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Thread: 15X first rides

  1. #1

    15X first rides

    Since all these skis seem to be getting out at the same time, I thought I'd start a thread for first rides.

    And while I'm waiting for my fiance to get home from a business trip, I may as well post myself...

    First off, I totally botched my first ride. Hopefully I didn't damage the ski.

    I wanted to take it out from my Marina (those who know the estuary, it's right across from Coast Guard Island), but I needed to get gas, and I thought it would probably make more sense to break it in in a big flat playground rather than the middle of the estuary, or out on the bay waves. So I took it down the MLK park, which is down on the south side of Alameda. I'd heard it recommended, so I thought it would be perfect.

    First off, it took me a bit to find it (should have mapped it). Next problem - if you can't even float your ski off the trailer because the ramp is bottomed out - go to a new location. The ski was in the water, but I had to shove it off the trailer because that was all the ramp there was. Should have clued me in.

    Anyway, I get out on the water, and am timing my five full minutes of warmup idle on the way out to the bigger water. Five minutes, as others have noted, is a long time. Everything I've read, though, says that's critical, so I chilled out and had a smoke, occasionally brushing the throttle to change the revs. All good so far.

    Finally, 6 minutes have gone by, so I figure I can give it some more gas. Cavitation. WTF? Try again - more cavitation, then grinding.

    I realize I'm in about a foot of water, under which is nasty bay mud. Unreal. The tide is too low. I get out and start pushing (and swearing, as you'd imagine), tugging, pushing, trying to find the channel. Find some slightly better water, start it, same thing.

    Long story short, I probably spent 15 minutes of the evening pushing that ski around in the bay, feeling completely ridiculous, frustrated at the idea that I might have already scratched the bottom of the hull and/or damaged the impeller and the housing. I ended up doing break-in power ons in the little channel there was, going back and forth, which felt pretty damned lame, although the ski was impressive.

    The ski! You all probably care more about the ski than my misadventures in the mud. Finally I got it up into the northern estuary, where I could open it up a bit more (but still varying throttle a bunch to prevent glazing). I ended up going right past my marina, which is where I should have left from in the first place, and up out onto the bay.

    So, the ski -

    This hull takes the water like *butter*. I wish I'd ridden an ultra for comparison, and I realize my opinion is only worth my previous experience. But previous experience coming from SeaDoos and VX rental skis - this hull is unreal. It's *so* stable, *so* smooooth... the word that kept coming into my head for the ride is "princely". It's stunning. No drama, no rattles, shaking, or quivering. There's some gentle wagging if you sit on the edge of plane speed, but that's actually kind of relaxing - and I'd never have even been going that speed if I hadn't been trying to take it easy for break-in (after some high-throttle runs, of course).

    Out on the bay, there was some crunch water, long waves, short chop, reasonably nasty. The hull is... just awesome, in my uneducated opinion. It handles all the waves stupendously - it's dry up until waves start cresting around the bow, and it's totally confidence inspiring. The seating position is excellent - I usually hate sitting down over waves, but with this ski it's actually comfortable. Got to love the narrower Honda seat, compared to the wide Yamaha (one of the reasons I didn't get the SHO).

    However, this is a big ski - it doesn't feel like a little hot rod, for those who are into that. However, for what I want it for - crushing waves on the bay, being able to go out under the Bay Bridge in 10 minutes and tear around in the swells - it's perfect. There was no bone-jarring, nervous feel, like all the skis I've ridden, and it doesn't feel lost when sitting in a rough sea. Again, I wish I had an Ultra to compare it to, to see which one is really faster in big chop. My honest *guess* is that the ultra is faster, but the Honda is more dry and more stable. This is going from what I"ve heard about the Ultra. The bow almost never gets submerged or throws water up at you on the Honda, probably because the bow arc isn't as long, among other things. It will be interesting to see how they do against each other.

    Since others have posted GPS numbers, I wasn't that concerned with that, so sorry for those who want another confirmation. Honestly, it didn't have arm-tearing acceleration. It was quick, don't get me wrong, but it's just smooth speed - it never . I am curious how it compares with the grunt of the SHO that I've heard so much about, but I know I won't miss it. Accel is less important to me than wave handling.

