2017 Wrap Up

Happy New Year! We hope you had a happy holiday season. It was nice to have a white Christmas for the first time in a few years and we know a lot of you took advantage of trails being open. While the first few days of January tend to be a time for looking ahead, we wanted to talk about a few of our favorite moments from 2017.

We got lucky enough to have our annual Snowmobile Demo ride a few weeks late in February. We ran it right out of our back door. People loved seeing our service shop and trying out the 2017 Polaris line-up. There was a good camaraderie and it was nice and toasty over the grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.

In June, we had an ORV demo ride at KB Moto. It was a muddy, sunny day. We got to ride with customers, show off some of the cool Polaris side by sides and ATVs, and even took some videos of trail riding.

The end of July brought our annual Blast on the Beach. This year it was a really windy affair. We still had a full slate of riders and a ton of fun. Our workers managed to get a little color during the day and a lot of laughs with our customers and beach goers.

We’re looking forward to making more memories with you all in 2018. It doesn’t look like we have to do much of a snow dance for our upcoming Snowmobile Demo Ride, but we’ll knock on wood and turn around three times any way, just in case. Happy Holidays from the Appolson’s Team!

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Watercraft Safety

Now that we’ve hit July, I think we can safely say that summer is here and we’re happy to be out on the water! New riders and seasoned riders alike may not be aware of all the regulations in New York State regarding personal watercraft usage. It is required that each rider (whether driver or passenger) wears a life jacket. The PWC must have:

  • an engine cut-off lanyard,
  • a sound producing device (like a whistle),
  • a visual distress signal (like a safety flag), and
  • a fire extinguisher (on waters under the US Coast Guard jurisdiction.)

It is recommended, though not required, that each rider has footwear, eyewear (goggles or sunglasses), a wet suit, and gloves.

In New York, it is required that all owners and operators successfully complete a boating safety course and operators must be at least 14 years old. Operation is, of course, not allowed between sunset and sunrise. Neither is weaving through congested traffic, jumping the wake of another watercraft, playing chicken, or using your vehicle within 500 feet of a bathing beach or swim area. If you happen to be renting a personal watercraft, you must be at least 16 years old and prove it with photo ID. You must also be able to show correct operating procedures, proper use of the safety equipment, and must have proof of completion of the boating safety course.

Some best practices when out on the water include not operating too close to shore, docks, marinas, fisherman, or launching areas, not disturbing wildlife or operating in environmentally sensitive areas, and not forcing larger watercraft like boats or shipping vessels to move unnecessarily. If you have a passenger on the back of your PWC, practice a little extra caution as they can lose their grip on you, fall off (or be ejected), and get injured.

Once you have all these practices and measures in place, you’re set to get out on the water!

Summerizing Your Watercraft

With just one week until Memorial Day, it’s getting to be the time of year that most of the country considers summer. Even though it’s been a chilly and wet May so far, we were blessed to have a long, hot, and dry riding season last year and we’re hoping for the same this season! While we provide summerization at our service shop, we understand some people like to take the wrench to their own machines too.

When you’re getting ready to ride your machine for the first time in over six months, the first thing you want to do is check your battery. If you remember from our winterize blog, we recommend having your battery on a battery tender over the winter. Check out the voltage, the charge, the state of health of the battery, and the battery fluid level. If your battery doesn’t check out well in these categories, it’s probably for the best to purchase a new one. The start of the season is also a good time to check out the condition of your spark plugs and replace any that are black or oil fouled. These are a couple easy things to do to ensure a fun and uninterrupted start to the riding season.

Check your water separator if one is installed. Then put your battery back in the craft and hook the craft up to a water hose. Run it for about 5-10 minutes. Give the machine a good look over for any loose clamps or hardware. Inspect the steering nozzle and prop for any damage. Wash your machine to get the dust off and put your cover on to keep it clean for your next ride!

We also perform a trailer inspection when we do our summerizations here at our service shop. If you’re doing this yourself, make sure to check all lights are working. You may need an assistant to help out on this one for brake and signal lights especially. Check the tire condition and pressure. If they’ve lost a little air, inflate to the correct PSI and keep an eye on any leaks in the tires. Finally, make sure the lug nuts are properly torqued and grease the wheel hubs. Be sure to check the wheel bearings for smooth operation.

You’re ready to rock and roll for the season out on our beautiful waterways! If you need to do an in-season oil change, we can help you out in our service department or parts department with our full stock of oil and filters. Remember to follow all local laws, marine warnings, and make sure you and your passengers always wear a proper fitting life vest. Have fun on the water and make sure to see us if you need anything this summer.

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!