Winterizing Your Watercraft

With Halloween on Monday, it’s getting to be the time of year that people decide to put their watercraft to bed. We were blessed to have a long, hot, and dry riding season this year and our machines need some TLC before they get to take that long winter’s nap. While we provide winterization at our service shop, we understand some people like to take the wrench to their own machines too. Here are some tips to ensure the long life of your watercraft.

We recommend storing your craft with gas in the tank (the fuller the better) in order to reduce the risk of condensation forming. You should add fuel stabilizer to the tank. If you have a four stroke, add fuel injector cleaner. On a two stroke, check the water/fuel separator and note if there is any water.

If you have a four stroke, lightly fog the motor through the intake track. If you have a Sea Doo, you will need to check to see if it requires antifreeze to cooling loop.

If you have a fuel valve, turn the fuel valve to the off position. After 5-10 minutes, remove the air box cover and spray fogging oil into the carburetors with the engine running. Then you should test multiple throttle positions, from idle to half throttle or until it stalls, meaning the fuel is out of the carburetors. Shut off the motor and reinstall the air box cover. If you have a Sea Doo, you will need to check to see if it requires antifreeze to cooling loop.

Start the craft, turn on water, and let the craft run for 5-10 minutes. After you’re done, it is crucial to turn the water off before you turn the engine off.

All crafts will need to have their battery removed, detaching the negative terminal first. Store your batter in a non-freezing environment. We recommend partially charging your battery a few times throughout winter to keep from prematurely killing your battery.

Next you’ll need to clean your watercraft thoroughly. This will get harmful algae and dirt off before it can do serious damage to your hull. Degrease and steam clean the interior of the craft, while washing the outside of your craft with warm water and soap. Thoroughly rinse and dry your craft. Ensure that your remove all water from the interior of the craft. Spray the interior with a silicone-based spray and lube the steering cable, choke, and throttle. Make sure you’ve reinstalled all bolts or other parts that you removed. Nothing is worse than getting a job done and seeing a mystery part sitting on the bench!

Finally, cover your watercraft to keep unwanted pests out and keep it clean. If you lack a space for storage, we do have space we rent out at our storage facility. You will need to do separate maintenance when you get ready to ride in the spring. We can help you out with that or check this blog for tips!

Advertisements

ATV Safety: Part III

We are wrapping up our ATV riding tips this week with some great general tips for all riders to keep in mind. Check out our other blog posts in the series by clicking here and here.

There is a great safety course that you can take for ATV riding. It’s only a half day class, but it’s great for new riders (or even experienced ones) to get the general lay of the land. If you are under 16 years old, you must be supervised by an adult. The adults in charge should make sure the little ones are on an appropriately sized ATV. You can ensure this by reading the manufacturer’s minimum age warning label on the machine, and then from there use your best judgment on the actual size, strength, and maturity before letting them ride.

Make sure to ride only on trails or on property you’re approved to ride on. Never ride on public roads because the cars and trucks might not see you. There are approved trails within driving distance of Western New York. If you are riding in fields, make sure you’ve received approval from the owner.

Always check out the condition of your machine before heading out for a ride. Check the air pressure of your tires and make sure there is no damage to the tire or wheel to ensure you won’t be stranded on your ride. Test your hand controls to see if they are in good working order. If you will be riding in low light, be sure to check the lights on your ATV before heading out. Keeping on a proper maintenance schedule can alleviate many common issues, such as low oil, improper chain lubrication, loose nuts and bolts, or dead spark plugs. If you’re going for a long ride, fill your gas tank up before heading out so you’re not ending your fun early as the needle points closer to E.

ATVs require a sort of rider action, such as leaning your weight forward and toward the inside of turns. If you are a passenger on a two-up vehicle, your weight shift should always mirror the driver’s weight shift. For other driving tips, check your owner’s manual. The book is designed specifically for your machine and can tell you how to park, brake, shift, and more. IT will also give you the proper maintenance schedule.

