Sea-Doo’s Spark stands out not only for its looks and construction but also its price tag. Starting at a mere $5,199, it’s literally thousands less than any competitor’s personal watercraft. Those aforementioned traits are the reason why. The Spark’s matte finish comes from its hull and deck material, a lightweight reinforced polypropylene called Polytec, that’s molded in a variety of eye-popping colors. The material’s weight advantage over fiberglass-based solutions allows Sea-Doo to use a smaller, lower horsepower motor. The Spark’s compact Rotax 900 ACE is offered in a 60 hp base configuration, as well as an optional 90 hp upgrade. Both take advantage of good-old horsepower-to-weight ratio to produce respectable numbers for an entry-level craft. Expect a 40 mph top speed on the base model, and 48 mph with the 90 hp HO engine. Fuel economy proves impressive on both machines, with the 60 hp engine burning less than 2 gph and the 90 hp burning a mere 2.4 gph in what the company deems an average duty cycle.
Sea-Doo modeled the Spark’s handling after the iconic SP model of old. Like that machine, it’s looser and more playful than most of today’s rides. Move your weight forward as you crank the handlebars and you can break the stern free into a 180-degree slide; stay on the power and you can pull the craft through an old-school 360-degree spin. Should you want a more precise ride, just shift your weight back to anchor the stern and crank through the corners on the smallest personal watercraft currently available.
Though that attractive base price tag is enticing, numerous upgrades increase the Sea-Doo Spark’s versatility and, in many ways, a rider’s enjoyment. The 90 hp engine is highly recommended over the base engine for all but the tamest consumers. Dual acceleration profiles allow riders to use the latter’s full power, or to tone the delivery down for newcomers or in order to save fuel. Sea-Doo offers the craft as a two-seater, called the 2up, as well as the three-seat 3up version. The 2up weighs in at a mere 405 pounds; the 3up weighs 420 pounds.
*Spark’s hull and deck are bolted together around a rubber gasket. This allows the deck to be removed from the hull for great service access to the engine and fuel system. *Optional Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR) shortens stopping distance dramatically at speed and provides exceptional low-speed maneuverability in the tight confines of docks or ramps.
How We Tested
Engine: Rotax 900 ACE HO
Impeller: Mercury 16″ x 13″ 3-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 2.38:1
Fuel Load: 7.9 gal.
Crew Weight: 150 lb.
$5,799 (with test power)
Sea-Doo Valcourt, Quebec, Canada; 888-272-9222; sea-doo.com