    Turbo lag is almost unnoticable, unless you're trying to feel it, and even then, it's pretty minor. The ski hustles, that's for sure.

    I didn't spend more than a few seconds at WOT, so I'm not sure about top speed. I'm actually worried that I damaged the pump, so I would like to know how fast I'm going. One concern was that the speedometer was acting weird - it never got over 58, and many times it was jumping around, at speeds obviously lower than what I was at. I think this may have been something to do with the mud. When I cleaned it, it looked okay, but who knows. Assuming it GPS's at 66, I'll feel better about the pump and impeller. It was pretty much just a lot of mud that it got stuck in.

    Anyway, shitty tidal situation aside, I really couldn't be happier with the ski. Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of it in the water, because I didn't want to be running around with my camera before stashing it in the car (was worried about it getting stolen). I did get photos at the Marina, but I don't have time to upload them. Hopefully later...

    Oh, and the ski looks sweet sitting in the water


  2. #2
    Good honest review Imag. Looking forward to when they hit Australia. Proabably going to step up to the F15, after racing last weekend & watching the Ultra dominate. Bit more HP & better hull should see the Honda a bit more competetive on the track compared to the R12X

  3. #3
    SHO What????? jpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imaginate View Post
    Since all these skis seem to be getting out at the same time, I thought I'd start a thread for first rides.

    And while I'm waiting for my fiance to get home from a business trip, I may as well post myself...

    First off, I totally botched my first ride. Hopefully I didn't damage the ski.

    I wanted to take it out from my Marina (those who know the estuary, it's right across from Coast Guard Island), but I needed to get gas, and I thought it would probably make more sense to break it in in a big flat playground rather than the middle of the estuary, or out on the bay waves. So I took it down the MLK park, which is down on the south side of Alameda. I'd heard it recommended, so I thought it would be perfect.

    First off, it took me a bit to find it (should have mapped it). Next problem - if you can't even float your ski off the trailer because the ramp is bottomed out - go to a new location. The ski was in the water, but I had to shove it off the trailer because that was all the ramp there was. Should have clued me in.

    Anyway, I get out on the water, and am timing my five full minutes of warmup idle on the way out to the bigger water. Five minutes, as others have noted, is a long time. Everything I've read, though, says that's critical, so I chilled out and had a smoke, occasionally brushing the throttle to change the revs. All good so far.

    Finally, 6 minutes have gone by, so I figure I can give it some more gas. Cavitation. WTF? Try again - more cavitation, then grinding.

    I realize I'm in about a foot of water, under which is nasty bay mud. Unreal. The tide is too low. I get out and start pushing (and swearing, as you'd imagine), tugging, pushing, trying to find the channel. Find some slightly better water, start it, same thing.

    Long story short, I probably spent 15 minutes of the evening pushing that ski around in the bay, feeling completely ridiculous, frustrated at the idea that I might have already scratched the bottom of the hull and/or damaged the impeller and the housing. I ended up doing break-in power ons in the little channel there was, going back and forth, which felt pretty damned lame, although the ski was impressive.

    The ski! You all probably care more about the ski than my misadventures in the mud. Finally I got it up into the northern estuary, where I could open it up a bit more (but still varying throttle a bunch to prevent glazing). I ended up going right past my marina, which is where I should have left from in the first place, and up out onto the bay.

    So, the ski -

    This hull takes the water like *butter*. I wish I'd ridden an ultra for comparison, and I realize my opinion is only worth my previous experience. But previous experience coming from SeaDoos and VX rental skis - this hull is unreal. It's *so* stable, *so* smooooth... the word that kept coming into my head for the ride is "princely". It's stunning. No drama, no rattles, shaking, or quivering. There's some gentle wagging if you sit on the edge of plane speed, but that's actually kind of relaxing - and I'd never have even been going that speed if I hadn't been trying to take it easy for break-in (after some high-throttle runs, of course).

    Out on the bay, there was some crunch water, long waves, short chop, reasonably nasty. The hull is... just awesome, in my uneducated opinion. It handles all the waves stupendously - it's dry up until waves start cresting around the bow, and it's totally confidence inspiring. The seating position is excellent - I usually hate sitting down over waves, but with this ski it's actually comfortable. Got to love the narrower Honda seat, compared to the wide Yamaha (one of the reasons I didn't get the SHO).

