PWC suggestions?

Pliablemoose

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
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So, Texas is freaking flooded, most lakes are so high the boat ramps are underwater and many septic systems are leaching shit into the lakes, so many of the lakes are closed for the summer to recreation.

I'm thinking this fall might be a great time to buy a used PWC, perhaps a pair of them.

Suggestions as to makes/models mindful of maintenance costs, durability, availability of aftermarket parts etc?

Am assuming SeaDoo has most of the market share & the bulk of aftermarket support?
 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
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I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.
 

Pliablemoose

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
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Originally posted by: Evadman
I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.

Hmmm.. Looks like Yamaha has a good chunk of the market too ~30%, everyone else seems to be a single digit % of the market, except for SeaDoo.
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
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This is the worst possible time you could pick to buy a used ski. If you are buying in the next few months I would advise you to buy new and currently Kawasaki is the new "king" of both speed and agility.

The best time to buy a used ski is the "off" season. The majority of PWC purchasers don't really use their PWCs all that often. A good number of them figure that out the first year and instead of storing them they sell em dirt cheap. I bought a Kawasaki 15F last year. I could have picked it up for half the price if I waited till the winter and didn't mind if it had 12 hours on it.
 

Pliablemoose

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
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Originally posted by: Darwin333
This is the worst possible time you could pick to buy a used ski. If you are buying in the next few months I would advise you to buy new and currently Kawasaki is the new "king" of both speed and agility.

The best time to buy a used ski is the "off" season. The majority of PWC purchasers don't really use their PWCs all that often. A good number of them figure that out the first year and instead of storing them they sell em dirt cheap. I bought a Kawasaki 15F last year. I could have picked it up for half the price if I waited till the winter and didn't mind if it had 12 hours on it.

That's the plan-off season purchase....
 

DaTT

Garage Moderator
Moderator
Feb 13, 2003
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I would look at the 4-stroke models if you want durability. From what i have heard from dealers is they will out last 2-strokes by a couple hundred hours.

Just recently picked up a 2001 Sea Doo GTX (110hp 3 seater 2-stroke -- top recorded speed of 61 mph on my dash)
 

DaTT

Garage Moderator
Moderator
Feb 13, 2003
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Originally posted by: Evadman
I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.

Now you're talking supercharged and intercooled. That will be costly for maintenance no doubt. Plus it recommends 91+ octane for top performance...where you gonna find that on the water?
 

ShockwaveVT

Senior member
Dec 13, 2004
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must.. resist... urge to thread crap...

i'm not a fan of PWCs but FWIW i've only heard good things about yamaha & seadoo
 

Journer

Banned
Jun 30, 2005
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sea doo sucks. get a honda aquatrax rx12 or something like that. nothing beats a 160hp turbo charged jetski
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,946
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Originally posted by: Journer
sea doo sucks. get a honda aquatrax rx12 or something like that. nothing beats a 160hp turbo charged jetski

Except the Sea doos and Kawasakis.
 

tasmanian

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2006
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Originally posted by: DaTT
I would look at the 4-stroke models if you want durability. From what i have heard from dealers is they will out last 2-strokes by a couple hundred hours.

Just recently picked up a 2001 Sea Doo GTX (110hp 3 seater 2-stroke -- top recorded speed of 61 mph on my dash)

Ive never owned a jet ski but i can tell you that 4 stroke dirt bikes do last longer then 2 stroke.
 

DaTT

Garage Moderator
Moderator
Feb 13, 2003
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Originally posted by: Journer
sea doo sucks. get a honda aquatrax rx12 or something like that. nothing beats a 160hp turbo charged jetski

What about the 210hp Supercharged/intercooled Sea Doo?
 

Soccerman06

Diamond Member
Jul 29, 2004
5,830
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Originally posted by: DaTT
Originally posted by: Evadman
I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.

Now you're talking supercharged and intercooled. That will be costly for maintenance no doubt. Plus it recommends 91+ octane for top performance...where you gonna find that on the water?

