The beautiful, sunny weather in the U.S., coupled with the serenity of the ocean, has encouraged many Americans to enjoy the thrill of watersports. In 2013, there were approximately 1,270,000 registered personal watercrafts in use throughout the nation. When you are not taking advantage of the beautiful weather and your personal watercraft is not in use, keep it safe by storing it in a rented self-storage unit. You can't just leave your wet personal watercraft in the storage after using it and not expect it to become damaged. Here's what you need to know.

Wash, Clean and Wax Before Storing

Although it's tempting to let the personal watercraft air dry, you shouldn't. Dirt and dust on the surface of the personal watercraft will end up dulling its shine if it is stored for extended periods of time. In addition, algae and salt from the water can do a lot of damage to the paint. In fact, salt may end up corroding the metal resulting in costly repairs or reduced performances.

Always wash and clean your personal watercraft before storing it. Most experts recommend gently washing it by hand rather than a pressure washer to get into all of the crevices. In addition, pressure sprayers and washers can be too abrasive at times and end up scratching the paint.

Once your personal watercraft dries, apply several coats of wax overtop to seal the surfaces off and prevent them from dulling. An extra step is to lubricate the metal parts to prevent corrosion.

Place Rags in the Exhaust Pipes

Take any unwanted, dry rags lying around your home and place them in the exhaust. The rags will act as an obstruction to prevent rodents and other pests from making their nests inside. Rodents can easily enter through the exhaust and can create a significant amount of damage to your personal watercraft if they travel up the exhaust pipes.

Although placing rags in the exhaust pipes is an effective and inexpensive method of deterring rodent and other pest infestations, you need to remember to remove the rags before starting the engine. Otherwise, you'll end up damaging your personal watercraft.

Pump a Full Tank of Gas and Add a Fuel-Stabilizing Treatment

Fuel begins to break down the moment you pump it into your tank and can go stale in 30 days or less. Fuel-stabilizing treatments prevent octane loss resulting from ethanol separation and stop the harmful effects that fuel degradation can have on the engine. You should always add a fuel-stabilizing treatment before you store your personal watercraft because it can keep the fuel fresh for seasons. In short, you won't have to worry about the quality and condition of the fuel the next time you take your personal watercraft out of storage.

As the fuel breaks down, byproducts that have formed, like varnishes and gum, can end up sticking to and clogging the intake valves and fuel lines. These byproducts are also highly corrosive and will eat away at the metal. All of this happens thanks to a process known as phase separation, which basically occurs because water is denser than gasoline and will separate from the ethanol in the fuel and sink. This is why you need stabilizing elements.


Taking the time to properly store your personal watercraft will make a huge difference. Improper storage leads to reduced performances, increased repairs and maintenance and dulled exteriors. Make sure you keep your personal watercraft in self-storage units with climate-control features to prevent moisture buildup from high humidity. Also, make note of the amount of security measures implemented at the storage facility to prevent storage unit owners from becoming victims of burglaries, thefts, vandalism and other criminal activities.

For more information, contact local self storage companies.