If you own a personal watercraft, keeping it running is not overly challenging, but you need to take it to the right place for watercraft repairs when something does go wrong. There are several options you may want to try, but watercraft can be more complex than some other recreational vehicles, so taking it to a mechanic that understands the systems used on such vehicles is vital.
One of the most common places to offer watercraft repair is the dealers that sell them. Often the dealers have service departments with factory-trained technicians that can work on your watercraft even if you did not buy it from them.
Many watercraft dealers sell multiple brands and types of watercraft and offer services on all of the ones they're familiar with. The technicians can troubleshoot and repair most machines quickly and get the watercraft running so you can get back on the water.
The service techs are not limited to only repair work but can also do engine tunning, add upgrades and accessories for you, and perform general services like oil changes and system flushes if they are needed. Talk to the service department at the dealer near you to determine if they offer the kind of work you need and if they work on your watercraft make and model.
If your watercraft needs an overhaul, often the best time to do that work is after the season is over. During the winter months, many watercraft repair services slow down and take on larger projects like replacing engines, drives and making significant repairs to hulls or other parts of the craft.
Winterizing Your Watercraft
If you live in a part of the country that gets too cold in the winter to use your watercraft, you may need to take it to the watercraft repair shop for a complete winterization. Removing the water from the system is critical, or it will freeze in the cooling passages and cause cold damage to the engine. Since most watercraft use the water they are operated on to cool the engine, you cannot use antifreeze in the system.
Watercraft operated in saltwater also need to be flushed to remove the salt to prevent corrosion inside the cooling system. A watercraft that is not correctly winterized could be at risk of damage if stored in the cold all season.
Most dealerships or watercraft repair services will also recommend an oil change before the machine is stored, in case there is water in the engine oil that could freeze and damage the inside of the engine. Once the service is complete, you can put a cover on your watercraft to protect it or have it wrapped like a boat is to seal out any weather and keep the watercraft protected until spring.