Actually I work at a marina in NW Iowa as a boat/jetski instructor (run people through operations of their vehicle), and all gas down here on the water is required to be 91 octane because about 30% of the boats down here have atleast 496cu engine and need that fuel to run optimally. Gas albiet is over $4 a gallon on the docks tho... :(

As for your jetski question, I would strongly reccomend a Kawasaki 15F if you want speed and agility. The new models can easily reach 65mph on a flat lake without wind. The 12F can reach about 52mph in the same conditions (160hp vs 125hp). Now the LX has the same engine as the 15F but is larger and weighs more ie goes slower and is for more luxuries than anything. The big boys are the 250LX which is supercharged and intercooled and will run you roughly 12k and the Seedoo bombardia (230hp?) for the same price. Kawasaki is one of the best engines/hulls out right now and can outperform any stock model in their class, with excellent reliability.

Your best bet for a jetski would be a 06 15F with low hours (under 30), it should run $8k by the time your looking for a jetski, 9k right now. Dealers will most likely rip you off so try and get a private seller and a cheap trailer because the seller will have no use for a empty trailer.
 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Originally posted by: DaTT
Originally posted by: Evadman
I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.

Now you're talking supercharged and intercooled. That will be costly for maintenance no doubt. Plus it recommends 91+ octane for top performance...where you gonna find that on the water?

every dock I have ever seen has 91 octane. the ones I have been looking at are turbocharged, not supercharged.
 

wetcat007

Diamond Member
Nov 5, 2002
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In my experiences with a variety of models SeaDoos are normally the best choice, although often times a bit more expensive than the competition. I haven't ever owned one new, but never really did much for maintenance on the ones I owned for 7 years, they were reliable, only issue was they were slow to start on a cold engine as they got older(new models are direct injection probably don't have problems like this anymore), but still started fine.

Be warned with high gas prices these will suck down gas quickly. A 4 stroke should get you better gas millage and a longer lasting engine.
 

novasatori

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
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my father got a SeaDoo GTX - was rarely used - took it in for a tune up and its topping out at 77-79mph like some of the more expensive higher HP seadoos with just me on it (I weigh about 150)
it was used and cheap (don't remember prices exactly) it will still reach 70 with 2 people on it too
Love it
 

novasatori

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
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Originally posted by: Evadman
I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.

As far as routine maintenance there is a SeaDoo shop out on the lake where ours is, and they will winterize and do the annual maintenance, and store it for us all winter in covered shed and then bring it to the launch at our dock in the summer and lock it up for us.

Doesn't cost much at all, in fact its cheaper and easier than doing it all ourselves.
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,946
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Originally posted by: Soccerman06
Originally posted by: DaTT
Originally posted by: Evadman
I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.

Now you're talking supercharged and intercooled. That will be costly for maintenance no doubt. Plus it recommends 91+ octane for top performance...where you gonna find that on the water?

Actually I work at a marina in NW Iowa as a boat/jetski instructor (run people through operations of their vehicle), and all gas down here on the water is required to be 91 octane because about 30% of the boats down here have atleast 496cu engine and need that fuel to run optimally. Gas albiet is over $4 a gallon on the docks tho... :(

As for your jetski question, I would strongly reccomend a Kawasaki 15F if you want speed and agility. The new models can easily reach 65mph on a flat lake without wind. The 12F can reach about 52mph in the same conditions (160hp vs 125hp). Now the LX has the same engine as the 15F but is larger and weighs more ie goes slower and is for more luxuries than anything. The big boys are the 250LX which is supercharged and intercooled and will run you roughly 12k and the Seedoo bombardia (230hp?) for the same price. Kawasaki is one of the best engines/hulls out right now and can outperform any stock model in their class, with excellent reliability.

Your best bet for a jetski would be a 06 15F with low hours (under 30), it should run $8k by the time your looking for a jetski, 9k right now. Dealers will most likely rip you off so try and get a private seller and a cheap trailer because the seller will have no use for a empty trailer.

I agree 100% on the 15F. My parents have a 06' Sea Doo GTX Limited. It is slightly (2-3mph where we ride) faster than my 15F but its not nearly as agile (fun). The Sea Doo's ride more like cruisers than a sports craft.

