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  1. #1
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    What NOT To Do On A Jetski

    I'm being punished....My second running ski is a 1996 SeaDoo GTX and I'm being punished for my sins. I'm here to confess and ask for
    forgiveness....

    Well, this GTX is a creampuff with recranked, rebuilt motor, rejetted for a freer breathing flame arrestor, all new fuel lines, new prop. I got it for $1500 with a double trailer. A friend of mine who's a ski freak, albeit a SeaDoo ski freak, rebuilt it.

    So I put it in the water yesterday and like an idiot I mixed 93 octane with old gas. It ran well out of the water on the old gas alone so my friend thought it would be ok and we didn't think that much was left in the tank. Turns out it was about half full! And so I'm out there stumbling along, sometimes getting a full speed run (54 mph) other times not able to get more than 3500 rpm.

    And then the steering started to bind, mostly to the right. But it didn't bind at all with the engine off. So I took it to the ramp and found out that I lost the bottom bolt on the steering nozzle, but did that stop me from trying to burn more of my old/new gas cocktail?

    Hell no!

    So I put my 10 year old on the ski with me behind me and off we go being careful in the turns. We were able to get some WOT runs in and when I went to turn around in the canal, slightly less than moderate speed, I needed to tighten up the turn, so I gunned it....but the turn didn't tighten, and the engine decided now would be a good time to impress me with unabashed WOT and there's nothing but canal bank coming straight at me....fast!

    crap....this is going to hurt....

    And this hull doesn't slow down like the SLTX either....

    So the impact is coming and as soon as I realized that, I grabbed the reverse handle, slammed it into position, went WOT (and got it!!) and the tail end went up and the nose went totally underwater, then we hit hard.

    My left knee hit the mirror and I was barely able to keep us from tipping over. My 10 year old was ok but his 140 lbs slamming into me didn't help. I was his middle aged airbag thankfully. The ski started and we limped back to the ramp.

    The ski wouldn't even idle after that for awhile but later ran ok. No hull damage at all or if there was, just a scrape. The only thing that I can figure is that the missing steering nozzle bolt prevented me from getting enough steering to push that stern around the corner. Before the bolt had fallen out, it turned on a dime.

    So now I walk with a limp, have ice on my knew and get to lay in bed all day.

    On the plus side, my friend that rebuilt this ski had traded up to a 2004 SeaDoo RXP with only 5 hours on it...He got that for $6000. Wow!! Once you go 70 mph with no noise and vibration, but a sweet whirl of the supercharger, it's hard to look at our old stuff the same. On the other hand, I'd feel bad about crashing an RXP where dinging up my SLTX seems like fun or at least a "who cares" non event.

    By the time we had finished for the day, the GTX was running a lot better to the point of being fun half the time so I'm going to siphon the rest of the gas and do it right this time. I imagine there was some water too giving me fits. My SLTX gave me a similar experience when I was waking it up from a long sleep too.


  2. #2

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    thank god you guys didnt get hurt bad , ya they dont wanna turn as good when you really really need them to ,

    but a the doo and a double trailor for 1500 thats a sweet deal ,

    on the othere hand i like my old stuff , for what im planing on doing ill spend roughly about 2k at the most and be right up there with the new skis ,

    i hate to change oil and i hate when the new fancy stuff breaks , but i wouldnt mind a kawi or yami now they are suspose 2 be the new tough dogs ,

    doo needs to up there game or hulls to keep up

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Seems like there are a number of lessons to be learned from that experience. Glad to hear that no major damage to human or machine resulted.

    For the edification of others who may read this thread in the future, some points to remember;

    - Do not take passengers when you are testing, or are not sure you can trust the reliability of your PWC.

    - Do not test near the shore, or in confined waterways.

    - When testing, have another boat or PWC with rider available to tow you back, should you need it.

    - Do not ride when you know there is something wrong, or broken (like the steering)

    - Do not use old gasoline.

    - If you are unfamiliar with the boat (especially if it is an older model, or has been worked on recently), check everything, before you take it to the water. Look for loose fasteners, hull cracks, fuel and oil lines, wires, incorrect re-assembly, everything.

    - Always use your best judgement, before you get on the PWC, and while you are riding. These things are fast, powerful, and can hurt you in an instant.

  4. #4
    Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Seems like there are a number of lessons to be learned from that experience. Glad to hear that no major damage to human or machine resulted.

    For the edification of others who may read this thread in the future, some points to remember;

    - Do not take passengers when you are testing, or are not sure you can trust the reliability of your PWC.

