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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lately we have been getting a lot of threads asking the same generic question of "what should I get for a first jet ski." I put together this guide and made it a sticky to help new buyers:

First off decide if you want a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke engine. The first 4 stroke watercraft hit the market in 2002 and were very reliable but rather slow. Each have certain advantages and disadvantages. Let's start with the older 2 strokes.

Pros

+Light weight

+Simple

+Less expensive to rebuild if they blow

Cons

-Shorter service life than 4 stroke

-More vibration prone

-Use oil and pollute more

4 stroke


Pros

+Reliability

+Quieter and smoother

+More powerful (later models)

Cons

-Heavy

-More expensive to rebuild than 2 stroke


Next decide what seating capacity you want, a 2 or 3 seater. There were also 1 seater watercraft made in the 90's like the SeaDoo HX and Yamaha WaveBlaster. These models are very fun to ride but tricky to board in deep water. In the early- mid 2000's both SeaDoo and Yamaha made 4 seater models. If you ride 3 up or tour long distances one of these might be best for you.

Lastly take into account what kind of water conditions you will be riding in because certain models just handle the chop better than others.

If buying a 2 stroke, here is a good video on the most important thing to check, compression! Also shine a flashlight into the back of the jet pump and look at the impeller. The edges should be free of chips and other imperfections. Look underneath the hull and see what the bottom of the hull looks like. If it is severely scratched up it means the person beached the machine.
 

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Jacksonville, Florida

Nice thread!

I live in Jacksonville, Florida. I'll be riding in just about all waters. Ocean, intercoastal, river, the creeks, lakes, etc. probably mostly salt water and probably usually rougher chop.

I'm looking at one of the new yamaha's. I get a discount so thats why.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice thread!

I live in Jacksonville, Florida. I'll be riding in just about all waters. Ocean, intercoastal, river, the creeks, lakes, etc. probably mostly salt water and probably usually rougher chop.

I'm looking at one of the new yamaha's. I get a discount so thats why.

Thoughts?
Avoid the VX line and look at FX or FZ machines if you need a rough water ski.
 

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PWC Newbie

Hello All,

I live in Cocoa Florida and I am in the market to purchase a PWC. I know a lot about engines and mechanics but I know virtually nothing about water craft of any kind . I am looking to buy used and I am looking for some education on what to watch out for when shopping. I am looking for a 4 stroke machine, 2 or 3 seater, for everything from riding the early morning glass of the inter coastal to riding heavy swells and chopped up angry seas. My future machine will be primarily used in salt water and I do want the ability to pull an tube or skier. I have heard good things about Yamaha and I like Honda products but I do not know how they measure up in the PWC market. Any input, advice, education will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Greg
 

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Comparing skis solely on rough water riding capability,
how would you guys rate different models in order thanks


Have F12X 2007, attached photos are about as rough as i can go comfortably

regards

:dunno::dunno::dunno::dunno:
 

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Comparing skis solely on rough water riding capability,
how would you guys rate different models in order thanks
Here is my rating for best rough water 4 stroke skis:
1. Kaw Ultra models (300 and LX)
2. 2012 Yamaha FX HO and SHO (recent ride reports suggest this may tie or replace the Kaw as #1).
3. SeaDoo skis with the S3 hull (GTX, RXT, and Wake Pro models)
4. 2011 and earlier Yamaha FX, FX HO, and SHO skis
5. 2009 and earlier SeaDoo GTX, and RXT
6. Yamaha FZR/FZS
7. SeaDoo RXP
8. SeaDoo GTI, GTR, GTS
9. Honda F15(X)
10. Kaw 15F
11. Yamaha VX, VXR/VXS, and Honda F12(X) all about the same
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Comparing skis solely on rough water riding capability,
how would you guys rate different models in order thanks


Have F12X 2007, attached photos are about as rough as i can go comfortably

regards

:dunno::dunno::dunno::dunno:

I can not really comment as I never rode any of the late model 4 stroke watercraft but I do love that riding spot. Where is that?
 

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I live in near South Padre Island Texas and we have a huge bay that usually has calm waters. I have used several waverunners before but never owned one much less know anything about them. I would like to purchase one this summer but would like a recommendation for mainly bay side riding for an new beginner. I plan on taking my wife and 3 year old daughter with me every once in a while. Also, here's another question folks, what kind of trailer do you recommend and do I need plate tags for it? Price on a decent used trailer? Thanks guys and I'm sorry I ask these questions but I'm reading and learning from you all as I go along.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I live in near South Padre Island Texas and we have a huge bay that usually has calm waters. I have used several waverunners before but never owned one much less know anything about them. I would like to purchase one this summer but would like a recommendation for mainly bay side riding for an new beginner. I plan on taking my wife and 3 year old daughter with me every once in a while. Also, here's another question folks, what kind of trailer do you recommend and do I need plate tags for it? Price on a decent used trailer? Thanks guys and I'm sorry I ask these questions but I'm reading and learning from you all as I go along.
You should check out the new Sea-Doo GTI, it's a really nice machine and family friendly too.

