BOAT TEST: SEA-DOO SPORTSBOATS


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There’s no doubting that Bombardier Recreational Products or BRP as the division of the Franco-Canadian company is now known is in the business of having fun. In the marine market the Sea Doo is synonymous with the definition of having fun. Just have a ride of a PWC and you’ll quickly understand that “fun” is their number one objective

BOAT TEST: SEA-DOO SPORTSBOATS
SEA-DOO SPORTSBOATS

 

SEA-DOO SPORTSBOATS


There's no doubting that Bombardier Recreational Products or BRP as the division of the Franco-Canadian company is now known is in the business of having fun. In the marine market the Sea Doo is synonymous with the definition of having fun. Just have a ride of a PWC and you'll quickly understand that "fun" is their number one objective.
It's not only Personal watercraft as Sea Doo also manufactures multi-seat, high performance vessels.
As part of the recent Sea Doo day on the Gold Coast to sample the new stunning 215hp RXT PWC, also on hand to reinforce the company's adage of having fun the folk from BRP had a sample of their range of Sportsboats; the Speedster 200SC.
The Sportsboats are jet boats and one of the better avenues for pure unadulterated fun in a big boy's toy.
BRP have been producing Sports boats for over 10 years as BRP's Sam Heyes explains, "BRP's Sea-Doo Sportsboats are a completely in house design and the company branched out into the jet boat market in 1995 when there were quite a few companies in the market place. Now there are only about two or three large produces of jet boats and at the moment we command about 70% of the market."
There are a number of models in the Sea Doo Sportsboat range but at this stage only two will be coming into Australia. The smaller $34,999 15-footer Sportster or the one Trailer Boat managed to climb aboard; the Speedster 200SC priced at $54,999 (including trailer)
At Couran Cove (an excellent place to get away from it all at a reasonable cost) we had at our disposal the 6metre/19'9" 200SC powered by a pair of Rotax three-cylinder 1494 cc supercharged four-stroke engines putting out 370hp. That's enough of a giveaway to say that the craft means fun and casting an eye over it at rest is enough to confirm that it goes bloody fast!
 A PWC with a supercharged Rotax is mind blowing but put a pair of them in a high performance bullet and you have a recipe to be bouncing heart valves with the amount of adrenalin you'll be pumping!
Measuring just on six metres with a beam of 2.44m it certainly looks formidable at anchor in the shallow waters of South Stradbroke Island. With a deadrise of 20 degree all the parts of the equation add up to performance hull and you'll be tortured by smiling too much.
Thanks to its axial flow single stage jet pump with stainless steel progressive pitch impeller and an Intake Clearance System to remove weeds and debris from the intake at the push of a button the craft draws just 30cm of water allowing access to ankle deep water while still on the throttle.
The deck space offers plenty of room and having a capacity of seven people ensures that you won't be sitting in each others lap - although I'm sure that in this craft you wouldn't have too much trouble attracting someone interesting to sit in your lap!
Up in the bow there's plenty of room for two adults and tackers while behind the pilots and passengers adjustable swivel seat is a spacious wraparound bench the flows into an ample sun deck before the boarding ski platform with a two step ladder attached.
The cockpit is comfortable with supportive seats and easy access to the twin throttles and gear lever. The spacey looking dash in the helm with sports steering wheel is well set out with two tachos pride of place, a speedo in between and fuel oil and temperature gauges as well as switches with a tinted screen to protect it all as well as acting as a shield for the pilot.
Also around the helm is a Clarion stereo, glove and storage compartments as well as a few drink holders and an esky for keeping the treats frosty.
There is plenty of padding where it counts plus handy grab handles and two huge stainless steel rails that run along the top of the gunwales alongside the cockpit and bow for extra security as well as doubling for optional bimini/ wakeboarding tower attachments.
Under the rear sun deck is a lockable access hatch for life jackets and wake boards. Beneath all of that is the engine compartment housing the twin triple cylinder beasts while splitting the walkthrough is a large underfloor ski storage locker.
As something that goes fast there is plenty of streamlining in the shape - it could've been designed in a wind tunnel, which wouldn't surprise me as part of Bombardier's concerns centre around the aircraft industry. It is remarkably roomy and surprising in the storage areas for an out and out speedboat. It would be interesting to put it up against others in its class for room and space. Mmmm the makings of a multi-brand comparo!
As for performance BRP claim it possesses the highest horsepower craft on the market with the twin Rotax's and there is no denying that it has some attributes found in a rocket with the trio of longitudinal cylinders lying side by side and the twin exhausts aid in the burble department
During the day it wasn't idle for very long with a steady line up of people ready to sample its wares and Sam Heyes only too happy to demonstrate to anyone keen enough to climb aboard. All returned salivating at its performance so it was a happy bloke that clambered aboard when I had a steer.
Clambering is right. I'm ok as I'm a roofing nail so it's easy to throw my spindly frame aboard but some one with a bit more beef on the bones might find it a bit hard when the boat is in shallow water. That is a pretty severe criticism as there is not much to fault about this boat and what there is quickly overlooked when the fun factor is added up.
The 200SC certainly gets on the plane in a hurry. In fact, it doesn't just launch out of the hole it seems to catapult as a lungful of juice is spewed into the engine when slamming the throttles forward to the stop. It possesses a fitting name as it certainly has a fair speed ready to be unleashed but at the same time can tootle along giving all ages.
The 200 seems to sit high in the water when under power and seems to have a long nose that appears to rise above you. At times this can make vision a bit hard but with a couple of bodies in the bow rider this would quickly disappear.
After Sam gave another quick spirited demo I managed to commandeer the vessel for a steer. It was harder to get him out of the captain's seat than John Howard but I finally managed it!
Very soon the look on Sam's face said it all; "give it the berries!" So I did. What a weapon. Throw it about as hard as you like and it seems to be a big PWC in its handling. The manoeuvrability is astounding and something that you see in ads of the Shotover River in EnZed!
It pays to be sitting in one of the two bucket swivel seats amidships as when you start to really throw it around the ride can get a pretty energetic at the stern but the laughing and screams behind me confirmed the fun meter was on the red line!
You can get the thing charging a long and it doesn't mind a bit of chop to contend with. It powers across the waves and there were plenty of troughs on the canal to throw the 200SC through. At various times I had the craft well and truly airborne but I would've had more chance upsetting the Pope than getting the Speedster out of shape.
The Sea Doo Speedster is another craft that should certainly command serious consideration when in the market for purchasing a medium priced adrenalin producer.

 

 

WHAT WE LIKED


Fun factor
Value for money in a twin engined craft
Plenty of room

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


Sits high in the water
Some may find it hard to clamber aboard when beached and not at a jetty
Engine access for maintenance

 

 

 

Specifications: Sea-Doo Sportsboats

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $54,999 (includes trailer)
Options fitted: Nil
Options: Bimini/ wakeboarding tower -$5000
Priced from: $34,999 for Sportster 4-TEC 15'4".

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Fibreglass
Length overall: 6.02m
Beam: 2.44m
Draft: 0.30m
Deadrise: 20°
Weight: 1256kg dry

 

 

CAPACITIES


HP: 370hp
Fuel: 151 l
Capacity: 7 person

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Rotax 4-TEC™ three-cylinder x 2
Type: Supercharged four-stroke
HP: 185hp
Displacement: 1494cc

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


BRP Australia Pl
50 Canterbury Rd
Bankstown, NSW 2200
Phone: (02) 9794 6600  www.brp.com

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #196

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