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  1. #1

    Exclamation First time owner & I sank my ski (what to do, and do it right away)

    Moderator edit: This thread is an example of what to do, and what not to do, when a personal watercraft is sunk or water flooded.

    This member happened to be located in Fort Meyers, Florida with a 1998 Kawasaki STX1100. The same recovery methods apply to other 2-stroke PWC models and brands, wherever they happen to sink, in salt or fresh water

    Unfortunately in this case there was too much time wasted between the actual sinking and getting the engine dried out and running again.

    This case also shows the risks of not fully inspecting and servicing a new-to-you older watercraft. The electrical system was not properly sealed from moisture so it failed after being flooded, preventing the engine from being started propmptly after the engine itself was cleared of liquid water.

    Even if it seems to run ok, always take the time to inspect, service, maintain the entire machine before taking it out on the water. Not even for a 'test ride'. The risk of unexpected failure is highest when the machine is very new to you and has not yet been properly checked over.

    For other people that may be reading this thread just after sinking their own machine - if you act quickly there is a good probability that your engine can be fully recovered and you can be back on the water riding again in short order.

    If you have not yet flooded your own watercraft, knowing what to do and how to recover might someday save the day for yourself or someone you know. Done correctly, it is possible to be back on the water in mere minutes after fully flooding the engine. Done incorrectly, the engine may never run again.

    In addition to this thread, there are other good threads and posts on Greenhulk.net describing how to recover from engine flooding.

    Note that the modern 4-stroke watercraft engines differ from the 2-stroke engine described here, in the details for clearing the water from the 4-stroke engine, checking the oil for water contamination, and getting the engine running again.

    ====================================


    I just bought a 1998 Kawasaki STX1100 and 2 hours in to the first time out, it sank on me.

    There are no visible holes, the intake hose seems in tact. The only thing I see that MIGHT have been the issue is that the rubber washer on one of the plugs is incredibly small and maybe it wasn't sealing properly?

    Anyways, I got the ski out and pulled all the plugs. I loaded it down with oil and wd40.

    I put in a new battery but am not getting any power. I believe the next step is to check the starter but I am looking for any feedback possible.

    I am a female, not a complete stranger to this but I am far from knowing a lot about it.

    Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
    Last edited by K447; 06-10-2017 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Added overview edit


  2. #2
    I doubt the washer would have put that much water into the hull unless you were just sitting. normal leak spots on these stx's are the drive shaft thru hull and coupler. theres two ways to diagnose, fill hull with water while on trailer and inspected for leaks (do not fill over carbs or really anywhere close to engine) If the thru hull is leaking it will show in this test. second would with ski tied to trailer back in and run, inspect where water is coming in, very common area is the drive shaft coupler.

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  4. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RookieTY View Post
    I just bought a 1998 Kawasaki STX1100 and 2 hours in to the first time out, it sank on me. ...

    ... I got the ski out and pulled all the plugs. I loaded it down with oil and wd40. I put in a new battery but am not getting any power...
    Why the new battery?

    Make sure the battery is not connected backwards. Negative post marked with - symbol should have heavy battery cable going to the metal of the engine itself.

    If there is water inside the engine it needs to get pumped out ASAP. The normal method is to remove all spark plugs, hold throttle wide open and crank the engine. Water will spurt out of the spark plug holes. Crank for about 30 seconds, then let it cool down for a minute. then crank again. Keep the battery charged.

    Read up on how to recover from a water flooded watercraft engine. Key is to get the water out, then get the engine running. The air flow and heat from running helps dry out the engine internally. THEN you go for a ride. At speed the engine finishes drying out. THEN you spray fogging oil into the carb air intakes after engine shut down, on the trailer.

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  6. #4
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    Welcome aboard, RookieTY!

    You MUST get the water out immediately! After flooding an engine you only have about a day before permanent damage is done to the crankshaft & bearings. If the engine has water in the cylinders, the starter cannot turn it over until the spark plugs are removed. The Kawasakis have a weird looking rack with 3 prongs that you put the spark plug wires on when you spin the starter with the plugs removed.

    PLEASE get this looked at today (assuming that this happened over the weekend). Tomorrow may be too late. We're here to help, but obviously we can't see the 'Ski. If it's beyond your ability, perhaps you can find someone close by that can help you. If you take it to a shop, make sure they work on it TODAY!

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  8. #5
    Thank you for your reply! The problem I am having is that my original battery got fried. I put the new one in but can't even get it to "click" there is absolutely zero activity when I hit the start. I was told I need to check the starter but before that I need to make sure the oil isn't "milky." Does this seem right to you?

  9. #6
    My other thought is there may be some type of "restart?"

  10. #7
    This Happened late Friday night. I got it out and all the water out Saturday morning. I pulled the spark plugs then and filled everything will oil and wd40. When I went to turn the engine over to shoot the water out nothing happened. Turned out my battery was fried so I put in a new one and still nothing. Guessing the next step is to clean the oil and then test the starter? Having a hard time finding someone in my area that will still work on 2-strokes!

  11. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RookieTY View Post
    Thank you for your reply! The problem I am having is that my original battery got fried. I put the new one in but can't even get it to "click" there is absolutely zero activity when I hit the start. I was told I need to check the starter but before that I need to make sure the oil isn't "milky." Does this seem right to you?
    Remove the spark plugs and keep them out until the water has been pumped from the engine.

    Milky oil is not a concern right now. That is a 4-stroke engine thing. You have a 2-stroke engine.

    If the electrical system was not properly sealed then there may be water inside.

    Lanyard in place?

    Battery cables connected correctly, not reversed polarity?

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  13. #9
    I will triple check these things but I am pretty sure all of this was in place. I had the battery backwards originally but then fixed it.

  14. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RookieTY View Post
    ... I had the battery backwards originally but then fixed it.
    I am not an expert on your particular model. On some watercraft a reversed battery connection will cause immediate damage. Sometimes without even pressing Start button. Pressing Start may make it worse, in some cases.

    If there is a circuit breaker it may need to be reset. Or a blown fuse. Since I do not know your particular model, I cannot say which of these things your watercraft has or exactly where to find them.

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