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Posted this over in the general thread with no luck so far. Hoping the Yamaha enthusiasts can help me with a few questions...

Greetings all.

I've been kind of itching for a ski since I started going down to my MIL's lake house for a few years now and riding them at various rental places. There are a few lakes and a river nearby that would work as well so have started looking into it more.

Specifically, I have been looking at the Yamaha VX Cruiser HO (new). Having a few kids, I want something that could pull a tube and also want plenty of power with some creature comforts for just when wife and I are cruising the larger lakes. I've ridden ski's several times but not this specific model, although it does seem to get good reviews. I know the local place will let me test drive it no problem though. Now, on to the questions...

1. What is your opinion of the ski I am considering?
2. When is the best time to get a ski? I always have heard after July 4th but wondered if there was really a "sweet spot" of when the dealers are really looking to move inventory. I'm not in a huge hurry so can afford to wait it out even if it means I won't be riding until next year.
3. How much off retail to the dealers move, i.e. what is a good deal? The 2019 ski in question retails for $11,499, however, I have seen it at the local place for $9,799 and on PWCTrader for $8,999. What would you guys consider a decent deal?
4. What is a good price for a trailer (single for now, if wife digs it may get another, we'll see)
5. Are you limited to pulling one tube or can you pull two with this model? I know that adds up to four people (two tubers, driver and spotter) but lets assume we could load up easily at the boat slip (like I can at my MIL's place). For reference my kids weight around 100 lbs each right now.
5. What other things am I missing or should I ask about? Anything you have learned over your time with skis you can share that may help a new guy out?

Much thanks for any responses!
RT
 

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Posted this over in the general thread with no luck so far. Hoping the Yamaha enthusiasts can help me with a few questions...

Greetings all.

I've been kind of itching for a ski since I started going down to my MIL's lake house for a few years now and riding them at various rental places. There are a few lakes and a river nearby that would work as well so have started looking into it more.

Specifically, I have been looking at the Yamaha VX Cruiser HO (new). Having a few kids, I want something that could pull a tube and also want plenty of power with some creature comforts for just when wife and I are cruising the larger lakes. I've ridden ski's several times but not this specific model, although it does seem to get good reviews. I know the local place will let me test drive it no problem though. Now, on to the questions...

1. What is your opinion of the ski I am considering?
2. When is the best time to get a ski? I always have heard after July 4th but wondered if there was really a "sweet spot" of when the dealers are really looking to move inventory. I'm not in a huge hurry so can afford to wait it out even if it means I won't be riding until next year.
3. How much off retail to the dealers move, i.e. what is a good deal? The 2019 ski in question retails for $11,499, however, I have seen it at the local place for $9,799 and on PWCTrader for $8,999. What would you guys consider a decent deal?
4. What is a good price for a trailer (single for now, if wife digs it may get another, we'll see)
5. Are you limited to pulling one tube or can you pull two with this model? I know that adds up to four people (two tubers, driver and spotter) but lets assume we could load up easily at the boat slip (like I can at my MIL's place). For reference my kids weight around 100 lbs each right now.
5. What other things am I missing or should I ask about? Anything you have learned over your time with skis you can share that may help a new guy out?

Much thanks for any responses!
RT
Roy,
Hi, welcome aboard.
I'll give you what I can as I have only older 2Stroke skis.
The vx cruiser is a good ski based on what knowledge I have of them. It will easily pull a tube. 2 may be pushing the limit on any ski. Tubes create quite a bit of drag. I pull 2 teen girls behind a 97 wave venture 1100 on a single tube or hot dog.
As for best time to buy, around this time of year they usually start pushing sales. And making package deals. Ski/trailer.

As for cost. It all varies widely by region so what may be a great deal here may not be there. That being said. To me it comes down to how well you can talk the dealer down and where you feel good about the purchase ?. Work on them to throw in a cover, trailer, vests, what ever you may need. How much they deal is also based on do they have it already on the lot. or are they ordering it. If it's on there lot it's costing them money and need to move it to make money. One big piece of advice I can't push enough though. DO NOT take possession of the ski before you do a thorough once over. Especially on the underside for deep scratches, Nicks, and gouges. The paint on these skis is delicate. Use what you find as a bargaining chip.

