Mods/Accessories

You will find on this page:
1.  Insight on various riding accessories and modiications for offshore riding. 
2.  Reminder - see the Catalina Isle page for a complete list of recommended safety items for offshore riding.   

Recommended Riding Accessories And Modifications For Offshore PWC Riding:
We recognize that we could dedicate an entire site to this topic and that there are always multiple perspectives.   Also note that we are not interested in cosmetic related modifications, only performance related modification's that do not have a serious impact on reliability of the craft.   These observations are just editorials and opinions.  Ensure to ask questions about the impact of some modifications on the manufacturer's warranty.  We are enthusiasts and are not trained mechanics.   

1.  Lifter wedges:  Hydro turf makes "lifter" wedges that keep your feet tacked into the tray. 
We've received a number of questions regarding how to install lifter wedges. Please see the picture below for a visual on the install.  Here is the long and short:  1)  Stand on your craft in your race position.  2)  Lay the lifter wedges on top of our foot and mark the locations of wedge.  3)  Place painters tape all over the exposed part of the tray under the targeted wedge location to ensure glue drippings do not get on your craft.  4)  (Buy the Hydro-Turf Glue) Remove the backing on the lifter wedge and place the Hydro-Turf Glue on the back of the wedge. 5) Have approximately seven pieces of 10 inch pieces of painters tape ready 6) Place the wedge in the designated position and immediately place the painters tape on the wedge taping it to the craft, ensuring it does not move - it helps to have a second person holding the wedge on the craft as you apply the tape.  7) Continue to place the painters tape on the wedge until it is secure.  8) Allow at least 24 hours to dry.  9) Place clear silicone around the edges of the wedge to ensure no water gets in between the wedge and the craft and breaks down the glue.  Note - the picture below has doubled up lifter wedges on each side.  This is the most aggressive approach.  Recommend you place one set on first, ride and THEN make a judgment call regarding placement of a second set.  Most riders have only one set.        

2.  Bilge pumps:  The stakes are much higher with PWC offshore / ocean riding.  You have few options when you are 15 miles offshore and you start taking on water into your engine compartment.  Most new craft come with standard factory  bilge pumps.  Keep them clean.  Consider an after market bilge pump to keep your engine compartment dry.  Also consider a Quick Drain System that will enable your forward momentum to assist in draining your engine compartment.         

3.  Sponsons:  Most sponsons make your craft more stable and turn more aggressively.  However they can change the dynamics of your craft and can impact performance in other areas of your craft such as top speed.  Many of the newer craft have relatively aggressive sponsons.  Unlike most standard production craft, the after market sponsons provide the opportunity to change the degree of aggressiveness of the sponson.  The name of the game in offshore endurance riding is top speed and mostly straight lines, stability in chop, reliability and gas mileage, not hard core turning as you may experience on a closed course. Focus on a sponson that enables straight line stability and top speed.  Ensure the sponson you choose does not reduce your top speed.  Note: If you have an old craft that does not have sponsons with a cutting edge, we highly recommend after market sponsons.    

4GPS is a must!  See rider gear on the Catalina Isle Ride Page in this site for necessary offshore gear.  You must have the necessary safety gear.  If you're going to win races, your navigation must be flawless.  Consider mounting a compass as backup navigation.  Always ensure you have a compass in your craft as a backup.     

5.  Intake Grate:  We recommend free flowing intake grates as long as they don't inhibit speed.  A top loader does a great job of keeping you hooked up in the chop but can result in a slight loss of speed.

6.  Pump Wedge:  Consider a 1 degree pump wedge which will likely take a little more of your bow out of the water resulting in higher top end speeds, however count on a less stable ride.  Test it and determine what works best for your setup.  Many offshore endurance riders think hard about installing a pump wedge as it tends to result in a slight loss of stability.  8/1/2007, we upgraded one of our ULTRA250's with a 2 degree pump wedge.  We are seeing speed gains - this rider is 200 punds.  1 degree recommended for lighter riders.  

7.  Ride Plate:  Again, varies from craft to craft.   

8Traction Mats are a must:  If your craft does not come standard with hydro-turf like mats, we highly recommend recommend you upgrade to better traction mats that decrease foot slippage and traction.  Hydro-Turf carries quality mats.

9.  Salt Away or Salt Terminator:   We buy this by the gallon and use it for washes and engine flushes after every ride.  We suggest doing do so as soon as the craft is out of the water.  By the way, if you don't have an engine flush system, we suggest you buy one and use it every time you take your craft out of salt water. NOTE:  There is debate on if whether salt away/terminator products are necessary vs. using plain old fresh water only.  We use salt away, however you can judge for yourself.  Whatever you do, make sure you at least fresh water rinse your craft, engine and engine compartment after every salt water ride.  It is a must.      
 
10.  Fluid Film:  On the engine.  We place a LIGHT coat on the engine (avoid air intake) to inhibit corrosion and rust.  Salt will kill your craft if you let it!  If you own the ULTRA 250, keep it away from the supercharger belt as lube may cause slippage and lost boost.