Captain's ReportA Competitor Ready for Any ChallengeThe 230 SE is a Tough Package to BeatBy Capt. Rob SmithSea-Doo is crushing the typical image of the family sportboat with the Sea-Doo Challenger SE. From the front or side, looking at this craft you only seem to notice an odd line or shape, not really able to figure out what it is that has caught your eyes. Looking inside, you see enormous spaces with room for plenty of friends and family, elegant touches and some eye-catching and interesting features. When you get around to the back it hits you like the proverbial beer truck. That’s a jet boat?! No, this is a direct-drive family oriented open sport boat with features for dad, mom and the rest of the family.Sleek Design and Modern LooksThe Sea-Doo Challenger merges classic lines with modern design and engineering to deliver a sportboat that meets the challenge of today’s water-sport driven family. As more boats are added to the water every year and water sports becomes more focused on precision and speed, it is critical that the design team keeps in step. This new model does just that.Starting at the bow, there is an ample anchor locker that has a cradle for the Danforth style anchor and room for typical rode on a boat this size. Cleats are pull-up stainless steel, and bow rails are low-profile and easy to reach. Seating in the bow is tremendous. At least six can comfortably gather up front. Large marine speakers deliver the tunes to the bow and lighted inset drinkholders are on both sides. Lift the seats up and you find a neat system for protecting gear stored inside. A rubberized grass mat system allows any water to drain down to the bottom and away while softening the bumps along the way. Under your feet, snap-in carpet softens the sole and makes clean up a snap at the end of the day.Innovative Features ThroughoutStepping on back you find the first major surprise on the SE, a fold and stow retractable windscreen with door in the walkthrough. This pocket door system simply pulls out of the driver’s side pod. You flip up the window and lock it in place, then lock the entire door in place with a barrel latch. Another great feature about this system is that it is all tempered glass so you have a truly open feeling looking forward while blocking the chilly morning breeze from the main cockpit.The companion and driver’s seats are comfortable bucket seats with swivel and slide adjustments to keep you in the conversation and having a clear view ahead underway. Speakers on both sides of the seats provide great sound to the main cockpit. A sturdy stainless grab bar gives the rider more confidence until they get used to the power of the optional 430-hp supercharged engine package. The two boxes in the companion station house the stereo head, 12-volt adaptor, and plenty of room for bottles of tanning lotion, and more. In the floor between the seats is a huge locker that has a rubber pad to protect the skis and any other long items you need to stow, or to keep the life jacket kit in easy reach.Behind the WheelThe helm station is laid out well for easy visibility of all instruments. Lighted and well labeled rocker switches control power. The top of the dash has a pad to protect and hold your glasses, keys and phones. Split throttle and shift levers are on the side gunnel with a padded arm rest that has a drinkholder just below. Our test model had another great option, electric retractable windows to really open up the feel underway. Push a button and the windows come down or go back up just like in your car.Moving on back, the aft cockpit offers another huge sitting space with wrap-around seating benches. Under the starboard bench is a handy carry-on Igloo cooler for drinks and beverages. Over on the port side is another padded storage box. The sunpad on the back covers the engine box. Under the pad, the table is stowed making it easy to find and easy to set up. The stern light stows in clips in the fiberglass tray that lifts out to gain access to the engines. With the engine cover down, the sunpad makes a great place to hang out at anchor, sit comfortably to put your skis or wakeboard on or just relax and watch a sunset. Across the back are numerous handholds for getting back aboard as well as a concealed telescoping swim ladder.If you have never experienced a direct-drive sportboat, you are in for a wonderful surprise. If you did years ago, you need to try this one out before you set your opinions, as they have changed drastically. The Sea-Doo 230 SE will please just about everyone and will certainly gain the respect of hard-core I/O users, and likely convert many!
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SE (2007) is 57.3 mph (92.2 kph), burning 32.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 121.5 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SE (2007) is 21.8 mph (35.1 kph), and the boat gets 2.94 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.25 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 140 miles (225.31 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 215-hp Rotax 4-TEC engine.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!