I don't know about your area but in Orange Beach during the off season you can pick up some insane deals on PWC's. Last year I saw tons of darn near brand new (15 hours or less) couches going for less than half price. Mostly middle aged people who thought it would be cool to own one then found out they didn't like them or didn't use them. I actually saw a pair of 15F's w/ trailer both under 10 hours for sale at 3 grand less than I paid for my single 15F new! I still wish I would have waited a year. The 250LX is insane.

All in all the 15F is a ton of fun. Very agile, tons of mods and aftermarket upgrades, 4 stroke, relatively little maintenance so far, outstanding hole shot, excellent top speed, stable ride in choppy water, large gas tank, can use 87 octane gas, decent fuel efficiency and a darn good range. I can, and often do, tow two skiers or an inflatable filled with kids. Its comfortable enough to go on long distance rides along the coast etc.

My biggest gripe is the front storage bin isn't easily removable (like in my parents GTX). And it would be nice if the handlebars where adjustable for us taller folks.
 

weeber

Senior member
Oct 10, 1999
432
2
81
I have a 2003 Sea doo RX-DI (2-stroke direct injection). When I was doing my research, I always read that Seadoos have the most problems, but mine has been great for 100 hours of operation without a problem, other than changing spark plugs, adding oil and gas.

Sea Doo and Yamahas have most of the market share. If you're worried about aftermarket parts, either of these brands are fine. I've seen a few Hondas and Kawasakis, but don't know much about them.

Most, PWCs these days are going 4-stroke, but you can still find a few 2-strokes around. I like my direct injection 2-stroke because it's light jet ski be still does pretty good on fuel efficiency.

Someone else brought up the point about octane rating. This is important, some jet-skis only run good on the higher stuff. I like mine because it takes 87. Just do your research, and you should be good. Some models have more problems than others.

Don't stress too much about it, just enjoy whatever you decide.

Originally posted by: Pliablemoose
So, Texas is freaking flooded, most lakes are so high the boat ramps are underwater and many septic systems are leaching shit into the lakes, so many of the lakes are closed for the summer to recreation.

I'm thinking this fall might be a great time to buy a used PWC, perhaps a pair of them.

Suggestions as to makes/models mindful of maintenance costs, durability, availability of aftermarket parts etc?

Am assuming SeaDoo has most of the market share & the bulk of aftermarket support?

 

Pliablemoose

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
25,195
0
56
Originally posted by: weeber

Don't stress too much about it, just enjoy whatever you decide.

Definitely not stressed about it, but I like a little background before I buy, threads like this are one of the great things about AT, lots of advice from different viewpoints & no "newbie, use the search feature posts" if I were to go to a watercraft specific board. :thumbsup:


 

SearchMaster

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2002
7,792
114
106
My brother-in-law owns 5 or 6 skis, all have had various problems from time to time. The 160hp Kawasaki is definitely the cream of the crop, it goes 70+ and gets there in a hurry.

Feel free to send some of that water my way, I live on Lake Lanier in Georgia and we're down about 6 feet right now.

And like I asked in your RX7 thread, how many toys does one man need?!?
 

Pliablemoose

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
25,195
0
56
Originally posted by: SearchMaster
My brother-in-law owns 5 or 6 skis, all have had various problems from time to time. The 160hp Kawasaki is definitely the cream of the crop, it goes 70+ and gets there in a hurry.

Feel free to send some of that water my way, I live on Lake Lanier in Georgia and we're down about 6 feet right now.

And like I asked in your RX7 thread, how many toys does one man need?!?

A bunch :)


Our lakes were looking like deserts till this spring, it's been a real mess with all the flooding.
 

Soccerman06

Diamond Member
Jul 29, 2004
5,830
5
81
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Originally posted by: Soccerman06
Originally posted by: DaTT
Originally posted by: Evadman
I have heard SeaDoo's are very costly for routine maintenance and parts. I don't own one, but I want to get a PWC (200+ HP one soon) I have not yet picked one but I have done some research.

Now you're talking supercharged and intercooled. That will be costly for maintenance no doubt. Plus it recommends 91+ octane for top performance...where you gonna find that on the water?

