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  1. #1

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    which used pwc to buy

    i have a 1996 slt780 that i really love. i'm looking for another ski to put in the playpen. i like the reliability, fast hole shot, and carving ability of my polaris. i have only riden one other ski, a late 1990something yamaha gp800. scary fast on the topend but i could blow him away on hole shot and i felt the handling of my polaris was much better. felt like i was about to be thrown off the yamaha at any given time. you guys that have multiple skis and/or experiences with multiple skis i would love to hear from. i would like to keep it simple, older with carbs hopefully $2k or less up front.
    Last edited by pslt780; 04-16-2009 at 02:01 PM. Reason: bad information


  2. #2
    My all time favorite is a sea-doo 96XP. fun, nimble, jumping ability, quick holeshot, 57 mph, slew of parts and best selling ski of all time. Not a 2up friendly ski, and yes it's tippy if you weigh over 170lbs.

    1997 sea-doo XP. more agile, lean in style than a 96xp, but I still prefer the 96 ride style. 1mph slower and a tad slower accellerating, a little more stable to ride on than the 96.

    1999 Polaris SLX. going by your $2000 limit, you *might* get one at this price point if you search around. Faster than the 96xp, but losing some fun factor. I would put the 1998 SLXH, but the double seats are prone to cracking and very hard to replace, so I automatically disqualify it for the 1999 single seat(trust me).

    the 1997 SL1050 might be an option, but I would take the 1996XP over it, the accelleration factor of the 96xp and fun factor makes the 96xp a better overall deal.

    a maybe 97gp1200. Had some hull issues, but doubt you could get a 98gp1200 for under $2000. You might a 97. still a lot of people with no hull issues. and if they don't have any by now(12years old), I think you'd be OK.
    I'm basically looking at fastest for your money. And since you already have a three seater, I would look for the sake of variety a more playful style ski.
    The waveblasterII is very boring, stay away from it.

  3. #3
    Polarisracer166's Avatar
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    Purchase a Pro785 - I have seen many people try to build and achive the performance of a Pro785 out of a SL750 or even a SLT780. You WILL spend more time than it is worth to build something...

    A stock or slightly modifed Pro785 can be purchased for around $1800-$2500 Hold on and have real fun...

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Where does maintenance effort and potential repair cost factor into your decision hierarchy?

    The Pro 785 is a very quick machine in terms of acceleration and cornering. But it needs regular attention to keep it running properly. Also more trouble to winterize, if that is a factor.

    That said, the 785 Pro is probably less maintenance headaches than any other comparable performance model of that era, which tend to be custom tuned beasts.

    All these older PWC have some known issues, so do your homework regarding what they are, or were.

    For example, the Polaris domestic engined models (1996 to about 1999) had a reliability issue with the ignition system. Polaris released an Ignition Update Kit, and if the machine you buy already has the update installed, there is no issue. If it still has the original ignition, then it could fail at any time (or last for quite a while).

    I have read that the 1997 SeaDoo XP has a problem with water getting into the hull easily, with risk of water ingestion damage to the engine.

    With any used PWC, even one that is in good condition, there is the real possibility of mechanical failure at any time. You could get years of service, or minutes. Factor in the cost and availability of parts, to some degree, when making your choice.

    If you want to leverage the working Knowledge you have with your current Fuji engined Polaris, then another Fuji engined Polaris would be familiar to work on.

    The domestic engined Polaris have a different motor, but the jet pump, and even a lot of the electrical stuff, is very similar.

    Of course, if you can find more money to spend, your range of possible choices gets broader, and includes newer, better designs.

    If you are willing to do diagnostics and repairs, you may be able to find a deal on a non-running, or poorly running, machine. If you know what the typical weak points on a given model are, and what it typically takes to get it running properly, you may be able to make a shrewd purchase.

  5. #5

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    The Pro 785 in it's stock form or with just basic mods is EVERY bit reliable as any other ski on the market . There is no more maintnence on the 785 then your Virage Or MSX ask 785 ProMick he has a 97 that has run for over 4 years and hasn't had to do anything to it at all . My stock boats run all year without any problems hell we still have our oil injections hooked up on our 97 785's .
    So don't be FOOLED by a myths that aren't true if you can get a stock clean 785 BUY IT UP AND ENJOY

  6. #6
    didn't think about the pro785....good addition to the list.

  7. #7
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    Some good stuff to ponder.

    I personally like having twins. (or maybe a 2 seater) Parts interchange, and if you have an issues, at least you can always have 1 ski running.

    Plus you know all the quirks of the Fuji engine.

    Buy another brand, and you start all over again.

    My $.02

  8. #8
    casey67's Avatar
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    If you are that happy with the SLT,but would like more top speed,you should look at the SLTX 1050's or Virage TX (TX will be a1200 with carbs),both will handle the same as your SLT (so no surprises,more like an old friend on steroids) and have more speed.

  9. #9
    Polarisracer166's Avatar
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    Lugs is 100% correct.. I know of many stock and even full race boats that are just as reliable as anything on the market today. Anyone who tells you that a Pro 785 needs regular attention has never owned one. They need just as much attention as any other watercraft to achieve overall performance.

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    ...it needs regular attention to keep it running properly. Also more trouble to winterize, if that is a factor.

    That said, the 785 Pro is probably less maintenance headaches than any other comparable performance model of that era...
    Quote Originally Posted by 785 lugs View Post
    The Pro 785 in it's stock form or with just basic mods is EVERY bit reliable as any other ski on the market . There is no more maintenance on the 785 then your Virage Or MSX

    ask 785 ProMick he has a 97 that has run for over 4 years and hasn't had to do anything to it at all.

    My stock boats run all year without any problems hell we still have our oil injections hooked up on our 97 785's...
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarisracer166 View Post
    Lugs is 100% correct.. I know of many stock and even full race boats that are just as reliable as anything on the market today. Anyone who tells you that a Pro 785 needs regular attention has never owned one. They need just as much attention as any other watercraft to achieve overall performance.
    Apparently I misunderstood the nature of Pro 785 maintenance. It is correct that I do not own one, so of course those that have the experience will know them better.

    Is there no maintenance required for the exhaust valves, not even checking for residue buildup?

    Winterizing - Are the triple exhaust pipes self-draining?

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