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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife's 3up died today. No forward propulsion and engine whining.

What really caught me though, was that with a couple of small waves going over the gunwale, the port side of my wife's spark started filling with water. As she is now ankle deep in water on one side, her spark starts to list. I grabbed the rope she threw me and started towing. If I had not, she is in the water and then what? She can flip it over only to have the same thing repeat itself. This was in very calm water and has now happened to both of us except I went right in. We were very lucky. We had just come off Lake Ontario and the spark died right beside a boat launch! But the truth is, a spark is a boat that won't float. At least not upright, unless the conditions are dead calm.

We have had nothing but fun with the sparks but this has made me rethink how and where I will ride them.
 

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So if I'm understanding this, the engine was revving just fine but the ski wouldn't move?

My first thought was wear ring damage - except for the water leak.
How much water was inside the hull after this happened? If no water then you probably have a wear ring that's worn out and needs to be replaced - this is a routine job and no big deal. If lots of water then my guess is something happened to the driveshaft causing the shaft seal to leak and your ski to fill with water. Some Spark owners have experienced problems with the driveshafts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You don't understand. The water came over the gunwale...where you put your feet. No water entered the hull. It filled up the side of the spark. Go out in any kinda chop and kill the engine. You will see what I mean. If the footwells fill with water, you are in the water! And without power, the footwells will fill with water every time. Thats problematic.
 

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You don't understand. The water came over the gunwale...where you put your feet. No water entered the hull. It filled up the side of the spark. Go out in any kinda chop and kill the engine. You will see what I mean. If the footwells fill with water, you are in the water! And without power, the footwells will fill with water every time. Thats problematic.

Sorry if the foot wells fill with water you two must be over the recommend weight limit maybe get a three up.


The only way mine get some in if a wave comes over the side not often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry if the foot wells fill with water you two must be over the recommend weight limit maybe get a three up.


The only way mine get some in if a wave comes over the side not often.
I weigh 150 and my kid weighs 80. We were flipped by one wave while we were waiting for 2 boats to exit the marina. My wife is 135 and was on her 3up by herself. If you have no power and water starts to come over the side, you are going over. As I said, go out in mild chop and shut off the engine. A mid-size boat can create a wake that will flip you. If you are on a large body of water with a little wind, you have a problem! If you are on a small body of water with a little bit more wind? Same problem. If you have no forward propulsion, you're going over...

As I said....kill your engine in choppy water and all will be revealed!
 

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My footwells are full of water quite often . I don't understand how you can flip it. Really confused. I ride in the surf everyday. I have never had mine upside down . I sit and have a rest with footwells full of water.
 

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I fill mine all the time, all I do is lean to the other side. I agree when it fills it does list to that side but never have I been worried it would flip. All I do is start it up and drive off, empties right away. Sounds like you need more practice.


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Mine was full of water yesterday on lake ontario. No issue. I was resting and waves were hiting me but the seadoo never wanted to flip

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As far as the Spark not going forward, my guess is something got sucked through the wear ring and damaged it. That would cause the ski to not go......$60-$80 repair.

But if your taking on water in the footwells, then that's perfectly fine. Mine does that all the time. If you're out in big waves/rough water sitting still, you're bound to take on some water from big waves as that is normal. But once you give it the gas all the water will empty out the back almost instantly. The best way to reduce taking on water in big waves while sitting still is to turn the ski to head into the waves. I was out on our lake last weekend, and we had 4-5 foot waves with the wind blowing creating what we call call "white caps" it was really rough for our lake. I had to slow down to 10-15mph as it was so rough and some times just plain stopped to rest. I kept the ski headed into the waves, took on water over the bow on every wave, it even splashed so hard the the spray was hitting me in the face. Both my footwells took on water, but the moment I gave it gas to go, all water emptied out the back of the ski. You are right about the ski being easy to flip over if one of the footwells is getting full, the trick is to Not lean to that side before taking off to empty the water. I'm 52 and weigh 175 and have the 2up 90 HO. I'd have to agree with others, as it sounds like y'all may just need more practice on riding/handling the ski.

I will add, I ride mine in the rough water almost everytime I take mine to the lake, as that's where the big waves are at. I love jumping the waves. Just riding around on smooth water is not for me, I can ride my boat for that. My Spark is for Waves and more Waves, it's a huge blast getting the Spark air born from waves or if in smoother water, then I'm spinning and sliding the Spark on it edge just skidding across the water sideways, but you'll have to that the sponsons off to do skidding. Which will make you tip over even easier.
 

