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PWC, Waverunners, SeaDoos Tips for buying used?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by FH Alum, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. FH Alum

    FH Alum

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    Thinking about getting a PWC for summer as I can carry it in the back of the truck and still tow the travel trailer. Don't want to pony up for a new one (8-15K). Seems to be a lot of used ones for 2500-3500 in my area. Problem is I know nothing about them as I have always had boats, and they seem to be vastly different animals.

    Anyone have some tips on how to buy a used one and not get burned? What should I look for etc. Also a good PWC website (like GT) that may have this info.

    Thanks for your help! Can't wait for summer!
     
  2. RHVEtte

    RHVEtte

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    We had just bought a pair of Jet-Skis and there were a couple of big things to remember, but only two stick out at the moment: ONE) Buy one rated for one more person than you want to take on it. Two persons Jet-Skis barely fit one 6' tall person. TWO) Do not buy a 94 or older. The materials they had used don't hold up to age all that well. 95 and newer they used different materials and methods for the hulls.


    *I am not a PWC mechanic or specialist. Any and all information in this post is from personal experience. YMMV.
     

  3. double07gt

    double07gt

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    Just try not to buy any that were exclusively used in salt water areas because of corrosion.......and I wouldn't buy anything older than year 2000 model.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  4. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    I wish I could afford to buy one. PWCs are some of the most fun I have ever had. It's most fun when you throw both passengers and yourself off, and roll the machine over.
     
  5. 3glkdog

    3glkdog

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    Look into Seadoo GTXdi or RXdi for a good all around cruising. I wolud only buy fuel injected or direct injection(di) from now on, many lakes around here and across the country wouldn't let you use two strokes carb motors starting in Jan 2012.
     
  6. pack-indy

    pack-indy Emissary

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    I would agree, try to find a solid 4 stroke. Also keep in mind who you are buying it from. I have grown up and been around PWCs my whole life and I would compare buying a used one like buying a used sport bike: some/ many people ride them very hard and i can be hard to tell what kind of stress they have been under. Consider the buyer, year, make and number of hours and get us some pics :cool:
     
  7. PBCounty

    PBCounty

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    Make sure you've got a good set of tools and a PWC parts dealer nearby.

    Around here, it seems everyone buys a new one and takes it out a few times only to let it rot in the yard a few years before selling it. Unlike most boat owners I know, it seems a lot of PWC owners aren't into the whole cleaning / flushing routine after a day on the salt water.

    Good luck.
     
  8. 3glkdog

    3glkdog

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    Also when buying used, take it for a test drive. Just because the engine is running doesn't mean the ski will run when put in water. The impeller or jetpump or intake could be bad and you won't know it untill it is in the water.
     
  9. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    FH Alum- If you are ever, EVER going to trust me on one thing, its PWC.

    The absolute truth- The Yamaha line is the Glock of PWC. Solid and super RELAIBLE. I have owned Kawasaki, Sea Doo and Yamaha. I will never buy a Sea Doo again as you have to change the prop oil.

    Yamaha has the TRUE Marine engine with THE BEST anti corrosion coating. Most rental shops exclusively rent Yamahas because of the low break down factor. I have a 1995 Wave Raider and it still runs like new and I mean BRAND NEW. My best buddy's 1989, yes 1989 Yamaha still runs today.

    I would only buy Yamaha, but thats me. they have it down and make the best skis.

    TBHR
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  10. 3glkdog

    3glkdog

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    FH,
    I wouldn't limit myself to just Yamaha, personal wartercraft technology is so far ahead of it time that just about anything you buy within the last few years you won't be disappointed.

    I've owned:
    1996 Yamaha Wave Raider, 1995 Wave Blaster.
    1996 Sea Doo GTX, 1997 GTI, 1998 SPX, and 2002 RXdi.
    All been reliable, yes they do break and parts need to be replace. But don't matter what you buy, sooner or later you will need to spend money on maintenance.

    You ask for a good web site, go to.........www.Sea-Doo.net
     
  11. FH Alum

    FH Alum

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    Cool, thanks for the tips. I didn't even think about the 4 stroke issue! I know that with boats a lot of waters require 4 stroke or something like the EV E-Tech.

    I live in Oregon so Saltwater is not an issue, people only use them on lakes or rivers. Too damn rough and cold in the ocean, however I will make sure to ask about where the ski was used to ensure no salt issue.

    Yamaha makes great outboards, so I would expect them to make a good unit. The issue about a true marine engine is something I didn't know about-would have assumed a "boat" would have a marine engine. Very good tip.

    I hope to not buy one older than 00' as that is 10 years old.

