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I would really try and stay Yamaha or Kawasaki. If your going to do Seadoo, get a older carbed 951 engine ski.
Not sure where you are at, but craigs list is a pretty good place to start looking. You should be able to find a pretty nice ski for around 4k. Find someone that you trust, and that knows about PWC's to take with you.
Since your new to the sport, I would stay with Kawi's STX 1100 or 12f, or Yami's XLT 1200 or FX cruiser.
 

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I would really try and stay Yamaha or Kawasaki. If your going to do Seadoo, get a older carbed 951 engine ski.
Not sure where you are at, but craigs list is a pretty good place to start looking. You should be able to find a pretty nice ski for around 4k. Find someone that you trust, and that knows about PWC's to take with you.
Since your new to the sport, I would stay with Kawi's STX 1100 or 12f, or Yami's XLT 1200 or FX cruiser.
Jet Ski's in my area are hard to come by. There are only a handful of used Yamaha Jet Ski's.

The dealer where my wife's brother bought a boat has a 2001 Yamaha GPR 800, 120 HP with "Yamaha Oil injected engine" for $2895. Doesn't say how many hours total it has.

There is a guy on Craiglist in my area selling a 2001 Yamaha GP 1200R Jet Ski for $2500. The engine was rebuilt last summer and has about 15 hours on it.
 

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Both should be good ski's. Both are oil injected, and both prob need the injection lines replaced, and both should have wave eater clips on the power valves installed, if they haven't already. Ask the owner of the 1200 if it was a top end, or a whole rebuild, and did they do the crank. A complete engine should be in the 12-1500 range. Ask about any hull repairs, do compression check, fire the ski's and listen for any engine noises, look at impeller condition, and bottom of hull for gouges and scrapes (all signs of beaching).
If the 800 is super clean, and they will guarantee any work they have done to it, and that the oil injection lines are good, that might be the better deal. And by all means, try and get it out for a test ride. That should make anything that might be bad show up.
 

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Warning! Warning Will Robinson!!

Do not buy unless you can take the machine out on the water and run it for at least a half an hour. Some problems will not occur when the machine is on the hose (cavitation for example), and some problems will not occur until a half hour of riding and the machine is good and warmed up (bogging down).

My (bad) example: in spring 2012 I bought a 2001 Yama Waverunner from a guy on Craigslist. Guaranteed in writing to run perfect. It was in March so I, the trusting fool, did not run it, nor did I check the compression. (I have learned a lot since then) When I took it out for the first run on Memorial Day weekend, I had it out for 10 min. Wouldn't go over 10 mph. Eventually found out one cylinder was fried. Found mechanic that would state in writing that the machine had to be toast before I bought it because the amount of damage it exhibited would not have occurred in my 10 min of use. (still use this mechanic, great guy) Cost me $2,000 + to rebuild engine. Sued seller in small claims court and won a $3,000 judgment. Seller went bankrupt. After the Waverunner was fixed, found out it suffered from cavitation and had to buy new intake grate and pump seal kit.

I would have found all of this out if I hadn't been in such a hurry to buy and such a trusting fool. Trust, but verify.

It would have been a lot better if I had listened to my own advice. Do as I say, not as I do.

Good Luck!

Zardoz
 

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Warning! Warning Will Robinson!!

Do not buy unless you can take the machine out on the water and run it for at least a half an hour. Some problems will not occur when the machine is on the hose (cavitation for example), and some problems will not occur until a half hour of riding and the machine is good and warmed up (bogging down).

My (bad) example: in spring 2012 I bought a 2001 Yama Waverunner from a guy on Craigslist. Guaranteed in writing to run perfect. It was in March so I, the trusting fool, did not run it, nor did I check the compression. (I have learned a lot since then) When I took it out for the first run on Memorial Day weekend, I had it out for 10 min. Wouldn't go over 10 mph. Eventually found out one cylinder was fried. Found mechanic that would state in writing that the machine had to be toast before I bought it because the amount of damage it exhibited would not have occurred in my 10 min of use. (still use this mechanic, great guy) Cost me $2,000 + to rebuild engine. Sued seller in small claims court and won a $3,000 judgment. Seller went bankrupt. After the Waverunner was fixed, found out it suffered from cavitation and had to buy new intake grate and pump seal kit.

