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  1. #1
    SplishSplash's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Belle River Ont Canada

    So you want to go ride your PWC. Lets get ready.

    This is a general post, but I think its necessary seeing what happens a lot at the ramp, lake or out on the sea. Consider it a skis for dummy's post. Like the books.

    Its a beautiful day for riding. Your all excited to get out there and have a blast.
    But wait, relax and do a few simple things before you go. They vary based on how you go.

    Got your PFD, key, lanyard, lock keys. It sucks to launch only to realized you left your PFD at home
    Do you have all the required safety stuff I case you get stopped by marine patrol.
    do you have your registration and boat operators card, if required.

    1. A trailered ski:
    Check your TRAILER. Tire pressure, lug nuts, and wheel bearings (how many have you seen at the side of the road with only 1 wheel). Ski trailers need to be maintained. Check your safety chains, lights (90% have bad lights) winch locks and cable/rope/strap. Tie downs. Good lock to keep that trailer is a must too. Nothing worse than coming in after a days riding and finding your trailer gone..

    2. Now let's move onto the ski, be it trailered, on a hoist, marina kept(rack system) or even in the water.
    Remove the cover, dry out the footwells(they can get slippy when rainwater sits in there.)
    visually inspect the ski, pump clear of weeds and heaven forbid rocks. Don't laugh, I have had many people driving around with rocks in the pump.
    Move the steering and trim systems to the limits, be sure the are moving as the should.
    Check bilge discharge tube for blockage, spiders/wasps love to build in there.
    Are the drain plugs in.

    Now remove the seat.
    Visually insect all hoses, lines, cables, connections, and look for anything not as it should be. Cycle the throttle , no stickyness. Look for water in the hull, more than the normal amount. Look for FOD in the hull(foreign object debris). Check for fuel and oil leaks.

    For 2 strokes, check you oil tank level and fuel level, for premix, verify you brought oil or premix.
    Verify you choke or primer is working as it should.

    4 strokes, check you engine oil, coolant level (if so equip), fuel level.

    Start the ski, verify battery is good and everything sounds like it does normally ( no missing, dead cylinders)

    Now you can move to the ramp/ launch. Leaving the seat removed.
    Once in the water, check for a water leak right away, if you pull out the trailer at a busy ramp, you may have to wait in the water with a leaking ski till your turn comes around.

    If your alone, install seat and tie off ski out of the ramp way while you park the trailer. As you park the trailer, inspect your bunks, be sure no stones flew up in the carpet that can put a nasty scratch in you hull.
    Bunk condition good?

    Now, your in the water, no leaks and everything seems to be good. Untie the ski, aim it bow out ( I have seen too many skis started and drive into the concrete ramp)

    Start it up, verify gauges read as the should, engine sounds right, and pissers are working as the should.
    Pull away from the dock and do a short ride, listening to the ski for unusual sounds. Return to the dock, shut off, and check for any leaks. If all good, off you go.

    Following the above will reduce the chances of being stranded, be it at the side of the road, blocking the launch ramp, or worse, out on the water. Never assume a ski is ready to go " cause last time I was out, it ran fine"

    The smallest thing can ruin that great day!

  2. #2
    Too often I see either PWC or boats get into the water and can't start.

    Please check that your boat/pwc will start before getting in the water.
    Places where there is very limited dock space this is a huge issue for those wanting to get on the water.

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