Fall ATV Riding Tips: What to Wear

With chilly, dark mornings, sunny, colorful afternoons and weekends, and pumpkin spice everything, Fall in full swing here in Western New York! It is a great time to go riding on the trails on your ATV or side by side. However, you should be aware of a few tips to make riding safe and enjoyable for all. This is going to be a multi-part series over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes out for these posts!

Firstly, we all know how changeable the weather can be here in WNY, with the memories of the 2006 October Storm and last year’s November Snowpocalypse still fresh in everyone’s minds. Look up the weather forecast before you head out on the trail and dress appropriately. If it’s going to be cold, dress in layers appropriate to the activity. If you’re riding out to hunt, you’re not going to be generating much body heat and need more layers to insulate against losing your body heat. If you are riding out to go hiking, you’ll likely need to take some of the layers off so you don’t get over heated. Keep a bag or backpack handy to put the layers in after removal. Regardless of your activity, gloves, thick socks, and a hat are important. Now, you should be wearing a helmet but we’ll get to that later. If you still find your fingers and toes getting chilly, most places have those one-time use warmer packs by the check-out stand.

On the flip side, if it’s going to be warm and sunny, make sure you wear sunscreen, drink some water, wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing, and be aware of the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion. If you or your ride partners start feeling any of these symptoms, get in the shade immediately and get some water in you. If someone passes out, use your cell phone to call for emergency help – either the park staff or 911. Just like with hypothermia, speed is of the essence.

Boating Etiquette 101

This week we’re introducing a new installment on our blog: Watercraft Etiquette 101! These are quick tips, stories, and courtesies that novice riders, and maybe even those with more experience, should know so that everyone can get out and enjoy their watercrafts together on the open sea.

Last weekend on our first Jetski Demo Ride of the season a customer of ours, first-time jetskiier Katy, did something that most  jetskiiers have probably done once or twice before. She had just finished riding and decided to park her jetskis at a dock while her and her family went to get some ice cream. As a first-timer she was unaware that parking jetskis is not the same as parking a regular boat. We kindly explained to her that if she had left her jetskis parked at the boat dock, boaters anxious to get out on the water wouldn’t have been able to launch and then gave her an anchor and showed her how to properly park her jetskis in the water.

The moral of this week’s Watercraft 101 is make sure you’re aware of the rules for launching and parking jetskis! It’s easy to forget that jetskis do not follow the same docking rules as boats, and when you want to get ice cream you have to park your jetski in the right place.

appolson's, appolson's performance center, jetski, pwc, watercraft, personal watercraft, demo, test drive, etiquette, courtesy, parking, launching, docking, jetskis

Our Technician Assistance Tuesday has gone virtual! Now you can get our tutorial videos online each month to learn the ins and outs of your equipment from our most experienced techs.

This month we’re taking you inside your jetski to show you how to summarize your vehicle so that it’s riding ready for the season.

 

ATV Service Tip #2

This weeks service tip brings up oil changes. For Polaris ATV’s it is recommended that the oil be changed every 50 hours. The oil change procedure is a straight forward and rather simple process.

For single cylinder ATV’s with an oil reservoir, you simply drain the oil reservoir, remove the old filter and drain the crankcase. To drain the crankcase you need a 6mm Allen wrench. Just with any oil change remember to change your copper crush washers.

For twin cylinder ATV’s simply drain the crankcase and remove the old filter. That is it, very simple.

Always fill the oil filter with oil on reassembly to ensure proper oil upon start up.

All Polaris ATV’s minus 550,570,850 and 900 models will all used just under 2 quarts of oil.

ATV Service Tip #1

As the hot summer months are upon us its time to start thinking about our ATV’s cooling system. As units come into the shop with cooling issues the first thing to check is the radiator. The radiator acts as the units heat exchanger and needs to be clean and clear to operate properly.

Tip: If you are overheating your ATV regularly, remove the front grill guard and pressure wash the radiator fins to remove all dirt and debris, chances are this was the culprit of your problem. Also do a strength test of your coolant itself.