Actually I work at a marina in NW Iowa as a boat/jetski instructor (run people through operations of their vehicle), and all gas down here on the water is required to be 91 octane because about 30% of the boats down here have atleast 496cu engine and need that fuel to run optimally. Gas albiet is over $4 a gallon on the docks tho... :(

As for your jetski question, I would strongly reccomend a Kawasaki 15F if you want speed and agility. The new models can easily reach 65mph on a flat lake without wind. The 12F can reach about 52mph in the same conditions (160hp vs 125hp). Now the LX has the same engine as the 15F but is larger and weighs more ie goes slower and is for more luxuries than anything. The big boys are the 250LX which is supercharged and intercooled and will run you roughly 12k and the Seedoo bombardia (230hp?) for the same price. Kawasaki is one of the best engines/hulls out right now and can outperform any stock model in their class, with excellent reliability.

Your best bet for a jetski would be a 06 15F with low hours (under 30), it should run $8k by the time your looking for a jetski, 9k right now. Dealers will most likely rip you off so try and get a private seller and a cheap trailer because the seller will have no use for a empty trailer.

I agree 100% on the 15F. My parents have a 06' Sea Doo GTX Limited. It is slightly (2-3mph where we ride) faster than my 15F but its not nearly as agile (fun). The Sea Doo's ride more like cruisers than a sports craft.

I don't know about your area but in Orange Beach during the off season you can pick up some insane deals on PWC's. Last year I saw tons of darn near brand new (15 hours or less) couches going for less than half price. Mostly middle aged people who thought it would be cool to own one then found out they didn't like them or didn't use them. I actually saw a pair of 15F's w/ trailer both under 10 hours for sale at 3 grand less than I paid for my single 15F new! I still wish I would have waited a year. The 250LX is insane.

All in all the 15F is a ton of fun. Very agile, tons of mods and aftermarket upgrades, 4 stroke, relatively little maintenance so far, outstanding hole shot, excellent top speed, stable ride in choppy water, large gas tank, can use 87 octane gas, decent fuel efficiency and a darn good range. I can, and often do, tow two skiers or an inflatable filled with kids. Its comfortable enough to go on long distance rides along the coast etc.

My biggest gripe is the front storage bin isn't easily removable (like in my parents GTX). And it would be nice if the handlebars where adjustable for us taller folks.

Ya all I can say is that if Pliablemoose decides on getting the 250LX, hes going to have a hella time riding one. They are certianly not a beginner jetski.

I honestly dont have the balls to bring it passed 75, last time I was over 70 I hit a nasty wave and wiped out, dislocated my shoulder and strained my neck. Okok it was a modded 250LX pushing 325hp and I was going nearly 83 and was trying to jump a 3ft wake... owey

As for the the price thing, I dont know about getting jetskis that cheap, but its a pritty stable price year round, dropping maybe a grand during the wintertime.
 

ctark

Senior member
Sep 6, 2004
726
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I did extensive research on jetskis when I purchased mine 2 years ago. You definately do not want to go with seadoo. They are definately fast in a straight line, they suck with handling. They break down the most by far than any other brand out there.

Kawisaki is also another brand I would not buy. But if it came down between Kawi and Seadoo i'd pick the Kawi hands down.

Yamaha is one of the more reliable brands, only problem is they are low on the totem pole when it comes to performance

Honda in my opinion is by far the best. The turbo charged one is pretty quick, it wont outrun the seadoo but if you put it on a buoy course the honda would rock the seadoo hands down. Honda by far gets the best gas mileage for the performance. It will take 91 octane but trust me, its worth it.

goto www.pwctoday.com and read the forums. You will get many opinions. I've had my honda for 2 years now and I havent had one problem with it besides needing to change the spark plugs. Also unless you are going to be doing a lot of towing i'd recommend the 2 seater over the 3 seater. But both are fun.
 

ctark

Senior member
Sep 6, 2004
726
1
0
Also dont listen to the people who say they go 75mph or higher. No stock ski goes that fast. I know the Dream-o-meter might say that, but it is very often inaccurate. The Seadoo RXP will go mid to high 60's. Honda's can get up to 64 or so on the 2 seater.

Take my word for it, you wont want to fall off at 60.