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I'm new to jets skis (and water craft) in general. I've used them occasionally, but never owned one, and i'm thinking of picking up two jet skis for next season. I've got two boys that will be 14 & 16 by that time. I was thinking of getting one 3-seater so we could pull a tube/skier, and then either a sporty two-seater, or maybe a stand-up model. I have a bunch of questions, but i'll just ask a few for now:

1) Is it easy to find quality used ones, or is it best to go new instead of risking a maintenance headache? Do they hold their value or are used machines a significant savings?

2) Are there any make/models that are recommended as far as reliability or most "bang for the buck"?

3) Are stand-up models the most fun for solo riding, or do most of you prefer the spotier sit-down styles?

Thanks for any help!
 

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The legal age for most states for a person to operate a pwc is 16, however some states require a boating license on top of that. I think Seadoo would be the best way to go if you are looking for a new machine. Its basically a one stop shop, the RXT (3 seater, 215hp) and the RXP (Sitdown 215hp 2 seater) or the 3D ("Stand-up"). If you want to look at used watercraft make sure to request a sea-trial. Check all of the electrical functions, body quality, and that the craft can reach high rpm's. Personally I would look at the 3D for your older son, it is a great craft to get started on from the stand-up point of view, and if he gets tired of riding stand-up there are always a bunch of other riding options. A 3D is probably harder to find used, they are a fairly new model and have only been around for a few years. Used RXT's can be great DEPENDING ON THE OWNER, REQUEST A SEA-TRIAL. Look to see that they are also running at top speed, if it is not then the owner probably never broke in the craft correctly, and there would be a possibility of other problems (I've seen a friend blow a supercharger after purchasing a RXT second hand with only a few hours on it, all the result of the owner not breaking it in and not telling my friend that he didn't, not fun!) Good luck with your search.
 

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Finding used crafts is not hard in my area but I don't know where you are. There is 2 crafts in the paper right now just like mine. 2 2004 Kawasaki 15f's, these are fun boats. They are 3 seaters, naturally aspirated and quick. Pull a tube great and just all around fun. Buying used supercharged skis would scare me seeing as though they do come apart and are expensive to fix. The kawasaki doesn't have a turbo or supercharger so it is relatively less risk. When looking for a watercraft I would insist the ski be totally stock. Anyone trying to fix it to go faster probably ran it hard. I now have 176 hours on mine and they run great. Top speed is around 61 which is good for an 04 model of any kind. If you insist on a 2 seater and don't want the fastest boat out there I would get a non-turbo honda R12. Just check them all out real well. It should look pretty much brand new outside, this will tell you they took good care of it inside and out.
 
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