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  1. #1

    new to the (real) PWC World

    Hi Folks,

    Im looking for a new Ski and want to collect as much opinions and informations as possible before.

    Im from Germany and will ride on the River Rhein and the Mediteranian Sea in my Hollidays, which are spend in Croatia, Island Rab.


    Prices here are a bit different, Yamaha is by far the most costly PWC out there. I will put some numbers, so you can compare.

    All prices are incl. Taxes.


    Yamaha GP 1800R SVHO 22000 ~ 25800 USD $

    Kawasaki Ultra R 20500 ~ 24000 USD $

    Seadoo rxt x 19884 ~ 23300 USD $


    Yamaha VX Cruiser HO 16600 ~ 19500 USD $

    Kawasaki STX 160 13000 ~ 15300 USD $

    Seadoo GTI 170SE 13000 ~ 15300 USD $

    My riding style varies, depends on the circumstances. When im witch the Kids, its will be cruising and playing around. In the Mediteranian Sea we like to cruise for 1-3 hours straigt.
    When alone i like cruising around, playing with the conditions and the waves and the speed.

    We have a 320cm long Inflatable boat which would be used to transport all the Stuff for a Island day, the Family ( 2 Adult, 2 Children, 1 (small) Dog). Pulled by the PWC. Im thinking about 2 on the sky and 2 in the Boat. the trip from the Appartment to the Island is about 15-20 min, ideling. behind the Island ends the speed restriction and the ocean begins. this would be the daily initial situation on the 2-3 weeks Holliday.

    So back to the Toppic:

    What is the best fitting PWC? Reliability, work on conditions, costs, fuel consumtion.

    The German PWC Scene is minuscule, and depends on the Dealer around (there are only a Hand full in whole Germany).

    Im on the Water my whole Life, but new to the PWC Wolrd. I know that Yamaha Marine Engines (Outboards) are bulletproof and reliable, also easy to work on. Are the PWC Engines the same Quality?

    I drove some Kawasaki Motorcycles, which are never caused any trouble, my Dad still owns a running Kawa GTR 1000 from 1989. But I never had contact with Kawasaki on the Water.

    The STX 160 seems to be the best Bang for the Buck out there, even the manual reverse is a top option in my eyes, because this cant fail and is hand operated. Keep it simple, but IBR is much more comfortable.

    Seadoo is what the most Guys on the Rhein River ride, because we have 2 Dealers nearby and they are the cheapest options. But I read and heard about blown Superchargers, sunken Skis, electronic and closed loop cooling problems.

    Must it be a supercharged Ski? I cant make a decision yet... The power is Overwhelming, but the sames goes for maintenance fuel costs.

    Please give me some Input about your Opinins and experience.

    Best Regards

  2. #2
    dcuhpw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanDude View Post
    Hi Folks,

    Im looking for a new Ski and want to collect as much opinions and informations as possible before.

    Im from Germany and will ride on the River Rhein and the Mediteranian Sea in my Hollidays, which are spend in Croatia, Island Rab.


    Prices here are a bit different, Yamaha is by far the most costly PWC out there. I will put some numbers, so you can compare.

    All prices are incl. Taxes.


    Yamaha GP 1800R SVHO 22000€ ~ 25800 USD $

    Kawasaki Ultra R 20500€ ~ 24000 USD $

    Seadoo rxt x 19884€ ~ 23300 USD $


    Yamaha VX Cruiser HO 16600€ ~ 19500 USD $

    Kawasaki STX 160 13000€ ~ 15300 USD $

    Seadoo GTI 170SE 13000€ ~ 15300 USD $

    My riding style varies, depends on the circumstances. When im witch the Kids, its will be cruising and playing around. In the Mediteranian Sea we like to cruise for 1-3 hours straigt.
    When alone i like cruising around, playing with the conditions and the waves and the speed.

    We have a 320cm long Inflatable boat which would be used to transport all the Stuff for a Island day, the Family ( 2 Adult, 2 Children, 1 (small) Dog). Pulled by the PWC. Im thinking about 2 on the sky and 2 in the Boat. the trip from the Appartment to the Island is about 15-20 min, ideling. behind the Island ends the speed restriction and the ocean begins. this would be the daily initial situation on the 2-3 weeks Holliday.

