Since the inception of the personal watercraft craze, manufacturers have been predominately concerned with performance. Sea-Doo is changing that by supplying supercharged performance, along with luxury features that consumers have not been able to enjoy until now. In 2002, Bombardier introduced the fabulous 4-TEC engine that provides clean burning four-stroke technology combined with dependable multi-port fuel injection and a closed loop cooling system. This was a huge design step for watercraft enthusiast, but the folks at Sea-Doo couldn’t leave it alone for long. They have increased the horsepower output of the 4-TEC to a whopping 185-hp by adding a supercharger.For 2003, Sea-Doo has taken their flagship craft, the GTX 4-TEC Supercharged, and improved its looks, comfort and amenities. For starters, they have finished the boat in Seashore Metallic paint and added fairings to the front cowling. The fairings not only improve the boats aesthetics, but also keeps your feet dry when in the forward position. The Limited package also has a super plush seat that, unlike other watercraft, will put a big smile on your face as soon as you sit on the GTX. Of course you still get all the great information supplied by the onboard information center that is mounted in the dash, along with an analog speedometer and tachometer.Where the Ltd. craft differs from her siblings, is in the details. At the controls, Sea-Doo installed soft rubber handlebar grips for greater comfort and an adjustable steering pod. With a simple turn of an adjustment screw under the handlebars, you can raise or lower the bars for a perfect fit. A depth gauge has been added to the information center’s readout, just in case of shallow waters. When it is time to tie-up, you can use the temporary docking loops that are located fore and aft, and finished in polished stainless steel.But the real goodies are located in the LTD’s forward storage compartment. This massive compartment houses a removable storage tray that includes such items as a waterproof cell phone case, a removable dry bag, an organizer with log book, and a safety kit. There is also a removable, insulated cooler for your beverages and lunch, as well as a custom embroidered cover for your sleigh when it’s not in use. Other standard items on the GTX are the rearview mirrors, a retractable boarding ladder at the stern, and the ‘learning key’, which limits the top speed of the craft for inexperienced riders. These riders, along with veteran riders will appreciate the added safety of O.P.A.S. Short for Off-Power Assisted Steering; OPAS utilizes small retractable rudders that spring into place to help veer the boat in a panic or off power situation. Since jet powered craft loose the ability to maneuver when the engine is shut off, OPAS will provide some means of avoiding collisions. Unfortunately, this is not a fix-all and riders of all ages need to be aware of a watercrafts mannerisms as well as take a boaters safety course in order to help keep us all safer on the water. With that said, the OPAS system works well, as our test crew found out during our evaluation trials.Let’s talk about the GTX’s performance. Since four-stroke technology is fairly new to the PWC market, critics have not given it much fan fair. But having experienced the 4-TECs performance first hand, I must admit that I am impressed. Unlike most two-stroke engines, which typically have to compromise low end torque for top end power or vice versa, the 4-TEC pulls strong and hard throughout the acceleration curve. You get quick hole shots along with strong mid range punch, all the way to the cheek flapping top speed of 60 miles per hour. Considering that this craft weighs in at almost a thousand pounds wet, she is quick and nimble while providing a solid, confident ride at top speeds. With all this technology and enough comforts to make you happy, I can only ask one question. What can you possibly add or improve for the future? I’ll be waiting for your answer Sea-Doo.By Ron SvobodaTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea-Doo GTX 4-TEC Limited Supercharged is 60.0 mph (96.6 kph), burning gallons per hour (gph) or N/A liters per hour (lph).
- Time to plane for the Sea-Doo GTX 4-TEC Limited Supercharged is ~ seconds.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Sea-Doo GTX 4-TEC Limited Supercharged is 3.3 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
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