Captain’s Report by Dan Armitage
The Sea-Doo 180 SP’s Mission
The new-for-2012 180 SP was designed as a crossover, a boat built for those who want a runabout model with the potential for wakeboarding and other tow-sports, minus the price tag associated with traditional wakeboard boats. It is also a good boat for kids because it does not have a prop and can operate in shallow water.
Intelligent Throttle Control is drive-by-wire technology offering multiple driving modes to meet specific situations. The operator can run the boat efficiently with lower fuel use, for example, by placing the iTC in ECO mode. For controlled docking, launching and loading, the system can be programmed into Docking mode, which limits rpms while allowing a full throw of the throttle. And there is no cable linkage to get stuck.
Rather than relying on a conventional propeller, the Sea-Doo 180 SP uses a water pump and propulsion nozzle, through which the water is directed to both propel and steer the boat. The lack of exposed blades makes the boat safer for those swimming off the transom because there is no lower unit and prop hanging low in the water; and the 180 is a good choice for use in shallow water.
Simply shift the 180 into "Docking Mode" and the vessel becomes more docile and easier to maneuver. Short bursts of throttle forward and aft will slide you into any slip.
Price and observations about the Sea-Doo 180 SP
The 180 SP has enough performance and comfort features to keep the price ($29,999 with trailer) down, yet allow the owner to run the gamut of active watersport pursuits. The Rotax power-plant means the boat is economical to operate, the boat’s weight makes it easy to tow and the rig’s compact size makes it easy to stow. Sea-Doos are famous for their handling and technology, and that all adds up to an appealing package for entry-level boaters who want to get active on the water this season.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard snap-in|
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