Sea-Doo Islandia

Any preconceptions we had about deck boats - casual hole shot, deliberate in turns - took a hike when we ran the Islandia. It registered a blistering 5.6 seconds from 0-30 mph and then turned from east to west in a snap.

Any preconceptions we had about deck boats - casual hole shot, deliberate in turns - took a hike when we ran the Islandia. It registered a blistering 5.6 seconds from 0-30 mph and then turned from east to west in a snap.

On the other hand, we also had to kick aside some of our notions about jet-powered boats. The Islandia has some handling qualities akin to a luxurious stern-drive. The substantial weight and wide chines made it very predictable in our handling course. The steering wheel turned exactly half a revolution to full right and full left, and corrected itself to center when we let it go.

We tested an Islandia a couple of years ago, but this version was radically different because of the twin 155-horsepower Rotax 4-Tec engines - previous tests were with a single engine and an open-loop cooling system. Closed-loop cooling on the Rotax means debris and/or salt water doesn't enter the engine, eliminating the need to flush it after use in salt water. Twin engines also provide a lot more oomph - we nearly touched 50 mph in our test.

The cockpit of the Islandia is all about day-tripping. Every seat is rounded for comfort, matching the lines of the boat. The bow area is deeper than the cockpit to keep little passengers safe and for better driving visibility.

You can see why it's difficult to corner the Islandia into a specific category. It's a lot of everything, unto itself.

AT A GLANCE
The Islandia has new power for 2006, combining the best of jet-drives and deck boats in one unit.

TestDrive
Test Engines: Twin Rotax 1503 SC 155 hp 4-Tec
Test Load: People (400 lb.); Fuel (30 gal.)
Top Speed: 49.6 MPH @ 7,200 RPM
Time to Plane: 3.0 sec.
Time to 30 MPH: 5.6 sec.
Minimum Plane: 14.0 MPH @ 4,000 RPM

VITALSTATS
Length Overall: 22'
Beam: 8'3"
Dry Weight: 3,050 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/1,800 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 55 gal.
Maximum HP: 250
NMMA Certified: Yes
MSRP (base w/ trailer): $37,599