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  1. #1

    Default Newbie from Ont. looking for input!?

    Hello ALL!!!

    I am posting from Just East of Toronto, Ontario, we have a family cottage near Kingston in the 1000 Islands region, I have always owned boats and currently have a mid 80's Larson Senza, I have split most of my previous summers between boating at the cottage and Drag Racing, both as a participant and spectator/mechanic.

    The last couple of summers I have spent more time at the cottage with my fiancee and less time racing, I guess I am getting old and lying in 100 degree heat wrenching on a car just doesn't appeal to me as much as floating around the water and enjoying life a litttle!!, LOL!!

    Last summer we decided that "Jet Ski's" would be alot of fun and very practical for the cottage, they are a little better on fuel and alot easier to dock and launch than a 21 foot boat [especially for the little women].

    We will be using these PWC's on the St Lawrence River 90% of the time and maybe some of the smaller lakes around here [Rice Lake, Scugog, etc].

    I would love ANY and ALL input you guys can provide to a first time buyer, I am looking at purchasing 2 used PWC's, I dont think we need anything too fancy, or quick [or expensive] but, I do like the idea of the 4 strokes, we are on a quiet bay, that is now populated by mainly rich Americans who would probably complain CONSTANTLY if there tranquility was "disturbed"? by watercraft??!!, its funny how people buy real estate on the water then act shocked when they hear boats go by??!!, regardless, I am "leaning" towards 4 strokes, but, have never owned a PWC before, so, I am open to options, I have noticed alot of the 2 strokes I look at have "rebuilt" motors, which kinda worries me, are 2 strokes known for hurting motors?, I snowmobiled in the past and never had a problem, maybe PWC's are different?.

    I guess I am looking for something reliable,but, not crazy money, I dont want to work on them every weekend [I would keep racing if that was what I wanted] but, I dont think it makes sense to drop 25k on 2 PWC's, especially if I find out that I [we?] dont like them, or enjoy them enough to warrant spending that kind of cash, I have also been told that you should have "2" PWC's, since having one will get boring when you have to "take turns" going for rides instead of going "together", plus, my old lady would want her own Ski anyway, Ha Ha!.

    I have also priced PWC's on Ebay and various US based sites and they seem to be competitively priced, is it hard to bring one back from the US?, anyone on here done it?, shipping?, taxes?, anything you should know going in?.

    I could probably type another 10 paragraphs of questions, but, right now I am just looking for input as to what we should be looking for [and avoiding] I have no die hard "brand loyalty" right now, so, feel free to offer suggestions, and advice, its appreciated, and HEY, its why I posted here!!

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2


    hell0 and welcome to the world of pwc's I ride on rice lake in august while on holidays. If your going to be into cruising around then get some sort of yamaha waverunner, but if your into a active type lifestyle and never want to get bored with being out on the water research some stand up jetskis. They are the most fun on the water period. they are not for everyone but my wife has even rode mine and enjoyed it. you seem mechanically inclined which is a good thing for getting into pwc. take your time and read up about all the models and figure out what you might want.
    1996 SuperfrickenJet

  3. #3


    i ride on rice lake as well from time to time. my parents have a cottage between harwood and gore's landing.

    what do you want to do with the pwcs? touring, tubing, water-skiiing? that will dictate what kind of pwc you should get. if you want a pwc for touring and skiiing, you need a 3 seater. any seadoo gtx from 1996-present would be good. get one with a minimum 800cc engine (2 stroke). as for the 4 strokes, i would look for a non-supercharged gtx. the supercharged ones have issues with the ceramic washers breaking and getting into the engine. there are updates available, but when buying used you are taking a chance.

    if you want to play around more, a 1996xp or 1997-1999spx is a great pwc. fast, agile and awesome for wave jumping. the 1998-2004 xpl's are also alot of fun. i don't know enough about the other brands to recommend them. yamahas are good as are the kawisaki 15f. i would stay away from any polaris or tigershark model as they are no longer in production and it may be difficult to get parts in the future.

    as for buying a pwc in the states, i highly recommend it. i bought my 1996xp in michigan for $1100. that pwc is probably worth $4000 here. there are lots of great deals in the states and pwc's are much, much cheaper than they are up here. very easy to bring across the border too. just make sure you have a bill of sale and a title. you only pay pst and gst. i would also avoid buying a trailer in the usa since it is more of a hassle than it's worth.

    if you have any other questions ask away.

    oh and welcome.

