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I'm new to the board and actually new to the Tampa, FL area as well. I'm originally from Milwaukee, WI where you can only use a PWC 3-4 months out of the year. Now that I live in Florida I am seriously looking into buying a couple for my partner and I. I have done some pretty extensive research the past few weeks and still have a few questions on them that I have listed below. If anyone would mind helping me out and / or suggesting a few PWCs for me to look at I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

1. In general with cars Honda and Toyota are known as the "reliable" brands. Is there any brand of PWC that is known as this? I'm currently looking at either Honda or Sea Doo.

2. I've ridden both a 2 seater and 3 seater jet ski before, and it seems to me that there is a very big difference in manuverability between the 2. The problem is I've only driven the 2 seater on a private lake with no wake. Could someone give me some pros and cons on the 2 and 3 seater jet skis? Right now i'm leaning towards the 2 seater because it's smaller, lighter and can turn easier, but I want all the info I can get before buying. I'm a little worried that Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico might make riding a 2 seater a little harder.

3. Is there really that big of a difference between the RXP 215 HP and the RXP-X? Obviously 40 HP, but is the X really worth the extra 2-3 grand?

4. Be it that I'm in Tampa I've heard the best time to buy jet skis is in the summer because a lot of people come down in the winter to their winter homes and buy them then. Does anyone know if this is true?

5. How negotiable are jet skis? I know with new cars you can usually get 1-4 grand off MSRP. I also need a trailer so I will take that into account as well, but with the economy in the crapper I would assume the market for jet skis are down so you can get some pretty good deals. Is this assumption right? Also, can anyone give me any ideas of what they have actually paid for theirs?

Thanks again for everyones help!!
 

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Good questions

1. In general with cars Honda and Toyota are known as the "reliable" brands. Is there any brand of PWC that is known as this? I'm currently looking at either Honda or Sea Doo.

2. I've ridden both a 2 seater and 3 seater jet ski before...

3. Is there really that big of a difference between the RXP 215 HP and the RXP-X? Obviously 40 HP, but is the X really worth the extra 2-3 grand?

4. ...best time to buy jet skis...?

5. How negotiable are jet skis?...

Thanks again for everyones help!!
1. I just bought a new Kawasaki on the recommendation of three salesmen and two mechanics (at different stores, in different contexts). I have heard good things about the Hondas, and I used to own Yamaha motorcycles, so I was fairly happy with the idea of any of those three. I have BEEN TOLD (no firsthand experience) that Sea-Doos have longevity problems. One dealer told me, "If you buy a new Sea-Doo, and it survives to 300 hours, bring it here, and I will pay you what you paid for it, AND give you one of mine." Now, he may be exaggerating (no doubt he was), but that store had quit selling Sea-Doo's over warranty service problems.

2. The three seater has the advantage of being able to carry an observer if you are ever pulling a towable or a skier. This may or may not be important to you. Also, I have actually USED all three seats on mine a handful of times already (but only with little kids). Also, the three seater is a pretty stable platform in both flat and choppy conditions. Finally, don't discount the manueverability of a 3 seater. My Kawi 15F has a TON of power, and remember, and as a result can execute some pretty impressive turns.

3. I wouldn't pay extra for 215HP. My Kawi has 160HP, and even with my big-butt on it, I can do 58mph in flat water on a stock ski. Believe me, this is exciting enough. I have ZERO interest in going faster.

4. The "best time" depends on whether you are buying new or used. I bought new, and took advantage of the fact that the dealer isn't moving much inventory and needs to make room for the 4-wheelers that are beginning to come in now for fall. There are ALWAYS good deals out there on used ones.

5. I didn't have to negotiate much. The dealer said, "we are slow, so let me cut to the chase...." and by the time he was done we bought the ski for $200 off list, got the trailer for free, and bought the extended warranty (three years worth) for a significant discount. We still paid freight (~$300) and set-up (~$275), but left very happy. I HIGHLY reccomend you take a look at the new Kawasakis, the STX-15F is a three seater with 160HP that LISTS for $8099.

Good luck, and have fun.

shooter
 
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