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Old 10-23-2019, 08:37 PM   #30
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Ice in = CT / Ice out = Winnipesaukee
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Default Comfort won our for us

Hello thinkxingu. After five years of reading this forum and planning to join, Iíve finally done it. Your Ďjet skií post prompted me to weigh in as I was in your shoes just eight months ago. My wife and I began shopping for a new Ďjet skií - using this term in the generic sense - early last year. First step was lots of on-line research followed by a visit to the Boston boat show. By May, weíd narrowed it down to the Sea-doo GTX Limited 230 or the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO. For the two brands, these were comparable models.

Next step was to take them out for a ride - only - we didnít. My argument, foolishly, was that Iíd done enough research and sat on each unit enough, that I didnít feel riding each was necessary. A silly move for sure but luckily it did work out at the end of the day. We visited Irwin Marine (they sell Sea-doo & Yamaha at their Alton location) and HK Powersports in Laconia which also sells both brands. Getting the more expert opinions at these dealerships helped a lot, as did familiarizing ourselves with each unit in person. It also helped us understand who appeared more interested in making the deal work for them versus making it work for us.

Ultimately, we went with the Sea-doo and purchased at HK. Much of the advice youíve already received, we did as well, through our research and dealership conversations. For example, we heard about the Sea-doo being susceptible to recalls. Iíd be lying if that wasnít a concern and in fact, there has been several recalls this summer. Something about the intake grate (could come loose???) if the unit is driven in the 55 MPH range. I havenít had it a single MPH over 45 all summer (all right, maybe a tad over in a weak moment) and that issue will be fixed this winter. Also, I believe they recalled their attachable fish cooler - something about a child getting stuck in it. At the end of the day, I chose to roll the dice and de-emphasize the recall issue.

Here then are the difference makers in our eyes that made the decision easy to go with the Sea-doo. For the most part, it came down to comfort as we were more interested in cruising versus sport:

1. Iím a tall guy with long legs. Despite the fact that the Yamaha sits higher in the water (which in and of itself I wasnít fond of) it just wasnít comfortable for me. The Sea-doo offers those with long legs a far more comfortable seating position IMHO. I had to tell my wife (short legs), who seemed to prefer the Yamaha, that we simply werenít going to buy a Ďjet skií unless we could both be comfortable in the driverís seat. The level of comfort was that different and important. We both needed to be comfortable and she eventually agreed that the Sea-doo was good enough for her.

2. The Yamaha offers significantly more storage and in three spots. Front, under seat and a small space in the rear. The Sea-doo has one storage space in the front. Thing is, the Sea-doo compartment seems much larger - cavernous almost - because all the storage space is in that one space. More importantly, the Sea-doo space opens by lifting from the driverís position. Simply lift up and all that space is directly in front of you and within easy reach. You hardly need to stand up. With the Yamaha, the front space cover is hinged near the driverís position. Therefore, it lifts in the opposite direction. So, you need to be a bit of a contortionist to access it. Thatís okay if you almost never need to access that space and donít mind the inconvenience of getting to it (itís also more okay if you are 25 years old). Weíve found this summer however that we are constantly accessing this storage when on the lake for towels, wini map, water bottles, food, whatever. Knowing what we know now, the fact that the Yamaha space is inconvenient to access, would be a deal killer. Know also that you can purchase a beverage cooler that will latch onto the back platform of the Sea-doo and give you more storage. We actually bought that cooler - for about $275 bucks - and didnít use it once all summer.

3. The Sea-doo offers other accessories using that back platform that the Yamaha doesnít such as a spare fuel container and a ski-pole. We donít do the water sport stuff but if we did, Iíd like the ski-pole as an added protection against the line getting stuck up in the intake.

4. The Yamaha has a couple of cool things such as a color touch screen and drains in the footwells. Touch screen is no big deal other than the coolness factor. In fact, I feel itís probably somewhat of a pain since you have to stretch/reach to access everyday functions. Iíd rather have all that available on the handles as is the case with the Sea-doo. The drains are a great idea but I did observe how small they are and wondered how long it would take before they clogged up. Regardless, Iíve got a Cool Whip container and old towel on-board our Sea-doo which does the quick work of cleaning out any water at the end of the day. So, the drains are no big deal really. Maybe nice if you are an early or late season rider. Submerged feet at those times of year isnít my idea of a good time and I think the Yamaha foot wells will drain as you ride.

5. Yamaha talks a lot about their RAM mount-like accessories that fit into the cup holders. Nice idea but Iím not sure how practical given the beating a Ďjet skií can take. I wonder how long it takes for whateverís attached to those mounts to loosen up. Could be a pain. Those RAM mounts are used for their speakers too if you choose that option but they are somewhat flimsy looking. The Sea-doo speakers are, on the other hand, integrated into the overall design. They are sturdy, big, with ample volume and the controls are easily accessible. I also think getting to the music controls is a bit more difficult with the Yamaha. I wanted accurate sound and Iím guessing the Sea-doo speakers win handily in that department over the Yamaha. I think the sound is great.

6. The Sea-doo GTX Limited comes with a depth-finder...something my wife really wanted but I didnít give a hoot about. But, the wife is always right and she was in this case as well. I just love it (and her). For me, itís just fun to know how deep the water is - especially when out in deeper parts of the lake. But itís also handy as a second back-up to visual sight when standing and navigating through possibly shallow waters. I like to explore closer to shore.
The step ladder on the Sea-doo isnít bad but I do remember that the Yamaha seemed to offer a better one. Yamaha also offers some retractable cleats that I liked.

The above are largely Ďcomfortí items that were very important to us. Performance-wise, the Sea-doo rides great and I like feeling closer to the water and a bit more enclosed/protected (due to the deeper foot wells) than I think I would have felt on the Yamaha. I believe thereís some stability advantages there as well. Other than that, Iím not a motor head so Iíll let folks with better qualifications guide you there. All in all, we couldnít be happier with the Sea-Doo and we know without question that we made the right decision for us. Hope this helps some with your shopping trip.
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