Captain's Report by Christopher Hughes
As soon as you climb onboard the 210 you will notice how the overall design and layout create the feeling of roominess. By angling back the edges of the “U” shaped cockpit seating, the helm seat and companion seat swing around to become part of the party. Even with the table installed, five to six adults can relax and hang out. The design of the helm and companion console is not intrusive and the angled design below each adds to the overall open feeling. The deep cockpit makes the boat feel as if it is wrapped around you. The only suggestion we can think of here would be to install the table via a side mount.Moving to how the internal space is used, the image above really demonstrates how the captain and the companion seats become part of what is taking place in the cockpit. We like how Sea-Doo maintains their design aesthetic even when focusing on value. These seats are plush wrap-around with a flip-up bolster. The “U”-shaped cockpit seating is stylish and the raised edge of the seat edge adds comfort.
Since most of us bring friends along when we head out for a day of watersports, the image above gives a sense of scale showing the removable table installed in the cockpit. We think Sea-Doo also does a good job of creating a boat that looks low slung to the water, yet also has relatively deep cockpit.
We begin our look with the power option for the Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S which we think is an important differentiating factor in jetdrive sportboats. Being able to order a boat like this with supercharged single engine or with twin-engine power gives a great deal of flexibility to the consumer both in terms of performance and price. Obvious advantages are the initial costs and the on-going operating expenses. Sea-Doo has told us they focused on value when designing this model and that the choice of single or twin power was just one example of addressing that.
In the Sea-Doo 210 Challenger, an engine is connected to a single-stage axial flow jet pump with a nozzle diameter of 6-1/8" (15.56 cm). The impeller is stainless and four-bladed. Since the engine is direct drive to the jet pumps, there is no transmission or reduction gear. While this means there is no rudder, nor even a lower unit to act as a rudder, the engine and pump is always processing water, meaning you always have maneuverability, even in neutral. Sea-Doo's Rotax engine has a closed-loop cooling system. Located on port and starboard on the aft end of the hull is what look like trim tabs. These are actually heat exchangers for the closed-loop cooling system. The engine coolant is circulated through the heat exchangers that are in constant contact with the water. This system ensures that no contaminants enter the engine.
Everyone wants to know which drive system is faster and burns more fuel, the supercharged single or naturally-asperated twins. We're curious, too, and look forward to testing this new boat in both configurations. We're told that both versions go over 40 mph, but that's all we can report at this time.On the companion console you will find a large glove box and similar styling to the helm. With the track and swivel adjustable seat, the passenger can easily face aft to act as the observer when towing.
A look at the helm shows us how Sea-Doo values a balance of ergonomics and looks. The silver on black, multi-tiered design makes a striking helm. The digital display is positioned above the wheel and in the center of the driver's sightline. The top of the dash is finished in a no-glare rubberized coating. The choice of sealed push button and toggle switches completes the overall look. The stereo to port of the wheel is satellite-ready and has an MP3 port.The ergonomic throttle control is also positioned with the driver's comfort and control in mind. By extending the dash back to create a shelf, the driver can rest his arm while easily making throttle adjustments. We should also mention that this boat's engine -- or engines -- is digitally controlled through the iTC or intelligent Throttle Control, which is "an electric throttle system." These include ECO mode, which optimizes engine output and settings for more economical use. Sea-Doo offers cruise control, and ski mode if you chose the twin engine version.
The efficient use of space continues forward. Instead of the bow coming to a point, the beam width is carried forward of the windshield and the bow area is broadened to create more internal space. Careful consideration has been given to storage as well. With an easy fold-up seat back, access to the console storage is far better than before.
The jet drive propulsion system offers several design advantages for the aft end of the 210. Because there is no need for a large engine cover, the space can be better used by providing a large swim platform with built-in lockable storage. There is a compartment for wet storage right above the engine(s) which is great for drying wet towels and bathing suits, as well as keeping them out of the cockpit. There is a tow point centered on the back of the swim platform and also a removable tow pylon which mounts just abaft of the storage area on the swim platform. Take your pick.
The swim ladder is located in the center of and below the swim platform. This convenient location is due to the jet drive. With no props in the way, there is little danger of a swimmer getting hurt. Nevertheless, when people are in the water around the boat the engine(s) should never be on.
Her length overall is 20’6” with a beam of 8’6” and a dry weight of 2,925 lb. for the single engine version and 3,100 lb. for twin engines. The total fuel capacity is 41 gal. single engine and 44 gal. with twins. The MSRP price of the single, supercharged Rotax engine version is $32,499. For an MSRP of $35,499 you can have a Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S powered by twin, naturally-aspirated Rotax engines. Both of these prices inclde a tandem-axle trailer.In our opinion this is a well-equipped boat which offers lots of space, great looks, industry leading technology, and a price below boats offering far less. In the view above advantages, the benefits of the Sea-Doo 210 Challenger S seem clear.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|