As far trailers go get a Shorlandr, Karavan, or Triton. Aluminum is best for salt water use. Don't get the Sea-Doo I-Catch trailer as I heard people were having problems with them up to and including the latching mechanism failing and the jet ski falling of the trailer.

Most states require you to register small trailers, check into your state's law as I only know about IL and WI. Best of luck.
 

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Gooday, l am from Australia and am concidering buying a 2003 polaris 140hp from ebay, because of its location l would be buying it with out a test drive, lm told its in top condition and with out issue, my concern is it has 230hr on it and from what l gather has not had a rebuild, it looks good from the pics and is well priced...any thoughts
on the engine on these things and how long there likely to last
 

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Gooday, l am from Australia and am concidering buying a 2003 polaris 140hp from ebay, because of its location l would be buying it with out a test drive, lm told its in top condition and with out issue, my concern is it has 230hr on it and from what l gather has not had a rebuild, it looks good from the pics and is well priced...any thoughts
on the engine on these things and how long there likely to last
I personally would keep away from Polaris all-togeather. I haven't heard many good things about them. Polaris left the PWC market years ago now and probably for a reason...

Parts would be a pain to get as well, if it ever broke down on you. I would especially steer away if it has 230 hr's on it with no rebuild if its an 03. Wonder where the compression is at...
 

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What price you looking at ?

There are some good skis for sale in SE QLD kawasaki and honda for $7 with some warranty from shop.

Main thing in a ski is not the hours but how well it has been looked after.

and you MUST have a ride and thorough inspection

regards
OZ:dunno:
 

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What price you looking at ?

There are some good skis for sale in SE QLD kawasaki and honda for $7 with some warranty from shop.

Main thing in a ski is not the hours but how well it has been looked after.

and you MUST have a ride and thorough inspection

regards
OZ:dunno:
Nice thread thanks
 

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newby here

looking to buy a used pwc, I live in MN and will be riding it in local lakes. my usage will be for joy riding and for pulling the kids on tubes. thoughts ideas on what I should get/stay away from.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
looking to buy a used pwc, I live in MN and will be riding it in local lakes. my usage will be for joy riding and for pulling the kids on tubes. thoughts ideas on what I should get/stay away from.
What is your budget?
 

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I'm brand new to PWCs and boating in general really. I've riden a 2000 Sea Doo RX DI Millennium edition at a friend's and have enjoyed it quite a bit.

Long story short, I'm now going to have regular access to a lake house and am looking to buy a PWC.

I am looking for something affordable... Somewhere from 2 to 4 grand? And if it could give me anything like the ride I had on that other Sea Doo (950CC I believe)... That seems like a good deal.

I've been browsing Craigslist but am weary of sellers and not knowing much about what to look for...

Any suggestions on models (think I want 2-pass) for the low and high ends of my price range? How old is too old? how many hours are too many? One I've been looking at is a 98 GSX Limited with 100 hours, would that be a good deal? Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm brand new to PWCs and boating in general really. I've riden a 2000 Sea Doo RX DI Millennium edition at a friend's and have enjoyed it quite a bit.

Long story short, I'm now going to have regular access to a lake house and am looking to buy a PWC.

I am looking for something affordable... Somewhere from 2 to 4 grand? And if it could give me anything like the ride I had on that other Sea Doo (950CC I believe)... That seems like a good deal.

I've been browsing Craigslist but am weary of sellers and not knowing much about what to look for...

Any suggestions on models (think I want 2-pass) for the low and high ends of my price range? How old is too old? how many hours are too many? One I've been looking at is a 98 GSX Limited with 100 hours, would that be a good deal? Thanks in advance

I would get a Sea-Doo RX over a GSX because they are more stable. Or look at a Yamaha GP1200r. Read the first post of this thread to see what you check when buying a used 2 stroke PWC.
 

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How accurate are KBB prices? Is that what I should expect to pay when buying one used from an individual? Dealer?

Also, you say more stable I assume you mean riding correct. What are my best bets to minimize maintenance?
 
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