Trailer cost again varies based on manufacturer and model. Galvanized, aluminum, painted. Single galvanized and I'm guessing here around 600/700.

Aways flush and wash ski after use. Keep corrosion down and value up. Especially if saltwater riding. And if in saltwater use saltaway/salt terminator in your flush.
Another point of info ask this same question on greenhulk.net in the 4stoke Yamaha or Yamaha open discussion.

Hope this helps with some of your info needed. I'm not real familiar with the new market for skis. As I prefer the older 2 Stokes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dave -

Thanks so much for the detailed and through response, I appreciate your willingness to help out the new guy :)

I won't be doing any saltwater action as I have ridden in the ocean several times and, from most of my experiences, it just beats the snot out of your where its not really enjoyable, just my opinion. I am methodical at taking care of my stuff though...my dad made us kids help wash the family boat after every outing and that has stuck with me.

Thanks again.
Roy
 

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No problem Roy. Wish I could have you a little more specifics but just don't have them. Gave you what I'm aware of and or have heard.
 

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one other thing you might want to consider. The 4 stroke big yamahas are heavy. Consider what you plan to tow it with. Any truck or full size suv will handle it but I see some folks trying to tow them with small cars or the small crossovers...
 

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Thanks for the input on the weight. I have a full size F150 and my wife has a 4 door Jeep. Either will pull with no problem but certainly something to consider.

Thanks all!
 

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"FIRST TIME BUYER QUESTIONS" CONT:
From Peter on 9 Aug. 19

You raised some good questions in your lengthy post. Perhaps you can benefit from my experience.

First, in any given price range, from the "entry level" skis like the SPORT and the Yamaha EX, you will find in terms of weight SEADOO is the lightest, YAMAHA's are heavier, and KAWASAKI's are the heaviest. Assuming a half-way decent trailer (you should be able to pick up a good used one for a few hundred dollars), given the kind of vehicles you have, they are sufficiently powerful they wont even feel the weight!.

My SEA DOO GTX ( a three seater) has been superb - trouble free. Turns out since I bought mine, SEA DOO has moved mfg. to Mexico, with some models now made out of a plastic that MAY not prove as tough as fiberglass hulls in service.

Not clear why you are not interested in at least an occasional open ocean run. That's fun - why not have that capability? Which may rule out modern SeaDoos - read somewhere the advertising admits it is for "calmer water" operation. Since SEA DOOS are now made in Mexico, that would rule it out for me.

That gets us to a choice between Kawasaki and Yamaha. I don't think you could go wrong with either - superb quality and tough hulls. Bear in mind that most dealers do not have charity licenses - they are in business to make money. Want cheap ? Wait till a cold rainy day in Feb...you MIGHT get a slightly better deal, both new or used, during the winter.

WARNING - seems, at least in the case of YAMAHA - they pulled a cheap trick dangerous to the consumer, without telling us in advance in their advertising - cannot be towed at more than 5 mph - you have to install a special valve in the water cooling line buried deep in the hull., and remember to operate it correctly each time you use it after a tow.
 

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Thank you 6686L for the post. I'm not opposed to open ocean but, living in Illinois, it's not like one is close to do that and I probably wouldn't want to trailer it that far (or just drive that far in general). SeaDoo's are out for me based on your comments (and others) about the hull weaknesses on the newer models.

I'm not looking for charity by any stretch, just trying to find the sweet spot at buying time. I've owned and traded probably some 25 cars in my life so very comfortable with that, just wanted to know more about working with PWC sellers. I'm not looking for the "unreal" deal and be a tight ass, just a fair one and didn't know what the markdowns off retail look like. I guess since the model I found retails for around 11,600, the fact you can get them for 9800 at this time (advertised on local dealer website), helps, but just wanted to know what others would expect to pay. Is the 9800 the bottom dollar, or is there more room? I think in Alabama I saw one new for 8900.

Thanks much on the comment about towing. Totally unaware of that and very useful information. Do other skis have the same issue, just out of curiosity as, unless the test drive really sucks, the VX Cruiser HO is what I'm leaning towards.
 

