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  1. #1

    Should i pull the trigger

    I have the chance to buy a 99 xlt 1200 & a 97 gp1200 on a mint shorelandr for 3000, the problem is that th xl's #3 cylinder is toast. The gp runs great & has 96 hrs on the clock & has at least a Riva stage 1 kit on it. I had very limited time to check the ski's out on Fri. I heard the gp run, but the dealer was getting ready to close for the day & they are a boat dealer that took them in on trade & don't really deal in ski's, so they nothing about them, I am having them pull a compression test on the GP today. So I guess the question is...is this a good deal, it seems to bee from the prices I am seeing. I do all of my own mechanic work so a piston & sleeve won't be a problem & I should be able to get th XL back on the water pretty cheaply as long as there is not extensive damage. I am new to ski's, so I was wondering if you guys could help me out with info on these two models & what to watch for, but from what I have read here they seem to be good reliable ski's, but your input would be greatly appreciated! Should I pull the trigger? It seems to me that I am pretty much getting a ski for free at this price! Thanks in advance for your input!


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Prices for used skis are location dependent. Here in Florida, used skis are everywhere and prices are low. Where my sister lives (Columbia, SC) prices are much higher. 50% higher or more!

    I regularly see supposedly good running '97 GP1200s on craigslist for $1700-2000. A non-running '99 XLT1200 wouldn't be worth all that much so even at $3000, that's not something that I'd jump on. Like I said, here that isn't a great deal but maybe it is where you live. You didn't say where you are.

    I've got a '97 GP1200 and it is a great ski with tremendous punch on the bottom end. Only tops out around 58mph on GPS but it get there in a hurry. Very, very maneuverable but very stable and it is everyone's favorite out of the four that I own. Mine doesn't have a porpoising problem like many '1998 GP1200 owners complain about.

    Never buy a used ski without riding it first unless it is being purchased for a giveaway price. Your deal is not a giveaway price.

    Don't go by how a ski runs on the trailer, either. You said the GP runs great but that was on the trailer and that tells you almost nothing. The engine has to be under load (in the water) to be able to tell if it's running right. Not only that, but many pump problems won't show up until you put the ski in the water and try to ride it.

    Anytime you've got a cylinder that's toast, you've got to figure out what caused it to go bad otherwise your new top end job will go bad again for the same reason. You can replace just the bad cylinder but most people frown on that and will say that it's best to do all.

    I'm going to assume that you've spent plenty of time researching these skis on this forum but if not, I highly recommend that you do so you learn as much as possible.

    You said that you're new to skis so I thought I'd throw some information out at you to help you decide whether or not this is really a good deal.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Clarksburg, WV
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    Things to look for on the 97 GP:
    Cracked hull around the front engine mounts (inside and out) some 97sand 98s have this problem

    Missing trim tabs on the back underside on each side of ride plate. ( they can be replaced)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dannyual777 View Post
    Prices for used skis are location dependent. Here in Florida, used skis are everywhere and prices are low. Where my sister lives (Columbia, SC) prices are much higher. 50% higher or more!

    I regularly see supposedly good running '97 GP1200s on craigslist for $1700-2000. A non-running '99 XLT1200 wouldn't be worth all that much so even at $3000, that's not something that I'd jump on. Like I said, here that isn't a great deal but maybe it is where you live. You didn't say where you are.

    I've got a '97 GP1200 and it is a great ski with tremendous punch on the bottom end. Only tops out around 58mph on GPS but it get there in a hurry. Very, very maneuverable but very stable and it is everyone's favorite out of the four that I own. Mine doesn't have a porpoising problem like many '1998 GP1200 owners complain about.

    Never buy a used ski without riding it first unless it is being purchased for a giveaway price. Your deal is not a giveaway price.

    Don't go by how a ski runs on the trailer, either. You said the GP runs great but that was on the trailer and that tells you almost nothing. The engine has to be under load (in the water) to be able to tell if it's running right. Not only that, but many pump problems won't show up until you put the ski in the water and try to ride it.

    Anytime you've got a cylinder that's toast, you've got to figure out what caused it to go bad otherwise your new top end job will go bad again for the same reason. You can replace just the bad cylinder but most people frown on that and will say that it's best to do all.

    I'm going to assume that you've spent plenty of time researching these skis on this forum but if not, I highly recommend that you do so you learn as much as possible.

    You said that you're new to skis so I thought I'd throw some information out at you to help you decide whether or not this is really a good deal.
    Thanks for the reply, well I took the plunge & bought the ski's after spending several hours reading on this site. I live in Portland, Or & I wish ski's were as cheap here as they are in Fl. I routinely see these same models & vintage of ski's selling for the same price each that I paid for the whole package!

    I understand what you are saying about testing the ski's out in the water first, but the a$$wipe salesman didn't want to take the time because he said they weren't making any money on the ski's, he didn't even want to spend the shop time to do a compression test for me, that's where I drew the line so he relented.

    While the mechanic who was much more willing to spend the time with me worked on putting a new battery & plugs in while doing the compression check, I had a chance to look the ski over real close, & it is in very nice shape with several aftermarket parts including ride plate, nozzle, grate & Riva spark arrestor set. I don't know if it has a D plate yet, I will check that out tomorrow.

    The compression was at between 127.4 & 128.6. so I took a chance on this ski because it is in such nice shape, they both are actually.

    I put the GP in the water on my way home & it runs awesome, it has great traction out of the hole & pulls very hard, handles very well with very little or no porpoising, I'm not sure what the top end speed is, I did not do a GPS run, the speedo said 64 on a speed run which I'm sure is WAY optimistic! Either way it is fast enough.

    Now the XL is a different story, it will need a complete rebuild, I pulled the head & the rear piston was in 2 pieces & beat to sh!t, I will know better how extensive the damage is once I get the engine out, but will be a very nice ski once it is running. Again I thank you for your response (all good points by the way) & look forward to rebuilding my XL with lots of help from the wealth of knowledge on this site.

    PS. Got any advice on where to get the best prices on engine parts?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by akjose View Post
    Things to look for on the 97 GP:
    Cracked hull around the front engine mounts (inside and out) some 97sand 98s have this problem

    Missing trim tabs on the back underside on each side of ride plate. ( they can be replaced)

    Thanks for the reply. I checked the motor mounts & the hull around them & all looks good. Both of the trim tabs are in place. This ski truly is in great shape except the seat which has some gooey sticky blackish substance on it that I can't seem to remove! Time for a new seat cover.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    I have a new looking red seat complete with stock cover on.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Oops. Double post.

    On second thought I have some new hydro turf mats as well, if your interested let me know.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by akjose View Post
    Oops. Double post.

    On second thought I have some new hydro turf mats as well, if your interested let me know.
    How much are you looking to get for both?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackman27 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by akjose View Post
    Oops. Double post.

    On second thought I have some new hydro turf mats as well, if your interested let me know.
    How much are you looking to get for both?
    The seat may be pricey to ship. Big and bulky. I will try to get a quote tomorrow or Tuesday. I can stuff the mats inside the box without a problem. .

    I am thinking mats for $50 and seat for $25. And shipping may be about $50 depending on size.
    So about 125ish

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