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Well I pushed it as far as I could

AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#1
My season is over. November 3rd is unheared of for riding water in this town. Air temps were 18F, water was 32. Every time I had spray hit the goggles I had to stop and scrape off the ice, gloves froze solid after a few minutes, had to melt the ice off the life jacket buckles and zipper to get the thing off but the clincher was the throttle freezing open. In 24 hours my riding area will be frozen. (shameless plug for my Dojang).

I hope everyone is still riding, having fun and being safe!

If any of you finds your way to Fairbanks give me a shout, if it's summer I'll put the machines in the water and give you the tour.


20191103_105849.jpg 20191103_105619.jpg 20191103_105835.jpg 20191103_103343.jpg
 
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Messages
53
Likes
2
Location
Westmont, IL
Water Crafts
93 XP,
94 XP,
99 GTX Limited,
95 XP,
97 SPX
#5
That is awesome! And your rock'n a green XP! Looks like your missing some gauges there, how do you do it without a fuel gauge?

When does your riding season start again?
 

AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#6
I'm hoping to do a small run in New Years day. There is a power plant on the river that dumps some of its hot water into the river so a couple miles downstream never freezes, there is access to the open water but it would only be long enough to say we did it. The weather decides that one, the first of the year could bring anything from 20 above to 50 below.

The season starts mid May, it normally stops around the end of August. We just had a warm air mass that gave us a late fall and the chance to do a first, ride DOO's in November.

The holes in the dash are the air intakes, through the dash, out the bottom of the hood into the cargo box and out a series of holes on the back of the box into the hull. I blocked off all the seat and nose vents by the hood. It really cuts down on water getting into the hull when you are playing. The gas gauge was dead when I got the machine so I have never had one. I eliminated the reserve tank pickup and fuel selector in order to minimize the areas that could give an air leak. When the motor stumbles you have a few minutes of gas left. I ran it to fumes on Friday and put 9.2 gallons in before this ride.

I'm not crazy, I have been doing a series of colder weather rides tweaking the gear and machine with each one to see if it is possible. At 28F on Friday the limiter was gas, not weather, this ride at 18F proved the ice builds up enough to knock the machine out. The curious thing is the jetting has not run lean yet, but there is resistance in the machine (assuming jet pump) that is knocking the top speed down by 5 or 6 mph. Maybe liquid cooling the pump at 32 is producing resistance inside.

 
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etemplet

Premium Member
Premium Member
Messages
2,541
Likes
220
Location
Louisiana
Water Crafts
1996 SPI, 1996 GTX, 1997 GTX
#8
Hey man I am borrowing this pictures to post on my Face Book cuz they call me nutz when I ride in Feb. with shorts. Water temp is probably 70 degrees or more. LOL
 
Messages
53
Likes
2
Location
Westmont, IL
Water Crafts
93 XP,
94 XP,
99 GTX Limited,
95 XP,
97 SPX
#9
Just watching your video makes me sad that May is so far away.......

I need the gas gauge working on mine, otherwise my niece would not know when it was my turn to ride. That happens right when the gauge hits E!

How well protected from the cold are you if you fall off? I hope you have the buddy safety system going when you go for a ride. I would offer but it is a bit of a drive.......
 

AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#11
Just watching your video makes me sad that May is so far away.......

I need the gas gauge working on mine, otherwise my niece would not know when it was my turn to ride. That happens right when the gauge hits E!

How well protected from the cold are you if you fall off? I hope you have the buddy safety system going when you go for a ride. I would offer but it is a bit of a drive.......
I have a set of thermal long Johns on, wool socks, a 3/5mm full wet suit, 5mm boots and some wet environment insulated gloves, balaclava, helmet, life jacket and ear plugs (too many years of abusing my hearing). I ordered up some 5mm gloves later that day.

No buddy system, I can't convince anyone to ride with me........ Chickens......I was pushing the safe zone when it came to timing how long I had until my hands wouldn't be able to do much (very bad circulation).

I winterized, dried out inside the hull, changed the pump oil and gave the machine a good inspection before I put it out under it's cover.

The river is half as wide today, lots of freezing happened over night. Temps will be -8F tonight so I caught the last warmth before winter really sets in.
 

LikeabossTM

Active Member
Messages
139
Likes
28
Water Crafts
2004 Sea-Doo GTI
#12
I enjoy your 'postcards from Alaska', thanks for sharing.

