Direct-drive jet propulsion doesn’t just provide shallow draft and press-you-into-the-seat acceleration. The engine installation also takes up less space than that aboard sterndrive-powered boats, allowing 21-footers like Sea-Doo’s 210 Challenger S to boast the cockpit space of many 23-foot sterndrive runabouts. One look at the U-shaped seating in the aft cockpit tells you all you need to know.
The 210 Challenger S we tested is the middle trim level for the series. Unlike the base 210 (priced less than $30,000), it offers a choice of twin engines or the single direct-injected, supercharged 255 hp Rotax powering our test boat. Other S-version niceties include snap-in carpet, a cockpit table and a satellite-ready stereo with USB-device control. Upgrading to the top-line SE version nets you twin engines, super-cool Transat reclining seats on the swim platform and more. A tandem-axle trailer with swing-away tongue is standard.
Our tester topped 44 mph and raced to plane in less than four seconds. We also accelerated from zero to 30 mph in less than eight seconds on each of three separate runs. Wheel the 210 Challenger S into a hard turn to get your crew whooping. With seating for 10, there’ll be plenty of smiles.
-Choose single or twin engines.
-The “see-through” bifold bow door further enhances the feeling of space.
-Lockable swim-platform stowage is a welcome innovation.