Captain's ReportTested by Capt. Vince DanielloA PWC Designed For All RidersFor people interested in a personal watercraft for casual enjoyment, the Virage i from Polaris has a lot to offer. Built on the same hull as the company’s no frills Freedom, The Virage includes common conveniences like reverse, rear view mirrors, and an electronic instrument display. The Virage i takes it one step further with a direct fuel injected 100 horsepower motor. While the boat is somewhat unpretentious, lacking the big engine and bells and whistles that increase the price of other personal watercraft, it is a solid performer that’s fun to ride.Comfortable Features The Virage is a mid-sized boat with comfortable room for two riders, and the ability to carry three. It offers plenty of storage too, both under the bow and beneath the seat. I really appreciated the way the aft storage compartment is designed. To access this compartment on most PWCs, the rider has to reach around to a latch at the back of the seat then remove a section of the seat, leaving a loose seat to hang on to. On the Virage, the back section of the seat hinges open, allowing easy access while sitting on the boat without any parts to juggle or lose. There is also a small storage compartment at the front of the seat for sunscreen, glasses, or what-have-you.Engine and PerformanceThe direct fuel injected engine only adds five horsepower over the carbureted version. Performance between the two motors was similar, but the fuel injected model ran smoother, particularly at idle, and is probably a bit more fuel efficient. Either choice offers plenty of speed and acceleration for fun riding, and enough power to pull a tube. Having reverse is a nice feature, which sets this model apart from the entry-level Freedom. I liked that the electronic display which indicated when the boat was in reverse. The reverse lever, however, is positioned so that it is somewhat difficult to vary between forward and reverse, while simultaneously turning the handlebars, particularly while wearing the wrist strap for the kill lanyard. On the plus side, Polaris has designed their kill lanyard to be worn on the wrist or attached to the rider’s jacket to suit either preference. Handling and RideAll in all, I found the boat quite stable and easy to maneuver. Because of its simplicity, it is a bit easier to ride than many models, particularly for a novice. Features such as boat trim and elaborate instruments are great for the performance-oriented, but can get in the way of just riding for fun. The Virage i from Polaris is a good all-around boat, with above average performance and features at a middle of the road price.
Standard and Optional Features
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