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Hello All,

I am hoping that someone would be willing to offer a little advice to a first time jet ski purchaser. I am looking to buy a slightly used one and I have a couple of propects in the works. I am trying to decide what model to go with.

One model is a 2004 Yamaha GP1300R Waverunner and the other is a 2005 Honda Aquatrax F-12x Turbo.

According to what I have seen so far, both have the same amount of horsepower. The only major difference I've seen is that the yamaha is a 2-stroke and the Honda is a 4-stroke.

Both have decent prices for the make and amount of use so I'm just looking for some advice on performance and durability between the 2. Any advice anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
 

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Hello my friend. I just went through the same ordeal when I bought my first used PWC. This really could get extensive, and someone should make a checklist of items. Here goes:

First, think about what you want to use it for: salt or fresh water; two or three people; tow skiers or not; etc. I'd then research models for features that are in tune with what I want to use it for. Visit some dealerships and talk to the people there for advice. Sure, they'll show you what they have, but ask them what to look for in a used ski. My Yamaha dealer told me to look inside the hull for water lines (indicating it may have sunk). Check for rust on the bolt heads. Does it look well cared for (paint not faded, seats not ripped). Does everything work on it (steering, trim, and reverse move freely)? Does it start right up and idle smoothly? If the cables don't move freely, you can figure about $100 each to replace them, plus labor (at least on a Yamaha).

Sounds like you have a couple skis in mind, but consider that if you buy a turbo or even supercharged model, it's more that can go wrong, and those parts are very expensive. Also, the benefit of a four stroke over the two stroke is that you only need to change your oil every so often and will experience better gas mileage. Two strokes used to be faster engines, but I'm not sure that matters much today. Plus you have to buy Yamaha's special two stroke oil or you will risk damage to your engine. I can't tell you how many places I've read this and had people tell me face-to-face. At thirty bucks a gallon, it's not cheap!

Take some time to look around. Don't buy the first one you see. Prices are all over the board. I looked up used values (both retail and trade in) using Kelly Blue Book. I figured a price somewhere inbetween was good. I ended up buying a 2002 Yamaha XLT1200 with 73 hours, trailer with spare tire, a Yamaha cover, three life jackets, flush kit, 1/2 container of oil, and salt away for $4,500. It was in pristine shape and runs awesome. I've had it up to 60 mph so far, and that's plenty fast.

If I were to do it again, the only thing I probably would want to have checked before buying is the compression. The worst thing that can happen to a ski is to not use it. Then moisture builds up, gets in the engine, and damages it. I'm sure there's probably more I forgot, and others may have their own experience to add.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Shaker 1200,
Thanks very much for all the info, that was quite an extensive and thorough post and the information is very much appreciated. I was kind of figuring that the 2 stroke might be a little expensive to keep running.

May I ask what you mean when you said you should have got the compression checked (how or by whom is this done?) Please pardon my ignorance.

Thanks For your time

I would still like to hear from anyone who owns or has owned a Honda, i've had some experience with their atv's and they seem to be very well made but I know nothing about the quality of their pwc's. Any info is appreciated.
 

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A compression test measures the PSI (pounds per square inch) in a cylinder. Seems to be a common test for skis because if moisture gets into the cylinder, the rings go, and so does the compression and power. Now you're talking about an expensive engine rebuild. To measure the compression, you screw in a hose that is attached to a guage into the spark plug hole. You then turn over the engine to get a reading. Two stroke engines can have a PSI reading of anywhere from 80-140 PSI (verify with your manufacturer) and all cylinders should be about the same, give or take a few PSI. I've got a '70 Mustang Mach 1 that I do all the engine work on, so having some engine knowledge helps with skis.
 

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looking for first PWC also

I am also looking to buy a used PWC for my teenage duaghters to use on a fresh water lake. I have found a 2003 Honda R12X that has zero hours......seller says it is still in storage at the honda dealer. He purchased in 05 but has never put it in the water.
Would this be a good first PWC purchase for the family and what are the watch-outs ? Any idea on a good price ?
 
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