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  1. #1

    Advice on buying / importing a Speedster 150 or Challenger 180

    Been looking locally (Australia) for a small Jet boat. Jet skis are banned in a lot of places here, so struggle to get my ski out as often as i would like. so I'm thinking a small Jet boat is the next best option, and can launch it within minutes of my house.

    Locally an 08 Seadoo Speedster 150 can fetch $15 - $29k USD! Looking on these forums they are a lot cheaper in the US. So considering importing one (even with I'm guessing potentially $3500+ in fees. So a couple of questions:

    1. Is there anything to be wary of with the Speedsters, or Challengers (other than the SC washers / rebuild). I'm happy with a 215.

    2. What places / sites are good to find a used Speedster/ Challenger? I'm mechanically minded, so can fix a few things if the ski isn't as good as advertised.

    3. What would be a fair price be for a Speedster 150 - 215, with say 100 - 150 hours on it?

    4. What US locations have the best boats/ which should I avoid? For export purposes, I'm guessing close to a Californian port would make sense. But I would prefer a fresh water only boat (so guessing avoid Florida etc at all costs)?

    Any other tips would be greatly appreciated, or if anyone can recommend a company that does pre purchase inspections / exports etc that would be great.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    I’d suggest you look into a yamaha jet boat with a vx110 engine

    Electrics are starting to run out of stock in the us and the emm for some models of seadoo skis reached unobtanium status this year

    The vx platform is Uber reliable with lots of salvage and good stock and the only thing that really needs consideration on a Yamaha jet boat is securing the tunnel access plugs so a blowout doesn’t leave you stranded

    Trim and most cosmetic parts for the seadoo boats are long gone and even things like steering cables are becoming a problem

    As a weathervane the only services I offer on seadoo boats these days are keys and jet pumps

    Beware the seadoo boats equipped with the mercury driveline those are orphans by design and pumps if you can ever find one cost in excess of$5k usd

    I can’t advise any stronger to seriously consider a yamaha boat in your market even if your a diehard seadoo fan

  3. #3
    Cheers for the info.

    I actually own a Honda Jetski and have never owned anything Seadoo in my life (but ridden a few).

    I don't think Yamaha sell Jet boats here (I have never seen one at least). Did a Gumtree search and could only find a 2005 AR230HO WITH 200 hours for $50000 AUD!! So possibly a good financial opportunity to import one here as they are rare. Would have to import any parts required though. So maybe worse than a Sea-Doo in that respect here.

    I also believe Yamaha don't allow US dealers to export to Australia (as they want the monopoly on it). But if they dont sell them here, no idea if that will be a problem? (plus insurance issues?).

    Do they all have twin engines? The one I just saw has 2 x two stroke GPR engines and would require a fuel bowser every 100m I would think?

    I guess the appeal of the Seadoo Speedster to me is:

    1. The small size - 15 feet. It still has a bit of 'jet ski' about it.
    2. Fuel efficiency with only one engine (No matter how quick your car/ ski is...you get used to it anyway). Plus low weight. Plus only 1 single 4 stroke engine to maintain.
    3. The closed loop cooling system.
    4. Part availability...Almost every ski here has either a 215 or 255 Rotax. I wont go within 100 feet of the Mercury version. Mpem not the same as the rxp/ rxts out there?
    5. Price - Looks like you just about give them away over there. 2008 model sounds good. Or does this year still have the dodgy valves?

    In summary, more than happy to go with whatever brand that may have the above features. Yamaha's (or other) that match similar criteria?

    What I don't like hearing about the Speedsters is that they Porpoise in chop. But I don't know of any other small jet boats. Love to know more as it's the only option I have seen here.
    Last edited by tunzafun001; 01-18-2021 at 05:54 AM.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Be aware that Seadoo stopped making ‘boats’ years ago and sold the boat stuff to another company.

    Boat specific BRP parts are often expensive and hard to find, sometimes not available at all.

    Yamaha made a range of boats with 4-stroke engines. I don’t know what the ‘smallest’ version is/was.

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  6. #5
    Scarab parts not compatible? They seem quite similar?

  7. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunzafun001 View Post
    Scarab parts not compatible? They seem quite similar?
    BRP stopped making the boats circa 2013, but made their 4-Tec engine and jet pump packages available to other boat builders.

    https://www.yachtstosea.com/learn-mo...rtex-jet-boats

    I do not know if Scarab used any of the BRP hull designs and hull parts unchanged, or have parts that are interchangeable with the BRP built boats.

  8. #7
    Had a look around and cant find any other Jetboat with a single 4 stroke motor at a similar price point?

    Where is a good place to find a decent one?

  9. #8
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    If you find late model seadoo boat you should be able to get a few years out of it but trim parts,cables and other supporting items will be fabrication land

    As long as you can get emm’s you should’ve ok, so avoid the early ones

    Boat owners seem to think thier boats appreciate as the get older since they are “rare finds” it u I s hard to find any seadoo boat at a reasonable price unless it’s a questionable neglected junker from a divorce or death in the family

    But in truth they all should be named “oak island” for the expenses they bring to the table

    I repaired a twin that sank at our marina quite a few years ago

    The insurance company coughed up a big fat check since the book value was still damm high considering

    I ended up in trouble on that one as couldn’t find a replacement wake tower that didn’t need a hull cutting install and the owners were pissed

    They ended up pocketing close to 4K and had it cut/welded as the “repair”

    I was not putting that gun to my head

    Still get dirty looks from the wife if I see her in Walmart (my town is reallly small)

  10. #9
    Cheers Pete,

    I'm reasonably handy and would be able to fabricate / tweak a lot of parts. I originally bought my Aquatrax not running. Didn't take much to get her up and going again. They are a dream to work on. Not sure if the Seadoo's are as intuitive as the Honda's?

    What years do you mean to avoid? I'm only interested in a single engine 4 stroke.

    As for the wake tower, without the OEM tower I'd assume you would always have to cut / drill holes. Wouldn't bother me, and fair enough not taking on the responsibility of a weld job (a decapitation from a tower braking wouldn't be great).

    Anyway, I'm hoping I can find a small Jet boat for around $15k (including freight). On this forum there seemed to be quite a few around $7k back in 2015. If you see one (or something similar), let me know.

    Cheers

  11. #10
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    I would look for a boat model year 2009 or later, earlier model 4 tec engines had some valve issues due to the two piece construction of the valves on earlier years

    2015 is a long time ago, I took a quick look at the boats for sale here in the US and you'll be spending $10k or so for what you want.
    the NADA value on a 2010 155 speedster is $9400 without trailer and while ten years old it fits your budget.

    General 4 tec repair parts are plentiful, but the boat specific bits ( like the emm) are something to consider, not that the emms are a know problem, but if one fails and you cannot get the right one, that will lead to some hair pulling

    You'll want to have anything you buy checked out by a decent shop before shipping it over, an inspections is going to run $200-300 USD at a dealer, slightly less at a shop like mine

    Also consider that most shippers will want the fuel drained and battery removed, so make sure to request that service be done if you buy after a dealer gives it a clean bill of health. A decent marine battery is going to cost you $150 USD, likely more in your market

    best of luck, mate


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