  4. #4



    I appreciate the input, nice to have people offer some helpful advice, as for intended usage, as I said they would be our first PWC's, so, I am not sure, I can pretty much rule out launching myself off waves 15 feet into the air [well, intentionally at least, LOL] since my tired old arse would probably be in traction for 6 months, I think we would spend alot of time just touring to local restaurants and zipping around the river, we both enjoy tubing and I love to waterski, but, have never done it behind a PWC, I always wondered if they had enough "weight" to handle an aggressive skier?, I used to ski behind a 16ft ski boat and on hard turns you could feel the boat "pulled" by the skier to one side or the other, I figured a PWC would be even worse, but, I have heard they work quite well for skiing and tubing, any thoughts?, I have written down the models you mentioned and will start doing a little "comparison shopping", I should probably look at buying something soon, as I assume as soon as spring hits the prices will go through the roof, thanks again for the input and any other you care to add, its appreciated!, thanks again!!!!!!!!!


  5. #5


    Our cottage is on Rice Lake too, lol.....We should organize a cruise up the Otonabee or do a "hare scramble" around some islands or something!

    I'm gonna put in a vote for a Yamaha based on ease of maintenance, durability and reliability. The GPR's are a good deal, and some decent 4 strokes as well.
    I also like the 4 stroke Honda Aquatrax machines.

    How many seats do you want each to have? I presume since you have a boat already you wont need to tow with it (so prob a 1-2 seater). Otherwise, legally speaking a 3-seater is your only option, and I would say 120hp at the very minimum, preferably more (e.g. stay away from the old 85hp Sea-doo GTI's). I dont think weight is your concern with pulling a skier, just power.

    Kawasaki also had a nice STX1100 in the late 90's that is affordable now.

    They get get a bad rap by purists, but I also think there are some amazing deals on practically new Sea-doo 3D's and they look like a ton of fun, esp. for beginners..We would have picked one up except we need more than a 1 seater.

    Jay-Z, when you imported yours, did they give you a hassle about the declared value of the ski? i.e. do they go by bill of sale or book value?
    I agree, from what I read, trailers are not worth it, due to tax, inspection fees, etc. I wonder what would happen though if the seller brought it across the border himself for you to buy it on Cdn. ground and then you just registered the trailer as "homemade"?

  6. #6


    they did question me about the value of the ski. the customs guys usually ride as well so they know the value. i did have a bill of sale from the seller, but it would help to have the ad where it was for sale. i didn't actually have the ad since it was posted on the internet so i offered to show them where it was on the net. probably a good idea to print out the ad and bring it with you.

    i just bring my empty trailer to pick up skiis. saves alot of hassle.

    i did the otonabee last year all the way through the lift locks and into peterborough. good day trip for sure.

  7. #7


    Thanks for the info, Jay-Z. the idea of an ad is a good idea, esp for people trying to declare it as a lower value than what they may have paid. Never thought of it.

  8. #8


    HI again, and THANKS for the input!, I think we will look at three seaters or at least one out of the pair will be 3 seaters, would like to try tubing and skiing behind one to see what its like, also, my g/f has a niece thats 4 and she loves to go out on the water too, I think she would enjoy riding around on one with us, or maybe just get her a new RXT of her own, kidding!.

    I have been looking at some of the newer Yamaha's and have heard alot of good things, that new 250HP Kawasaki looks like a real monster too, but, is WAY more machine than we need, the 4 strokes must be relatively "new", since I see about one of them for sale for every 20 two strokes, will keep looking and see what turns up. Rice lake is a nice area, my g/f lives in Brighton on the Bay of Quinte, I am in Oshawa, and the family cottage is on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, so, once I get off my butt and see what I am gonna buy there should be no shortage of places to play, THANKS AGAIN!


  9. #9


    Just an update to the thread for future reference.

    I ended up buying a 2001 XLT1200 Waverunner in the US. Importing it wasnt a big deal. The process was simplified by bringing my own trailer down with me for the pick up (trailers are a bugger, since not only do you have to pay tax on them, you also have to pay a $209. fee to cover the inspection cost for an imported vehicle-as if it were a car. So by the time you've added it all up, its prob not worth it. Heck I'd rent a uhaul instead even). I declared the ski at customs, they asked about the trailer, asked where I found the ski, gave them the ad, bill of sale and ownership, paid tax and was on my way. Submitted the change of registration via mail, and hopefully everything will go smoothly.

    Just an fyi in case anyone lives in a border town and is considering buying a ski in the US due to the inflated prices up here. Thanks again to Jay-Z for his advice here and in PM's.


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