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In the market for a ski, new vs. used, SeaDoo vs. Yamaha, etc. etc.

captainhook

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In 2009 I bought a brand new SeaDoo RXT out of the crate for $8190 (sticker was like $12k!). We had a lot of fun with it for one season and then along came baby #1, it got a little use after that but then it stayed stored in my garage for a couple of years as babies #2 and 3 came along and we bought the boat.

In a fantastic display of stupidity, I didn’t listen to my wife and sold the showroom-mint SeaDoo in 2016 and sure enough she was right, I have missed it nearly every day since.

My son is now 5 and asking me nearly daily when we’re getting a Waverunner, can he have it when he’s old enough, and can he be the first one to drive it. Having grown up on the water, I can’t deny him of this so obviously I must buy him (and me) another ski to compliment the boat. I can’t justify the cost of a new one if I could even find it, but I’m thinking Yamaha this time around as I was not a fan of worrying about maintenance on the SeaDoo. I’ve been looking now for a couple of weeks in probably the worst time in the past decade to buy a ski, but hey, hindsight is 20/20.

Figured I’d toss a line out here to see if anybody was interested in selling one. I’ve seen some good deals around this forum in the past and would probably trust a ski from a member more than something I found randomly online.
 

ripler

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I'm not selling mine, but wanted to give an inexpensive option for buying new. I have 2 Sea Doo Sparks that I bought in 2014 and they have been 100% trouble-free, I did have an issue this year, but it was my stupidity and I found the problem and fixed it. For some reason people are turned off because they are "plastic" and think they are delicate, but they are very durable. You can buy a new Spark for $5500.00 for the non HO, but I would recommend the HO for 6100.00, you can not beat the price. This PWC is flat out fun, 400lbs, 900cc engine, ~50MPH top speed, and manuervable.
The only maintenance that I've done is changing the oil at the end of each season along with winterizing. The maintenance can be done through access panels on either side of the ski, so there's no need to separate the top and bottom.
 

jcyamaharider

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I actually just purchased a new 2020 GTR 230. I love it! The supercharger is a new maintenance free supercharger and got rid of the old style washers which is why you had to rebuild the old ones every 100 hours. It is tuned for 87 octane fuel and runs 67 MPH ( GPS speed limited now ). Why I went with seadoo over Yamaha is because I got more bang for my buck. Initially I was looking for a 3 up seadoo trixx but everything is sold out around me. I was lucky to get the one I did.


20200717_134557.jpg
 

Ronnie

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Good luck with @captainhook .
I would not hesitate to purchase another used waverunner with either the 140 hp or 160 hp motor (so 2003 to 2009 fix line up). They seat three comfortably, accelerate well, especially the 160 hp model and top out at 52 to 59 mph. Like you I can’t justify spending a lot of money on a new pwc. The Yamaha EX is an entry level model that list for about $8k not sure if that includes the trailer but doubt it does. When I first saw a spark in my dealers show room years ago it had a $5,500 price tag but also a $1,300 dealer prep fee so it was $6,800 before tax and probably before the trailer cost. The truck I would tow it with isn’t worth that much.

It sounds like you have the same problems in your market that I do in mine right now, that is too much demand and lack of supply. Seems like all of the “good” used/ pre-owned PWCs are gone so all that left are older skis with two stroke engines and carburetors not duel injectors.
 

captainhook

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Thanks all, I figure it's a long shot to find someone wanting to sell but I was hoping for recommendations as much as anything else.

@ripler Yes I have considered the Spark and I've been following that a bit ever since it was released. My first PWC was a 1993 SeaDoo SPi with the 2 stroke 580cc engine that would roll over if you leaned too far but boy was that thing fun. A few years later, we got a 1995 SeaDoo GTS with the same engine and it was infinitely more stable but a lot less maneuverable. It was nice to have both options and they were extremely reliable. In fact, may dad sold the SPi to my uncle a few years ago who sold it to their cousin's family this year and I just saw it was out on the lake on Facebook two weeks ago. The GTS is still at my parents house but has not been run for a few years.

Back to the Spark, I see that @Ronnie has found the same thing I have--even used ones have been in the 8-10k range so they just always seemed overpriced compared to what they were advertised as new and I figure for that kinda money I can get a bigger, faster machine. In addition, I feel like if I bought a Spark 2UP (the cheaper one), I'd end up buying another, bigger machine shortly thereafter and we just wouldn't use two. My wife really has no interest in driving one and I'm thinking this is probably more of a "boys day while the girls are out doing girly crap" or drag-it-on-vacation because I don't feel like dragging the boat type deal.
 

captainhook

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I actually just purchased a new 2020 GTR 230. I love it! The supercharger is a new maintenance free supercharger and got rid of the old style washers which is why you had to rebuild the old ones every 100 hours. It is tuned for 87 octane fuel and runs 67 MPH ( GPS speed limited now ). Why I went with seadoo over Yamaha is because I got more bang for my buck. Initially I was looking for a 3 up seadoo trixx but everything is sold out around me. I was lucky to get the one I did.


