If you have had the privilege of riding in or driving a jet boat, you know that the speed of the jet boat and its easy navigability makes it a fun ride out on the water.
Jet boats can be used in both freshwater and saltwater (although they perform best in freshwater), but where they are stored can have a dramatic impact on their longevity and performance.
How Long Should You Leave a Jet Boat in Saltwater?
How long should you leave a jet boat in saltwater? Saltwater can be particularly damaging on the metal surfaces of a boat. On a jet boat, you should be most worried about the engines corrupting. Thus, you should not leave your jet boat in saltwater for more than one to two weeks maximum. If you plan to leave your jet boat in saltwater, be sure to make proper preparations.
There are many different ways to prepare your jet boat for lengthy exposure in saltwater. Additionally, should you choose to leave your jet boat in saltwater for a while, there are plenty of ways to be sure that you get your boat running smoothly and effectively as soon as you return to it.
In this article, we will discuss several ways that jet boats are affected by saltwater as well as different methods to care for your jet boat when you use or store it in saltwater locations.
Caring for the Engines on a Jet Boat Left in Saltwater
The engines are one of the most important parts of any boat, and especially a jet boat. As you hop in your jet boat, you are probably hoping to feel the wind flowing through your hair as you cruise around the waves. The engines are the part of the boat that gives you this power and the speed to do so.
Engines are metal surfaces which means they are particularly susceptible to the effects of salt corrosion. Once a metal surface begins corrupting, it is very difficult to resolve the issue so most of the time, the corrupted surface will need to be replaced.
When you are considering the cost and time of replacing an engine on a jet boat, comparably, it is much easier to simply take proper precautions for your boat in the first place.
Follow Appropriate Time Measures
In caring for the engines on a jet boat left in saltwater, be sure that the maximum time your boat sets on the water is two weeks.
This is a pretty generous amount of time as many have reported seeing negative effects in as little as one week of their boat remaining in the sea.
Following the time guidelines will help you to care for your property well.
Use Salt-Away to Flush Your Engines
Another action that you can take to care for the engines of your jet boat after exposure to saltwater is to use Salt-Away (a chemical spray that cleans and protects your engines after they have been exposed to saltwater).
To use this, you will rinse your boat and spray the bottom of it with Salt-Away. This will help to remove the salt that has been left behind from where your boat was exposed to water. There is no need to rinse the boat off after use.
Using Salt-Away on the engine takes a few more steps than simply spraying it on, but it is the best way to flush the engine of all salt and other particles. By taking these precautions, you are sure to save a considerable amount of time and money in the long-run in caring for your jet boat. You should use this product after each exposure to saltwater, but especially in the case of your jet boat setting in saltwater for a few days or more.
To flush the engine with Salt-Away, you will connect the product to the engine in the area of general water intake. First, run just water from a hose through the engine for about 30-seconds. Then, open the Salt-Away nozzle to permit it to flow through the engine.
After you have run the engine for about 3- to 5-minutes with Salt-Away, you will notice a frothy substance coming out. When you see that the water is coming out cleaner and with less residue, you can be confident that Salt-Away has done its job.
Salt-Away can be found in many local sporting goods stores or for relatively inexpensive on Amazon.
With just a small amount of time and money spent on this product, this is the best recommendation for caring for your boat that has been exposed to saltwater and air.
Flush the Engine in a Clean Water Source
In addition to using a product like Salt-Away as mentioned above, you can also choose to flush the engines of your jet boat in a clean water source. You could choose to take your jet boat for a cruise on the lake or another freshwater source near you.
In doing this, you are permitting the fresh water to knock off salt and other residue that may have collected on your jet boat’s engines or other surfaces. This step should be done in addition to using Salt-Away (or other similar products), but should not be the only step you use to thoroughly flush the engines.
Flushing the engines is the most important part of caring for your jet boat after each use. This is not only important for saltwater exposure, but in the case that you have used your boat in areas that have weeds, kelp, or other material that could have been sucked up into the engine. By effectively cleaning the engine of your jet boat, you are sure to help your boat to last its full life expectancy.
Caring for the Surface of Your Jet Boat Left in Saltwater
Leaving your jet boat in saltwater, or any water for that matter, exposes your boat to the potential for growth from things like fungi, barnacles, and other plants that may leach to the sides of your boat.
This type of matter can damage your boat’s surface and can also largely affect the speed of your boat. Considering that the unwelcome particles would be adding to a rough surface on the boat, your jet boat would not glide as smoothly on the open waters if it had additions to it on its underbelly.
Bonus Tip: Did you leave your boat in the water too long? Check out this little know secret for quickly and easily cleaning up the hull of your boat!
Fortunately, antifouling bottom paint can help to prevent this issue from arising in the first place.
Using antifouling bottom paint is an essential component of caring for your jet boat if you plan on leaving it out in the saltwater. This will help to prevent additional corruption to your boat’s surface from creatures that live in the saltwater below.
To use antifouling bottom paint, you will need to make sure that old layers of bottom paint have been removed. This is important because dense layers of bottom paint can more easily crack and cause friction between the boat and the water. In using a fresh coat of bottom paint, you will most effectively protect the hull of your boat.
Simply make sure that your boat has a dry surface, resolve any additional buildup or uneven surfaces on your boat, choose the type of bottom paint that will work best for you and your boat, and choose to paint the boat yourself or have it professionally bottom painted.
This is another investment that is well worth the time and money as it serves as a preventative factor in maintaining your jet boat.
Do Jet Boats Require a Lot of Preventive Maintenance Work?
Jet boats are one of the easier boats to provide preventative care for. While you will want to maintain the upkeep of your boat to ensure that it is long-lasting, you should not have to do extensive daily maintenance work on your jet boat during boating season or in the off-season.
To provide the best preventative maintenance work for your jet boat, be sure to regularly check the engines and the engine fuel and make sure the hydraulics are properly maintained and prepared for use. Then, ensure that your antifouling bottom paint job has no rough edges or cracks, is fresh and ready for use, and is doing its job of preventing growth on your boat’s hull.
Finally, be sure that your jet boat’s engine is flushed and maintained. You can do this by following the suggestions above including using Salt-Away if you have exposed your boat to saltwater or air and then regularly flushing the engine with clean water to remove any other substances or particles that could be stuck.
Jet boats are a great choice of boat if you are looking for something to take a ride out on the weekends, to enjoy a small evening party on the water, or to cruise through the waves. While they perform best in freshwater surfaces like lakes, you can still take them onto saltwater if you plan to clean your jet boat well.
Where Should I Store My Jet Boat?
While you may leave your jet boat in saltwater for two weeks maximum, it is not suggested to store your jet boat in saltwater surfaces.
Additionally, you may plan to store your jet boat in freshwater, but you will want to make sure that it has a decent coat of antifouling bottom paint. Storing your jet boat (or any boat) in a dry location is the best option for the overall protection of your boat’s outer surfaces and engines.
You may choose to store your jet boat out of the water in a location that is specifically designed for boats or on your own property.
It is suggested to store your jet boat in an area that has a roof or covering so that the interior of the deck is not exposed to rough elements that could damage your boat or require lots of cleaning and repair work.
While your jet boat is obviously designed for the water, having to clean the deck after a rainstorm is not ideal when you could otherwise be spending your time out on the water.