    Units I have looked at and rented in the past don't appear too complicated so I am not afraid of some wrench time if repairs are needed, but since these are toys I know that parts are $$$. The same as anything for an RV or boat.

    Thanks again for the help. GT-better than google.

    Anyone else with tips please add to this thread I will keep an eye on it.
     
  12. FSHNFVR

    FSHNFVR

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    I actually don't like the four strokes because of the added maintenance and weight. Having worked for one of the mentioned manufacturers as a test rider I can tell you they all have problems eventually. I love the Seadoo GTXdi as previously mentioned. Great on gas and a very reliable two stroke. I also like the older Yamaha 1200's both their 2 and 3 seaters in two stroke form.

    I would recommend a test ride and if possible have a mechanic check it out.
     
  13. Goodspeed(TPF)

    Goodspeed(TPF)

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  14. 3glkdog

    3glkdog

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    By the way, most of these PWC won't fit in the bed of your truck, some weigh over 600lbs. New ones weigh 900lbs.

    Sea Doo two stroke injection oil cost...I don't remember but I think $30-$40 per gallon. One gallon will last me one summer. Four stroke is heavier but you don't need oil injection, just in your crankcase.
     
  15. tarpleyg

    tarpleyg

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    I know you are all excited about buying one of these and you probably won't listen to a word I type but you'll be back here a year from now saying how you need to sell it because you never use it. I have seen it a million times. PWCs get REAL boring REAL fast. My suggestion is that you buy a boat if you really want to get out on the water.

    Greg
     
  16. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    Brother- I agree and would never truck bed a ski. You will kill your back, takes like 4-5 people to load just one and its so not the way to go. Plus the skis are obviously heavier after a wet day of riding and you will be dog tired from a long day in the sun.

    Please trust me/us on that one. Trailering the only way is the only way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  17. nnickatnight

    nnickatnight

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    I had the opposite advice to one of the previous posters which was don't buy a Yamaha! I purchased a NEW 2004 XLT 1200 and was smart enough to buy an extended warranty. After the first two weeks of usage the lower half of the engine went out and had to be replaced. Spent most of the summer at the dealer. The last month of the season, October, the upper half of the engine went out. Off to the dealer again. This time after the dealer was a jerk off I contacted Yamaha who had a rep come out and what do you know, the dealer screwed up putting the thing together. Then they replaced the entire motor. What they didn't do was replace everything else, electrical, carbs, etc. which all failed the summer before last. The machine spent that summer at a different dealer getting repaired. This past spring I still had one season on an extended transferrable warranty and I put it on Craigs List and got rid of it, and have never looked back. My advise is you better know the machine in and out, have a good dealer in the area, and I'd purchase a warranty if possible. The last bill for electrical and carbs, etc. would have been $2650.00 if not under warranty. While I blame the original dealer for never putting it together right the first time, I would try a Seedo if I decide I wanted anymore punishment.
     
  18. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    PBC Brother- Did you still want your's back? Sorry, forgot I borrowed them from last season. :embarassed:
     
  19. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    That was me and I am sorry your one time purchase came out bad for you. Sometimes there is that one time lemon out there. Even from Glock.


    I recommend Yamaha because all of my friend buy them. We buy them for few important reasons- Reliability and longevity. Again- Most of the PWC Rental Companies go with Yamaha for this main reason.

    Every once in awhile all of us my get a bad deal, lemon or experience with a product or company, look at Toyota this week. BUT- Overall, I would stand by Yamaha no matter what. They are the Glock of PWC.


    For what its worth- Bullhead City 2009- Photo of a 1989 original Waverunner is over 20 years old, is stock, been ridden every season in Nevada and Arizona, been through 12 or so batteries and will start today with a single push of the ignition button. No Joke, I have even ridden it. If that is not a true testament of Yamaha's good name, I dont know what is.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  20. Ol Timer

    Ol Timer ↓ hog hunter ↓ Millennium Member

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    Get yourself a stand-up Ski if you want to truck it. Two people can easily pick it up out of the water and into the truck bed at the ramp. You can do it yourself if you need to. I've done it plenty of times by myself when I was having too much fun to come in and was the last one on the lake. Speaking of fun, did I mention getting a stand-up Ski? You can build yourself a secure rack out of a 2x4 stud (89cents) and some schedule 40 2 1/2" PVC ($2 a foot), throw in a few stainless bolts and be good to go for under $10.

    Don't worry about the age of the hull or it's construction. I have a 1980 Ski that's had zero 'glass issues in 30 years, and it's ridden all summer long by beginners, IOW, it's been well abused. But SMC is very easy to work with if problems ever do arise.

    Buy now and buy cheap. You can always upgrade next year after you find out what you really want.

    Have fun!