    However, this is a big ski - it doesn't feel like a little hot rod, for those who are into that. However, for what I want it for - crushing waves on the bay, being able to go out under the Bay Bridge in 10 minutes and tear around in the swells - it's perfect. There was no bone-jarring, nervous feel, like all the skis I've ridden, and it doesn't feel lost when sitting in a rough sea. Again, I wish I had an Ultra to compare it to, to see which one is really faster in big chop. My honest *guess* is that the ultra is faster, but the Honda is more dry and more stable. This is going from what I"ve heard about the Ultra. The bow almost never gets submerged or throws water up at you on the Honda, probably because the bow arc isn't as long, among other things. It will be interesting to see how they do against each other.

    Since others have posted GPS numbers, I wasn't that concerned with that, so sorry for those who want another confirmation. Honestly, it didn't have arm-tearing acceleration. It was quick, don't get me wrong, but it's just smooth speed - it never . I am curious how it compares with the grunt of the SHO that I've heard so much about, but I know I won't miss it. Accel is less important to me than wave handling.

    Turbo lag is almost unnoticable, unless you're trying to feel it, and even then, it's pretty minor. The ski hustles, that's for sure.

    I didn't spend more than a few seconds at WOT, so I'm not sure about top speed. I'm actually worried that I damaged the pump, so I would like to know how fast I'm going. One concern was that the speedometer was acting weird - it never got over 58, and many times it was jumping around, at speeds obviously lower than what I was at. I think this may have been something to do with the mud. When I cleaned it, it looked okay, but who knows. Assuming it GPS's at 66, I'll feel better about the pump and impeller. It was pretty much just a lot of mud that it got stuck in.

    Anyway, shitty tidal situation aside, I really couldn't be happier with the ski. Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of it in the water, because I didn't want to be running around with my camera before stashing it in the car (was worried about it getting stolen). I did get photos at the Marina, but I don't have time to upload them. Hopefully later...

    Oh, and the ski looks sweet sitting in the water
    I cant believe that happened on the first ride, what a bummer. I had a similer first ride experience on my 96 GSX. First or second time out I forgot to put the drain plugs in. I put the boat in parked my car & come back, sit on the boat & had this sinking feeling, man this thing sits low when it hit me. Man was I pissed, but the water didn't make it up to the air intake & every thing turned out alright but boy was I pissed at myself.... Good luck with the Honda & next time you screw up, dont admit it so your dealer wont read it on the Net!!!!!


    jim

  4. #4
    Honda Guy's Avatar
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    Initial Ride Report

    Today we took out our Brand New (bought yesterday) Honda F 15 X. First off, the camera broke L So no pictures. Second, this was the break in run so we had nothing over 5k RPM and the lake was restricted to 35 mph but we slipped a couple of times over the speed limit. =-)
    First impression: This is exactly what I was looking for from the hull. The lake went from absolute glass to afternoon moderate lake chop. No issues in the glassy conditions as I am sure we would all expect. With the bigger stuff like cross chop from wake boats and the wind bump that built up it stayed straight and true. Taking the Wake boat bumps at 35, the boat would not fall into the trough as our F 12 does and our R 12 X really does. At 45 I would tense for it like I am used too, hit the trough, and slice right through. That’s the difference, when you hit the face of the wake or wave the boat wants to keep its forward momentum. I have not ridden a boat yet until today that would do that to this level. For you older moto guys it’s like the first time you rode a bike with long travel suspension, you need to adjust in your mind what you can hit and how fast. I am really happy with that and it was exactly what I was looking for. I asked my wife what she thought when she came back and she put it best. She said that the F 15 X has all of the good qualities of the R 12 X and yet is still comfortable like the F 12. That says it all. More to come when we can max it out.

  5. #5
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    I have a couplefo questions since I couldn'tmeet upwith anybody this weekend.

    Does the boat list while under 5MPH?
    Do the foot wells fill with water?
    Is there any engine vibration at ANY RPM's?

    Honda Guy, what's your input on the turbolag?
    Do you have any other PWC you can compare the ergonomics to?

