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Thread: What ski to buy

  1. #1

    What ski to buy

    My son is looking for a ski. He wants to jump waves and be able to fly down a flat stretch of Chanel. He’s thinking of a GP1800 but we know little about the various skis, short of reading everyone’s opinion. I think a non turbo non supercharged on is the way to go for maintenance reasons. What maintenance is there on a supercharged ski? Are the others reliable? Is there such a thing of a new ski having a 10 year warranty? Without a deductible. Is there a way to “test” ride one before dropping $16,000? That’s what I really would like to do. We are in Salem County NJ. Is there a pros and con sheet on the various skis. He does want the power to jump. Thanks


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Straw View Post
    My son is looking for a ski.

    He wants to jump waves and be able to fly down a flat stretch of Chanel. He’s thinking of a GP1800 but we know little about the various skis, short of reading everyone’s opinion.

    I think a non turbo non supercharged on is the way to go for maintenance reasons. What maintenance is there on a supercharged ski? Are the others reliable?

    Is there such a thing of a new ski having a 10 year warranty? Without a deductible.

    Is there a way to “test” ride one before dropping $16,000? That’s what I really would like to do. We are in Salem County NJ.

    Is there a pros and con sheet on the various skis?

    He does want the power to jump. ...
    What age and level of personal responsibility is your son?

    Does he have experience with powerful personal watercraft?

    Have you ridden a modern fast PWC?

    Let’s start there.

    These supercharged machines are very quick, quite fast, and can hurt the rider and others on the water in an instant.

    The GP1800 certainly has the ability to wave jump, but be aware that it is entirely possible to seriously damage the machine. Engine mounts can break and/or the hull can be cracked, if the landing happens poorly. Repeated jumps simply increase the odds of a bad landing.

    Wave jumping can also injure the rider. Depending on how it goes the face can slam into the hood or mirror with force, or the hull can shift under the rider and your body impacts with a hard surface.

    I cracked several ribs and tailbone from a bad landing after an airborne moment a few years back. More than once I have suddenly found my nose very close to the hood. Most experienced riders either have had bad moments themselves on the water or know other people who have been hurt.

    Regarding warranty, the longest manufacturer warranty is maybe 4 or 5 years, often less. The standard warranty is just one year. These things are not like cars.

    Generally speaking high performance PWC cost money. Not just the initial purchase price. They require premium octane gasoline, and can drink it in a hurry. At wide open throttle a GP1800 can burn through the entire 18.5 gallon fuel capacity in less than an hour. Seadoo 300 would take even less time to empty the tank. We normally ride at mid-throttle (I have GP1800) and typical fuel range is circa 70 miles, give or take.

    There will be required maintenance. Generally speaking the Yamaha SVHO engine is quite reliable. Abuse it often enough and it will want more servicing. There is no scheduled service interval for the Yamaha SVHO supercharger or supercharger clutch, how long the clutch lasts before needing replacement depends on the riding conditions and the rider.

    Hull damage, docking damage. Rocks and floating debris impacted while riding in the water happen, impact with docks or abrasion against and under docks with waves and boat wash can hurt the upper deck.

    I will be out on the water most of the day today. I expect others will also answer your post.

  3. #3
    He is 20 and always had dirt bikes and quads and I have videos of him jumping 100’ jumps at various MX tracks. His friends run there skis across a bay to various beaches at WOT.
    As far as jumping a ski. We are off the NJ coast so waves or swells aren’t huge, I don’t think. I didn’t know that the hulls were susceptible to cracking under a wake jump that would send him 50’ or so. Coming down hard or casing a jump is hard on anything, but I thought skis were more forgiving. Another guy said a VXR was a 65 mph ski that was naturally aspirated and was as reliable as a VX1100! And that hull design was designed for jumping? The hulls look all the same to me so this is where we need accurate help.
    Is a VXRHO an option? What engine sizes are in them. As you can see we are new to the water. Sorry for basic questions but 16K is a lot of money. Thanks again

  4. #4
    And how does the VXR , VXRHO , and GP1800 compare on the same jump? Do they all have plenary of power to hit a wave quickly if one pops up?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Straw View Post
    He is 20 and always had dirt bikes and quads and I have videos of him jumping 100’ jumps at various MX tracks. His friends run there skis across a bay to various beaches at WOT.

    As far as jumping a ski. We are off the NJ coast so waves or swells aren’t huge, I don’t think.

    I didn’t know that the hulls were susceptible to cracking under a wake jump that would send him 50’ or so. Coming down hard or casing a jump is hard on anything, but I thought skis were more forgiving.

    Another guy said a VXR was a 65 mph ski that was naturally aspirated and was as reliable as a VX1100! And that hull design was designed for jumping?

    The hulls look all the same to me so this is where we need accurate help.
    Is a VXR HO an option? What engine sizes are in them? ...
    Yamaha redesigned the VXR hull for 2015. When I say hull, I mean the bottom half, the portion that touches the water. Yamaha also changed the upper deck for 2015, so the whole machine is different. 2015 was also the first year for the RiDE control system, which I really like, and recommend.

    The VXR prior to 2015 was modestly smaller and notably quicker with the same engine. So the pre-2015 VXR could get into the mid 60mph zone. The new redesigned hull has a lot of positive attributes but it is not as fast as the old VXR, given the same engine power.

    The Yamaha 1.8 liter engine in the VXR is not supercharged. Output circa 180hp, maybe a tad less, depending on who is doing the measuring. The 1.8 liter Yamaha engine is considered one of the best engines on the water. Excellent reliability, power, durability, serviceable and reasonable fuel efficiency (for a PWC).

