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Sea-Doo Challenger 180 (2006-)
(w/ 1 x 215-hp Supercharged Rotax®)

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Brief Summary

What do you do with a supercharged 185-hp jet boat? You have a ton of fun and make everyone else drool with envy! The new Challenger 180 has some great features, plus the added safety and maneuverability of Sea-Doo’s jet system, making it a great choice for an all-around family boat.

Key Features

  • 21-gallon fuel capacity
  • 12-inch draft
  • Built-in cooler
  • 185-hp Supercharged Rotax standard
  • Sharp, eye catching graphics
  • Seats eight
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 17' 7''
    Beam 8' 2''
    Dry Weight 2,075 lbs.
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 12''
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 20 deg.
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance N/A
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 21 gal.
    Water Capacity none
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power 1 x 185-hp Supercharged Rotax® 4-TEC 4-Stroke
    Tested Power 1 x 215-hp Supercharged Rotax®
    Opt. Power 1 x 215-hp Supercharged Rotax® 4-TEC 4-Stroke
    1 x 215-hp Supercharged Rotax® 4-TECTM 4-Stroke

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    2500 5.8 5.0 1.4 4.3 3.7 81 70 74
    3000 6.5 5.6 2.4 2.7 2.3 51 44 79
    3500 6.9 6.0 3.0 2.3 2.0 43 38 80
    4000 7.6 6.6 4.0 1.9 1.7 36 31 86
    4500 8.7 7.5 4.8 1.8 1.6 34 30 88
    5000 10.6 9.2 5.9 1.8 1.6 34 30 87
    5500 22.0 19.1 7.6 2.9 2.5 55 47 87
    6000 28.7 24.9 9.1 3.2 2.7 60 52 89
    6500 34.0 29.6 11.6 2.9 2.6 56 48 92
    7000 38.3 33.3 13.4 2.9 2.5 54 47 95
    7500 42.1 36.6 16.4 2.6 2.2 48 42 97
    7800 46.0 40.0 18.3 2.5 2.2 48 41 97
    2500 70 130 9.30 5.30 1.81 74
    3000 44 82 10.50 9.08 1.14 79
    3500 38 69 11.10 11.36 0.97 80
    4000 31 58 12.20 15.14 0.81 86
    4500 30 55 14.00 18.17 0.77 88
    5000 30 55 17.10 22.33 0.77 87
    5500 47 89 35.40 28.77 1.23 87
    6000 52 97 46.20 34.45 1.34 89
    6500 48 90 54.70 43.91 1.25 92
    7000 47 87 61.60 50.72 1.21 95
    7500 42 77 67.80 62.08 1.09 97
    7800 41 77 74.00 69.27 1.07 97

    All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 3.8 sec.
    0 to 30 7.0 sec.
    Ratio 1.0 : 1
    Props Impeller
    Load 2 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, min. gear
    Climate 81 deg., 56% humid., wind: 15 knots; seas: 1' chop

    Sea-Doo Challenger 180 (2006-) Line Drawing


    Captain's Report

    Sea-Doo Combines Space and Innovative FeaturesBy Capt. Vince DanielloTest CaptainNew for Sea-Doo in 2005, the Challenger 180 is an economy-minded 18-footer designed as a versatile family sportboat. With room for eight people, plenty of storage, two engine options, and an optional wakeboard tower, Sea-Doo expects the Challenger 180 to compete with outboard and stern drive family boats. What Sea-Doo offers that the competitors can’t is the added benefits of a jet boat’s extremely shallow draft, uniquely responsive maneuvering, and inherent safety over propeller-driven boats.Benefits of Jet PowerIn essence, jet power pumps water out the stern to push the boat through the water, rather than pulling a boat through the water by a propeller. Water is drawn from beneath the boat and forced through a pump inside the engine compartment, and then ejected out the back of the boat through a 6-inch diameter nozzle to propel the boat. The nozzle turns for steering, and a “reversing bucket” folds down over the nozzle to direct water straight down for neutral, and toward the bow for reverse. This offers several advantages over conventional propulsion. First is shallow draft. With rare exceptions, a propeller must be located under the bottom of a boat so it can bite into undisturbed water. Since a jet drive sucks water from below the boat and shoots it out the back, the Challenger 180 can go into water almost as shallow as the hull, about twelve inches. And with no outdrive to raise, beaching the boat is simple. One disadvantage to jets, the pump can get clogged with seaweed or debris, which is most likely to occur in very shallow water with a lot of loose seaweed on the bottom. Sea-Doo’s ICS system (Inlet Clearance System) cleans debris from the intake grid, but large amounts could still foul the pump.Improved ManeuverabilityAnother advantage to Sea-Doo’s jet power is uncanny maneuverability. Because the jet system is always pumping water whenever the engine is running but redirecting the water for neutral or reverse, jet boats of the past were notoriously squirrelly in neutral and reverse. After testing two different Sea-Doo sportboats, I’m pleased to say the company has taken what was once considered a negative and turned it into a huge positive, particularly for beginner boaters. With the engine running and the shift in neutral, the Challenger 180 sits nearly stationary, drifting with the wind like a propeller driven boat would. But even though it is not “in gear”, the boat still steers by simply turning the wheel, hovering in one spot but still in control. To maneuver, just turn the wheel until the bow is pointed in the desired direction, shift into forward, and steer normally. While a twin engine boat with a bow thruster comes close, I have yet to run a conventional-powered recreational boat that has this ability.A third advantage to jet power, is not having a propeller outside the boat, creating much less chance of injuring a skier or swimmer, although it is always prudent to turn the engine off when a swimmer is alongside. Since a jet boat is always pumping water while running, I find it makes people turn the engine off instinctively – something often ignored on conventionally powered boats.Power and PerformanceTo power the jet, Sea-Doo offers two Rotax engine choices, a 3-cylinder 185 horsepower four-stroke engine, and a similar engine with a supercharger and intercooler that develops 215 horsepower. Our test boat, equipped with the larger engine, topped out at 46 mph, and cruised quite economically at 28.7 mph, burning just 9.1 gph or 3.15 mpg. The boat planned off in 3.8 seconds and went from 0 to 30 in 7 seconds, with plenty of pulling power for water toys.Plenty of FeaturesThe layout of the boat should appeal to family boaters. Sea-Doo calls it a 20-foot cockpit in an 18-foot boat, and I must admit, it does have a lot of room for an 18-footer. There is plenty of seating, a large sun pad with the bow filler cushion installed, and adequate storage. The swim deck is nice too, with a telescoping boarding ladder and well placed handrails to make it easy to climb aboard.The new Challenger 180 has some great features, plus the added safety and maneuverability of Sea-Doo’s jet system, making it a great choice for an all-around family boat.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Sea-Doo Challenger 180 (2006-) is 46.0 mph (74 kph), burning 18.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 69.27 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Sea-Doo Challenger 180 (2006-) is 28.7 mph (46.2 kph), and the boat gets 3.15 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.34 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 60 miles (96.56 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 1 x 215-hp Supercharged Rotax®.

    Standard and Optional Features


    CD Stereo Standard
    Shore Power Standard

    Exterior Features

    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard
    Swim Platform Standard


    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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