It took a little time to get accustomed to handling this newjet-powered boat from Sea-Doo. Turn the wheel clockwise in reverse,for instance, and the bow turns the same direction as the wheel. Orcrank the wheel at 35 mph and the boat is immediately facing theopposite way, ready for another omnidirectional move. Yeah, it tookabout six minutes before we had it down pat.
The boat takes its name from the four-stroke Rotax technologyfound in Sea-Doo’s watercraft engines. It’s designed toburn less fuel and practically no oil. Four-stroke tech makes this155-hp machine “legal” in areas where two-strokes havebeen banned and welcome in areas where silence is appreciated,thanks to the sound dampening double-muffler exhaust and a rubbermat under the engine hatch. And, by incorporating side-shoot gatesthat send water out of the jets at an angle rather than straightout, the boat is easier to handle in reverse.
Handling was simple going forward and in spins too. TheSportster rides and tracks true thanks to stability-enhancingstrakes. We could feel the hull grab through sharp S-turns, beforeallowing the boat to kick back out. The cockpit sits so low and theboat maneuvers so freely we felt as if we were right on thewater.
We drove the Sportster differently from all the boats we tested.We’d get it on plane in 2.5 seconds and take it into shallowareas, the 12-inch draft and no outdrive erasing any concerns
Entry-level jet boats aren’t known to be full-featured.But we stumbled across a CD player, a pop-up ski pylon and nonskidentries on the bow and transom. Storage is better than expected,too, with a long in-floor locker, a lockable compartment at thefront of the helm and a large area under the engine hatchthat’s accessed by punching a tab inside the helm storagearea. We suggest traveling with a light load -- and letting it allhang out.
Final Take: It’s even fun to watch
We Also Like …
1. Digital Encoded Security System means it won’t startwithout the original lanyard.
2. Closed-loop cooling system prevents raw water from enteringengine cooling ports.
3. Padded armrest on top of gunwale for throttle arm.
4. Seats have mesh inserts so water can drain into a holdingarea.
5. Molded forward area for nav lights.
6. Insulated cooler built into port side of bow.
Length Overall: 15’4”
Dry Weight: 1,454 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 4/715 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 23 gal.
Max HP: 155
MSRP (test boat): $14,299
Test Engine: 155-hp 1503 Rotax 4-Tec
Test Prop: Four-blade progressive pitch, stainless
Test Load: Fuel (18 gal.); People (355 lb.)
Top Speed: 47.0 MPH @ 7,300 RPM
Time to Plane: 2.5 sec.
Time to 30 MPH: 7.1 sec.
Minimum Planing Speed: 18.5 MPH @ 4,700 RPM
Noise at Idle: 68 db
Noise at 30 MPH: 87 db
Cruise Stats: 87 db; 28 MPH @ 5,400 RPM