View attachment 126901
I would LOVE one of those and I wasn't aware they resolved the supercharger issues, thanks for mentioning that. I know in the mid 2000s they had ceramic washers and supposedly my 2008 had steel washers (which the dealer claimed to be "maintenance free" as well but I knew better) but they always required a rebuild. I was always super easy on mine because I was worried about issues but to see that they've now resolved this that might point me back towards SeaDoo. I have always LOVED their look and my RXT was fast as hell with a great ride. It was a "couch" in terms of maneuverability but the stability with >1 person was worth the trade off for me. Where I ride most of the time is a pretty calm river but I envision taking this one on trips and potentially in the ocean so a bigger machine could be put to good use. After having a ski that went "69" (on the dream-o-meter) it will be hard to go back to one that tops out in the 50s.
 

captainhook

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Good luck with @captainhook .
I would not hesitate to purchase another used waverunner with either the 140 hp or 160 hp motor (so 2003 to 2009 fix line up). They seat three comfortably, accelerate well, especially the 160 hp model and top out at 52 to 59 mph. Like you I can’t justify spending a lot of money on a new pwc. The Yamaha EX is an entry level model that list for about $8k not sure if that includes the trailer but doubt it does. When I first saw a spark in my dealers show room years ago it had a $5,500 price tag but also a $1,300 dealer prep fee so it was $6,800 before tax and probably before the trailer cost. The truck I would tow it with isn’t worth that much.

It sounds like you have the same problems in your market that I do in mine right now, that is too much demand and lack of supply. Seems like all of the “good” used/ pre-owned PWCs are gone so all that left are older skis with two stroke engines and carburetors not duel injectors.
That's how this started--I was thinking hey I'll just buy one with an MR-1, all the rental fleets have them and I already know they are reliable. Should be around $5-6kish. But then I go and see something like this... https://jetboaters.net/threads/east-tn-7500-2014-yamaha-waverunner-fx-sho.25780/#post-431257

Unfortunately you're hard pressed to find something like that right now so I'm wondering if I should just wait a bit. Problem is right now I am working from home and after work rides are totally doable. Not sure what time is gonna be like next season if I'm back to commuting 2.5-3 hours per day.
 

captainhook

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I've been looking a few times a day and still finding very little that's worth buying. Anything that really catches my eye is at or near MSRP which is ridiculous for a 2-5 year old ski. Somebody might pay it in this market, but it won't be me. I've also found that NADA values aren't anywhere near reality right now so that's basically worthless. I recall it not being much help when I was looking for my boat either.

I think at this point I've decided that I need something that tops out in the 60s to be satisfied since that's what I already had and my boat just doesn't seem fast. It's plenty for a pleasure boat but on a ski I need to have the ability go faster.
 

captainhook

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This really is the best thing I've found under $10k and it seems overpriced to me. I know new OTD with trailer I'm probably looking at $11kish so this at 4 years old seems high. NADA says something like $5800 low retail. I know this isn't a 65MPH ski since it has the TR-1 not the 1.8L HO but something about the accessibility of the engine parts intrigues me. At $7k I'd be interested but $9k seems too high. Something about putting "BRAND NEW" with 65 hours and 4 years old in the ad irks me too.

Craigslist Link
 

Ronnie

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I’d pay up $7k for that if I was in the market. I don’t want a ski that does 65+ mph anymore.
 
Last edited:

captainhook

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I’d pay up $7k for that if I was in the market. I don’t want a ski that does 65+ mph anymore.
Thanks Ronnie. I was thinking about offering the $7k but it seems doubtful he’d come down $2k. He seems pretty proud of it. 😅

I am curious though why you say you don’t want a 65mph ski. I didn’t go that fast often on my SeaDoo but it was nice to be able to if I wanted my eyes to water and ears to ring. 😉
 

Ronnie

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If I had a ski that would do 65+ I’d be more likely to take it to 65+, greatly increasing my chances of being seriously injured in a fall/thrown in a high speed turn. Now that I’m older It takes me longer to recover from Such falls. also I don’t care so much about miles per gallon but do want to minimize buying gas on the water.
I did so a few weeks ago. They had one grade, expensive at $5.25 per galllon.

These days in addition to reliability, I want all the creature comforts I can get, like scalloped seats, functional cleats, electronic cruise control and an integrated sound system. Lever activated braking would be the ultimate upgrade for me right now. The ski you are looking at seems to have it all but possibly the braking. However a friend of mine rented a vx last year and it had lever activated braking, very nice).

As long as the new to me ski can go at least 50 mph I’d be fine with it because it’s a Yamaha (goes to reliability). If I had a ski that could do 65+ In the past my minimum top speed would probably be closer to 60 mph. Seadoo makes nice looking skis and seems to be the first to try new features like lever activated braking And off power assisted steering “OPAS” (small fins on the corners of the stern that would turn in synch with the handle bars) their reputation for reliability isn’t good based on my experience, that of a local PWC shop That I trust and what I have read online. Too many newer Seadoos spend too much time in the shop oras non operational lawn ornaments IMHO, I can’t afford a ski like that no matter what it costs.
 