  6. #6
    Honda Guy's Avatar
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    Sorry you did not make it Ph2o. The boat does not list under any mph and for those of you that hate wet feet, the foot wells stayed dry. I felt no engine vibration either through the bars or the seat or hull but I did not feel it with the 12 series either. It has less vibration then the three cylinder Sea Doo's ( the F 15 X has a counter balancer now) We are still breaking it in so I can't comment completely on any lag issues however, it has way more bottom end then the 12 X's do and the people who are really looking for it will probably notice lag. Honda's and if I remember right, Sea Doo's have a taller seat that is wide, but not too wide. The women in our riding group all comment about the yamahas being too wide (SHO and FX series) I feel I have a little more room to move around on the F 15 X then the F 12 and that it is more comfortable to stand on the F 15 X then the F 12 or R 12

  7. #7
    I am qualified to make the call on ergonomics - the Honda beats the Yamaha hands down on the seat. The Yamahas I rode and sat on felt like being on a horse, and you end up bow-legged after a day. The Honda is downright comfy, and it allows you to quickly stand more easily.

    Vibration is next to nil.

    Footwells *do* fill with water when you're washing down the ski at the end of the day. That part is a pain. I never noticed the issue during riding at all, but on the water I was on, it didn't make any difference.

    I rode from Alameda to Richmond yesterday on the ski, and it was a trooper. I was battling through the 5-foot wind waves on the bay, and it did fine. I did stuff the nose twice, which is pretty overwhelming, and I couldn't get going nearly fast enough to test the top speed (sorry all!).

    Under those conditions, the splash resistance of the hull only goes so far - it was a constant drenching. I will say, except for those two occasions, when I got the nose straight down into a wave, the water doesn't come up over the bow. The bow pushes the water out to the side, and then the wind was blowing the splash up into me. In fact, when I was going with the wind, there was next to no spray.

    What was astounding was what the ski could deal with. I'm pretty sure people thought I was crazy - even most of the sailboats had gone in, but it was actually a lot of fun. One thing I need - goggles with rainX. There's no other way to deal with that amount of water.

    I'd still like to get it up against an Ultra, but I have a feeling it would measure up pretty well. Reading on pwcoffshore today, it sounds like they don't even recommend riding in those conditions, and they almost all have ultras. I was able to maintain about 25-35 mph, depending on the tack against the waves. Also to the hull's credit - it always feels very safe, incredibly stable, out in the midst of tumultuous water. A few times I just stopped and chilled, and it didn't matter what direction I was sitting, I never felt lost in the waves.

    After all that, the hull was bone dry inside. The front compartment had about a half a cup of water at the bottom, but there was none in the motor area, in the glove box, or in the rear. No sign of spider cracks either...

    It feels like the acceleration is getting faster too. I'm only on my 3rd hour, but it's noticably quicker than the first day. Wish I could get it to the lake to test the top end...

  8. #8
    Here are some photos - I was trying to get the geometry of the hull in a photo, but it's tricky when it's on the trailer. I'm not sure how much data I can upload - what else do you guys want to see?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jpack View Post
    I cant believe that happened on the first ride, what a bummer. I had a similer first ride experience on my 96 GSX. First or second time out I forgot to put the drain plugs in. I put the boat in parked my car & come back, sit on the boat & had this sinking feeling, man this thing sits low when it hit me. Man was I pissed, but the water didn't make it up to the air intake & every thing turned out alright but boy was I pissed at myself.... Good luck with the Honda & next time you screw up, dont admit it so your dealer wont read it on the Net!!!!!


    jim
    Tell me about it - I'm still not sure if I damaged the pump - I didn't get a chance to do a top speed run because it was too rough. I don't really feel like pulling it all apart right now if all's well. It's pretty damned smooth, and there's no cavitation to speak of, so I'm hoping it's okay...

    My dealer didn't seem to have the slightest clue about the interwebs anyway, so hopefully I don't have to worry about that . Good call though...

  10. #10

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    I'm drooling! Post more pictures of the back of the ski, pump, and engine. Also, a shot of side of view.
    Last edited by ShaunJon; 05-05-2008 at 06:30 PM.

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