    - Do not test near the shore, or in confined waterways.

    - When testing, have another boat or PWC with rider available to tow you back, should you need it.

    - Do not ride when you know there is something wrong, or broken (like the steering)

    - Do not use old gasoline.

    - If you are unfamiliar with the boat (especially if it is an older model, or has been worked on recently), check everything, before you take it to the water. Look for loose fasteners, hull cracks, fuel and oil lines, wires, incorrect re-assembly, everything.

    - Always use your best judgement, before you get on the PWC, and while you are riding. These things are fast, powerful, and can hurt you in an instant.
    Excellent advise!

  5. #5
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 97sltx1050 View Post
    thank god you guys didnt get hurt bad , ya they dont wanna turn as good when you really really need them to ,

    but a the doo and a double trailor for 1500 thats a sweet deal ,

    on the othere hand i like my old stuff , for what im planing on doing ill spend roughly about 2k at the most and be right up there with the new skis ,

    i hate to change oil and i hate when the new fancy stuff breaks , but i wouldnt mind a kawi or yami now they are suspose 2 be the new tough dogs ,

    doo needs to up there game or hulls to keep up
    That RXP...I felt like I should be wearing white gloves...I couldn't imagine abusing that and abusing my old skiis is part of the fun...not much to lose if you damage it. No "new care smell" to get all anxious about. I've got 100 scrapes on my hull...so what...great ski though....70 mph on such a smooth machine was a rush!!

  6. #6
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    That's all truly great advice...the ironic thing was that I was making a cautious wide moderate turn...the canal is very very wide, but what I didn't expect was the lack of steering response when I hit the gas...the ski did the opposite of my expectations and my speed wasn't from entering the turn but from hitting the gas to tighten the turn. One of those split second WTF??? life events. Huge learning experience.

    Thanks for the comments...I'm hoping others can learn from my mistake and the input from everyone.

  7. #7
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    Also, I didn't let my kids drive this ski at all where they have a long leash on the SLTX, which we didn't bring yesterday. It was an eye opener for sure.

  8. #8
    Moderator Insanediego Joe's Avatar
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    IMO, you made a bad call! you took a ski out that had broken steering! Your lucky you and your son are not dead or worse yet that you didnt have to tell his mother that your son died because you were stupid. You shouldnt be on the water if your going to be so lax in your judgement!

    Your lucky!


    If you get an RXP better get your shit together because pulling a bone head stunt like that with a high horsepower ski you will probably hurt others beside you and your son.

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1996SLTX View Post
    ...the SLTX, which we didn't bring yesterday...
    Would it be an accurate guess that it was inconvenient to bring your other ski, possibly because they were on separate trailers?

    Inconvenience (or trying to accomplish a goal now, rather than waiting for a better time) is one of the more popular reasons for people making poor choices. Not the only one, for sure, but popular enough.

    Having a backup boat available when testing, especially when reliability is in any way a question, is always a good thing. Anything that could leave you stranded on the water, is much worse when you do not have a tow readily available.

    Having another rider on hand also means you have a second opinion available, which can be (if the other person is thinking clearly) a double check against a poor decision.

    We are all happy to hear that your lesson was learned without major injury or loss. Hopefully others will read this, and review their own PWC practices.

  10. #10
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insanediego Joe View Post
    IMO, you made a bad call! you took a ski out that had broken steering! Your lucky you and your son are not dead or worse yet that you didnt have to tell his mother that your son died because you were stupid. You shouldnt be on the water if your going to be so lax in your judgement!

    Your lucky!


    If you get an RXP better get your shit together because pulling a bone head stunt like that with a high horsepower ski you will probably hurt others beside you and your son.
    Thanks for your outburst of emotions....makes people continue to want to share for the benefit of allowing others to learn from my mistakes.

    I don't tell this story to make myself an easy target, but rather to plant a seed in the minds of other newbies as to what can happen when you don't know what you don't know.

    What you don't know is that most of my driving was at barely 10 mph because the motor wouldn't do more than 3500 rpm most of the time. There were no other skis in the water. Mostly just puttering around burning old/new gas and time. My choice...my responsibility. This run had been faster, but the entry into the turn was very cautious and barely on plane albeit faster than other 180's I had done. I was turning but not at a rate fast enough for the width of the canal.

    No stunt, just a mistake and the humility to air it out over the internet. Not a choice to be reckless, but a mistake. So get over it. I did....I learned a huge lesson from this and part of my reconciliation is sharing it with others.

    Don't worry about the RXP. Not interested in it. But in truth it handles better than the stuff I own.

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