By: Jack Murphy

Jack Murphy takes a Sea-Doo jetboat for a spin and comes back a little dizzy.




This year the NSW coastal town of Port Stephens played host to TrailerBoat's annual Australia's Greatest Boats shootout. As part of this extravaganza involving a cast of thousands, Sea-Doo kindly provided a jet-powered Sea-Doo 150 Speedster to act as a support boat during the event.

I was left the responsibility of taming this jet-powered monster capable of hitting almost 100kmh. Having only driven a handful of jetboats in the past, the few days in Port Stephens were interesting to say the least.





The Sea-Doo 150 Speedster is only 4.67m long yet it hides a blistering 255hp three-cylinder axial-flow inboard under its belt. Basically, it's a jetski on steroids. Taking it off the trailer was the first hiccup, largely because I forgot that jetboats steer the opposite direction in reverse. This is because instead of a propeller spinning in the opposite direction (as is the case with outboards and inboards), once reverse is engaged a scoop is moved in front of the jet. This reverses the flow of water in the opposite direction and inverts the steering. Simple, eh? Well, it is once you get used to it. Once I'd wrapped my head around that, it was time to admire the raw power at my fingertips.

The Sea-Doo 150 has two speeds, fast and faster - but in a 20kt headwind the hull's performance was average. Hitting the sharp chop at speed caused the jet to constantly come out of the water, which resulted in a noticeable sucking noise. That said, this boat simply isn't made for spending most of its time in windy conditions out in the ocean. Instead, the 150 Speedster is at home in flat bays and rivers, filled with bikini-clad girls bopping along to blasting tunes.

One key difference between propeller and jetboats is the way the steering works. While propeller boats are steered via an engine leg or rudder flap, most jetpowered boats have no rudder. The actual jet moves, pushing water left to right to steer the boat. A jetboat therefore cannot be steered unless the boat is under power. One of the advantages here is that there's less drag in the water, meaning greater maneuverability with a quick flick of the wheel.

What will shock newbies to jetboating (like myself) is the fact that they "turn on a dime". This makes for a very fun ride, and is one of the appeals of a jetboat. That said, the only way I was able to keep the Sea-Doo Speedster still was to have it in neutral with the wheel at dead centre. If the wheel was even slightly off centre, the boat would perform circles. It made me feel like I was sitting on a racehorse, impatiently waiting to burst out of the gates at any moment.

BRP has done a great job in designing a vessel that fills the void between boat and jetski. The Sea-Doo Speedster is perfect for anyone who wants the thrill of a jetski, but it will happily take a family along for the ride. With a seating capacity of four and lockable storage onboard, I can see many people trading in their PWC keys for this speed machine.





Specifications: SEA-DOO 150 SPEEDSTER


Length: 4.67m


Beam: 2.16m


Draft: 30.5cm


Dry weight: 659kg


Seating: 4


Weight capacity: 324kg


Fuel: 79.4lt


RRP: $35,329



First published in TrailerBoat # 274

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