths
  • Spark plugs
  • Owner's manual

Tip

  • Consult your jet ski owner's manual for specifications on fluids, appropriate levels and other recommended procedures. Different makes and models may be slightly different.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images