Buyer Beware (!) Chinese Jet Ski's Are Here
We are following this company who are persistently manufacturing PWCs and sport boats dispite their first examples being absolute disasters which caught out more than a few New Zealanders trying to get a cheap new ski...
A Chinese company is producing a PWC that features on their website along with various other boats and engines, and they do look good. And this must be the reason that a few New Zealanders have got excited about owning a new PWC for less than 10k landed in NZ. But thats about where the good bit stops... in the flesh it is a very, very rough copy of the leading brands of PWC - a hull that is a direct mold off a Yamaha XL1200, only it is rough (like a concrete brick wall!) and has no gel coat, a four stroke car engine using a fly-wheel and alternater (bad news in a PWC exposed to salt water), various fuel issues (tank placement, lack of proper/legal venting), cooling, oil, steering and power issues - basically a mechanical nightmare and its claimed top speed of 60mph is more like 18. Every one of the people that have purchased these ski's or engines have had good communication from the company until their product has arrived in NZ where they then get the cold shoulder.
It is a bit of a disappointment, but it goes to show, the top manufacturers of PWC's have been around for a few decades now and the latest ski's are solid and reliable - and with the Sea Doo & Yamaha being sold at $16k - is it really worth the risk of importing?
Late last year, Ski M.D. got invited to see one of the first of the imported ski's, by a customer who wanted 'our mechanical opinion' on the product. We were very interested to see one, knowing replica's can be quite good... but it was worse than anyone could ever imagine, the list of its faults so long, it would be easier to say what is good about it - and that would be nothing. We did an initial write up, which was as neutral as possible, as to not offend its new owner, but trying to warn others at the same time .... We later recieved this email from a South Island man;
I originally read your post on the chinese jetski's in Nov 07. I was quite impressed with the advertising from the chinese company and price. Thought I'd come back and check the article again after ending up with a very second hand looking , slap together rip off - buyer beware, I should have been a little more cautious but after communicating with them for about 3 months I felt they might stand behind their product...
Well .. I was supposed to get the Sea Doo copy that was in the brochure, but instead got the Yamaha copy which arrived looking very second hand; The speedo has power on full time even when ignition key is removed. Speedo does not work though nor does the hour meter. The steering is not adjusted properly - it will turn hard right but left hand turning circle is about 12 metres. Two holes appeared through the gelcoat after the first 15 min ride, on the next ride, the ski filled with water and capsized, shorting the electrics, it's now sitting in the drive and unable to start. The starter is spinning but not engaging the ring gear.
The company stopped replying after my first complaint about the hull. Hopefully I'll get it sorted at the mechanics, enough for the wife to enjoy anyway. I'll go with something more reputable with a lot more power. Any idea's how to get the word out to any potential buyers in NZ to stay away from them? - Regards, Sean.
May 2008: We recieved a phone call of inquiry from an Auckland boat manufacturer who had imported 4 engines from this Chinese company, after good intital communication via email. When they arrived, he could only get 2 to go and the other 2 had quite major problems. His email enquiries to the Chinese company have been ignored ever since. Cost: $3000 each.
July 2008: This is the latest email - actually from Australia - thank you Derek, we are sure this will help stop a few people who are thinking about making the same purchasing mistake;
"I wish I had seen your site before I twice ordered two Suzuki engines from Hison, late in 2007 and in early 2008. My post-sales experience so closely paralleled the you reported that I think it must be Hison's standard operating procedure.
The first engine I ordered was supposed to be a complete turbo engine, modified for jetski use. After much delay and various excuses, an incomplete non-turbo stock car engine arrived, minus intake, exhaust manifold, fuel pump, etc. Hison apologised for the "misunderstanding" and promised to send the missing parts with a second engine, supplied at "special price".
The second order resulted in a very crudely modified jetski engine, complete but without the promised missing parts for the first engine. Hison later claimed these parts were too complicated for anyone but their own engineers to install. Despite repeated requests for an electrical wiring diagram, I never did receive this. Hison claimed it was a company secret.
To add insult to injury, the engine's purported 130-155hp was found by dyno testing to be only 90hp. Instead of enhancing the output, Hison's manifold actually reduced it. They claimed they had never tested the engine themselves and had gotten the performance figure from Suzuki (even though Suzuki make no such claim when the engine is installed in a motor vehicle).
I have (fortunately) never met any other company with such a repertoire of feeble excuses for their own miserable business practices. I wholeheartedly echo your advice that everyone should avoid dealing with them like the plague. Derek Gould,
May 2010: We received a letter with a follow up phone call from Joey Sun of Hison Manufacturing, asking for our approval of their new product (via new product photos and their website) now that they have come a long way from their first production runs. Joey told us that Suzuki are officially their engine suppliers and much of the flaws from the first PWCs have been corrected. When we asked Joey about the appauling after sales customer service and support, he replied again, the company has improved...
We assured Joey that if we could inspect one of their new PWCs, we would be able to give our approval if the mechanical issues had been rectified but he could not offer one for demonstration purposes - although offered a discount if we were to purchase a unit.
So we watch this space.... with certainty that we will see the Hisons appear again in New Zealand. And, as always, we will keep you informed.