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  1. #1

    I'm ready for a new Waverunner. Looking for advice

    We have had our 95 waveraider for a couple of seasons now. The family enjoys it and I can tell it would be worth our time to upgrade. My only complaints with the raider are that it's not very family friendly. Very tippy. I'll probably keep it, but am looking now for something the wife and kids would enjoy even more.

    Important to me in order...
    1. Size - needs to sit three comfortably
    2. Stability - would like to be able to sit in open water without having to lean back and forth
    3. Reliability - I'm not mechanically inclined so anything besides new plugs, filters, easy stuff, would require me taking it to a shop
    4. Price - Looking to spend around 3,000. Would go to 4,000 for the right ski.
    5. Power - we tow with our fish / ski boat so that would be rare on the ski. Still I don't want to wish I had more power at any time. The kids ride a lot with me on board for safety reasons but it would be nice to have a governor type system if available in this price range.


    I'm a Yamaha loyalist so other brands wouldn't interest me.


  2. #2
    The Rooster's Avatar
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    Sounds like the Yamaha VX series would more than handle what you're looking for, w/ the exception of 2 things. 1.) If you want more than 53-54 mph speed, & 2.) may be hard to find a decent used one for $3 - $4 grand !!! Good luck !!!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The Rooster View Post
    Sounds like the Yamaha VX series would more than handle what you're looking for, w/ the exception of 2 things. 1.) If you want more than 53-54 mph speed, & 2.) may be hard to find a decent used one for $3 - $4 grand !!! Good luck !!!
    I've looked in the area and a four stroke for under 4000 grand isn't going to happen. I don't mind the two stroke Yamaha motors, our boat runs a two stroke Yamaha outboard and I would trust it to take us anywhere. So assuming it is going to be two stroke I'm curious what past models would fit our needs. Any years models to stay away from etc....

  4. #4
    Ski Hacks MG's Avatar
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    Your budget dictates something along the lines of a 2003-2004 XLT1200, especially this time of year. They are great skis.

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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CCW View Post
    Your budget dictates something along the lines of a 2003-2004 XLT1200, especially this time of year. They are great skis.
    I agree w/ this, but it seems like the stock 66V engines really need a number of repairs/changes/whatever to make them reliable (midrange seizure, power valves dropping, oil lines coming off, cat con falling apart...etc). Dunno if the OP is up for that or not. I'm sure there are exceptions to that which have lived several hundred hours stock, but I dunno, seems like every other post here in the 2 stroke section is about a blown, mostly (or all) stock 66V. When running well though, the XLT is a nice model for just plain family fun.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by awh4992 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CCW View Post
    Your budget dictates something along the lines of a 2003-2004 XLT1200, especially this time of year. They are great skis.
    I agree w/ this, but it seems like the stock 66V engines really need a number of repairs/changes/whatever to make them reliable (midrange seizure, power valves dropping, oil lines coming off, cat con falling apart...etc). Dunno if the OP is up for that or not. I'm sure there are exceptions to that which have lived several hundred hours stock, but I dunno, seems like every other post here in the 2 stroke section is about a blown, mostly (or all) stock 66V. When running well though, the XLT is a nice model for just plain family fun.
    I have seen some XLTs around in my price range. Very pleasing to the eye and the size looks right. Was curious about the motor. Were any years better than others? You are correct in that I'm not down for major repairs myself, but wouldn't mind taking it to a shop to have some preventative upgrades done if needed.

  8. #7
    Dunno if any year is really any better than others. I think there were different power valve designs over the years from yamaha, but they all suffer from pins falling out and eventually the valves hit the pistons+rings and then you've got a time bomb. Late 90's models use the 1200 NPV motor, which doesn't have power valves (one less thing to break) and may have been before the epa foolishness which forced the catalytic converter and lean jetting of the carbs. I don't know for sure if the 1200NPV (65U engine) lacks the lean carb jetting (midrange seizure). It may still suffer from oil lines popping off though. Anyway the 1200 XL from late 90's uses the 65U instead of the 66V. I think 66V in the 3 seaters started w/ the 1200 XL limited, then the XLTs. You do get more power (155HP vs 135HP) w/ the 66V motor though.... Regardless of the engine, if you get a carbed ski and the carbs haven't been rebuilt in a while or more likely ever, a rebuild should be done too in order to help avoid running lean and costing a lot of $$$. Who knows how long nasty, untreated gas sat in those and crusted em all up. 66V is a good engine, just needs to be un-EPA'd and have a couple reliability mods done to it.

  9. #8
    RaiderMagic's Avatar
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    I own an xlt1200 with all the mods. It's a great ski.
    It sounds more like you want a boat.
    3 Americans on an xlt is a stretch. Not saying your big, but me220#, my 130# wife and 140# nephew did it memorial wkend. It sucked and I have prop, plate, etc.

    3 ppl, stable on a ski... Maybe the SUV. It uses the non PV 1200 and is a family cruiser. It's a 4 seater, so good for 3 ppl.
    More difficult to find but will be a better ski for your needs.

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