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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys thanks for taking the time to look at my post! First off let me apologize if this question has been asked, but after searching the forums I could not find it. I am new to PWC's and by new I mean I have never been on one in my life. That being said my family and I are moving to Texas and we are interested in getting set up with a couple of jet skis that will be capable of an adult and one or two (I have 3 daughters) small children on the ski. I would like to be able to have a ski that can pull my kids on a tube, basic sort of fun, quality and longevity over speed (I have a crotch rocket for that).

I am looking locally here in Kentucky but am not sure what sorts of questions to ask or what I can look for on the ski to help decide if they are worth the money. If there is a buying guide any of you more experienced members could point me to that would be great!

Anyways thanks alot for looking, any advice would be greatly appreciated, and I hope you all have a safe memorial day weekend!

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354 Posts
First, welcome to the site!

A few things to look for. Has the ski been ridden in fresh or salt water? Salt water is not really a bad thing if it has been properly cleaned but if it hasn't been, then the salt will destroy everything. If it has been in salt water a majority of the time, here is what you need to ask to make sure it has been done. The si flushed out with fresh water from the hose for at least 15 minutes after it was ridden in the salt water. That is an absolute must no exceptions. If it has not been, then walk away. Next, was the ski washed afterwards and then WD-40'd in the engine compartment and on all moving parts and metal? This is not as critical but still, it is a good idea. I have a 96' Kawasaki 750 SXI stand up jet ski that has probably well over 100 hours on it and maybe all of those hours but 10 to 15 at the most are in salt water but the the thing still runs great because it has been well taken care of.

Next, what kind of fuel has been put in the ski? If it is the cheap Save O' Buck fuel, you will have problems! I have run Premium 93' or 91' octane from places like Shell and so on in my ski's from day one and as a result, my ski's last a long time and still run like champs! If the person has run the mid grade or low grade fuel, plan on having problems much quicker. Some will disagree with me on this but you will never convince me other wise. I have seen it too many times.

Look at all of the hoses and wires and see what kind of condition they are in. Same with the spark plugs.

How does the ski run out of the water and in it? Does it start up easily even when cold? If it is cold and is not a fuel injected model, it is normal to have it start up after a few times of trying.

Ask the person if the ski has ever been damaged or has it ever sunk or taken on water? If so, why and was the issue resolved? Have there been any major or minor repairs and if so, what and why did the parts break?

As far as brands go, I am partial to Kawasaki and Yamaha. They have been doing this the longest and have the best technology. Again, my one jet ski is a 96 and still runs like new. My other is a 99' and it is the same thing with it. With the exception of my 96' stand up sinking at the river back in 99', I have never had an issue with either ski other than replacing the batteries. The 96' sank because we believe of a bad seal over the engine hood but it was fixed along with the parts that were ruined from the water and unless I told you the ski sunk, you would never know?

For your family, I would look at getting a 3 seater that is at least an 1100. Some State laws very from place to place as far as if you can tow someone or not and I don't recall what Texas' is? Some places like Nebraska, you can tow however many people behind your ski that you can physically tow. Some other States like Colorado, require your jet ski to only tow 1 person behind you if you have a 3 seater because they figurte you need yourself for the driver, a flag person behind you and room on the ski for the person being towed. If you have a 2 seater, they look at that as too unsafe and thus illegal. We go to Nebraska to ride now because I like to tow my kids behind the ski on what one of those inflatable things designed to be towed by a boat or ski. I have just myself as the operator and flag man and where we go, it is never really crowded and I stay close enough to shore that should something happen, the kids don't get stranded in the water.

Also, if you want longevity over speed, get one that is stock. Maybe a different ride plate and/or intake grate but one that the motor is left alone. An 1100 or bigger will still go plenty fast enough to have fun on. Even if you ski only does mid 50's, that is totally different on water than it is on the road.

Any other questions just ask.
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