    So back to the Toppic:

    What is the best fitting PWC? Reliability, work on conditions, costs, fuel consumtion.

    The German PWC Scene is minuscule, and depends on the Dealer around (there are only a Hand full in whole Germany).

    Im on the Water my whole Life, but new to the PWC Wolrd. I know that Yamaha Marine Engines (Outboards) are bulletproof and reliable, also easy to work on. Are the PWC Engines the same Quality?

    I drove some Kawasaki Motorcycles, which are never caused any trouble, my Dad still owns a running Kawa GTR 1000 from 1989. But I never had contact with Kawasaki on the Water.

    The STX 160 seems to be the best Bang for the Buck out there, even the manual reverse is a top option in my eyes, because this cant fail and is hand operated. Keep it simple, but IBR is much more comfortable.

    Seadoo is what the most Guys on the Rhein River ride, because we have 2 Dealers nearby and they are the cheapest options. But I read and heard about blown Superchargers, sunken Skis, electronic and closed loop cooling problems.

    Must it be a supercharged Ski? I cant make a decision yet... The power is Overwhelming, but the sames goes for maintenance fuel costs.

    Please give me some Input about your Opinins and experience.

    Best Regards

    Id recommend the stx 160 or the gti 170se as long as it’s a 2020 model. Personally I’m biased towards the gti since I got a chance to check a few out a couple months back. The stx 160 is a nice ski though but I haven’t had a chance to check one out in person. Can’t go wrong with any ski that gets you out on the water though.

  3. #3
    steve45's Avatar
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    If you plan to ride up to 3 hours at a time, I think that would rule out most supercharged 'Skis. The new STX-160 has a large fuel tank and good performance.

    With two dealers in the area, the SeaDoo GTI 170SE would be a good choice.

    ALL PWCs have problems or one sort or another.


  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    If you plan to ride up to 3 hours at a time, I think that would rule out most supercharged 'Skis. ...

    ALL PWCs have problems or one sort or another.
    We ride a pair of Yamaha GP1800 SVHO supercharged, both with MaptunerX Stage 1 Plus tunes (91 Low Octane tune), Solas impeller and Riva air intake. We often ride for several hours on a 70 litre tank of 91 octane fuel. At fast cruise speeds of 80-100Km/hr the cruise distance range is about 110-120Km. We have never run out of fuel but sometimes return to dock with the low fuel warning active.

    If we slowed down a bit maybe we could travel 140+ KM distance.

    For longer trips we carry one, two or three 20 litre fuel containers on the rear deck. Maximum cruise speed is reduced (mild porpoising above about 85KM/hr) with the weight of 40 or 60 liters on the back deck, but once we are down to just one full fuel jug on the back high speed is not a problem.

    60 liters of extra fuel effectively doubles the available cruise range to something around 250Km, maybe more.

  5. #5
    steve45's Avatar
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    Actually, I think most supercharged 'Skis could run 3 hours on a tank of gas quite easily--IF you don't run them fast. The problem is that I don't think most riders have the discipline to drive a high performance 'Ski slowly.

    My wife & I took our Ultra LXs out for a slow cruise last weekend, drove over an hour at about 20-25 MPH. When finished, the fuel gauges had dropped one bar (out of . Of course, most gauges don't even register the first couple of gallons that are used.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post

    ALL PWCs have problems or one sort or another.
    There are you right, there is no flawless Ski.

    Which Motors are easier to work on (after warranty) I worked on many Motors, Motorcycles, Cars, Outboard Engines (Yamaha, Mercury, Johnson). Oil changes will be no problem, but there is more to do. Especially when something brakes or stops to work.

    Ive got a Yamaha/ Seadoo Dealer in 35km Range, a second Seadoo Dealer in 60km. And 2 Yamaha /Kawasaki Dealer 200km away.

  7. #7
    dcuhpw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanDude View Post
    There are you right, there is no flawless Ski.

