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Old 07-12-2022, 09:52 AM   #1
Garcia
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Default Used jet ski questions

I am toying with the idea of buying one or two used, dependable jetskis to add to the flotilla. I know very little about jetskis but am quite familiar with boats and the lake.

The idea behind getting skis is the are many nieces and nephews (all of whom have boating certificates and are familiar with the lake) from late teens to late twenties who would use them to go exploring, as a swim platform, to get ice cream etc. Use would be for fun on appropriate days. One might be fun, but two would be exponentially more fun!

My questions are as follows:
1. For a good, dependable used ski that two people can comfortably ride, what is a rough cost?
2. I'm on an island. Does anyone store skis outside on shore? I have plenty of storage space at home and can trailer them home at the end of the season - just looking at options.
3. Related, pretty easy to winterize myself?
4. Any recommendations as to where to look to start looking? Dealer recommendations or stick with private sale(s)?

I am not in a great rush, thinking that maybe as the season winds down people might be looking to get rid of a ski rather than store it. Since the pandemic, prices seem pretty high and inventory pretty low, but hopefully this will start to change.

Any suggestion appreciated!
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Old 07-12-2022, 11:21 AM   #2
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When I did my research a few years ago...All signs pointed to a Yamaha non-supercharged ski as being the most reliable with Sea Doo coming in second place. We ended up with a 2017 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO and could not be happier. It seats up to 3 people, is very stable, plenty fast, fuel efficient as far as jet skis go LOL, and with 137 hours thus far has been bullet proof reliable. We have only done basic maintenance to it. For what it's worth we have found that 1 ski is all that our large family needs as we take turns on it. We have pontoon boats for group outings. I was able to score ours for a great deal on Craigslist in the offseason when it was 1 year old.

Happy Shopping!
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Old 07-12-2022, 11:35 AM   #3
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1. All the good "everyday" ones are 3-seaters these days—race ones are two. The range is incredibly wide and dependent on your personal goals. I have a '20 Sea-Doo GTX and my wife has a '12 GTX. Both are awesome machines with great hulls (fun and stable), BUT mine has way better storage access—she is, as are many people, unable to reach her storage from the ski. So, at Braun Bay yesterday, she couldn't reach her anchors and ropes. Mine is directly accessible from my seat. I literally will not buy another machine without front access.

That being said: basic machine from 5-10 years-old: $7k, 1-5 years-old: $10k. Add two-three grand for better machines. These are "normal" prices, which seem to be returning here and there but aren't yet.

Single trailer: $800, double: $1200.

2. We have skis on our beach and, assuming no wave action, is fine (we're in a barely-ripple" area). Higher-end machines use fiberglass whereas lower-end machines have moved to plastic. The latter is better on shore.

3. Yes, but pretty cheap to have a shop do it as well. I pay ~$700 a year per machine for winterization, oil, new plugs, battery removal, storage, complete machine inspection, and spring wash.

4. The dealers I've spoken to aren't buying machines now because it's too expensive—people can get way more privately.

5. Were it me, I would look for two '20-'22 Sea-Doo GTX-170s with a galvi or aluminum trailer that someone bought thinking they'd use them and then ended up sitting. Under 100 hours with trailer would be ~$22-24k but you'd be getting machines with the latest features awesome storage access, and a super-efficient but plenty fast machine.

Alternatively, two slightly older GTI-130/155s with similar trailer. Those were pretty bulletproof everyday skis.

Feel free to ping me with more questions—as you know, I research stuff...a lot.

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Old 07-12-2022, 12:31 PM   #4
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If buying used, try to buy machines with trailers. Used trailers are a bit tight in the market, and new ones cost much more than Shawn's post above. New are in the $1400-2400 range for singles and duals.

We keep ours on Hewitt Slide-n-go pwc ramps on our beach. They work great. we don't have the depth for lifts unless I put them way out on my dock, and I would rather keep that for boats.

The GTX170 is a good stable hull and reasonable size. We have a GTX155 and an RXT-X300, besides the obvious power jump in the RX, the GTX is more comfortable to ride.
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Old 07-12-2022, 02:32 PM   #5
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Prices are all over the place.
Used, you’re most likely buying someone else’s problem.
Keep in mind, a used jet ski has had the throttle pinned to the bars and beat on since day one..it’s a fun toy, who wouldn’t.

