BOAT TEST: SEA-DOO GTX LIMITED IS 255 & RXT IS 255


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The boffins at Sea-Doo cram more technology in two new machines for extra bling and zing… and fishing too

BOAT TEST: SEA-DOO GTX LIMITED IS 255 & RXT IS 255
SEA-DOO GTX LIMITED iS 255 & RXT iS 255

 

BORN TO BE WILD

Personal watercraft (PWCs otherwise known as jetskis, which is actually a brand name) are loved by many and disliked by probably just as many. Either way, PWCs have become extremely popular and sightings of these alien-like water spaceships are now more common on our waterways.
The evolution of these craft has been incredible, and after only a quick first-glance of the new Sea-Doo GTX Limited iS 255 and RXT iS 255, I could see that BRP's technology and development team has exceeded itself yet again. I felt an instant urge to get on these high-tech machines and belt the living daylights out of them - not physically with a baseball bat - I wanted to get out there and have fun.
Not only do they look great, but the new Sea-Doo GTX and RXT models have some serious new features on offer. They're the first PWCs in the industry with a braking system (IBR - intelligent Brake and Reverse); suspension (iS - intelligent Suspension); intelligent Throttle Control (iTC); the S3 hull; and many other functions and gadgets to make your day on the water that much, much more comfortable.

 


 
LAUNCH & RETRIEVE


Although these craft are relatively heavy, their size and manoeuvrability make launch and retrieves effortless. When launching off a semi-submersed trailer, reversing the jetski off is a simple enough task, even for the novice rider. And getting her back on the trailer, even in fairly rough conditions, is just as simple. Having someone to help you launch and retrieve is always handy, but not always the case. So, you can launch and retrieve these PWCs using the winch instead of riding them on and off the trailers.
For those who do not have the luxury of calm slipways and have to launch off the beach, this is done with the aid of manpower, or the use of inflatable beach rollers, or both, if you really want to make it much more easier.

 

 

ENGINE & CONTROLS


Sporting 255hp supercharged Rotax 4-TEC engines, the GTX Limited iS 255 and RXT iS 255 have some serious grunt under the hood. These machines are like missiles on the water, right through the power range.
For the inexperienced, there are a quite a few buttons, levers and gadgets, which can be a bit intimidating, but actually they're far from it. The main controls, being the: ignition; steering system; combined gears/brake; throttle; and trim, are simple to use, smooth, and positioned perfectly to eliminate fatigue when riding for extended periods. The rest of the controls are easily accessed and you'll get the hang of using them in next to no time.

 

 

PERFORMANCE


As mentioned earlier, these machines are missiles on water, and I don't mean that in a bad way. The older-styled hulls were good, but designs have to change with the times. The new S3 hull under the GTX Limited iS 255 and RXT iS 255 is a quantum leap in design.
Even for an unco like me, getting on and off these craft is simple enough, whether it's from in the water or terra firma. Sitting stationary stability is good and doesn't make you feel like toppling over, which is important for the novice rider. From there on the Sea-Doo maintains this stability from idle speed right through to its top end; in fact it gets better as speed is increased. The ride is exceptionally soft and responsive, which stems from the hull design and Sea-Doo's latest suspension system. It's a world first that has to be experienced to be believed.
On the speed-trial side - well I'm far from a speed freak - once I had the hang of all the new gadgets onboard and was confident with its handling, I couldn't resist winding her out. I went from zero to what looked like 70mph (60.8kts) on the gauge - I preferred to watch where I was going rather than keep my streaming eyes on the gauges at that speed.
At more civilised cruising speeds around 30kts, the 255hp 4-TEC purred along with minimal noise and delivered good economy. Another bonus is having the cruise control easily accessible to the fingers. This is a great feature to have when travelling long distances, or setting your speed for different speed zones. It's also great for precise trolling speeds when fishing and it helps eliminate fatigue in the throttle hand.