    Which Motors are easier to work on (after warranty) I worked on many Motors, Motorcycles, Cars, Outboard Engines (Yamaha, Mercury, Johnson). Oil changes will be no problem, but there is more to do. Especially when something brakes or stops to work.

    Ive got a Yamaha/ Seadoo Dealer in 35km Range, a second Seadoo Dealer in 60km. And 2 Yamaha /Kawasaki Dealer 200km away.

    With a factory service manual I would have to say they are all about the same to work on. Each ski will have things that are easier and harder than the other. Supercharged skis are plenty fun but if you start with a stx 160 or gti 170 as a first ski youll have plenty of power. Its only when coming down from a supercharged ski that it feels a bit slower and even that is relative. For the budget and dealer support Id get the GTI. Jerry Gaddis (the owner of this site) will go in and on about the rxt though. For a non supercharged ski though, the stx or gti would be ideal. Both are good skis and plenty reliable. Both will have different maintenance items that will need to be handled but they are both very reliable engines. Rotax engines are made in Austria also so they may be easier to get parts for where you are.

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  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dcuhpw View Post
    With a factory service manual I would have to say they are all about the same to work on. Each ski will have things that are easier and harder than the other. Supercharged skis are plenty fun but if you start with a stx 160 or gti 170 as a first ski you’ll have plenty of power. It’s only when coming down from a supercharged ski that it feels a bit slower and even that is relative. For the budget and dealer support I’d get the GTI. Jerry Gaddis (the owner of this site) will go in and on about the rxt though. For a non supercharged ski though, the stx or gti would be ideal. Both are good skis and plenty reliable. Both will have different maintenance items that will need to be handled but they are both very reliable engines. Rotax engines are made in Austria also so they may be easier to get parts for where you are.
    This would not be my first Ski, I owned a Seadoo Spark for two years. And I have a friend with an RXTX 300 which is a blast. I didnt ride it much, just a couple of minutes on the River. I like the Power and speed, but most of the Time im more of a Cruser type of rider (40-45mph on the Spark). I like Big engines which are not working at maximum. But I like some fast sprints while riding. Or this perfect spot between two waves and you hat to open the Throttle, I think anyone knows what im talking about x-D

    I never had an Issue with the Spark, but im still concerned about Seadoo reliability. It is a lot of money which would go in the Hobby (again).
    My first choice would be an Yamaha, the Marine Engines are made for this and not importet from Motorcycles or Sleds.

  10. #9
    They are all good skis but if you wanna keep maintenance cost down keep to an NA ski.
    I have an Kawasaki ultra lx. Its awesome 60gallons of storage. 21gallon fuel tuel tank. Handles great. Super reliable and good on gas. But if you want more the 90kph. Get the vxr or any of the Yamaha with the n/a 1.8l engine.
    The stx 160 will be reliable and fast and great on fuel as well. Very playful as it is almost a foot shorter then the ultra.

    But the main thing is. Get a ski and get out on the water and have fun. My kids love the jetski
    Cheers from east coast Canada.

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  12. #10
    dcuhpw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike-ultra View Post
    They are all good skis but if you wanna keep maintenance cost down keep to an NA ski.
    I have an Kawasaki ultra lx. It’s awesome 60gallons of storage. 21gallon fuel tuel tank. Handles great. Super reliable and good on gas. But if you want more the 90kph. Get the vxr or any of the Yamaha with the n/a 1.8l engine.
    The stx 160 will be reliable and fast and great on fuel as well. Very playful as it is almost a foot shorter then the ultra.

    But the main thing is. Get a ski and get out on the water and have fun. My kids love the jetski
    Cheers from east coast Canada.
    Very true. Pretty much all brands NA skis are fairly low maintenance (for a ski) and very reliable. I’ve heard the Yamaha mr1 engine wasn’t so great but the 1.8 is a solid engine. The kawi 1.5 brp 1.5/1.6 and the Yamaha 1.8 are all good reliable engines in NA form. All will net between 160-180hp and can be tuned for a bit more.

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