I would have found all of this out if I hadn't been in such a hurry to buy and such a trusting fool. Trust, but verify.

It would have been a lot better if I had listened to my own advice. Do as I say, not as I do.

Good Luck!

Zardoz
I know, I was browsing around the forum and read everything about what had happened to you. Glad you won in court. Did you ever get your money back? Not sure if I read anything about it. I remember he stopped paying on his house and stuff. Is he still liable to pay you even though he went bankrupt?
 

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My claim was unsecured. When the guy went BK all of his debts were discharged. I was left out in the cold. Couldn't even get court costs.

Go BK today! It's the American way!

Used to be when one went bankrupt they were a pariah, shunned by normal creditworthy bill-paying people. Now it's many people's eight year plan.

Oh well, I still have my health, and two decent Yamaha machines.

Zardoz
 

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Okay, I just may end up buying a 2015 or 2016. There is a 2014 I have been looking at as well. Which do you think will be a better deal overall?

A used 2014 Yamaha VX Deluxe with 15 hours on the machine and comes with a trailer for $7999.

A 2015 Yamaha VX Deluxe brand new just the Ski for $7999.

2016 Yamaha VX $9499.00 with a trailer valued at $1000, Free 5 year warranty and a free cover.

2016 VX Deluxe.............$10,199 with a trailer valued at $1000, Free 5 year warranty, Free cover and $25 in free gas.

The second Ski I am not sure about since there is a promotion for Yamaha Waverunners for a $500 incentive or a free 5 year warranty. So they may have applied that $500 credit to the price of the '15 VX Deluxe. Free trailer seems nice other dealers in my area are not offering a trailer with purchase on new Waverunners. Just the one dealer is. I don't have a trailer so that is definitely a plus. I know there is not much difference between the VX and VX Deluxe. NanoXcel® ultra-lightweight hull and deck, I think a Low RPM system is with the Deluxe and a re-boarding step. The RIDE feature seems, but never having a Jet Ski before, is the RIDE worth skipping on the used 2014 and going with the newer machines with RIDE?
 

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I'm not a fan of all the bells and whistles on some of the newer ski's, but some people like them. If you can get a warranty on the 15, that would be a good deal. You should be able to get a nice used trailer for about 800, or a new one for about 1200.
 

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I'm not a fan of all the bells and whistles on some of the newer ski's, but some people like them. If you can get a warranty on the 15, that would be a good deal. You should be able to get a nice used trailer for about 800, or a new one for about 1200.
I checked an updated Craigslist post and I didn't see the 2015 still on there. It may still be for sale at that price. They are closed today, but the '15 is brand new so there is a warranty on it. However on the '14 at another dealer. the factory warranty may be expired already. If I can pick up that '15 for $7999 and another dealer is selling new trailers for $899, might be my best bet.

I know the Yamaha promotions end on the 31st which include $500 incentive or a free extended warranty. Not sure what they will offer come June. I know I can pick up a Yamaha extended warranty on eBay for about $725.
 

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I think you should buy two. You never know when you will want to have a friend along. Esp. if you're married. One for you, one for her.

Zardoz
 

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Do some research on the ski before going to look at it. NADA or Kelly Blue Book for resale values (these are just base values, and I use the avg. resale as top end values). If after market parts have been added to the ski, you made need to expect to pay a little more, depending on what they are. Find reviews of that ski, and see what people are saying about it.
There's lots of stuff to look at. Hull condition (scratches and gouges are signs of beaching, and possibly running the ski in less than 2ft of water). Look for blistering of the paint. This is a sign of being left in the water for extended periods of time (days). The paint gets saturated and substraight gets contaminated. Sometimes this will be extremely visible in the jet tunnel. Not a deal breaker, just know it's there, and will have to be repainted soon so the substraight doesn't start delaminating and develop mildew. (at that point, the bad material will need to be shaved out, and filled with fine hair bondo glass (I have used this with excellent results) or the equivalent (needs to be SMC compatible)). Ask about, and look for repairs to the hull. Do a compression check, and look at the plugs. Remove the fuel cap and smell. It should smell like fresh gas, and not gas that has been setting for 6 or 8 months. Again, not a deal breaker, just might require a entire fuel system cleaning.Start the ski for a seconds, and listen for anything that doesn't sound right (10 sec running max), ski should start right up if a 4 stroke, and a 2 stroke might take a few short cranking cycles to get it fired (nothing longer than 5 or 10 seconds max per cranking cycle (4 or 2 stroke)). I usually give 1-2 second cycles until the fuel system primes on a 2 stroke. These starters are not built like a automotive starter. Take a good flash light and look at the leading edge of the impeller for damage (you will have to look through the intake grate). Check the condition of the oil injection lines if it is a 2 stroke. Ask if the engine has been rebuilt, and if so, what all was done, who did it, how long ago, and why it was done. Shake the trailer wheels. Looking for excess play. Should be just a slight amount of play. To much, and you will probably be doing wheel bearing, but not a deal breaker. Costs about 30.00 in parts. On avg., a nice single trailer is worth about 600.00, and a double 1000.00.(as of 6/11/2016)
Use common sense. If the ski is nice, and you can comfortably live with the price, why not. Don't be afraid to barter the price some. The seller knows what it is worth.
If it is near water, by all means, ask if you can take it for a test ride. Do you buy a car without driving it first ? Try and round up someone you absolutely trust that knows a thing or two about ski's, but don't let them tell you, you are being to anal about things. It is your money, not theirs.
 

