Keep Your PWC Corrosion-Free

It's crucial to keep a PWC free from damaging salt.

For a PWC enthusiast, salt water can be one huge playground. Just ask freestyle surf icon Ross Champion. He has traveled the world launching his craft high off ocean waves. But Champion has learned that rust and corrosion never sleep. Unless you meticulously care for your craft, salt will put an end to the fun. Here’s how to keep the good times rolling.

Be prepared.
"Preventing corrosion starts with assembly," Champion says. Undo electrical connectors and coat each side with a corrosion inhibitor like Corrosion Block ($18.99, westmarine.com), which leaves behind a protective hydrophilic film. Also, protect exposed metal surfaces. Products like CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion inhibitor (crcindustries.com) leave a thick film that doesn't rinse away. Use care around hoses, motor mounts and electrical insulation. And reapply about every 50 hours of use.

Don't forget to flush.
After washing the hull and engine compartment, give the engine a thorough freshwater flush. Most PWCs use open-loop cooling, in which the same salt water you ride in courses through the cooling passages. Left there, it will form salt crystals, which corrode metal in no time and may cause blockages in the cooling system. Champion touts products like salt away (saltawayproducts.com), a salt "stripper" that's plumbed into your flush hose and offers even more cleaning.

Air it out.
After cleanup, don't button everything up tight. "Leaving the hood or seat sealed can cause condensation inside the engine compartment," Champion warns. Instead, sponge out any remaining water, dry as much as you can, and prop up the seat or hood. Not planning to ride again for several weeks? Consider fogging the engine, which coats its internals with a corrosion-preventing lubricant.