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  1. #1

    My first impression of the Seadoo Spark..

    I got took a look at the new Seadoo Sparks the other day at Riva South and... while i was pretty impressed, i dont think they would be that good for rental companies. At least not mine...
    The seat is very very narrow, much more then i expected. If You get two large people on there (which happens ALL the time) i just dont see it working out that well. Id have to do a water test to be sure, but i doubt that 3 people in the year of 2013 will fit.. Most men are 180+ and with a wife youll hit that max capacity or get close to it easily. 100lb under the max is still a tippy ride..
    If I need to get in the engine bay there is a small hatch that around your left ankle that gives you access to the battery and small(and i mean small) amount of wiggle room to the block. It takes removing the bolts that run all along the top half to get access to the engine bay. Which is somewhat of a hassle to do something quick in the engine bay. I think they are cool and all, just not sold on them just yet for my rentals...The storage is the next issue...or should i say, the lack-there-of. I wouldn't be able to get one set of fins mask and snorkels(let alone two) along with some beverages and snacks in that teeny tiny little hood. If you choose to buy that option...looks like id have to make my customers wear a backpack or something..
    The fuel consumption is a huge thing tho, 2 gallons an hour at WOT vs the vx wich is capable of burning roughly 5 or 6 per hour. Our hour, two hour, half day and full day rentals are all impacted by their fuel cost. And it greatly varies between the rider. Haul ass all day and ill burn quite a bit of fuel, but if you keep it around 30-40 youll go damn near all day. I do like the look and they are pretty cool, but i dont think they they are something that will be great for our rental. Or at least not all of our customers. We have plenty of larger couples that wouldnt do too well on the tiny little spark. If i got a fleet of sparks, i would also probably have to buy a few used FX140 for the larger people and longer riders and for those that actually want to bring something with them out on the water.

    Ive been and running vx 110 since 2005. I know them in an out. While i do like them, the damages and fuel consumption are the two that i dont. Seadoos have a lot stronger hulls and are better with those random bumps that happen out on the water. I like that they repair with a powder and some heat. ..

    Perhaps i need to load one up with 3 people and go out on a rough day first before I look for other machines.


  2. #2
    Been around for years...seen it all Kawi-Guy's Avatar
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    Good luck getting 3 people on the Spark !!
    Why don't you get 2 of the 3 seater Sparks and charge a small premium to rent them,
    advertise them as an upgrade option for Hot Dog types who want to show off and ride it hard. People will pay a few dollars more to rent a cooler looking ski.
    Rule :
    2 people or less on the smaller Sparks, get the Pink and Orange ones and buy the wraps to make them look like Racing skis.
    You will definitely need to find some improved knee pad holders for those access hatches. I have read that they can come off easily in the rough waters with Newbie riders.Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    As it is, we already have a lot of options for renting the skis, it almost can be confusing. Its easy to say "charge a premium' for the sparks, but in reality its really not that simple... I think having two brand new skis on the dock, compared to the rest of the skis will have people wanting to just ride the sparks. I know i surely would... They look like a rocket ship next to the vx's. We keep Eleanor (SHO) on the docks and every day people want to ride that instead of the vx's. Sometimes, they just mosey on over to her and plop their happy asses right down on it. I think by comparison the spark will win based purely on aesthetics. The next to no storage on the sparks is a huge issue for my business, as we are the only company within a few hundred miles that are insured to do what we do. 1 hour rides aren't our regular deal, the 2+ hr rides are where its at. I guess if we just did 1 hour rides and tours, it would fine. But we aren't like the rest

    I want to like the sparks, I really do. Just the fuel consumption alone would make a big difference in the bottom line. But its hard to really see how they will hold up over time.

  4. #4
    Been around for years...seen it all Kawi-Guy's Avatar
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    Why don't you develop a storage box that fits below the rear of the seat ? it could be attached to the rear of the seat area and below that

  5. #5
    i would love to but im spending the next month filming a documentary about treasure diving on this bad boy. In fact i looked at them on the way to Sebastian...


  6. #6
    SLASHER's Avatar
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    Tell u what , the Spark hands down is much more fun to ride than a VX... After spending some time on one it was fun +++...

  7. #7
    TheEngineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLASHER View Post
    Tell u what , the Spark hands down is much more fun to ride than a VX... After spending some time on one it was fun +++...
    I don't even consider the VX to be a watercraft. I owned a brand new one for about a month and it was terrible. I actually feel bad for people who come down to Florida, rent one of those things, and leave thinking that's what jet skiing is...

    As far as the Spark vs VX? There's no comparison. The VX is boring, no hook-up, can't spin it out, too heavy, doesn't turn, just not any fun in general. The only use for a VX is perhaps shuttling people in a straight line from one spot to the next.

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  9. #8
    With all due respect,almost all of our people have a great time on our skis. Our 100% feedback on trip advisor speaks for itself. Honestly, being fun is about the last on my list of priorites. They need to be physiclly capable of meeting most my specfic needs, not just one or two...

    Vx are the standard down here, and have been since 2004. Say what you want, but they are the most reliable and practical skis next to the fx, which is a few grand more. When buying 14 skis, a few k per unit really adds up...

  10. #9
    TheEngineer's Avatar
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    I won't argue there...They do seem to be the standard for rental operators. I actually sold mine to a rental place on Treasure Island.

  11. #10
    We dont always have rough waters and most of it is usually light chop if any. I cant speak for anyone else, but regardless of the wind direction. i can bring people on a tour and maneuver us to where we stay dry and shallow and out of the shity weather, i used to feel ad for other tours, cause their lame brained guide had no idea what they were doing and just follow the same shitty route all the time. I would make new spots, learn REAL history about the place and not make shit up like everyone else dow.. That was one of my advantages on the shitty days, which made a big difference in my tip jar.. I could almost keep people dry on a 10+kt day, which isnt easy to do when your going in circles around an island.

    Back to my last response, I dont want to give off the impression that im not interested in my people having fun. Not by any means. What i meant to say is there are a lot of other factors that are play a bigger role at the end of the day then simply fun(if that makes any sense).... initial Cost, repairability, reliability, storage, fuel consumption, parts availability, practicality, weight capacities, fuel storage, comfort, ease of repairs, yadda yadda yadda....of course i want my customers to have fun, but its kinda hard NOT to have fun when you are in the water, on a jet ski, in the keys.. Unless of course its blowing like a bitch or oyu are just a bitter asshole...At any given time in the day, i can make a phone call to the 4 other rental companies mechanics and get just about anything from an sponson to a complete engine, because EVERY rental company uses Yami's. Only ONE uses seadoos, and they are they are actually the R&D for Seadoo. All the latest and coolest new toys get tested down here. While I am friends with the owner and get parts at cost, he would be my one and only option for help....I like being able to call for damn near any parts without waiting for riva to order, wait to receive, THEN ship the parts again with slow ass UPS to arrive. A ski down for any longer then a day can be a very expensive problem, and can be the difference of all the skis going out with a big group or none at all...

    If all we did was drive circles around the island and had a tiny ass ride area like everyone else they may work well, where storage and practicality isnt specifically needed.. But we have customers that rent for the week and who want to go places and bring stuff with. The storage on Le Spark is almost non existant, in fact it is unless you buy the storage bin. A pair of masks and snorkels, maybe a water bottle and some sunscreen is about the max on those...

    Maybe they would just be for the hour and 2 hour rentals, and get something else for the longer rides....

    I wish there was one i could ride up in the sebastian area, its blowing like a bitch and would be a good place to get a feel for how it responds to different environments

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