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AS you mentioned, the type of maintenance that the equipment gets will define how long it lives. That said, I just bought a new Kawasaki STX-15f, after doing lots of research and surfing forums. If you want the most reliable ski out there, IMHO get a Yamaha. They seem to have the best reputation, but it comes at a price. I paid $7300 for new 2010 15f. Just too good of deal to pass up and 160HP to boot. From what I can tell, the naturally aspirated Kawasaki is as good as the Yamaha. I did see quite a few issues with the Kawasaki supercharged skis though…

In speaking with folks at the lake, reading reviews and scrubbing the forums, it was my perception that Sea Doo had the most issues. They have taken smaller engine and tweaked the heck out of it to get the same power that the larger displacement skis have. If it burns twice as bright, it only burns half as long, right? That said, I have also spoken with folks that have had Sea Doo for years and never had a lick of issues. You can still find Honda brand new at dealers. I get the impression that the engine is pretty good on the Honda, but the hull is not that good of a design.
 
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