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I have $2500 to buy a used jet ski and am looking at jet ski's built in the mid 90's to late 90's. Primary use will be on Lake Huron (Great Lakes). I want a reliable, not expense to repair/easy to work on and stable jet ski. I will be giving my young children rides on calm water days and do not want to roll over when stopped and traumatize them. I am 6'2 270 so I need something with power also. What brand/model should I look for to buy? Things to check out such as compression,etc? Thanks in advance to all who reply.
 

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Do you want a 2 or 3 seater? If a 2 seater get a 97-99 Yamaha GP1200. Stable, powerful, and a blast to ride.

If you want a 3 seater get an 800 powered SeaDoo or Yamaha XLT1200.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Is this model as stable as a 3 seater? Not prone to roll overs when stopped?
 

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I found a 97 Sea Doo XP for sale. Are these stable or prone to roll over when sitting on the water?
 

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If you want maximum stability and resistance against roll overs when sitting definitely do not get a 97 XP. Or any XP for that matter. Sounds to me like a 3 seater would be best for your needs. I would recommend three machines

95-97 Yamaha WaveVenture 1100

98 and up Yamaha XLT1200

SeaDoo GTX

And to answer your question, yes the GP1200 is stable for a 2 seater but of coarse not like a 3 seater though. I never had a passenger on it so I can't comment how stable it is riding 2 up.
 

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Any class 3 power boat over a decade old is going to develop issues on a given timeline. If you want cost effective to repair then I would rule out a SeaDoo. If you want ease of maintenance, I would shy away from a Yamaha. If you want platform stability, Kawasaki's are probably not your #1 choice. It is going to come down to your budget and realistically, buying a 12+ year old $2500 watercraft and not expecting to put a dime into it is a fantasy. For the specifications you listed, my money would be on a 2000 Kawasaki 1100di. While it might not get top marks in all your categories, I would call it the best over all. That hull is stable, they are getting cheaper with age, and if you can find one that hasn't been abused, they perform well and they aren't too difficult to work on at all.
 

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DW1976 I forgot to add. If you want maximum reliability look for a pwc with a blown motor, buy it dirt cheap, and have an independent PWC repair shop rebuild the engine (not dealer, you'll get ripped off and work will most likely be subpar.) And wala, you have a jetski with essentially a new engine that will last you many seasons. Thats how I I do it at least. Worked great for me so far.
 

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You are kidding me right? Did you just tell this member to buy a ski with a blown engine, then instruct to have it repaired, and say that they will save money and have a reliable ski? I take issue with that. That is a recipe for disaster.
 

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You are kidding me right? Did you just tell this member to buy a ski with a blown engine, then instruct to have it repaired, and say that they will save money and have a reliable ski? I take issue with that. That is a recipe for disaster.
No I am not kidding, you buy a ski with a blown motor for dirt cheap have it fully rebuilt totaling the same money it would cost to buy a running unit that can blow at any time. You essentially have a new 0 hour motor. Just because an engine has been rebuilt does not mean it will be "unreliable."
 
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