Captain’s Report by Dan Armitage
In a word, the mission of Sea-Doo engineers with the new 230 Wake for 2012 was to blow off the competition with meaningful, new features that would create bigger wake behind the boat and more excitement aboard her. With bigger wake comes more air, more thrills and chills, and a better show for the 12-person audience possible aboard the new design. Other new features are so cool it will be hard for buyers to resist.
The Sea-Doo 230 Wake is powered by a pair of 1.5L Rotax 4-TEC engines. The standard supercharged package is estimated to generate 430-hp together, according to a Sea-Doo spokesman. The optional High-Output package has a different supercharger and a large, external innercooler, and according to Sea-Doo it produces 510-hp. That is a lot of horsepower in a 23' boat, particularly when it is turning crankshafts at up 8000 rpms directly connected to two water jet pumps with no reduction gear in between.There is no doubt that the jet boats are hard to beat when it comes to hole shot, and the Sea-Doo spokesman claims the boat gets on plane in 3.1 seconds. We have not yet tested the 2012 230 Wake, so we can't verify that claim. If true, however, it means that novice wakeboarders will have an easier time of success on their first few times out on the water.
The 230 Wake model incorporates what Sea-Doo refers to as iTC (intelligent Throttle Control), an electronic throttle to control how power is delivered. In basic terms, the choices offered via the iTC include an ECO mode (short for "economy"). The ECO is a technology designed to calculate the boat’s optimum fuel efficiency based on load, speed range and water conditions. Essentially it lets you dial in the "best cruise speed" for maximum range by putting the throttle to the stops.
Docking raises some anxiety in all boaters, and jet boats are no different, and maybe more so. Because they have no rudders and are steered strictly with the jet nozzles, smooth docking takes a careful hand. Sea-Doo's "Docking Mode" limits the engines' available power to a maximum of 3500 rpm over the full throw of the throttle lever. In this way the operator can make more precise adjustments and a heavy hand will not result in too much power and a boat out of control. We like this feature because it makes the horsepower much more controllable, it will make every operator more proficient, and it is also safer. Moreover, this feature is valuable when the skipper is backing the tow vehicle down the launch ramp and someone who is unfamiliar with the boat -- such as junior, mom, or uncle Harry -- is in the boat guiding her onto the trailer.
"Ski Mode" allows the operator to program the throttle to control the power band across a range of five different ramp-up settings to get a consistent hole shot and towing speed. "Cruise Mode" allows the operator to use a toggle switch to control speed by 1 mph increments.
LCD Touch Screen
The 230 Wake offers a brand-new LCD touchscreen control center that puts several of the boat’s features and technologies at the operator’s fingertips, including Cruise Control, Docking, ECO and Ski modes, stereo controls and fuel settings.
Secondarily, this 7" touch screen also can be a chartplotter. With the standard gps the boat's track can be followed and duplicated. In unfamiliar waters this chartplotter should be a great guide to staying in deep water and avoiding all sorts of trouble. Even though the Sea-Doo 230 Wake only draws about 1' (.30 m), chartplotters are great things to have. Best of all, the system can accept the chips made by any of the major digital chart suppliers. Digital readouts are large and easy-to-read at a glance. A digitally-encoded security system prevents unauthorized use via a microchip that is engaged in the ignition lanyard.
More cockpit space.
Because the Sea-Doo 230 Wake is a jet-powered boat with direct drives its engines are low permitting more cockpit space. This is particularly important in the stern of the boat.
Triple WakeBoost System
The 2012 230 Wake model includes Sea-Doo’s new Triple WakeBoost System, a three-tank set-up with water capacities that can be filled, drained, adjusted and monitored via the dash-mounted touchscreen control panel to move weight around and fine-tune the ballast to create a custom wake.New for 2012 is an additional 400 lbs. (181.8 kgs.) capacity, all in hard tanks, not in bladders. This brings the total ballast possible to 1,402 lbs. (637.2 kgs.). That's a lot of extra weight in a 23' boat and should go a long way to producing superior wake. If you want less wake, just pump out some of the ballast in the appropriate tank.
A pair of swivel racks come standard aboard the 230 Wake that swing inboard for clearance while docking, launching or towing and to allow easy stowage and access from inside the boat.
Let's face it, it can get cold on a boat, particularly when you were dancing the light fantastic for 20 minutes or so in 65-degree water. That's why the new 230 Wake has a heater tube. Located on the port side under the spotter lounge seat the accordion-like flexible tube has a breath of warm air coming from off the engines. The tube is long enough to even reach the driver.
The 230 Wake is 23'6" (7.16 m) LOA, with an 8'9" (2.67 m) beam, and a draft of 12" (.30 m). She weighs 3,922 lbs. (1779 kgs.) and has a storages capacity of 75 cu. ft. (2.12 cu. m) and is rated to seat 12 persons, or 2,180 lbs. (989 kgs.) Her fuel capacity is 53 gal. (200.6 L).
We think Sea-Doo has hit the mark offering a sharp-looking, large-capacity recreational tow-boat. She has practical wakeboarding features but she can be used for all kinds of towing sports and is just plane fun to drive. The stock boat, with standard engines, is priced at $55,099.
Standard and Optional Features
|Air Cond./Heat||Standard Heater|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet