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  1. #1
    Rum_pirate's Avatar
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    Question Looking for first ski

    New guy here,

    Got the bug when my dad brought his pair of gp760s over for a day on the river. Since then I've been ate up with it. Going to pick one up around October or so... Figured it gives me enough time for funds and to learn what I want; around that time some people should be looking to part with them sometimes...

    My intended uses for a ski are primarily fishing for me personally. Also, just to cruise around and maybe island camp with my girlfriend. Would be nice to have something to pull tubes and what not for family and friends.

    I can say I'm not looking for a speed demon by any means, I think I averaged around 40 on the gp's, so that's not a priority. Back to the fishing aspect though, I've really drawn a LOT of interest to offshore fishing like trolling and bottom rigging. I can say at first I would only flirt with a couple miles but possibly venture furthur.

    Other things I'd like to get out of a ski is maybe free diving with a Hawaiian sling, scalloping, tubing, camping, just cruising...

    I'm 90% confident my first will be a yami, dad showed me the layout of his 760 and fairly simple design. I love learning about small motors on Bobber bikes, mud motors, and small engines and pumps. So I look forward to learning these machines.

    As for now, I've got it narrowed down to probably either the gp 760 or the xl 760... If you asked me today, I think I would skew torwards the xl...

    My thoughts on it are a larger wider ski for boarding in open water and maneuvering on in open water, especially with any type of waves. Also, with all the open space, it leaves room for any modifications and tinkering!

    Just wanted to throw out what I was looking for so I can get all the pros and cons so when the deal comes by, I can be informed.

    I appreciate any feedback, and look forward to this forum.

    Sorry mods if this isn't the correct area, I can move it to wherever.


    Thanks guys
    -Jake


  2. #2
    Formerly Ultra250 TN Aquaholic6801's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forum....

    IMHO.......It would be better to think about moving to a 4 stroke ski....much larger, stable and more reliable, since you plan on getting out in the ocean... You may want to go test drive a few newer models of skis (to get the feel of the newer skis, any good dealer should let you test ride them) , you will be surprised where ski's have come to from those 760s you rode to the newer 4 stroke models........

  3. #3
    Rum_pirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaholic6801 View Post
    Welcome to the Forum....

    IMHO.......It would be better to think about moving to a 4 stroke ski....much larger, stable and more reliable, since you plan on getting out in the ocean... You may want to go test drive a few newer models of skis (to get the feel of the newer skis, any good dealer should let you test ride them) , you will be surprised where ski's have come to from those 760s you rode to the newer 4 stroke models........
    Thanks for the feedback aqua, due to a engagement ring and college funds I'm limited on that aspect. If I do take a craving to this pwc style fishing. I'm sure in a few years ill be making the switch to 4 stroke. Thanks for your feedback though! Anyone else have .02 on this subject.

  4. #4
    OzarkYamMonster's Avatar
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    Hello & welcome ... Aqua is right if your thinking of going on sea & bays, you should look @ larger craft ...
    seek out a good used Yamaha 3 seat, like a xlt 1200, there are plenty in the lower cost range and believe me, you will need the larger stable platform .... maybe see if you can locate a good Yami SUV. Good Luck

  5. #5
    Rum_pirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkYamMonster View Post
    Hello & welcome ... Aqua is right if your thinking of going on sea & bays, you should look @ larger craft ...
    seek out a good used Yamaha 3 seat, like a xlt 1200, there are plenty in the lower cost range and believe me, you will need the larger stable platform .... maybe see if you can locate a good Yami SUV. Good Luck
    Sweet, thanks Ozark. I definitely agree with a larger hull, that's why I was looking at the xl760. I'm a little intimidated by the 1200s and 1200r's. Seems when you research them you find more problems then I care to deal with, of course its biased to think they're not just as good a machine.

    Ill look more into the larger motors, I found a few SUV's, but out of my $2000 price range.


    Thanks

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_pirate View Post
    ... My intended uses for a ski are primarily fishing for me personally. Also, just to cruise around and maybe island camp with my girlfriend. Would be nice to have something to pull tubes and what not for family and friends.

    I can say I'm not looking for a speed demon by any means, I think I averaged around 40 on the gp's, so that's not a priority. Back to the fishing aspect though, I've really drawn a LOT of interest to offshore fishing like trolling and bottom rigging. I can say at first I would only flirt with a couple miles but possibly venture further.

    Other things I'd like to get out of a ski is maybe free diving with a Hawaiian sling, scalloping, tubing, camping, just cruising...

    ... I love learning about small motors on Bobber bikes, mud motors, and small engines and pumps. So I look forward to learning these machines.

    ... My thoughts on it are a larger wider ski for boarding in open water and maneuvering on in open water, especially with any type of waves. Also, with all the open space, it leaves room for any modifications and tinkering!

    Just wanted to throw out what I was looking for so I can get all the pros and cons so when the deal comes by, I can be informed...
    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_pirate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkYamMonster View Post
    ... look @ larger craft ...
    seek out a good used Yamaha 3 seat, like a xlt 1200, there are plenty in the lower cost range and believe me, you will need the larger stable platform .... maybe see if you can locate a good Yami SUV...
    ... I definitely agree with a larger hull, that's why I was looking at the xl760. I'm a little intimidated by the 1200s and 1200r's. Seems when you research them you find more problems then I care to deal with, of course its biased to think they're not just as good a machine.

    Ill look more into the larger motors, I found a few SUV's, but out of my $2000 price range...
    You can change the engine, you can add stuff inside and outside. But you cannot change the hull.

    Buy the hull that is most appropriate for your intended uses. There is a reason JetSkiBrian has the Yamaha SUV hull.

    Watercraft 2-stroke engines can be reliable if built properly and well maintained. If you are comfortable doing your own mechanical work, often the way to have a reliable 'older' watercraft is to buy one that needs the engine rebuilt. This keeps the initial purchase price down, and removes the temptation to overpay for a 'good running condition' machine.

    Then rebuild the engine using good quality parts and attention to detail. While the engine is out, go through the rest of the machine and clean, inspect, repair and rebuild the other stuff. Jet pump would be one place to rebuild, even if it 'seems' good.

    Do a thorough job and you will end up with the hull you need and a rebuilt engine with zero running hours.

    Down the road, if you desire, that same large hull can accomodate an engine conversion to 4-stroke. Lots of work and details to such a project, but you can end up with something you literally cannot buy today - a four seat watercraft with a modern engine.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Rum_pirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_pirate View Post
    ... My intended uses for a ski are primarily fishing for me personally. Also, just to cruise around and maybe island camp with my girlfriend. Would be nice to have something to pull tubes and what not for family and friends.

    I can say I'm not looking for a speed demon by any means, I think I averaged around 40 on the gp's, so that's not a priority. Back to the fishing aspect though, I've really drawn a LOT of interest to offshore fishing like trolling and bottom rigging. I can say at first I would only flirt with a couple miles but possibly venture further.

    Other things I'd like to get out of a ski is maybe free diving with a Hawaiian sling, scalloping, tubing, camping, just cruising...

    ... I love learning about small motors on Bobber bikes, mud motors, and small engines and pumps. So I look forward to learning these machines.

    ... My thoughts on it are a larger wider ski for boarding in open water and maneuvering on in open water, especially with any type of waves. Also, with all the open space, it leaves room for any modifications and tinkering!

    Just wanted to throw out what I was looking for so I can get all the pros and cons so when the deal comes by, I can be informed...
    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_pirate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkYamMonster View Post
    ... look @ larger craft ...
    seek out a good used Yamaha 3 seat, like a xlt 1200, there are plenty in the lower cost range and believe me, you will need the larger stable platform .... maybe see if you can locate a good Yami SUV...
    ... I definitely agree with a larger hull, that's why I was looking at the xl760. I'm a little intimidated by the 1200s and 1200r's. Seems when you research them you find more problems then I care to deal with, of course its biased to think they're not just as good a machine.

    Ill look more into the larger motors, I found a few SUV's, but out of my $2000 price range...
    You can change the engine, you can add stuff inside and outside. But you cannot change the hull.

    Buy the hull that is most appropriate for your intended uses. There is a reason JetSkiBrian has the Yamaha SUV hull.

    Watercraft 2-stroke engines can be reliable if built properly and well maintained. If you are comfortable doing your own mechanical work, often the way to have a reliable 'older' watercraft is to buy one that needs the engine rebuilt. This keeps the initial purchase price down, and removes the temptation to overpay for a 'good running condition' machine.

    Then rebuild the engine using good quality parts and attention to detail. While the engine is out, go through the rest of the machine and clean, inspect, repair and rebuild the other stuff. Jet pump would be one place to rebuild, even if it 'seems' good.

    Do a thorough job and you will end up with the hull you need and a rebuilt engine with zero running hours.

    Down the road, if you desire, that same large hull can accomodate an engine conversion to 4-stroke. Lots of work and details to such a project, but you can end up with something you literally cannot buy today - a four seat watercraft with a modern engine.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	408.jpg 
Views:	99 
Size:	62.1 KB 
ID:	305876
    Thanks a bunch K447,

    I see what your saying, and yes maybe not right out the start with a engine rebuild. But once I had a machine lets say... a year, or usually in the past with other toys when something goes wrong is when I have to dive in and learn it by rebuilding. So what I'm saying I guess is, I wouldn't chop up the whole ski just for a "matter of fact" answer that the engine was flawless. That would be nice, but not reasonable for my wallet. But if it meant not using it off shore for a year or so until it forces me into that situation I would start ground up I imagine. I plan on re doing the Carbs no matter what ski I get, unless there's a reciept with date of rebuild.

    I won't lie, It sucks hearing the feedback of "newer" and "stronger" motors to do what I'm asking. But I suppose its what someone needs to hear before being off the coast and seeing it first hand, lol.

    Well let me ask this question then... Am I wishful thinking in that I could use a hull and motor like a XL760 and go trolling 2-3 miles offshore??

    If thats the case, I'll have to settle for inshore flats fishing, which is fine... Once I get furthur in my career I can always purchase the "newer & better" machines later.

    I appreciate all the feedback guys, please keep it coming!

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    My primary point is that it is difficult to actually BUY a predictably reliable, older watercraft, in running, ready to use, condition. If one is available, it tends to be priced accordingly.

    Even if the machine you buy HAS been reliable up until the day you buy it (and often the reality is that the machine has previously had something go wrong), that prior history is a thin guarantee of future reliability. It could continue to run properly for years, or perhaps just some number of weeks, hours or mere minutes.

    Without a very thorough mechanical inspection and a fairly invasive near-tear down (not just of the engine), you just won't be able to convincingly predict how long the machine will continue run before some 'problem' arises. It is common enough for people to post that they just discovered some significant issue or problem, just happened to be looking in that area. Comments along the lines of 'I had no idea how bad it was' or "It could have let go at any time...".

    You can 'hope' that everything is just fine. When you are a long way from shore (or just a long way from your trailer), that tension becomes more emphasized.

    The more important to you that the machine simply NOT fail, the more important the reliability question becomes. And that means re-building it (not just the engine) yourself to ensure everything is actually in good (or like new) condition. Or paying someone else to do that work for you, either after you buy it, or before you buy it (which means the purchase price will not be low).

  9. #9
    Formerly Ultra250 TN Aquaholic6801's Avatar
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    I am going to stick with the advise I provided earlier....safety and reliability should be your main concern fishing in the ocean....the 760's are mid to late 90's skis ....15+ yrs old....to many things to go wrong with the age of those skis....If you go that route I would stick with fishing in the lakes or small rivers.....IMHO

    Good Luck in which ever route you decide....


  10. #10
    Rum_pirate's Avatar
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    well, its what I needed to hear guys. Thanks a ton for all your help and OP.

    I think I might be better off just waiting a few years for a newer ski, then walking a tight rope with older stuff.

    Thanks again.

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