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  1. #1

    Buying used personal watercraft, what to look out for

    As a former service advisor at one of the largest boat and personal watercraft dealerships in the country, I have picked up a few things that may be helpful to the masses out there looking to purchase used pwc's. Here are the most important things I've found:
    • Inspect the hull for cracks and chips. It may sound obvious, but, if someone beats on their machine and doesn't care for it well, it is a sign that it may not be cared for mechanically.
    • Inspect the intake grate and the impellor for damage. It is one of the most popular places to damage on a pwc, by ingesting rocks or sand through the intake and out of the impellor. Average cost to repair: $350 to $675 dollars.
    • Check compression. Most older pwc's are two strokes, and may still run, even with a hole in a piston. A compression check is a good test for a healthy motor. The piston below would probably still move in the cylinder and produce enough compression to run (poorly), but would fail a compression test due to the severe etching of the cylinder walls. the full guide with pics here

  2. #2
    My new toys at work bruinsrme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Worcester MA
    First off Welcome to the forum.

    Good stuff, some of which can be overlooked due to the excitement of the purchase or potential of the purchase.


  3. #3
    dolson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I highly recommend a compression test, their easy to do and cheap to purchase a kit.

    I found a ski on craigslist, I emailed the seller and never hear back so I called and took a ride down. The ski ran great on the trailer and the engine looked very clean. When I did a compression test the first two cylinders had about 120 psi. the rear had 0 psi. He said he never used the ski and took it on trade for work he did and never put it in the water. I happily passed on it because I took the time to test it even though it sounded great. When I got home I had a reply to my email saying the ski runs great they have been riding it all summer.

    Also be aware allot of repair shops wont work on older skis, places near me they wont go past 2006. I have a 95 and dont want to buy the aligment tool so figured I'd just pay the shop rate and let a repair shop do it but all of them turned me down. I will have to buy the tool and do it myself.

    This is a great forum, allot of great info here, any issues you have this is an excellent place to reseach and allot of helpful users with good advise if you decide to work on the ski yourself.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmayor007 View Post
    I hope this guide helps! If it does, please indicate so by voting below.

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