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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm pretty new to PWC's but I'm looking at buying one soon. I don't really know a lot about them so I need help deciding what kind to look for. Here's what I'm hoping to get:

- Something under $5000 with trailer
- PWC's with 3 or 4 seats are preferable, but 2 seats would be alright. The number of seats isn't a big deal breaker but it would be nice.
- As much horsepower as possible within the price constraint.
- Fairly reliable. I am a fairly adept self-taught mechanic when it comes to my car so I know how to take care of things/make minor repairs but I would like something that doesn't need tons of upkeep.
- I have no preference when it comes to 2-stroke vs 4-stroke.
- The Big One: I like wakeboarding but we've recently moved and since I am in college when I come home for the summer I don't know anybody. Where I used to live I got to go out on friends boats all the time but now this isn't possible. I obviously don't have any money and my parents have shot down the idea of getting a boat, but they seem pretty willing to get a PWC. I would like to get one to wakeboard off of, along with all the other fun things that go along with PWC's.
 

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I would follow BamaDave's advice, and look for a 4 stroke Yamaha (or maybe even a Kawasaki, but they don't appear on the used market in the same volume). You SHOULD be able to get a couple year old Yamaha in your price range. Heck, I have seen some demo PWC lately that were close to your price range (and those are legally new, though they have hours on them).

The Yamaha should be nice and reliable, and the 4 strokes *generally* sip the gas rather than guzzle it, but that is very subject to how you ride it.

As for pulling a wake board, it depends on the weight of all folks involved, but MOST multi-seat PWC should be up to the task.

Check craigslist in your area as a good starting point, then check the local paper, and THEN the local dealers.

shooter
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alright thanks, 4-stroke Yamaha, that sounds good to me. Any specific models that are known to be good you could suggest?

I was checking websides like ebay.com and pwc-traderonline.com but I hadn't though to check craigslist and others.
 

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I own 2 '06 VX 110 Deluxe, not the fastest but enough for me and my family. The differences in the VX are, vx110 sport, different seat/no mirrors and no reverse, vx110 cruiser-bigger seat-reverse and mirrors, Deluxe-seat-mirrors-reverse-and security system. Study, study, study, so there aren't any surprises once you buy. See if you can find somebody with the machine you're interested in and see if you can test ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I saw the VX they seem to be the choice for rental agencies because they are good solid machines that get the job done. I was thinking about getting an '02 FX140 or one of the FX series for the extra power. This could be hard to come by with the under $5k price limit though.

I'm not sure how much power I would need to pull a wakeboarder. Plus, I wouldn't mind just driving them fast. Another alternative would be to buy a VX and I could possibly put some of my own money into upgraded internals and/or using forced induction. In fact if we went with and older base model VX series it could be possible to get two and I could take one of them as my own to tool with.

Does anybody know the various weights that these have? Is it possible to get one with a ballast (I realize this is unlikely -- impossible maybe?) or has anybody heard of using fat sacs? I know they don't throw off much of a wake but has anybody experimented with trying to get extra wake for wakeboarding?
 
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