Tested by Capt. Brandon De NataleThere are many choices when deciding which is the best watercraft for your family. I’ve seen and ridden countless models. Each one is perfect for one thing or the other. If you want to go out and race your friends then I suggest you take a loser look at this unique craft. But when it comes to deciding on a model for someone that wants an affordable craft that can do it all, I can say with confidence that you’ll be impressed with the Polaris Virage.The Virage comes with plenty of features that are sure to keep everyone happy. For the speed freak, the Virage features a 95-horse power Polaris Marine 700 LE two-stroke engine which provides excellent power out of the hole and top end performance. The engine fits nicely into the craft and there’s plenty of room inside for maintenance and daily checks. The engine is water-cooled and features a 6.0gallon oil reserve so you never have to get your hands dirty when checking the oil. And with the 17gallon fuel tank you can spend the whole day out on the water without a fill-up. Also with the Planet Sound reduction the noise levels found onboard and around the craft are reduced by 60%. This is a nice change and will make everyone you encounter on the water much happier. One of the great features that’s very family friendly is the over 30-gallons of storage on the watercraft. Up in the front there is a large 30-gallon storage bin. This is where you will find the fire extinguisher, oil fill cap and fuel on and off switch. The liner is also removable for inspection of the floatation and front of the fuel tank. Further back there’s a glove box that is conveniently located at the helm for easy storage and access to necessary items that you want to keep close. Whether it’s your sunglasses, camera or wallet there’s plenty of room for it here. And as if that isn’t enough room, on the aft part of the seat there is another compartment that’s perfect for storing wet items or it can even be filled with ice and serve as a cooler. At the helm there is just enough information for the driver. This makes it a great craft for someone just getting started in boating, and for those that expect more than a bare bones instrument panel like those found on entry-level crafts. It features speed, rpm, oil and fuel gauges and more, all laid out nicely on an LCD display. The standard side mirrors are also a nice touch which adds to the safety and will come in handy when towing someone from behind, or when maneuvering in tight spaces. And when it comes to maneuvering in close quarters the shift lever is well placed on the port side. Simply pull it back for the neutral and reverse gears. This comes in handy when you need to back off from a trailer, or maneuvering in tight spaces. The handlebar is wide and sturdy for easy control and the throttle and on/off buttons are within a fingers reach. And for those with small children, the handhold in the middle of the handlebar is great for keeping a close eye on them while making sure they are securely attached to the craft. The large seat is contoured and easily seats three adults. And the footwells are deep, and the heavy non-skid coating, which provides excellent traction when moving about. And behind the aft passenger there’s a handy handrail that assists with people getting into and out of the water. It also serves as a support when someone is turned around watching a skier aft. And with the heavy built-in stainless steel ski hook, setup is quick and easy. With the new hull design and efficient power plant, the Virage was a pleasure to drive. Fast and responsive right out of the hole the Virage reached a top speed of 48.3 mph. I found that the flare on the bow helped to cut down on spray and the hard chines really made a difference when carving through the turns. Moving around the vessel when off the beach was stable and easy. The wide beam helps keep things steady, and switching drivers and getting people in and out of the water doesn’t have to be a chore. I thought the Virage was the perfect watercraft for someone wanting a little more than the bare bones, but didn’t need all the flashy extras. You get many features that add to the comfort and safety of the riders and passengers without the high-end price tag for all the bells and whistles. In my books this is the best vessel for anyone looking for a weekend craft for the beach house or just a sturdy and reliable family vessel.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Polaris Virage is 48.3 mph (77.7 kph), burning gallons per hour (gph) or N/A liters per hour (lph).
- Time to plane for the Polaris Virage is ~ seconds.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Polaris Virage is 3.2 seconds seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!