Last year whilst on route to the Canterbury Jet Sports Club Poker Run in Brunner (West Coast of the South Island) I put through a phone call to the team at Farnleys Jetski’s to see if there was any chance they would have a jetski I could borrow for the weekend. Chris made me promise to send 1000’s of customers their way in payment, lucky enough they were friendly enough to help me out and promised me a couple of skis so I could take a mate along to the poker run.
I turned up to Farnleys Moorhouse Ave shop on Friday afternoon and was greeted with their shiny tandem trailer waiting for me with their demo Kawasaki 300x which I had been lucky enough to ride in the past, but what grabbed my attention was the ski they had put on the other side of the trailer.
Recognising it at a Yamaha FX series ski from the early to mid 2000’s i was quickly informed that it was their hire ski that they had been running for many years and they had just given it a birthday with a fresh paint job and seat re-trim, the ski looked like a new machine with the minor cosmetic work done to it.
The Yamaha FX140 was released as the world’s first 4-stroke engine PWC. Its smooth engine feeling, clean exhaust and great fuel economy revolutionised the world of PWCs. It also became popular for its new hull design that provides good stability even on rougher waters.
Over the past wee while I have heard many a story about how this is the ski that just keeps going.
Chris imported this ski at 500 hours from a hire company in the USA and it had constantly been used by the shop as well as many customer while out on hire. The rumour is Chris / Farnley’s Jetskis imported about 10 of these waverunners at the same time and he held onto this one to use for spare parts for the others that were imported. As time went past they never needed any of the parts off it so that’s how it become their hire ski.
Where this story gets interesting is with the amount of use that had been thrown at it, the hour meter was sitting on 999.8 hours when I came to collect it, yes you read right it was about to click over one thousand hours and to add to the interest the engine has never been opened up.
Once in Brunner I handed the 300x lanyard to my friend as I was more interested in riding this waverunner as I had never been on anything even close to these hours. It fired into life the first time and rode great, there is no way you would have believed the jetski had done 1000 hours.
I spent the day buzzing round Brunner collecting poker cards on this machine, I handed it back at 1003.5 hour and it never missed a beat the whole time, and to top things off I believe it was this craft that gave me the good luck of landing the best hand of cards for the day and taking away the top prize.
Nearly a year on the Yamaha is still cruising along, and still without any major work at all. This just shows if you look after your personal watercraft it can give many many hours of pleasurable fun!