Spot Sea-Doo's 210 Challenger SE at the dock, and the first thing you notice is the roomy cockpit. Thanks to the low profile of its compact Rotax motors and the inline profile of jet drives, Sea-Doo doesn't have to sacrifice space to a bulky engine enclosure. That gives this 21-foot boat the space and seating capacity of many 23-footers.
Makes sense, but without the requisite sun pad, where are bathing beauties supposed to lounge while on the hook? We found the answer hidden under the twin "mini" sun pads that flank the walk-through transom — a pair of fold-out lounge seats. Extend them onto the swim platform, drop those cushions to form the backrests, and you've got a pair of waterfront chaises. A socket for the cockpit table and a stereo remote are both within easy reach. Sit back here and watch the kids swim around without worrying about props.
Towing toys is also worry-free thanks to electronic-throttle speed control. The Challenger features five towing profiles, each of which offers progressively stronger acceleration. Select your desired pull, choose your towing speed, and punch the throttle. The Challenger's computer brain handles the acceleration and even holds speed through a turn. A similar throttle-mapping trick finds and holds the most efficient cruise speed, or you can use "docking mode" to limit rpm with the full throw of the throttle lever, allowing for more precise control around the dock.
Our test boat included a pair of Rotax engines that utilize both a supercharger and intercooler to produce a combined 430 hp. They gave the Challenger a jet's classic snap out of the hole, boosting this boat onto plane in less than 2.5 seconds and reaching 30 mph in as little as five. Speed topped out just shy of 54 mph.
• Low-profile jet drives leave room for spacious ski locker in swim platform.
• Small dual sun pads make good spot to gear up for skiing and boarding.
• Rack-and-pinion steering eliminates the toylike handling typical of jets, and gives the control more typical of a stern-drive.
• Seat cushions are hinged; molded-in gutters behind drain away standing water.
- Test Drive
- Test Engine: Twin 215 HP, 1,494 CC supercharged/intercooled Rotax 1503 4-Tec gasoline jet drives
- Test Drive/Prop: Sea-Doo jet drives with 159 mm diameter, variable-pitch stainless steel impellers
- Test Load: People (545 LB.) Fuel (44 GAL.)
- Top Speed: 53.7 MPH @ 7,950 RPM
- Time to Plane: 2.4 Sec.
- Time to 30 MPH: 5.0 sec.
- Most Economical Cruise Speed: 28.2 MPH @ 5,000 RPM, 8.5 GPH
- Vital Stats
- Length Overall: 20'6"
- Beam: 8'6"
- Dry Weight: 3,100 LB.
- Seating/Weight Capacity: 10/1,638 LB.
- Fuel Capacity: 44 GAL.
- Max HP: 430
- MSRP: $43,699 (as tested)
- NMMA Certified: Yes