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Ended up finding a 2001 Yamaha XLT1200 with a trailer for $2150. Going to go look at Tuesday. Hull is in really good shape judging from pictures. Has about 200 hours on ski, with about 40 hours on SBT motor. Owner said new pump drive and coupler was installed, cat removed, new ride plate, new intake grate, and pump jet drive. Said he installed wave eater clips, replaced steering cable along with reverse cable.
 

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Went and looked at the Waverunner and ended up getting it. $2150 for a 2001 Yamaha Waverunner and a 2013 Karavan trailer. Thought I made out pretty decent. Guy was really nice, took about 15 minutes to go over the Jet Ski with me, showed me the Wave Eater clips and showed me just about everything else about the Waverunner. He had a nice GPR800 and another 2013 Supercharged Waverunner. He was a mechanic and the work that was needed on the Waverunenr throughout the years was done by him.
 

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Senior looking for used stable waverunner

Hi- I'm 62 and am looking for a wave runner to use at my cottage. I frequently have 2 guests, so I would like it to seat three. Would probably prefer a 4 stroke so it isn't so loud. Think stability over speed. I'd like it to be fast enough to jump waves and have fun, but no super high speeds are required. I'm not confident i'm strong enough to get back on it if i were to fall off, although i'd plan to add a ladder.

Concerns- I had a jet boat at my cottage and had to give it up because it was constantly sucking up weeds. In a year I only rode it twice. I'd bring it into the dock and it would be fine, then 5' later I'd head out and it wouldn't go. I'm on disability and don't have the energy to have to get out of the boat and pull weeds out all the time. Yet I have a neighbor with a jet ski and he doesn't seem to have any problems. If weeds were to get trapped, I'd have to be able to get back to the dock before clearing them out.

Do any jet skis have levers that push the weeds out?

Would like recommendations for models that might work for me- any manufacturer. Again, nothing fancy required. But after giving up my jet boat and buying a pontoon, i miss being able to go fast from time to time. I still have a need for speed....

Would like to stay around 3 to 4 grand with a single trailer, if that's realistic. I have zero mechanical abilities, to it would need to be new enough/ dependable enough that it would work through the season without issues. I would have it professionally winterized at the end of the season. Thanks!
 

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I would look for a Yamaha VXCruiser or a Kawasaki STX15f. Your just going to have to scour craigslist and your local ads to see what's out there. You need to be looking for a ski better than 10' in length, at least 3.5' wide, and better than 650-700 lbs. If you use NADA's website you can look at basic specs of PWC's.
No, they do not have anything that clears the intake grate as of yet.
 

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I could use some opinions. I am buying my first PWC and wondering what would be a good model for me. Looking around, most of the PWCs in my price range are models from about 1997-2001 ($1500-2500). Mostly, a lot of older 2-stroke Gti and GTX in those years and price range. Basically, I just want a fishing machine to get me on the lake or 1-2 miles offshore in the gulf a few times/year. High speed and maneuverability are not as important to me as reliability and stability. Would these older 2-stroke models suffice until I get a feeling as to whether this is a hobby I want to spend money on and get a newer 4-stroke PWC.
 
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