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@6686L

If you'd clarify for a new member the History Mystery:
By "towing at 5-mph" you're referring to in-the-water towing, correct, as in 5-knots/hr.? Can you elaborate on the dirty trick Yamaha pulled-- how was it before, and what are the mechanics that limit to towing that slowly?
 

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@6686L

If you'd clarify for a new member the History Mystery:
By "towing at 5-mph" you're referring to in-the-water towing, correct, as in 5-knots/hr.? Can you elaborate on the dirty trick Yamaha pulled-- how was it before, and what are the mechanics that limit to towing that slowly?
=================================================

Good question. Turns out Yamaha isn't the only one who is pulling this dirty truck on consumers. Someone pointed out that both SeaDoo and Kawa. also have designed this failure-mode into their cooling systems.

I have no idea when they started doing this. Years ago, we bought the biggest, fastest, most powerful ski avail. at the time. Three seater. Powerful enough that we have towed our boat with it when the boat broke down. Been towing that ski all over down thru the years; still runs as new - including several trips behind our BayLiner Contessa (a big ocean-going cabin cruiser capable of 25+ mph) out to & back from Catalina Island (off the So. Calif Coast). At times, in water so rough the ski would occasionaly get nearly buried as waves crashed over the bridge of our cabin cruiser...2nd story height. That's our SeaDoo GTX, new in 1993.

The "mechanics" ( meaning the design/engineering) that guarantee destruction of the motor if you violate the towing speed restriction?

The way ALL of them have, in more recent years, designed their cooling systems, towing at anything over a slow walk will force water into the engine.

First time after water gets in it you try and crank it, say good-bye to your motor (you should have learned about "hydraulic lock" in your high school physics class - they do still teach physics in high schools..?)

Aftermarket mfgs. have jumped on this - I have already install a simple shut-off valve by WAVE EATER. Trouble is - to get to it you 1) have to remember, or you WILL ruin your motor) have to lift out the seat and then the storage compartment.

As noted above, the solution is about twenty bucks with of "off-the-shelf" parts, that would keep that water supply line closed except when the motor is running.

I "get it"....by engineering the cooling systems this way, the mfgs. can get you, if you fail to go thru their manuals with diligence & find the "small print". No warranty claim, because that kind of damage is not covered.

You going to stand there with your bare face hanging out and try and tell me the mfgs. don't know that many consumers tow their skis behind larger boats? This is consumer fraud, pure and simple.
 

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I didn't use the wave eater valve. I went through home depots web site. ordered a valve from rainbird. 1/2" barbed for 2.50. then went to auto store and bought 2 claps for $2. Matter of fact it looks to be the same valve.
 

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Dave in DE,
1/ Would you kindly post photos of parts (valve, clamps, etc.) you installed for this fix?

2/ What happens if you forget to turn the valve back when running engine in normal conditions (not towing)?
 

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Dave in DE,
1/ Would you kindly post photos of parts (valve, clamps, etc.) you installed for this fix?

2/ What happens if you forget to turn the valve back when running engine in normal conditions (not towing)?
Sorry for late reply, missed post.

Pic 1&2 show the valve installed. Pic 2 shows green on the flush line going down to the circled Y connection. The valve in the blue colored line is the incoming cooling line to the Y. Beyond the Y is the motor.
The 3&4 pics are the valve on home Depot website.
The clamps are ordinary 1/2 automotive fuel line clamps.

I use this valve for flushing. Buy closing it I force all the hose water through the motor. Then I open to let motor drain.
I make it part of my pre launch to check valve. Just like checking the drain plugs are in.

If you didn't open this valve and rode the ski the motor would cook in seconds. By the time the warning sounds you'd probably be on fire. With no water to help transfer the temp to the sensor, it could be awhile before it would even register.
 

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Roy,

About a month ago, I got two (2) VX Cruisers, a double trailer with a spare tire out the door for $23,500. It only came with a fire extinguisher, no covers, etc., but that was the best deal I could negotiate between Savannah and Charleston.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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