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  1. #1

    Newbie buying a ski, help him pick the right one

    Hey everyone, I've never owned a ski before but I've ridden them many times and I've owned a lot of boats in my life and I think it's time for a ski. My problem is I can't decide which one is better. Here are the 2:

    -2003 seadoo gtx(non SC) vans wake edition. 67hrs 155hp

    -2004 Yamaha fx ho. 125hrs 160hp(I think)

    both have always been stored inside and look great. The seadoo comes with a cover and I think the yamaha does too. Both trailers are good and everything is well taken care of. My question is mainly reliability. I've done lots of research and they all say the yamaha MR1 engine is super reliable...then again it has 60 more hours which is going to be a whole season of riding. Is the 1500cc seadoo as reliable with proper maintenance? Or is the yamaha that much more reliable that you would suggest getting it with over 120hrs? Which one would you pick?

    my riding-mainly lakes, maybe ocean 1-5 times in its lifetime. It will sit in the water on a mooring tho if that affects anything. Is that bad for a ski? I could probably get a lift if a mooring is not good. Im also anal about maintaining my boats and am very mechanically inclined(id prefer to not have to work on it tho) Thanks for the input to help a newbie out!

  2. #2
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Elephant Butte New Mexico
    welcome to hulk..hulk help you choose.

    The big difference besides the brands is that the Seadoo uses closed loop cooling, which keeps lake/ocean water out of the engine. I'd try to avoid letting them sit in the water a whole lot if possible.

    Low hours on an old ski means they sit idle a lot..low hours not really a good thing on an older ski.

    First thing we would need to know is:

    what are the asking prices?

    I really like the Yamaha engines..Like the Non SC Seadoo also.

    It's really all about you..which one makes you feel better when you sit on it.

  3. #3
    Did the 2003's even have closed loop? I thought they were open loop until the last few years. That's a good point about sitting idle. The seadoo is asking $4000 but kbb is 4700 or something and the Yamaha is $4200 and kbb is about $4800. I'm not sure how beneficial the closed loop will be given that it may not ever get to the ocean. It would sit on a lake that a lot of ppl get drinking water from so its very clean

  4. #4
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Elephant Butte New Mexico
    all 4-tecs are closed loop with only the exhaust system getting lake water. While the water maybe a source for drinking, you will get alge on the bottom and anyplace water is sitting for an extended period.

    I have a 2007 GTI ( not supercharged) on the lot with 72 hours for $4500...go with NADA for book values, that's what the local bank pulls out when I want to buy a couple of skis to flip I can never make a deal however, as people around here think their skis are made of platinum and worth far more then the adjusted book values. Last year this guy wanted $6500 and I told him if it didn't sell, I was going to charge him storage as at that price, he was NEVER getting a buyer.

    nada on that ski is $2810 retail be generous and consider the lower hours are worth $300-$500 ( does he have maintenance records?) trailer is if doesn't need a thing is worth $400, so I think if you plop $3500 in $100 bills in front of him he'll bite.

    no maintenance records?..then have a shop give it a compression and charging system check a the least

    skis that sit a while between uses which are not maintained will wear faster then hours on the meter show.

    The engine can be exposed to humidty from the exhaust pipe/water box and develop thin films of rust..which shave hours off until the next rebuild

    think about what happens if you compound your car too much..eventually the paint wears off the sharper edges of the body. Same thing when the rings scrape off that very thin layer of rust that appears when the engine isn't run, and the jug with the exhaust valve open is getting damp air in it.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Well, for reference I bought our '07 with 35 hours on it a little over a year ago and it's been great, no troubles. 125 hours on the 1052cc MR-1 is nothing, I wouldn't worry about that as that's not high hours for a non-SC 4-stroke.

    The 2003 Sea-Doo does in fact have closed-loop cooling, but how many people have had problems with Yamaha using open-loop? Not enough to make a difference. The closed-loop system is still water-to-water and does add more parts and maintenance. I would look at which is more comfortable for you and which has easier access to do repairs and maintenance. The Sea-Doos I've looked at seemed to have more restricted access to work on things, the Yamahas have been more accessible and the work I have done on mine has been a pleasure as everything is pretty well designed to be serviceable.

    I'm told the Sea-Doos are generally reliable but they're also more complex so when there are problems it's not going to be as easy/cheap to fix. I guess the Rotax engines aren't like a conventional 4-stroke? Don't know, but since you're posting in the Yamaha section I guess that's not unexpected.

    For me personally, I bought my first Yamaha (The '94) based on reputation and experience with Yamaha 2-strokes, I bought the '07 again because of reputation of reliability and the positive reviews of the hull. The '08...just a continuation of the theme, no frequent supercharger maintenance required, reliable, good hull design, and at this point familiar with Yamaha 4-strokes and the FX layout.

    Before I bought the '08 I did look at a Sea-Doo that was a little cheaper, but access inside the hull was tight and the design was foreign to me so I wasn't comfortable going that route. But again, that's just me.

    Not sure if you posted in the Sea-Doo section or not, but you'll probably get similar answers from them. In the end, I'd go with your gut and which one speaks to you. Good luck!

  6. #6
    I'm with the cool kids Mowerpan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Closed loop cooling will be of no benefit being your only riding in freshwater and will be more maintenance. Yamaha is simple and reliable. At 125 hours I'd change the plugs if they haven't been changed but otherwise 125 hours is nothing. My 03 FX 140 has 170+ hours and never needed anything done to the motor except spark plugs and oil changes. Only work needed was pump related but it was due to salt water which you won't have to deal with.

  7. #7
    leejax01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I believe the Seadoo had exhaust valve issues in the earlier years where the valves would just break and eat up the engine. Even though the Yamaha is a year newer, but has more hours, I would still go Yamaha. Riding an older Seadoo with stock valves , SC ( not in your case) or in some models flywheel bolts, is like Russian Roulette.

  8. #8
    I really appreciate all the input guys. I just found another Yamaha with only 20 hours for the same price. Ill drive an hour extra each way, but at 20 hours its barely broken in. The guy bought it thinkin it'd be fun but he decided he likes his 2 boats better

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