TimW451

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This really is the best thing I've found under $10k and it seems overpriced to me. I know new OTD with trailer I'm probably looking at $11kish so this at 4 years old seems high. NADA says something like $5800 low retail. I know this isn't a 65MPH ski since it has the TR-1 not the 1.8L HO but something about the accessibility of the engine parts intrigues me. At $7k I'd be interested but $9k seems too high. Something about putting "BRAND NEW" with 65 hours and 4 years old in the ad irks me too.

Craigslist Link
”only taken it out a couple times 60 hours on it.”
30 hrs per trip? that’s like “highway miles” right?

He is a salesman. Offer him the $7k, worst he can say is no.
 

captainhook

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If I had a ski that would do 65+ I’d be more likely to take it to 65+, greatly increasing my chances of being seriously injured in a fall/thrown in a high speed turn. Now that I’m older It takes me longer to recover from Such falls. also I don’t care so much about miles per gallon but do want to minimize buying gas on the water.
I did so a few weeks ago. They had one grade, expensive at $5.25 per galllon.

These days in addition to reliability, I want all the creature comforts I can get, like scalloped seats, functional cleats, electronic cruise control and an integrated sound system. Lever activated braking would be the ultimate upgrade for me right now. The ski you are looking at seems to have it all but possibly the braking. However a friend of mine rented a vx last year and it had lever activated braking, very nice).

As long as the new to me ski can go at least 50 mph I’d be fine with it because it’s a Yamaha (goes to reliability). If I had a ski that could do 65+ In the past my minimum top speed would probably be closer to 60 mph. Seadoo makes nice looking skis and seems to be the first to try new features like lever activated braking And off power assisted steering “OPAS” (small fins on the corners of the stern that would turn in synch with the handle bars) their reputation for reliability isn’t good based on my experience, that of a local PWC shop That I trust and what I have read online. Too many newer Seadoos spend too much time in the shop oras non operational lawn ornaments IMHO, I can’t afford a ski like that no matter what it costs.
All good points. 95% of the time on my SeaDoo was spent less than full throttle so I’m sure it would be fine. I’ve always wanted a small ski like a 2003-2004 SeaDoo XP but stability, speed, and room won out the last time.

Because of the deal I got on the last one I was able to go new and not worry as much about what the last owner did to it but I was always very worried that something was going to happen to the supercharger. I know the newer model superchargers are maintenance free but it seems unlikely I’ll be able to find one of those anywhere south of $12-13k. That’s way beyond the budget at this point due to the amount I expect to use it.

I think this one does have the brake system but I know it has all of the other features you mentioned. This one seems like a good trade off between maneuverability, stability, and reliability so I went ahead and messaged the seller and was hoping to go see it today. It’s been a few hours and no response so maybe it’s been sold.
 

Ronnie

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If it has the braking feature, I’d drop another $500 for it.
 

captainhook

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Upon second glance, looks like I screwed something up last time I checked NADA because it’s showing more than I thought I saw last time. The cover comes with it as a package so it might be like our boats and I’m not supposed to add it in again, and his mention of impeller and wear ring are a minus to me, not a plus (did he suck something up?), but either way it seems worth more than I originally thought. Suggested list price is original msrp so I highly doubt a ski loses only $1400 in value (plus trailer) in four years but who knows.

Regardless, if the seller doesn’t respond I can’t offer anything anyway.

01872BFF-4441-4C9B-8308-6B389C735A17.png
 

captainhook

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No response from the seller unfortunately. I guess he doesn’t really want to sell it. That’s a shame because I was gonna bring the cash today so I could take it on vacation next week. Would’ve been fun to dip it into Lake Michigan.
 

VitaminSea

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I have a 2016 VX Cruiser HO (has the 1.8L). I believe it has all the same options as the limited, but the limited came as a turn key package from what I recall reading - tube, inflator, cover, cleats.

The cruise assist and no way are really nice features. CA lets you hold an RPM and you can ardor your or down in 100rpm increments without having to feather the throttle. It’s also a dual “throttle” set up. Left engaged N or Reverse. Right is F. The breaking via throttle is nice and retains some steering control.

Only gripe is no trim and bow rides low in the water, less than ideal for a dry ride in rough conditions, but a playful hull.
Good luck in your search!
 

captainhook

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Thanks, don’t really care about the turn key package so no big deal either way. Appreciate the info on yours having the 1.8L, didn’t realize they came like that. Yamaha has so many models and changes fairly frequently so it’s hard to decipher.

Aside from the Craigslist link above, nothing else catching my eye at the moment so it looks like I may be waiting awhile for the right one to pop up.
 

VitaminSea

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Here are some more details (below) 53mph top speed per the following. Also 18.5 gallon fuel tank, I have NEVER burned through a full tank in a day. Went out today for 90 mins, ran it pretty hard, many WOT pulls and high speed runs and burned maybe 8 gallons.
 
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