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jet skis

Jet skis are one of the most common toys onboard superyachts, popular with guests of all ages and abilities, so it’s important they are well maintained.

Usually the responsibility of deckhands and engineers from the mechanical side of things, not properly washing down and servicing jet skis can mean they aren’t up to scratch for guests when the time comes to use them.

So here’s a quick checklist to follow to ensure you’re getting it right, and impressing your senior crew at the same time.

Checks before launching your jet ski

  1. Ensure bungs are fitted and secured back in place before launching into the water.
  2. Check the hull for any damages which could have occurred whilst at sea or from previous use.  
  3. Check the lifting points on the ski are secure and the crane is in good order before lifting the jet ski.
  4. Check the engine mounts by making sure that the engine bolts are tight so that the engine doesn’t move whilst the ski is being used. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to get physical with two hands on the engine and give it a good pull from both sides and then the front. If there is any movement, it is more than likely one of your mounts has broken. This is a vital check as damaged engine mounts can cause damage to the driveshaft, seals and pump on your jet ski. There is also a high risk of water ingress into the engine compartment and risk of damage to your engine.
  5. Check the battery charge by running up the ski and making sure it starts freely before launching into the water. Sounds obvious, but it can be pretty embarrassing if a guest breaks down on the water or the ski doesn’t start and they are drifting away. Do not run jet skis without coolant hose attached for long periods as this can burn out coolant system sensors.
  6. Check Engine Oil level before use

Maintaining your jet ski after use

  1. After use, rinse the jet ski with fresh water to remove salt deposits, making sure to use a clean chamois to dry plastics and mirrors. A build-up of salt can cause fading to plastics.
  2. Check bilges to make sure they are dry and look for oil deposits which may indicate that there are some leaks or mechanical issues. Consult an engineer if oil is spotted in Bilge.
  3. Flush the jet ski using fresh water – Seadoo flush points are located at the rear of the ski by the Venturi, which is usually behind the jet pump. Yamaha uses a flushing hose which is connected inside the engine bay. Your engineer will be able to show you how to flush correctly and the yacht will have correct flushing hoses onboard.
  4. Make sure you flush the ski in the correct order: Engine On – Hose/water on – Run for 30 seconds to 1 minute – Hose/water off – Run for another 20 seconds – Engine off. If you don’t follow this order there is a risk of back filling water into your engine and cooling system.
  5. Consider an internal wash down. If you have used your jet ski in rougher conditions or for a longer period of time, it is worth taking the seat off and giving the engine a quick spray of fresh water once the engine has cooled down. This will remove the salt that may settle on top of your engine. Make sure you remove the hull bungs, so that the water can drain out, this can be done whilst lifting ski’s back onboard. The crane angle will help to drain the water.
  6. Use Seadoo Lube or a similar lubricant to coat your engine components and electrical connections to reduce ingress of water and electrical issues further down the line.
  7. Check engine oil levels regularly. To check the oil, run the jet ski for 30 seconds and then leave for another 30 seconds before checking oil levels. Adjust the levels using a dipstick and only top up small amounts. Removing oil from over filled jet ski engines can be time consuming for your engineers!
  8. Check coolant levels. To check the coolant, locate the coolant reservoir and check the level is between the min and max level markers.

Check out some more deckhand tips here.

How to maintain your jet skis onboard

About the author

Tom Rose

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