PWC Maintenance
Disclaimer:  We are not professional mechanics, feel free to implement the following recommendations at your own risk. 

Riders Quick Guide to Salt Water PWC Maintenance 

Offshore Riding & Salt Water PWC Maintenance:
Our riding requires a completely different approach for maintenance vs. riding in fresh water. It involves significantly more time, effort and discipline to ensure this maintenance happens after every salt water ride.  Allocate an additional hour after the ride to tend to your craft.   You MUST attend to your craft after every salt water ride.  Don't believe the hype that if you ride in the ocean you will destroy your craft.  The only way you will hurt the craft is if you don't maintain it properly.  The message is, just do the post ride maintenance and you'll be fine.       

After each ride:
1. You MUST have an engine flush kit (See picture to the right).
2. You MUST flush the engine with water after every ride.  
3. The use of Salt Away is recommended for flushing (they are not a sponsor).
  • We recommend you use Salt Away (no alternative) after every ride as part of the fresh water flush (flush kit adapter required). Picture here ->
  • If you have a RIVA intercoller, it is critical that you run one cycle of salt away through your craft.  After flushing is complete, place a fresh dose of Salt Away into your flush adapter and run it through again.  Stop the flushing, then stop the craft.  Attempt to keep salt away fluid as the last fluid that was in the intercooler and fighting corrosion as the craft sits until your next ride.  
  • If you are running craft with other intercoolers, still flush with salt away.  *Remember to still burp the throttle (quick revs) to ensure you get as much of the water / fluid out of the craft as possible after the flush.  This is especially important with the Kawasaki ULTRA platform - get as much water as possible out of the system after flushing.      
  • Salt Away claims to leave a coat of anti-corrosive film on the inside of your engine and intercooler. 
  • There has been an ongoing debate over the use of Salt Away vs not using Salt Away that has gone on for years.  Over the past decade I have had multiple conversations with technicians (one of which has over 34 years of experience), they say use Salt Away.  Just be safe, spend the 20.00 and be over it.  I've been riding in the ocean for 16 years, I never flush with anything but Salt Away.  Most of the experienced offshore riders we know flush with salt away.          
  • After the flushing process is complete, burp the throttle to exit as much water as possible out of the water box i.e. "clear" the water box.  If the craft will sit for a long time, take extra special effort to clear as much water out of the system as possible.
  • Again, if you are running the Kawasaki ULTRA platform, it is very critical that you take special effort to clear the water box with throttle burps prior to stowing the craft, even if it is just being stowed for a week.  Some back their craft to the ramp so the craft is at an angle (nose up) and then do a final clear of the box.       
  • Some use Dawn Soap to flush and clean the inside of the engine compartment.  Dawn Soap does a fine job of removing oil residue.  
  • If you use Dawn soap for the actual engine flush, it is recommended that you also run a coat of Salt Away flush after flushing with Dawn Soap to keep the anti-corrosive properties on / in your craft.   
  • For the Kawasaki ULTRA, remember to get as much fluid out of the craft as possible by burping the throttle subsequent to flushing the craft.  
  • Burping the throttle is defined as gently revving the engine a  few times after the water hose has been turned off resulting in pressure that pushes water out of the craft / out of the water box / out of the system.  Many back their craft onto the ramp so the craft is at an angle, then burp the craft (not required but a "nice to do").     
  • If for whatever reason you don't have an additive to mix with the water like Dawn soap or Salt Away, make sure you thoroughly flush the craft with fresh water.  You MUST flush the craft after each ride. 

 3. How to flush:  Read your owners manual regarding flushing procedures. We flush in the following manner:  Connect the flush kit to your craft while the craft is off, turn your craft on, then quickly turn the water on, run your craft for approximately five to seven minutes with the water/flush running through it, then turn the water off, then the turn the engine off. Never allow your craft to be off while the water is running through your craft.  Also, to avoid overheating, never allow your craft to run for extended periods of time without the water/flush running through the craft.   

4. Spray your craft down with water and soap, ensure you get full coverage over your craft and trailer (we use salt away here also).
5. Sponge down your craft with soap and water, rinse clean.
6. Remove your drain plugs.
7. Cover your after market air intakes and filters with a plastic zip tie bag - spray down the entire engine compartment with water and salt away. Ensure your water spray stays clear of the engine's air intakes.  Never wash down your engine compartment while the engine is running. 
8.  If your craft has a belt (Kawasaki ULTRA), do your best to keep oils and bilge off of your belt.   
8. Shammy your craft dry to avoid water spots (especially if you own a black craft).  Ensure you use a Micro fibre or Shammy cloth to dry the craft. 
9. With your drain plugs removed, drive your truck to an incline (back to the ramp) and allow the craft's engine compartment to drain out all of the water. Also do a final clearing of your waterbox .
10. Stow your craft with the seats off (if garaged) or with a wedge under the seat to allow the water to evaporate.
11. Keep a coat of carnuba wax on your craft to avoid water pitting on your craft.  Consider trying S100 Paste Wax.  Its expensive but we like it.  Remember to apply from side to side vs a circular motion.  The circular motion can result in the small hairline scratches to be more visible.  Use a micro fibre application and use only a clean micro fibre towel to remove the wax.  Scroll down for more options including our preferred Sealant     
12. We place a light coat (very light coat) of Fogging Oil anti-corrosive spray on our engine. Avoid air intakes, wiring and belts.  LIGHT Coat. 
13. Place a light coat of Fluid Film anti-corrosive spray lubrication on all moving parts on the outside of the craft (around the pump, reverse etc).   As a general rule, we recommend fogging oil on / in the engine compartment (avoid belts and hoses!) / on the engine and Fluid Film on parts outside of the engine compartment. 
 ** If you ride a Kawasaki ULTRA 250/260/300, we encourage you to lightly fog the supercharger after every ride with fogging oil.  Fogging will also lubricate other critical engine components.  If you are running the 300X, use the port forward under the glove box on the left side of the craft.    
14. Grease your trailer frequently.