I’m a marine technician, I’ve seen new skis with low hours beat to death.

Be very careful what you buy.
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Old 07-12-2022, 06:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loventhelake View Post
Prices are all over the place.
Used, you’re most likely buying someone else’s problem.
Keep in mind, a used jet ski has had the throttle pinned to the bars and beat on since day one..it’s a fun toy, who wouldn’t.

I’m a marine technician, I’ve seen new skis with low hours beat to death.

Be very careful what you buy.
I will respectfully disagree. Not everyone beats on their jet ski. Not everyone sells because there is something wrong with them.

There are good used machines out there if you take the time to look. Less than in previous years, for sure, but you can still find them.

If you are on the water in an open area you will need a secure place to tie them. A lift, ramp, mooring whips, Etc. They don't do well just tied to a dock. In most cases they don't line up well with dock posts.

I had two jet skis for years and sold one because we only seemed to use one at a time.

I have had Seadoos and Yamahas, but the last 5 were Yamahas. In my experience the Yamaha's are more dependable and mine have needed zero maintenance, other than routine service.

One reason I stick with the Yamahas is looking at the rental companies. The majority use Yamaha jet skis. Their experience should tell you something.
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Old 07-12-2022, 07:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions. I am looking at used. I tend to buy most big ticket items used.
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Old 07-12-2022, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garcia View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I am looking at used. I tend to buy most big ticket items used.
Here's a great website for looking up certain years and comparisons: https://www.steveninsales.com/category/watercraft/

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Old 07-12-2022, 08:21 PM   #9
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I’m basically in Lovinthe lakes court. I wouldn’t buy used more than a couple years old and single owner. Look for one an older couple had. Whatever you spend keep some reserve money for repairs…..
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Old 07-12-2022, 10:16 PM   #10
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Gotta agree with Think. The Sea Doo front access is an absolute game changer. I can't imagine having to contort myself to get to that storage every time I need to pull the anchors, drinks/snacks, towels, sunscreen, sweatshirt, toaster and whatnot. Put me in the club of "I'll never buy a ski without it". I don't understand why Yamaha hasn't gone that route.
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Old 07-13-2022, 06:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winilyme View Post
Gotta agree with Think. The Sea Doo front access is an absolute game changer. I can't imagine having to contort myself to get to that storage every time I need to pull the anchors, drinks/snacks, towels, sunscreen, sweatshirt, toaster and whatnot. Put me in the club of "I'll never buy a ski without it". I don't understand why Yamaha hasn't gone that route.
I gotta think Yamaha will eventually. They're about three years behind Sea-Doo with most things.

Here's what we're talking about, for anyone following: https://youtu.be/N2KDG7x_opE

In terms of reliability, I'm not totally onboard with Tilton and rental companies using Yamaha. On Winni, there are three main jetski rental outlets (any I missed?): Wolfeboro and Weirs Beach both list Sea-Doo specifically, and Meredith Marina has pics of Sea-Doo on their site. While in Tampa last December, it was easily 60/40 in favor of Sea-Doo. In fact, one place is even called "Fly-N-High Waverunners" but uses Sea-Doo machines (see pic).

In my past research, I believe someone mentioned seeing only Yamaha in the Caribbean but (they said) that most likely is because it's what's available there (if I recall, it was the same for outboards).

In any case, I think what is used for rentals, and what makes sense to buy, is a combination of price, availability, and historical reliability.

The problem for me is I'm limited to only a few machines with direct access because it's so sweeeet!

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Old 07-13-2022, 06:56 AM   #12
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Default Tough market

Newer 4 stroke jetskis are big and heavy and basically small boats....so do you act want a small boat/shuttle?
A utility boat gives you many more practical uses and you won't need a bathing suit. Best bet is low hours but you will pay for it.

Two strokes going on ten years old are more likely to have issues. The carb materials degrade from the ethanol and the triples especially burn hotter at high rpm leading to cylinder failure.

If you know the previous owner and the history of the ski it would be a great advantage.
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Old 07-13-2022, 07:47 AM   #13
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Anyone have a low use newer SeaDoo that might be interested in a lower used SkiDoo?
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