Personal Watercraft

Devin jumping waves

 

Sometime around 2000 after living on Kwaj for a year or so I finally decided to get my first big boy toy that wasn't a computer. Selection on Kwaj wasn't and still isn't that great, with a little over a dozen total on-island a couple for sale at any given time. I was soon the proud owner of a 96? yellow Yamaha WaveBlaster 2.

 

Yamaha Waveblaster 2

 

I was pretty happy with it for a while, until I ended up riding my first Sea Doo. After riding a '97 Sea Doo GSX I found out that the Blaster 2 was most defiantly not an ocean ski, and was soon forced to buy said GSX. The late '90's GSX's are very nice ski's and I would recommend them to anybody looking for a good all around used ski.

 

'97 Sea Doo GSX

 

There is one thing I've come to learn about boats of any kind, new or used they all cost the same price. If your buying new, you pay cash up front and have a few good years of minimal maintenance with maximum reliability. Used is always a constant battle against corrosion and abuse in which the extra maintenance costs plus the low purchase price ends up in the same ballpark as a new ski with several years of minimal maintenance. I was also getting married around the time I had that revelation, so that meant obviously I needed to buy a new ski and give the old one to my wife. I ended up TDY (military for business trip) at our shipping office in Richmond CA. After some hunting around I decided on a brand new 2003 XPdi, and found a dealer who would drop it off at the shipping office. $500 and a month and a half later my new toy arrived on island. Not that I ever had any doubts, but the di proved how good fuel injection really is. The 951cc engine in the XP puts out 130hp compared to the 110hp out of the venerable 785cc in the old GSX. The power enhancements don't seem that impressive, but the fact that they do it on half the fuel is, I easily make it back with over half a tank left in the XP compared to adding a few gallons half way and coming back low in the GSX on Bigej runs (about 25 miles of travel plus whatever messing around we usually do). The XP hull isn't for everybody, it's very narrow & needs a fair bit of leaning to corner, which translates into an unstable ski, especially compared to some of the new bigger ski's like the RXP's.

 

 

Eventually I got brave enough to get a helmetcam and start chronicling some of our exploits.

 

Check out the PWC section of my photo gallery for some still and video shots of PWC action in the Kwajalein Atoll.

 

My PWC gear reviews.

 

Copyright Devin Noel 2006