 

 

BRAKE BACK


Throughout the performance trials the "new" braking system was consistently applied and personally I feel that this is one of the big pros for Sea-Doo. Basically, you can either pull gently on the brake lever like you would on a bike for gentle and slow braking, or crank up the pressure on the lever and come to an abrupt halt. This system works, really works, and is definitely a positive safety feature to have.
The new suspension system is a handy feature to have, because this one is designed for rider comfort. Did it work and was it "that" noticeable? Yes it was, and with the choice of an auto-setting, or manual, a consistently soft ride was always attainable.
Other noticeably improved areas of performance include the craft's manoeuvrability - at high speeds, stationary, or when reversing. These Sea-Doos can be spun on a dime.

 

 

LAYOUT


A practical, well-designed layout is what you get with the GTX and RXT. Both feature ample waterproof storage, adjustable controls and fittings that are easily accessible. The only major differences between the two models is that the GTX iS 255 Limited has a few more handy extra's like retractable mooring lines; dry-storage bag; a glovebox organiser; first aid; sand-bag anchor; a boat cover; and an upgraded easy-open, ultra-plush touring seat.

 

 

FISHABILITY


This is one area that is probably overlooked by most, but how good are these craft for general fishing. Most would think not at all, but they'd be wrong. In my opinion they're great to fish from. These Sea-Doos are small craft with exceptional stability and handling capabilities and with those two main characteristics you can't go wrong out on the water.
Craft like these can be adapted to suit any fishing style by simply adding electronics, rodholders and a few tie-downs. Aside from that, you also have the benefits of not having to rely on crew that somehow always let you down late at night before a planned day of fishing.
As I've said, these craft are surprisingly stable when stationary and under power. You can move yourself around the seating area quite easily, which is always necessary when fighting a fish and in the event of tussling something large, you can easily chase the fish because the craft is so manoeuvrable.
At idle the Sea-Doo purrs along at 4kts and that's perfect for slow trolling livebaits. Plus, with the aid of the cruise control the speed can be set to suit any trolling speed you desire.
The Rotax being a four-stroke motor, the noise factor is better than before, which are both necessary characteristics when it comes to fishing.

 

 

CONCLUSION


I have to admit that when the "jetski hoons" come flying past while I'm fishing, I also curse and hurl abuse. But, aside from those who create a bad image for these craft, I can find plenty of merit in owning a Sea-Doo at some stage in my life. And when I do, it will also be for family enjoyment because these craft can comfortably carry three riders. I'll be able to shoot out to catch a few fish, or even do a few surfing tow-ins with the mates.
The GTX Limited iS 255 and RXT iS 255 models are Sea-Doo's top-of-the-range wetbikes, but even so, are quite affordable for what they have to offer. At the end of the day they're a practical watercraft and well suited to the whole family. So, for those who dislike them, or have never tried one, get on and give it a go, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
For those that have a PWC, or would like one, definitely give the new Sea-Doos a run anyway.

 

 


WHAT WE LIKED


Ride
Manoeuvrability
Fishability
Troll speed
Braking system

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


Nothing not to like
Undeserved reputation

 

 


HOW MUCH?


Priced from:  $27,590 GTX iS 255 Limited; $25,590 RXT iS 255
Options Fitted: Nil

 

 

GENERAL


Material:  Fibreglass
Length: 3.53m
Beam: 1.22m
Weight: 430kg

 

 

CAPACITIES


Rated HP: 255
Fuel: 70lt
Riders: Three

 

 

ENGINES


Make/model: Rotax 4-TEC
Type: Supercharged four-stroke four-cylinder 
Bore x Stroke: 100mm x 63.4mm
Displacement: 1494cc
Compression ratio: 8.4:1

 

 

DRIVE


Propulsion system: Sea-Doo
Direct Drive
Jet pump: Axial flow,
single stage, large hub

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


BRP Australia,
56 Canterbury Road,
Bankstown, NSW, 2200
Phone: (02) 9794 6600
Email:   kym.pardey@brp.com
Website: www.brp.com

Find Sea-Doo boats for sale.

 


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