Captain's ReportThree Riders or One...The SE Delivers on FunPlenty of Features to Keep the Riding Turns Going All Day By Capt. Ron SvobodaAs I stand on the beach visually scrutinizing Sea-Doo’s new GTI SE with company rep Tim McKercher, he explains to me that Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) “has really put the fun back into the PWC market”. With that in mind, I set out on the 155 horsepower watercraft to see what Tim was really talking about. The quick, nimble and virtually “snappy” machine is a great improvement over the typical jet propelled craft on the market these days, which have become almost boring due to over-engineering for the sake of safety and stability. With a top speed of nearly 50 mph and a narrow, modified-V running surface, the GTI SE is an exciting performer. She packs all the playfulness of a muscle craft without having to shell-out the big bucks for one. Key FeatureThe base model GTI is geared for recreational consumers looking for a boat at a low price point. Stepping up to the SE package gets you 25 extra horsepower under the hood and a speedometer to let you know how fast you’re going. But that’s not all this versatile model comes with. The SE stands apart from its lesser sibling, with a stylish metallic grey finish and black hull bottom, rear view mirrors and ski tow eye. At the back of the boat you get a sturdy, retractable boarding ladder and super durable deck and foot well mats.Like the base GTI, the SE has a masculine, aggressive look to it. The plush, 3-up seating and redesigned handlebars are higher and wider for greater driver comfort. Below the bars is a storage compartment deep enough for a large bottle of water or two. Above the bars, the boat’s dash panel features a digital information center with engine tachometer, fuel gauge, battery voltage, along with 15 other parameters. There’s even a readout that tells you how cold the water is, just in case you don’t feel like dipping your toe in to check the temp.Just forward of the matte black finished console is a large storage compartment. Under the flip-up lid is a removable, watertight storage bin and access to the battery. The plastic bin is really a slick idea, because now you can take it to the fridge to fill and to the beach to enjoy. And although I love the concept, I found the latches to be somewhat cumbersome. Power PackageAmidships is a bumble-bee yellow seat which easily removes in one piece to reveal the heart of this fun machine. The Rotax 4-TEC engine is a naturally aspirated, electronic fuel-injected masterpiece, thanks in part to her closed-loop cooling system. Similar to what you have on your car, the motor does not use raw water to cool itself. Besides simplifying maintenance, this design ultimately eliminates the damage that can occur from saltwater attack on internal engine components. It also prolongs the life of the power plant compared to other boats on the market. You’re still going to have to check the engine oil and coolant levels before you ride, and change them when necessary, but that’s all very easy with the conveniently located service points.Innovative DesignsAlthough the GTI SE was designed to put “fun” back into the game, she still has all the great safety features that BRP is famous for. Take O.P.A.S. for example, which is short for Off-Power Assisted Steering. This little gem of innovation is simply two small rudders located at the stern, below the waterline and controlled by the handle bars. When the craft is “off-power”, O.P.A.S. provides some steering control and helps the rider to avoid collisions. Another important feature, common on most of the Sea-Doo line, is the “Learning Key”. This safety lanyard allows younger or less skilled riders the ability to have fun without exceeding the “Keys” preset speed limit which is maxed at 35 or 45 mph.Agile PerformerOn the test course, the agile craft handled amazingly and snapped turns on a dime. Acceleration and cruising was accomplished with smooth, responsive power, while the ride was unbelievably quiet and relaxed. With the comfortable seating and controls you can easily ride all day without the pain sometimes associated with PWCs, and thanks to its 15.9 gallon fuel tank, you won’t have to stop to refuel. The down side of the boat is something I didn’t expect from Sea-Doo’s larger sit-down craft; spray from the bow at low speeds and idle. With a slight chop on the bay, I continually got a face full of brine. I expect this was because riding conditions were not as smooth and ideal as they could have been, but the GTI SE’s proved its ability to maneuver just fine in the chop. I also thought the plastic on the front cowling and storage lid could have been a bit heftier for a longer life span. But despite these minor finding, the GTI SE is truly a great value and a blast to drive, and with safety features such as the “Learning Key” the whole family can take turns.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea-Doo GTI SE (2007) is 54.9 mph (88.4 kph), burning gallons per hour (gph) or N/A liters per hour (lph).
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Sea-Doo GTI SE (2007) is 3.0 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
BRP 1-Year Limited Warranty on Watercraft