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Old 02-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking to buy first PWC

Hello All-

I am in the market to buy a PWC, which would be my first one. I live up towards Cincinnati and will be looking to ride some on the Ohio River, as well as some lakes down in Central KY (obviously no salt water).

My budget is 4K and wanted to know if an 05 or 06 would be in my price range. I want to be able to go a decent speed (50-60 mph), and just want a PWC that is fun to ride and RELIABLE as long as it is maintained.


I hear Sea Doo's are the way to go, but i do know that Yamaha and Honda also have some nice models.

Any would advice would be MUCH APPRECIATED!!

Thanks guys,

Chris
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=RookiePWC20;40033]Hello All-

I am in the market to buy a PWC, which would be my first one. I live up towards Cincinnati and will be looking to ride some on the Ohio River, as well as some lakes down in Central KY (obviously no salt water).

My budget is 4K and wanted to know if an 05 or 06 would be in my price range. I want to be able to go a decent speed (50-60 mph), and just want a PWC that is fun to ride and RELIABLE as long as it is maintained.


I hear Sea Doo's are the way to go, but i do know that Yamaha and Honda also have some nice models.

Any would advice would be MUCH APPRECIATED!! Hey Chris welcome to the forum. I see you are leaning towards a Seadoo ski, very good choice. Really the only two brands worth considering are Seadoo and Yamaha. Honda is out of the jet ski business so steer clear of them due bad parts and service availability. Kawasaki still makes skis but I personally would steer clear of them too due to inferior dealer network and low market share. For the price you are willing to spend you should be able to find a non-supercharged ski from Seadoo. I would recommend a GTX 155 four stroke model. Very dependable and safe. It is a three seat ski good for towing tubes. Stay away from two strokes as well. They are yesterdays technology and will soon be hard to own due to federal emissions getting tougher to pass. They also use two stroke oil which is expensive. There some good four stroke Yamahas as well the FX models are nice. You will hear other opinions that lean toward brand loyality. But take them all into consideration but base your choice on common sense facts.

Take Care and Good Luck

OUTLAW
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow good stuff thanks Outlaw!

I did actually find an 03 Yamaha Wave Runner GP800R last evening by my house. The seller said it tops out around 60 but it does have 143 hours on it. Would this be worth a look or should i stay away due to the high hours?
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RookiePWC20 View Post
Wow good stuff thanks Outlaw!

I did actually find an 03 Yamaha Wave Runner GP800R last evening by my house. The seller said it tops out around 60 but it does have 143 hours on it. Would this be worth a look or should i stay away due to the high hours?
I am fairly certain that is a two stroke ski bear in mind if it is you may not be able to use it in the future due to tightening emission regulations. Also because of that they are worth a lot less than more dependable and efficient four strokes, which equates to better fuel consumption. I would look at either the entry level VX Yamahas or the FX Yamahas if you find a Yamaha.

Later,

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh yea, about the hours. Hours of useage is a good baseline to follow. But remember an hour meter is only a record of time not events. It could have been abused or maintained well. Best test is a seatrial for sure. 134 hours on a 8 year old ski isn't too bad, about average I would say.


Good Luck,


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Old 02-19-2013, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello Rookie (we were all rookies at one point or the other),

Don't buy a Tigershark, Polaris, or Honda PWC unless it is really, really cheap, beacuse they don't make them anymore. It's hard to find mechanics that will touch them if they are older and especially if they are fuel injected. It gets harder and harder to find anything but used parts. Buying those brands can make the PWC hobby more frustrating than fun.

If you are handy with a wrench, and have access to the Internet and used parts, you may want to invest a few hundred dollars in one of the brands mentioned above, but do not do so if you are a novice at PWC repair.

As to what's left, we have Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Sea Doo, which are listed in my order of preference. When talking with PWC mechanics I have been told that Yamahas and Kawasakis mainly come into the garage for routine maintenance, while Sea Doos mainly come in for repairs. I do not doubt it.

I have owned a 1996 Tigershark, which bogged down after it warmed up; a 2002 Polaris, which quit running after the fuel pressure regulator and computer chip went out; and a 2006 Sea Doo four-stroke whose engine totally puked when the timing chain broke and all the valves and rods were bent after only 47 hours of use. Now I have 2 Yamaha XLT 1200 Waverunners. I prefer two-stroke, because they are easier to work on (and easier to find someone to work on them) and the engine usually does not cost as much to repair if something goes wrong, and Yamaha because of the reliability. The XLTs are the most comfortable and stable PWCs that I have owned. If your lower back hurts after riding on the PWC for half an hour it takes a lot of the fun out of riding.

Outlaw is correct though, environmental laws are cracking down on two-stroke engines in many places. It seems that there is a push to require all two-strokes to meet the 2006 emissions levels, which I suppose many do not. Of course, you could pick up a couple of cheap two-storkes for your money, use them until you can't any more, and then upgrade to a more expensive four stroke. Me, I follow the KISS principle, and believe that four strokes are more complicated (and expensive) than they are worth. Zero tolerance engines in a waverunner, ugggghhh!

One other belief that I have, which others may argue with, is that it is better to purchase a PWC with higher hours, that has been used (not abused) regularly, than a PWC with lower hours which has sat in the barn and not been used for a long time. Nothing hurts a PWC more than just sitting and not being used, outright abuse excepted, of course.

You need to think of your particular requirements when deciding on a specific brand and model, but at least try to stick with a brand that is still being made. You have to decide about new with warranty over used without warranty, and if you go with a used PWC you need to decide two-stroke or four-stroke, then what size of PWC/how many passengers. I have found typical three seaters to be good, all-around PWCs that will haul people and tubes with ease.

The ultimate in PWC ownership is to purchase a brand-new PWC, with the extended warranty, and then sell it the day before the extended warranty expires and buy a new PWC, with extended warranty, and then sell it the day before.... I think you get what I mean. But I don't have as much invested in the two XLTs that I have as a new PWC would cost, and I have heard of people buying used PWCs that perform flawlessly.

Hope my .02 has helped. I wish I had looked at a thread like this before I purchased the first two PWC, the Tigershark and Polaris (which I purchased together used). I would not have purchased them.

Also, by the way, I have found Flo's insurance to be the most reasonably priced. It was a lot less than adding the PWCs to my homeowner's policy or getting insurance through the other national boat insurance co.

Happy Boating

Zardoz


former sea doo owner, will never own one again

Last edited by ZARDOZ; 02-19-2013 at 03:59 PM. Reason: typo
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