Spring start up H2O
I would like to begin this by reminding all of you that most of this can be performed by a service technician at your local dealer. The experience of these shops may also be able to identify possible future issues and head them off in advance.
It’s time to get the watercraft out and get it ready, no really, it is; because if you wait till the day before your first lake adventure you could be disappointed.
A big part of an easy spring start up, is a good winter prep, but even that can’t always make for an uneventful fire up. Start by checking the state of charge of your battery, if you had it on the float charger all winter like you were supposed to, you will very likely have no issues with the battery but for the rest of us it is a bit of a lottery as to if a new Yuasa is in your future. Modern fuel systems are far less trouble than the older carbureted systems but to make sure, a proper dose of fuel stabilizer in the fall is the best bet. Any two strokes will need spark plugs, regardless of if they were properly stored, and it’s not a bad idea in the four strokes.
Once you have a good battery, fuel, and strong spark, you should be ready to fire it up. Where it is ok to do this out of the water (unlike an outboard), it’s only safe for a few seconds at a time; to run it any longer you have to hook a hose up to the flush out port to provide cooling to the motor and exhaust system.
If you are running a four stroke and didn’t change oil last fall; this is the time to do it. We can debate whether it is better to do in the spring or fall some other time; the point is to get the oil changed.
Check the impeller and scoop grate for damage and blockage, then the steering linkage and reverse scoop for any loose or broken components.
Don’t forget the trailer. Check the tire pressure, and condition. Wheel bearings need packed with grease at least every other year. Check the lights too, being submerged is not ideal for electrical components. Are the trailer license plates current? While we are talking about license what about the PWC itself?
Now once you have your watercraft out on the water be aware that a lack of performance may be a sign of a malfunction that will mature into catastrophic failure not addressed right away. A common example of this, is a fuel system malfunction this will very likely blossom into melted pistons.
I am looking forward to this summer’s fun in the H2O try to keep it upright, have fun, and ride hard.