Ok thanks everyone for your help and suggestions. Here is the skinny. I checked all the fuel lines, vent line and check valve, fuel selector etc. everything in good working condition and tight. Pulse lines properly secured. I started it up on the trailer with the seat removed and then i saw it; a puff of exhaust near the back of the engine. The clamp holding the main exhaust hose to the stinger had come loose and exhaust and probably water were leaking at the joint. I put on a new clam and torqued it down [contortionist move required]. Took the ski out on the water and she ran absolutely great. So, apparently the ski was trying to run on fuel + recirculated exhaust instead of fuel + clean air.