New for 2003 is a revised version of the popular GTI by Sea-Doo. The GTI LE RFI is a mouthful to say, but she has a lot of important features that should be recognized. First off is the Limited Edition package, or LE, which supplies a bunch of creature comforts like improved horsepower, safety and sound reduction technologies. Then comes the RFI badge that stands for Rotax Fuel Injection. Sea Doo’s veteran, the time tested 782 cc twin two-stroke motor has now come ‘clean’ with electronic fuel injection.Delivered in a classy Sonoran Sand paint scheme, the GTI LE RFI is targeted toward those enthusiasts seeking an upscale and affordable watercraft. With her clean technology, she’ll be able to run in states like California, without breaking emission laws. The seating capacity is rated at three people, but at a little over 10 feet long, this boat is shorter than the typical three-seater watercraft. At the controls, you’ll find See-Doo’s Direct Drive transmission, which allows you forward, neutral and reverse modes that will help at the dock, launch ramp or the beach. In fact, I was impressed with how well this boat backed down at speed, even though it is not intended for that. Other standard equipment includes an information center built into the dash, that provides 16 different functions. Things like engine data, timers, and temperatures for both ambient air and lake water. The dash also contains an analog speedometer, along with a digital tachometer and fuel gauge. Under the dash is the front cowling that flips up to expose a jumbo storage tub. There is plenty of room here to bring along all the goodies you’ll need for your day on the water. If you need more space, there is a spot under the rear seat for smaller items. What I like best about the LE package is Sea Doo’s styling. The boats lines are modern, functional and classy, without looking radical or dated. Even minor items like the rearview mirrors and the rear-boarding handle look cool.Getting into the technical side of this watercraft, we find an advanced running surface with a semi-V design. Years of development work have resulted in a hull that is very stable at low and high speeds in addition to being extremely maneuverable and forgiving. Reversed steps at the bow, in conjunction with a reversed chine at the top, help to give the operator and passengers a dry ride. At the stern, a retracting step and quality traction matting, facilitate boarding the watercraft. Also at the stern, but below the waterline, is Sea-Doo’s O.P.A.S. This ‘ Off-Power Assisted Steering’ system uses retractable rudders that spring down into place should the operator find themselves in a panic situation. Because jet powered watercraft need to be powered to maneuver, it has always been a challenge to avoid collisions when the engine stops turning. Our rigorous testing showed that this system works well, but keep in mind that these little rudders only veer the craft in a direction, therefore, the faster the craft is moving the greater the effect the rudders will have to steer the boat. Underneath her pretty skin, lies a reliable Rotax twin cylinder two-stroke engine that has been the engine of choice for many years, powering numerous different models of Sea-Doo watercraft. They have combined this power plant with fuel injection to supply better fuel economy, lower emissions, and hassle free starting. Finishing off the application, Sea-Doo has installed their R.A.V.E. sound reduction system on the engine’s exhaust in order to help tone down the noise and keep your neighbors happy.With very respectable performance, luxury features and an affordable price tag, the GTI LE RFI might just be the most admired boat on the water this year.By Capt. Ron SvobodaTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea-Doo GTI LE RFI is 50.3 mph (81 kph), burning gallons per hour (gph) or N/A liters per hour (lph).
- Time to plane for the Sea-Doo GTI LE RFI is ~ seconds.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Sea-Doo GTI LE RFI is 3.1 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!