Sea-Doo is known for innovation, but arguably no craft has included as many new ideas as found on the GTX Limited 300. Hull, deck, saddle, stowage, aft platform — even the glove box showcases clever engineering and design. The result isn’t so much a makeover as a full-on re-envisioning of the PWC builder’s flagship platform.
The redesign (one shared by all GTX, RXT and Wake Pro 230 models) starts below the waterline. Elements of the brand’s muscly RXP-X 300 proved evident in the sharper hull entry, which features an almost concave V that defies the boat’s listed 20-degree deadrise. The shape aims to improve wave penetration in rough conditions and quickens the boat’s overall reflexes. My test ride proved it works. Underway, the GTX corners with aggression and tenacity yet, thanks in part to its subtle reverse chine, feels precise and stable in rough water.
Stability at rest was also a design priority. According to Sea-Doo, owners aren’t just turning and burning, they’re using their craft much like other boaters use theirs, beaching and coving with friends, stopping to eat on the water, even fishing. To those ends, the new ST3 hull measures 1 inch wider than the previous design, mostly due to a secondary chine that flares the hull. Additional features include a top deck that is notably low-slung and features less bulk forward of the saddle. That saddle itself sits well over an inch lower below the driver and a full 3 inches lower below the passengers. Footwells have likewise been widened and recessed to match. Again, the combination works. I walked the port and starboard footwells without rolling into the drink, deepwater-boarded from the side of the craft just to prove a point, and used the newly enlarged aft deck as a casting platform.
Sea-Doo designers didn’t stop at a larger, more stable platform. They also dreamt up new ways to enhance at-rest activities. Arguably the most useful addition is the LinQ accessory system, a concept borrowed from BRP’s ATVs and snowmobiles. A pair of pull-up, composite “cleats” recessed into the deck, LinQ mounts form the anchor for a number of accessories, including a 4.2-gallon cooler ($279), 4-gallon gas caddy ($179) and 5.5-gallon semi-rigid dry bag ($194). The cam-style locking mechanism proved secure, even during extended time in rough water. The high-tech, rotomolded cooler kept ice frozen for a long, hot day. The gas caddy and dry bag can also be conveniently stacked together. For watersports enthusiasts, a removable tow pylon ($299) installs into an additional port.
Additional space on the swim platform is gained by removing the aft third of the seat, a nod to the growing popularity of coving and fishing. Sea-Doo also envisions performance types jettisoning the saddle on occasion to lower weight. Reps even noted that the free section of saddle could be placed farther aft on the deck and the cooler placed into the resulting gap to form a kind of mini dinette for that picnic lunch. Should you try it, I’ll caution the removable section of saddle doesn’t secure in this configuration, so you better hope the water’s calm.
Even something as seemingly mundane as bow storage gets a radical redesign. Conventional bow storage has always come with a catch: On the water, accessing the contents requires an awkward stretch over the handlebars, water often splashes into the open compartment, and the deepest-buried items are never within reach. Sea-Doo’s solution is to move the compartment directly in front of the saddle and essentially make the entire handlebar/mirrors/information display assembly one big lid. From a seated position, I released two levers, lifted the gas-shock-assisted hatch upward, and revealed a generous compartment with handy dividers to keep contents organized. Again, the solid feel of the assembly is impressive. Where I expected rattles and play, I found beefy, solid construction. The redesign reduces the glove box to little more than a smartphone holder, but in today’s world that piece of tech is a given. Rest easy knowing your device will be pampered with foam and housed within a waterproof case, and a USB port will be at the ready.
With so much innovation hogging the spotlight, I’ve hardly left room for a PWC’s bread and butter — performance. The GTX redesign shed almost 90 pounds from the previous model’s weight, significantly enhancing power-to-weight ratio. Combined with the carry-over 300 hp Rotax 1630 ACE engine, the craft accelerated to 60 mph in under 4 seconds before topping out at a governed 67 mph. That’s similar performance to Yamaha’s FX Limited SVHO ($17,399), a craft that also features an electronic reverse/deceleration system, as well as cruise, no-wake, touchscreen display and an accessory mounting system. Sea-Doo’s innovative combo of storage, modular LinQ accessories, and at-rest stability, however, continue to set the GTX Limited 300 apart.
- Intelligent Brake & Reverse (iBR) uses precise control of power and the reverse bucket to mimic a conventional boat’s forward/neutral/reverse gearing and provide rapid deceleration should an obstacle be encountered underway.
- A 4-foot access panel exposes nearly the entire engine compartment, offering unprecedented service access.
- Limited package extras include high-performance trim, safety kit, cover, dry bag, additional gauge functions, storage bin organizer and upscale colors.
- New bow storage design reduces the GTX’s former 42-gallon capacity to only 27 gallons, although the ease of access and the Limited’s internal organizer system make the difference almost unnoticeable in use.
- You’ll miss the convenience of a glove box. Just grabbing a water bottle meant repeatedly opening and closing the bow storage compartment.
- While practical additions, LinQ accessories aren’t cheap — and in some cases, noticeably more expensive than their stand-alone counterparts.
Price: $17,099 (as tested)
Available Power: Jet Drive
How We Tested
Engine: Rotax 1630 HO ACE 300 hp FOUR-stroke, supercharged with external intercooler
Drive/Prop: Jet/4-blade stainless-steel impeller
Gear Ratio: 1.00:1
Fuel Load: 10 gal.
Crew Weight: 155 lb.
Sea-Doo – Valcourt, Quebec; 888-272–9222; sea-doo.com