By: Bernard Clancy

Offering more ride positions than you can poke a stick at, Sea-Doo’s new 3D DI is the Kamasutra of personal watercraft. But is a ride on one better than anything in that book? Bernard Clancy has the story…

The Sea-Doo 3D DI is the world’s first personal watercraft to offer five different riding positions. And that doesn’t count standing on your head, but if you’re good enough, you could probably try it (though I wouldn’t recommended it!).
Fair dinkum, though, boredom’s a long way away with this watercraft from Sea-Doo’s parent company, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP). The 3D is one of two craft in Sea-Doo’s Sport range. They’re for those who want to be noticed.
Riding positions you can choose are termed KART, MOTO, VERT, KNEE, and SHOQ. In VERT, one is vertical, naturally, in a position that’s a bit like riding a motorbike standing up, with hands gripping the flip-up front section. You could even imagine you’re surfing or skating, as you take the craft over waves, wakes or around very tight figure of eights. It’s a very wild ride and you’ll feel it in the arms.
The SHOQ position is similar but with a shock absorber fitted between the craft’s hull and the ‘flip top’ so that you have a little more control and stability. So this time you have greater leverage and less fatigue.
When you’re knackered from that spin, perhaps you might like to move on to the MOTO position, which involves fitting a seat similar to a motocross bike saddle and going for it.
Legs a bit tired now? Right, we’ll switch to KART, which is like being seated on a jet-powered go-kart. And lastly, when we’re absolutely on our knees, we go to the KNEE position which gives a low centre of gravity and kneeboard-style ride.
After all that, it’s time for a beer and a muscle shakedown.

What really gets you moving is the ROTAX 4-TEC twin-cylinder, 130hp, 951cc orbital direct-injection engine. This engine is renowned for its quality, reliability and power-to-weight ratio. The jet pump is a composite/aluminium, axial flow, single stage large hub; the transmission direct drive with Variable Trim System (VTS); and the impeller is stainless steel.
The 130hp ROTAX, BRP claims, has 20 more horses than its competition. It meets and exceeds the strictest US emissions standards and achieves extraordinary grunt from a three-cylinder fuel-injected motor. It features the industry’s first closed loop cooling system, using the watercraft’s aluminium ride plate as a heat exchanger. There are obvious maintenance advantages here over open-loop systems, which draw water, salt or fresh, from the riding environment.
All ROTAX 4-TEC watercraft engines are especially designed for marine applications, ensuring absolute salt-water resistance. 4-TEC technology also reduces emissions, enhances fuel efficiency and provides great sound quality at low noise levels, according to BRP.
In the two-stroke watercraft world, BRP-ROTAX was the first manufacturer to produce direct-injected watercraft engines, reducing emissions while boosting fuel economy.
There is considerable commonality between all Sea-Doo models, especially the powerplant, which makes for easier maintenance and greater accessibility of parts.
The 3D DI is packed with features, such as a digitally encoded theft deterrent system, which has a chip embedded in the ignition system unique to each craft, eliminating the need for code systems.
And there’s also a good little gadget called a ‘learning key’, which is pre-programmed to limit revs to give novices more control and confidence.
There is also the manual Variable Trim System (VTS), which can be customised to the rider’s weight, riding style and water conditions.
The Off-Throttle Assisted Steering enhances maneuverability in off-throttle situations. Side vanes automatically deploy to provide additional assistance. The system has been recognised by US authorities for its contribution to recreational boating safety.
Standard on all Sea-Doo watercraft is the D-Sea-Bel sound reduction system (get it?), which reduces decibels by up to 50 per cent, compared to traditional PWCs, according to BRP, by using resonators, acoustical foam and vibration absorbing components.
The Tip Over Protection System prevents oil from getting into the engine’s combustion chamber in the unlikely event of a capsized craft.
As the brochure says, the 3D DI is designed to put a smile on your faced that a million Mondays couldn’t wipe off. It does.
In fact, the Sea-Doo PWC range is extensive, with two to three models in each of four brackets: performance, luxury performance, recreation and sport. While some are single-seaters, like the 3D DI, some are double and others are triple.


Specifications: Sea-Doo 3D DI

Length:  2.72m
Width:  1.12m
Height:  92cm
Weight (dry):  277kg
Hull: Semi-vee, composite
Colour: Viper Red

Rider capacity: 1
Fuel capacity (incl. reserve): 35lt
Storage capacity: 5.4lt

Make/model: ROTAX twin-cylinder, Orbital direct-injection
Bore (mm): 88
Stroke (mm): 78.2
Displacement HP: 130
Displacement: 951cc
Compression ratio: 6.0:1
Intake system: Direct fuel-injection, 46mm SU Automotive
Cooling: Water, open circuit
Fuel type: Regular unleaded
Propulsion system: Bombardier Formula water jet pump
Jet pump: Composite/aluminum, axial flow, single stage, large hub
Transmission: Direct drive with VTS
Impeller: Stainless steel

Originally published in TrailerBoat #209


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