Cold water cowboys are a different breed. These good ol boys have ice water running through their veins.
 
Messages
151
Likes
22
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#13
That's badass. How did you get your throttle deiced while you were on the water?

Did your have to dodge the ice in the water or was it soft enough to ride through?

This is something I've thought a lot about doing but haven't been able to save the money for a dry suit yet.

This year I tried at 38 degrees and very quickly had to head back to the dock because lack of proper gear.

Talk about not having to worry about your engine getting hot though. I bet that ice water had the thing running nice and cool
 

AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#14
Pulled the seat and rotated the butterfly closed by hand, idled back since I had ice blocking the pump as well.

The smaller pieces were still thick slush, anything over 24 inches started to have a solid core.

The machine shop I had my cylinders bored at, for the regular rebuild, always bores over a hair on any watercraft motor because so many boats get run in the cooler water around here. No problem with overheating.
 
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GGuillot

Well-Known Member
Messages
897
Likes
134
Location
Alabama
Water Crafts
1997 GTX
1996 GSX
#15
Brave man, getting cold is one thing, wet is another. I'm not sure I'd risk it on a X4 hull, my ass would probably tip it and that would be game over dipping in 32 degree water. If I could stay dry on the GTX, I'd probably take it out on a river cruise when it's above 40, much less I'll pass.
 

mikidymac

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,175
Likes
1,216
Location
California
Water Crafts
2003 GTI
2001 XP
1996 XP
1996 HX
1991 Superjet
2001 Superjet
#16
Impressive. I feel like a sissy now since we stop riding here in the 60’s.
Maybe this year I’ll try a winter ride.
 

AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#18
Glad you guys liked it, I know I had fun making it. I have lived up here my whole life (48 years) so I'm used to the cold, but I'll admit even this was too much. Don't mess with wet, cold and nature because it will wear you out fast. If I wasn't near people I would not have risked this ride, but the last couple weeks have given me a lot of practice in being prepared for cooler weather riding. You want to see something funny, put me in 80 degree sunshine and watch me scurry for the shade and stick my head in a freezer.
 

AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#19
Okay, I take it back. I would have done this ride if I were alone, but that's just me. I would have my survival gear with me. What's life without some risk.
 

AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#21
Yes, feel free. I put it up there for fun so anyone can use them.

The season changed fast. River is frozen over in places now, but last night's snow kick started the next riding season.

20191107_093744.jpg
 

archaicguy

New Member
Messages
15
Likes
0
Water Crafts
Nitro Fish & Ski
2018 GTI 90
2019 Wake 155
#22
That is awesome you still get out and ride in those temps..... You are one bad mofo!
Gear makes all the difference, I can relate to gearing up and learning every year with my motorcycle. Currently I've gotten to where I ride my motorcycle to just below 32 and stop there due to my concerns about frozen/slick roads. Maybe I'll get enjoy some cold ski rides over the years. I can definitely see the thrill!
Thanks for posting the ride
 
Messages
60
Likes
12
Water Crafts
Seadoo Sportster 150
#23
20191009_143533.jpg

Quitting already? It started getting a bit chilly in Canada too. I might have had to pack it in but instead I headed to Arizona for the winter. Now I'm back in the game and heading out tomorrow. Still, good for you sticking it out in the cold as long as you did. Plus you are insane and clearly up for a Darwin Award any day now. But I love it!

20191029_130914.jpg
 
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AKnarrowback

Active Member
Messages
529
Likes
98
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
Water Crafts
94 xp
94 sp
94 gtx
#24
Avoiding Darwin all I can, I have lost too many people recently to want to make the list any longer. That's partly why I am out having fun, I have seen too many people I love leave too soon and I'm out enjoying while I can. I don't drink, any test will only show coffee and tylenol in my system, everything I do is "me" without any artificial courage added.

The two most important words of advice I learned from Teachers were,

1 - If you can't pay for it in cash you don't get it. (Tark)

2 - When you work, work hard. When you play, play hard. (Dr Larson)
 
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Messages
151
Likes
22
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#25
Yesterday Colorado blessed us with one final day on the lake.

Obviously nowhere near as badass as your final ride, but it was nice :D

had about 75-degree weather and only fishermen on the lake with me. I was surprised not to see any other jet skis out, but they're loss!

This is 5 days after a snow storm dropped 8 inches on us. The water was right around 35 degrees, but the sun was nice and hot.

*Someday im gonna finish putting the new cover on the front section of that seat :) *
 

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