    The supercharged Yamaha SVHO engine is based on the same 1.8 liter core, with differences internally, plus a supercharger and intercooler. The entire SVHO package is also quite reliable, including the supercharger.

    The clutch for the supercharger is a wear item, and eventually will need replacement (straightforward job for any competent service shop, and also doable by many DIY owners). Clutch stress occurs mostly when the jet pump is frequently and rapidly disconnecting and reconnecting with the water as the hull zooms across the wave tops and skips over the troughs. We now have about 180 hours on our two GP1800, no issues with the clutches yet.

    If you are cross shopping with Seadoo, the Seadoo 300 supercharger includes the clutch inside the supercharger itself. Also a wear item, but Seadoo officially says to replace the entire supercharger should the clutch fail. Aftermarket rebuild is possible, just not by Seadoo.

    The GP1800 uses the same hull design as the current VXR. NanoXcel 2 hull material. SVHO engine power is circa 260-270 hp stock.

    SVHO power is easily increased using an aftermarket engine tune. I am using Stage 1 Plus tune, so somewhere around 300hp. Acceleration is stronger and top speed is higher. 75 mph is common, 80+/- reported by some.

    Wave jumping is more about vertical height and duration that distance travelled. Getting the hull 10 feet or more up can become quite the drop, especially if the next wave or trough isn’t where/when you hoped it would be. There is no suspension in a watercraft hull. How hard the hull impacts depends entirely on the angle (or lack thereof) of water reentry and the amount of vertical momentum.

    Inside the hull, the engine sits on rubber mounts. Whack the hull hard and often and the mounts can shear, allowing the heavy engine to shift inside the hull. That can cause other things to twist and stress.

    None of the manufacturers of full size PWC recommend wave jumping, and damage incurred is liable to be excluded from warranty coverage.

    Riders looking for height in wave jumping will seek out wakes behind large cruisers and such, if they cannot find natural waves suitable for vertical lift. The wash wave behind a big boat pushing water can be 10 feet top to trough, or more. Zooming off that might result in a 20 foot drop back to the water. Land it properly, carry on. Landing it flat can be quite the slam.

    Certainly there are guys using GP1800 and current generation VXR for wave jumping. It is an excellent hull in many ways, good rough water ride, overall handling, a modern competent watercraft.

    They guys I know who spend a lot of time in the air generally seek out the lighter weight, smaller hull watercraft. Either the old-school 2-stroke hulls from decades ago, or something modern and compact like the Yamaha EXR. Less size and weight makes it more fun to flick around and nip back and forth. Not the same top speed as a GP1800, but top speed doesn’t matter for wave jumping.

    This article doesn't focus on the wave jumping angle, but gives some perspective on the EXR compared to the larger models.
    https://watercraftjournal.com/budget...xr-waverunner/

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Straw View Post
    And how does the VXR , VXRHO , and GP1800 compare on the same jump?

    Do they all have plenty of power to hit a wave quickly if one pops up?
    Yamaha uses the HO designation on some models with non-supercharged 1.8 liter engine. The VXR has the same engine. The same VXR hull but with a cruiser seat is called Cruiser HO. Same engine. 1.8 liters, four cylinders.

    Yamaha also makes a smaller three cylinder TR-1 engine, used in the EX and a couple of VX hull models.

    One big difference from riding on land is that the water is constantly changing. There is no such thing as ‘the same jump’. Two guys riding together over the same wave on the same model PWC may experience different ‘jumps’.

    The GP1800 has more thrust, but also more weight (which tends to flatten the wave angle) so it may not do as well as the EXR ‘on the same wave’. On the next wave, maybe the extra power helps more than the weight takes away, maybe not.

    If wave jumping is really important, find some riders in your area that actually know what they are doing. Ask them what hull types and sizes are preferred, and what kinds of wave jumping they actually do. Focus on the hulls rather than the engine. Buy, rent or borrow a used example and try it out.

    Maybe wave jumping is something you/he want to really get into, or maybe while being out on the water you will discover other things that become more important.

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  9. #7
    Is the clutch on the supercharger or driveline? and roughly how much is the clutch?
    I am a mechanic and would do the job myself. Looking for a budgeting number. Thank you for taking the time to explain the pros and cons. Looks like I should put a engine in his 951 2stroke for the jumping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Straw View Post
    Is the clutch on the supercharger or driveline? and roughly how much is the clutch?
    I am a mechanic and would do the job myself. Looking for a budgeting number. ...
    The supercharger clutch is attached to the front of the crankshaft, almost directly below the actual supercharger.

    As these things go, not too hard to get at. Undo some bolts, move some things aside.

    Item 16 in this diagram, which is from the OEM parts online store for this forum.
    http://partsfinder.onlinemicrofiche....%20W/%20PISTON

    About $500 for the Yamaha ‘gear assembly’ 6ET-17800-00-00

    Only Yamaha has the supercharger mounted on the front of the engine, which I prefer. Straightforward air intake routing, and less hardware congestion around the back of the engine.

    For completeness, here is the Green Hulk PWC performance parts store
    http://pwcperformance.com/

  11. #9
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    I had a 2012 VXR and it was a great ski...nothing to break and it did 67 gps bone stock, was playful to ride...its the reason I bought a GP1800....I just don't jump waves. The GP hits very hard and does 78 gps ( Maptuner-X ) it will launch you to the moon and leave you there !

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    Yamaha hulls are made of SMC toughest and heaviest, nano xcel - lighter but less durable, nano 2 - even lighter again less durable. The if doing a lot of jumping then there are some reinforcers to the hull you can do but it is at risk of cracking and delaminating. The hulls are not traditional fibre glass or gel coated.

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