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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello there, I'm new to the PWC world. I planning on purchasing a jetski when I'm finished with this deployment.
I'm not sure if I should get a sit down, or a standing jetski.
I live in Florida and I'm going to be using them in Salt water a lot. I also plan on doing some distance on them, so fuel economy is something I'm also looking for.


What brands do you recommend?


What problems should I look for when purchasing used from a dealer? What parts of the watercraft should I check so I'm certain I'm not purchasing a damaged product?

How do you guys maintain your ski, and how long of a life span can I except from them?

I really want to get started off on the right foot with this, so any other advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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getting a ski

If you plan on riding over long distances you'll want a runabout. As far as fuel economy, the bigger the engine the more gas it uses. Four stroke engines, will provide you with little to no maintance save that any machine used in salt water will need to be flushed with clean water after every use. If you can afford a four stroke (generally newer) get that. There are alot of good deals out there on two stroke touring models from all manufactures. Avoid machines that have been modified. Often older folks that bought machines for grand kids to use can be purchased cheaply and they are well maintained.
hope this helps.
 

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Definatley go with a sit down, much more practical especially considering you want to ride long distances. How much you have to spend? Will you be riding alone or with someone?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I have about 15,000 free, but I want to spend 6k at the most, which is why I'm going used. But at the same time I want something kind of new, so, it's kind of a dilemma. I've been checking out the Yamaha site. I really want the PWC for myself, but a two seater wouldn't be bad. Depending on what I find I'll spend a little bit more if I have to.
 

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I have about 15,000 free, but I want to spend 6k at the most, which is why I'm going used. But at the same time I want something kind of new, so, it's kind of a dilemma. I've been checking out the Yamaha site. I really want the PWC for myself, but a two seater wouldn't be bad. Depending on what I find I'll spend a little bit more if I have to.

There aren't any single seat PWCs on the market any more so your choice is between a 2 or 3 seater. The Yamaha FZR is a great watcraft but it just came out in 2009 so I don't think you can get one for $6 grand. You can easily get an 04-08 SeaDoo RXP for that money though. Another great choice.
 

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Any tips on oil/fuel mixtures, engine cleaners, stuff like that?

On a 4 stroke you don't mix gasoline with oil. The engine just burns pure gasoline. You said you want something newer so I'm guessing you'll probably end up with a 4 stroke. If you don't mind a 2 stroke I'd go with an 07 or 08 Yamaha GP1300r. It's a fast, powerful, stable 2 seater that looks great.

I spray my engine with silicone spray and wipe it down.
 

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I agree with most of the above posts. Definitely look at a 4 stroke. 2 storke skis are yesterday's technology. The newer 4 strokes are easier to maintain and more reliable over the long term, but can be more expensive to repair when they do break.

Like anything else, how long a ski will last depends on how thorough you do your care and maintanence. With salt water use that will mean religious flushing after each ride, spraying on anti-corrosive lubricants, keeping the oil and filter changed, etc.. I've got friends with salt water skis that have over 500 hours and are still running good. On the otherhand, I've seen neglected skis with less than 50 hours with completely ruined engines.

In your price range I'd recommend a used Yamaha FX, FX HO, or VX. Stay away from supercharged or turbocharged engines, especially in salt water. The Yamaha VX will give you the best gas mileage of any ski (2 or 4 stroke)........and I'm talking 3-4 mpg better than any other ski. It is a fairly stable ski and can haul up to 3 riders and tow a tube or wakeboarder. The ride on a VX is a little bouncy and you will get wet in the chop. Top speed is around 54 mph. With the FX model you get a more stable, dryer, ride at the same speed, at the cost of a little less fuel efficiency. With the FX HO you get stability, a dry ride, and more speed (around 60 mph). Fuel efficiency with the FX HO is again less than with the VX or FX, but still very good compared to other models (SeaDoo, Honda, Kawasaki). For around $6000 you can find a good low hour VX, FX, or FX HO with a trailer (even less for the VX).
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Big thanks guys. My original plan was to buy it in Florida and use it when I come down on Leave, and four day weekends. Probably going to get it in Kansas and ride around in one of the big lakes near Riley. That way I have something to keep me sane between the weeks in the B's. :)

Edit: now the real challenge is finding a dealer who sells a jetski I want in kansas
 
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