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The Hazards of Storing Jet Skis Outdoors & How to Prepare Your PWC for Storage

If you just invested in one or more jet skis or other personal watercraft (PWC) for your family to enjoy out on the water this summer, then it is important to begin thinking about how you will store them after your family has finished using them this season. The last thing you want to find in the springtime is a PWC that was damaged due to improper storage. 
Read on to learn why your jet skis and other PWC should be stored indoors when not being used for extended periods of time and how to prepare your PWC for indoor storage. 
The Hazards of Outdoor PWC Storage
If you have been planning to store your new jet skis outdoors this winter, then realize that even though California winter temperatures are typically mild, the outdoor elements can still damage your jet skis. 
If you were to store them uncovered, the sun's harsh UV rays could dry and crack all leather, vinyl or plastic PWC parts. The sun's rays can also take a toll on the integrity of your PWC's paint. 
While you can cover your jet skis with PWC covers, the covers will not eliminate all of the hazards of outdoor storage. Even if you ensure your jet skis are dry before placing covers on them, any water that makes its way under the covers will create a breeding ground for mildew. 
Pests and small animals, such as mice and squirrels, could also make their way under the covers and build nests under them or even munch on your jet skis. Small animals are especially fond of building nests in jet ski exhaust pipes. 
To avoid all of the hazards of outdoor PWC storage, it is best to store your jet skis indoors.
How to Prepare Your PWC for Indoor Storage
Another important way to prevent damage to your PWC off-season is to prepare them for indoor storage properly.
If your jet skis did not come with instructions for winterizing them, then follow these easy steps to prevent off-season jet ski damage: 
1. Drain all water from engines. After your family uses your jet skis for the final time this season, run each jet ski engine for 30 seconds to drain all water left in it. Moving the handles back and forth during the process will aid in complete water drainage. 
2. Clean and dry your PWC well. Take care to clean your jet skis very well using PWC-safe detergent, honing in on any areas of your jet skis where algae may have accumulated. Then dry them thoroughly. Any moisture remaining on the jet skis can encourage mildew growth and even lead to paint oxidation. Following up with a coat of wax is optional but recommended
3. Drain the gas tanks or fill the tanks and add fuel stabilizer. Either step will protect your gas tank in storage, but PWC enthusiasts typically prefer to top off the tank and add fuel stabilizer. If you opt to add fuel stabilizer, run your PWC engine for 30 seconds several times, pausing between cycles, to mix the stabilizer with the fuel thoroughly. 
4. Change the oil and lubricate all moving parts. While some 2-stroke jet skis do not have oil tanks, change the oil if your PWC has an oil tank. Also, lubricate all steering system components, cables and other moving parts to prevent corrosion.  
5. Remove the battery. You don't want to remove your jet skis from storage next season and find out that their batteries are dead. You can keep this from occurring by removing all PWC batteries before storing them and connecting them to automatic battery chargers. 
6. Open storage hatches and lift seats. This step is optional, but it is a good extra step to take to ensure any moisture left in your PWC dries out and does not create a breeding ground for mildew. 
If you are enjoying your new jet skis this season but haven't made arrangements for your off-season PWC storage yet, be sure to contact the staff at Blanco Self Storage to discuss your indoor jet ski storage options.