Sea-Doo RXT PWC
By Captain John B. Wenz
Is this your dilemma? You’re in the market for a PWC. Your priority is performance (you like to go fast), but you like to take passengers along every now and then…say, your spouse and one of the kids. Sea-Doo may have the solution - the RXT. This is a watercraft designed to perform, yet it includes comfort and convenience features that allow you to enjoy this boat with the entire family. Cruising, towing, or just hammer-down flying, the RXT can handle it all, in style. There’s no doubt about it, the RXT fits into the “muscleboat” category.
The RXT is built around Sea-Doo’s legendary Rotax 4-TEC engine. It’s supercharged and intercooled, of course, and with a reported 215 horsepower it’s obviously capable of impressive acceleration and a good turn of speed. But that’s only part of this engine’s story. This is basically the same motor used in several models of aircraft, so you know it’s dependable. According to the manufacturer it only requires an annual oil change for maintenance. There’s no valve adjustment or other periodic servicing required beyond the initial break-in. And the closed-loop cooling system eliminates contact between environmental water (sea or lake water) and the inside of the engine. You can expect that to virtually eliminate interior engine corrosion.
Stylish Good Looks
Want to talk about style? The RXT’s design was inspired by the muscle cars of the sixties and seventies and it shows. In either Viper Red or Silver Metallic, the RXT will turn heads wherever she goes. Lift the stylish front canopy to reveal a huge storage locker. One of those clever little details, which requires experience to include, is the placement of the fuel fill. It’s up high, within reach of the riding position, so you can remain in the riding position at the fuel dock. There’s no need to kneel down and fumble with the cap.
Room for Three
The three-passenger seat has some features worth noting for both driver and passengers. First, an eighteen-function display will provide all the information you need while underway. The speedometer and tach are huge, and they display in both digital and LCD analog format simultaneously, so you won’t have to switch back and forth to see what you need. The reverse lever is located on your left, which may not sound like a big deal, but what this does is allow the driver to keep his throttle hand (right) on the handlebars while he reaches to drop the reverse bucket. Anyone who has maneuvered a PWC around a crowded marina can appreciate the importance of this feature.
In terms of comfort, I noticed a narrower dimension between my knees as I sat on the RXT. In addition, there seems to be a little more thickness to the seat cushion in this area. As I rode around in the choppy conditions on our test day, I noticed that my knees didn’t get banged around like I’ve been accustomed to in the past on other watercraft. In addition, the wide handlebars and the double density handgrips proved Sea-Doo’s attention to rider comfort and ergonomics. When riding two or three-up, your passengers were not forgotten when it comes to safety and security. For the second rider, you’ll notice a secure strap across the seating surface just behind the driver’s position. Whether the third seat position is used facing forward or aft, there’s a bunch of sturdy places to hold onto. In addition, the rear deck features a couple of little pockets for you to rest your heels in. This is really important when you’re towing. It makes for a really safe and secure ride.
For towing, they’ve included a towing eye, of course, but there’s also a retractable towing pylon available as an option which is really slick. The deck is covered with attractive and comfortable non-skid rubbery carpeting, and a reboarding step is standard. Worth noting is the deck dimension and the extra hand-holds available for reboarding. Once again, the attention to ergonomics makes this very easy, even when you’re a little fatigued.
Some of the other standard features worth noting on the RXT are Sea-Doo’s “Learning Key” and their OPAS steering system for off-power and off-throttle control. And the folks at Sea-Doo haven’t neglected their responsibility to the environment; The RXT features the D-Sea Bel noise reduction system and is rated CARB three-star for emissions.
Specs & Performance
Weighing in at 801 pounds, this watercraft has got an attractive power to weight ratio. Our test gear proved it by measuring acceleration from zero to thirty at 2.7 seconds. Our test conditions were less than ideal, so we could probably do better. I liked the way the hull dealt with the conditions - steering was responsive and accurate, and I felt like these guys have done right by their design. Our top speed was within the 65 mile an hour self-imposed limit on this class. Take it from me - you won’t be disappointed if speed is your priority. When it’s time for a cruise, we figure that you can count on a range of 92 miles at 32.6 miles an hour on a tank of premium gas. All-in-all, Sea-Doo has done a nice job at creating a three-seater that can run with the pack.