15. If you have a regular painted trailer, keep a coat of carnuba wax on the trailer and ensure you always soap and rinse down your trailer after every ride.
16. Rinse your wet suit, boots, gloves and life-jacket with fresh water soap.  Allow it to dry in an open area. As a general rule, if ANY of your gear has been in contact with the salt water, it needs to be rinsed with fresh water.
17. Consider stowing your seats in the back of your truck for your drive home. This should enable the engine compartment to dry more quickly during the drive home or to your storage ground. Note Salt water will eat your gear if you let it. Be vigilant about maintenance.
18. Place di-electical grease on your battery connections and electrical cables / connections.
19. We keep a fresh coat of carnuba wax on our hulls. 
20. After your engine is dry, spray a light  coat (very very light coat) of Fogging Oil over your engine (avoid belts)
21. Put a light coat of Fluid Film on your pump / reverse bucket area on the outside of your craft.  Turn your steering back and forth and move your reverse level up and down, this will get the Fluid Film into the system.    
22.  Store your craft with a full tank of fuel to avoid water/condensation into your fuel tank.  
23. Should you anticipate not running our craft for an extended period of time, place fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL into your gas tank.  Do so in accordance with the directions. If your craft sits for a very long period of time, we suggest removing all of the fuel and replacing with fresh fuel.
24. Consider a trickle charger for your battery while your craft is stowed. 
25. Before you walk away from the garage, break out your shop-vac and remove all remaining water in the bilge area so your bilge area in your hull is clear of all water.  
26. If your craft is garage kept, stow the craft with seats removed and the front hood cover open to allow for proper ventilation.   

Engine maintenance:
1. Do so in accordance with your owner's manual.
2. Endurance riding involves long durations of full throttle RPM's resulting in significant heat and stress on the craft's engine.
3. We change our oil every 8 - 12 hours which is frequently. Use your judgment based on your riding style.  New oil is cheap insurance.  Also keep in mind that we ride very hard.  Duration of oil changes is directly related to how hard you ride and where you ride.      
4. We are currently running synthetic oil.   
5. We are transitioning some of our craft to full synthetic oil with anti-corrosive properties to combat the moisture and salt water found in ocean riding.    
6.  Change your oil often and use quality oil (we use synthetics).  If you are running oil for long durations between oil changes, use an oil with anti-corrosive properties in the oil.  Many ask us what kind of oil to run, the key is to run QUALITY synthetic oil and keep it clean.  The key term here is CLEAN quality synthetic oil.  There are many good synthetics out there.   
7.  Below is a picture of an oil extractor, we suggest you purchase one to allow for frequent, less expensive oil changes.  Here is an oil extractor option for you on Amazon CLICK HERE 

Below, Oil Extractor:

Flon'go Fuel Siphon - an inexpensive method of extracting old fuel from your craft.  Or for racers, if your setup requires race fuel and there is 91 octane in the tank, here is an inexpensive option.  The pump-handle is not industrial, plastic etc., but for less than $40.00 dollars US this is a good option available on Amazon:

Below, 5 Gallon oil  container that can be purchased via Amazon  

Below - Meguiars Synthetic Sealant 2.0 is a long lasting option - a great product for us 

Meguiars liquid spray wax is a great option to spray down after each wash and in between full wax jobs.  Doing this after every wash for a black craft is a must.

Meguiars Liquid Wax is an inexpensive, quick option for wax 

For Chrome, the below is a great option



This website is informational only. This site is intended for the review by adults only.  No representation is made or warranty given as to its content. User assumes all risk of use. PWCOffshore.com, its owners and its suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Warning - although PWC riding is great fun, riding personal watercraft (PWC) in the ocean is not for the beginner and is for adults only.  Offshore PWC riding can be extremely dangerous resulting in serious injury or death.  The information on this site is for adults and strictly the opinion of the writers on this site.  We are only PWC enthusiasts - please do your own research and make your own judgments regarding what products you purchase and how & where you ride your watercraft (PWC).  We are not certified mechanics nor are we certified mariners or certified maritime navigators.  Do not take anything you read on this site as guidance from a "professional."  By reading this site, you agree to take whatever information or input you receive on this site at your own risk.  If you are inexperienced or a beginner we recommend against riding in the open ocean.  We encourage you to take a boating safety course and consult with the Coast Guard regarding PWC, boating, rider safety and maritime navigation before you consider riding PWC offshore, in the ocean.  For more boating safety information, go to the Coast Guard's website at 
http://www.uscg.mil/  or call the US Coast Guard at (310) 732-2042 for more information.  Have fun and be safe and never ride in the ocean unless you know what you are doing.