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  1. #1

    Need a little help, please!

    Hello everyone. I am new to the forum and very new to skiing. We just got a 2009 FX SHO cruiser the end of August, and never owned any type of watercraft. Anyway we are going to drive our ski along with another couple and their ski to the Keys in 2 weeks, from Michigan. We will be there for 1 week. We need lots of advice. We are renting a house on the Sugarloaf Key. It is on a lagoon and has a ramp at the house to get our PWC in. I did get charts and a Garmin GPSmap 76. So here are my questions-
    1. I assume we need to be aware of the tide schedule, yes or no?
    2. Where would you suggest we ride, what should we see? We are willing to trailer skis to other locations.
    3. What is the water temp? upper 60ís? Do you recommend wet suits? We would like to try snorkeling.
    4. Should we take the skis out and flush them daily?
    5. Are there marinas to dock at to get lunch and a drink? or gas?
    Thank you in advance for any advice.


  2. #2
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Hi Bull, welcome to the forum! This sounds like a great snowbird trip in the making... I don't have the answers you're looking for, but hang in there; a few members from South FL will chime in and give you all the beta you need. Have fun and travel safe.

  3. #3
    That is a pretty ballzy place to start off Jet Skiing but hell, gotta start somewhere right- First thing you need to do if you haven't already is get a jack(A real pump one), 4 way tire iron & 2 trailer spare tires, 2 sets of hubs(Tractor Supply), a set of bearing buddies w/dust cover to fit hubs(WalMart), a few cans of WD-40, cover for your ski and a tie down to go over the back of the ski to keep the cover from flying off and the ski from lifting off the trailer. Is your trailer painted or galvanized? Make sure your hubs have bearing buddies with dust cover and my suggestion is to gorilla tape the bearing buddies to the hub. This may seem overkill but even if the trailer is new, shit happens on trips like this & better to be prepared We have trailered our skis from FL to NH every year since 2007 and we have been through it all, it's the biggiest frustration hands down.

    1. Tides are always important when you are unfamiliar with waterways. http://www.mobilegeographics.com:81/...=2011&m=1&d=24 I would talk with locals, fisherman, etc. to give you heads up or lay of the land Take the Florida Boating Course online, learn the markers & navigation signs. Watch for Speed & Manatee Zones.
    * Your PWC can operate in 2' of water, anything less than that you run risk of sucking sand, shells, weeds, etc. into your intake which will cause you to have a really bad day. Approach your beaches head on w/nose up and kill your engine just before you beach unless water is too shallow then you can anchor it offshore abit or get off and walk it in. FYI your steering is done by the jet so if you're going fast & you let of the gas you won't turn, keep atleat 30' from other riders and best to stay to their side or hang back or vice versa to avoid crashing.

    2. Where would you suggest we ride, what should we see? We are willing to trailer skis to other locations: Keys are beautiful! I would suggest the South side of Sugarloaf, go out about 1/4 mile and then head EAST to Lois Key(use your GPS) you want to approach it from the southwest tip and cruise up to a nice spot but it gets shallow 1/2 way up and around, great place to get off and snorkel, find shells, conchs, starfish, etc. do not take any living conchs, big fines. Then you can head back out around the south end and continue upto Marathon to Boot Key just above Vaca Key, get food & gas: http://www.marathonmarinaandboatyard.com/ Then make your way back home.

    Another trip is again heading about 1/4 mile south of Sugarloaf then heading west to Key West to Ft Zachary State Park, awesome beach!!! Bring a picnic. There are a few breaks towards the western beach so be careful. Then make your way around Key West, at the western edge of the beach, water depth is good but nice & clear head between Sunset Key & Key West(stop on Sunset if you wish, abit busy) or continue on to Wisteria Island, no life to speak of but may be some wrecks & washed up boats so watch your approach, stay to the south & mid east side, beyond that is a sandbar, good spot to meet some folks just watch your approach always. The west side of Island is fine you can actually run up the west side and around hugging the Island back to mid of east side, pretty cool! From here head East between Key West & Fleming Key then head north east after passing Fleming Key aroung Dredger's Island. Hug the northern tip of Dredgers coming around to east side and watch your channel markers to your east following those through the channel towards marina. Now just before you get to Marina you head south down through the channels of Key West(this is a crap shoot depending on tide) probably best just to head back from Dredgers key the way you came in but upto you, still great ride!

    3. What is the water temp? upper 60’s? Do you recommend wet suits? We would like to try snorkeling. Would definately do atleast 2/3mm shorties, rash guards, wet gloves, hats & good water shoes. We were out today, 60 degrees out water 55, lots of wind & surf, very cold but still fun!

    4. Should we take the skis out and flush them daily? You should WD-40 engine & jet thouroughly before putting in, take them out, rinse off thouroughly, especially jet & ride plate, let it dry and hit it again with WD-40. WD-40 the rims, nuts/bolts on tires & trailer all around before putting in water then rinse the trailer thouroughly not forgetting inside of rims, lights & axle, let dry then hit again w/WD-40. Flush ski for 5 to 6 minutes. get yourself a shutoff hose connector. get hose & flush setup but do not run water. Turn on machine first then turn water on, flush 5/6 minutes, then shut off water, slowly rev engine 2 - 3 times then shut off(no more than 10 - 15 seconds w/out water). When you pull ski out of water on trailer, start ski and slowly rev it up to blow water out of box, again 10 - 15 seconds.

    5. Are there marinas to dock at to get lunch and a drink? or gas? There are tons of marinas, docks and beaches to stop at & get food, best thing to do is google map & type in marinas/gas and they will all populate.

    Have fun, be safe! If you want to stop in Tampa Bay area, would be happy to take you all out & show you some sites, get you accustomed to the JET LIFE-

    My cell is 941.232.8169, ofcourse our group is on Facebook if you'd like to join us(no membership dues) but lots of cool stuff! See yah on the water.........


    Quote Originally Posted by Red Bull View Post
    Hello everyone. I am new to the forum and very new to skiing. We just got a 2009 FX SHO cruiser the end of August, and never owned any type of watercraft. Anyway we are going to drive our ski along with another couple and their ski to the Keys in 2 weeks, from Michigan. We will be there for 1 week. We need lots of advice. We are renting a house on the Sugarloaf Key. It is on a lagoon and has a ramp at the house to get our PWC in. I did get charts and a Garmin GPSmap 76. So here are my questions-
    1. I assume we need to be aware of the tide schedule, yes or no?
    2. Where would you suggest we ride, what should we see? We are willing to trailer skis to other locations.
    3. What is the water temp? upper 60’s? Do you recommend wet suits? We would like to try snorkeling.
    4. Should we take the skis out and flush them daily?
    5. Are there marinas to dock at to get lunch and a drink? or gas?
    Thank you in advance for any advice.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the great info Jetski Junkies!!

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    If you run the boat in saltwater, i would certainly recommend a flush

  6. #6
    Thanks for the info Jetski Junkies. We made it down here. Any more infor would be greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Bull View Post
    Thanks for the info Jetski Junkies. We made it down here. Any more infor would be greatly appreciated.
    You are now morally required to post up a few pix and brag about your adventures to the rest of the forum... Have a great time down there.

  8. #8
    There is always a guy with a bigger boat FasstPhilip's Avatar
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    The Big Red Bull offshore in the Florida Keys

    Just a little something to prove that you made it... on a freezing cold day in the keys... 70F

    Some cold weather to brag about when you get home.
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