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I am 250 and I can get on with them filled up with water and have no problems with it at all. I Have not tipped my ski over yet. Does any one know if they have a tip sensor to shut it off if it does tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some of you still don't get it. I understand that the footwell's can fill with water and furthermore hitting the gas will empty the water out. But what if you cannot start the ski? How do you empty the water? How do you point your ski into the waves with no power? If you are in chop with no power, you have a great chance of flipping. An even greater chance if there are 2 of you on the ski. Again, go out into some chop and shut your ski down. If the waves go over one side, your flipping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My footwells are full of water quite often . I don't understand how you can flip it. Really confused. I ride in the surf everyday. I have never had mine upside down . I sit and have a rest with footwells full of water.
Obviously if both footwells fill you are fine because the ski is balanced. If your ski dies and one side only fills with water....you do what exactly?

As far as your comment about my ability, I'm at 60 hours on 2 different lakes with both a 2up and 3up. I have ridden in wicked chop without incident. But I had a ski that was working! With no propulsion, your level of skill is immaterial. If you are constantly being hit with waves on one side, you are flipping.
 

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I was out in lake Huron Yesterday with about 1-1.5 ft waves, with 2 people (150lbs each) and we had no problems at all even with the waves smashing into the side of my 2 up spark. Sounds like you need to learn how to lean to balance the doo out.

*Edit* We took breaks even, shutting down the engine right in the middle of the big water
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was out in lake Huron Yesterday with about 1-1.5 ft waves, with 2 people (150lbs each) and we had no problems at all even with the waves smashing into the side of my 2 up spark. Sounds like you need to learn how to lean to balance the doo out.

*Edit* We took breaks even, shutting down the engine right in the middle of the big water
And did you have one footwell fill with water while the other was empty while you sat there with the engine off? Perhaps I am wrong but when it happened to me, we went right in. My wife's ski was beginning to list with the one footwell only half full.
 

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And did you have one footwell fill with water while the other was empty while you sat there with the engine off? Perhaps I am wrong but when it happened to me, we went right in. My wife's ski was beginning to list with the one footwell only half full.

It's an everyday occurrence, we are always in the middle of the river taking breaks with the engine off. We just lean opposite to the side that takes on water. I'm 240lbs and my wife is 200lbs. As soon as a wave comes over the gunnel and fills it we just lean to the opposite side. On the St.lawrence river there is no such thing as calm water, it's always minimum 2 foot waves in the open river. As I said we just lean to the opposite side as the full foot well.


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Maybe it's because I'm used to riding older, smaller skis but I find the Spark to be quite stable. I have a hard time getting it to go over, even with the engine off. Falling off is part of the fun of riding a smaller ski. If you need more stability then you might consider looking at some big 3 seaters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's an everyday occurrence, we are always in the middle of the river taking breaks with the engine off. We just lean opposite to the side that takes on water. I'm 240lbs and my wife is 200lbs. As soon as a wave comes over the gunnel and fills it we just lean to the opposite side. On the St.lawrence river there is no such thing as calm water, it's always minimum 2 foot waves in the open river. As I said we just lean to the opposite side as the full foot well.


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Interesting. I would guess your combined weight would allow you to stabilize
the ski. My wife is 135 pounds and I don't think that is enough to counter-balance a footwell of water especially with waves hitting the ski repeatedly. That said, I am going to try it. We will fill one side and see what happens.

Either way, the thread was meant as a cautionary tale. We found that a dead spark in good chop would have proposed a serious problem for my wife if she was riding alone.
 

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And did you have one footwell fill with water while the other was empty while you sat there with the engine off? Perhaps I am wrong but when it happened to me, we went right in. My wife's ski was beginning to list with the one footwell only half full.
Yeah It was half full and I put my full weight on that side when changing drivers (The lady wanted to give it a ride) She just leaned to the opposite side while I moved to the back.

I have a 94 SPI and that thing is much more tippy than the spark, you can just lean over and it will roll. But yes, it also tips when there is water in the running boards
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Maybe it's because I'm used to riding older, smaller skis but I find the Spark to be quite stable. I have a hard time getting it to go over, even with the engine off. Falling off is part of the fun of riding a smaller ski. If you need more stability then you might consider looking at some big 3 seaters.
I find both my sparks (2up and 3up) very stable except in the circumstance I described.
 
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