Captain's ReportSupercharged FunBy Capt. Vince DanielloTest CaptainIn twenty years as a professional captain I’ve run just about every kind of boat imaginable, which has left me a bit jaded. But testing Sea-Doo’s Sportster SCIC (which stands for SuperCharged & InterCooled) reminded me that I was once a wide-eyed boy that couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of anything that floats. In short, this boat is just fun to drive.Power behind the BoatThe Sportster SCIC gets its name from Sea-Doo’s 215 horsepower Rotax engine. The three-cylinder 1498 cc engine gets an added boost from the supercharger, which forces air into the cylinders like a turbocharger, but with much more immediate response than a turbo. After the compressed air leaves the supercharger, it passes through an intercooler, which cools the air before it reaches the pistons, creating a more effective air and gas mixture within the cylinders. This results in an increased top end performance, but more importantly for the SCIC, the supercharger and intercooler increase acceleration, and the Sportster is all about acceleration. We achieved a top speed of 52.6 mph, pretty good for a fifteen-footer, with 2.3 seconds to plane and 4.4 seconds from 0 to 30 mph. Handling and PerformanceLike a sporty roadster, the Sportster corners well, its deep-V hull digging into tight turns with complete control, but crank the wheel and goose the throttle in just the right way and the boat spins out, and then accelerates off in a new direction. These spins are very predictable and simply pulling back the throttle stops the boat almost immediately. Maneuvers like this should only be attempted when no boats or obstructions are nearby, but because the boat weighs 1,454 pounds, the whole “spin out” process happens gradually. There aren’t a lot of G forces so it’s fun for the driver and passengers.While the Sportster is fun in twists and turns, the boat handles surprisingly well in a straight line. On the afternoon of our test day, the wind kicked up well over twenty knots and the Sportster cruised comfortably through the chop. At times the ride was rather wet, but a fifteen-footer in 25 mph winds is bound to be wet.Design and FeaturesThe Sportster has an unusual appearance. For starters, it’s egg shaped, extremely wide in the middle and rounded at both ends. Combine that with the open cockpit and contoured, bright yellow accented seats and the Sportster looks like a theme park ride or something off a movie set. The stereo speakers between the seat head rests and numerous hand-holds around the seats add to the illusion, as does the wakeboard tower. But while the Sportster doesn’t look like most boats and doesn’t handle like most boats, it is just as capable as any boat for pulling water toys. There is a retractable ski pylon just behind the seats, another pylon on top of the wakeboard tower, and a rear view mirror for the helmsman. The large swim deck, boarding ladder, and handrails, make getting on and off the boat easy, and the jet drive is inherently safer than a prop.To make room for all these toys, this Sea-Doo provides a vast amount of storage for a fifteen-footer. The ski locker below the deck has a wide hatch so it will fit gear larger than skis, and there is a large storage tray above the engine. You might not want to store salty, wet equipment in this compartment as seawater could drip down on the engine, but the heat from the engine should help dry damp gear stored here. Two more storage compartments forward are surprisingly large and deep, although while testing the boat we noticed the hatch in front of the helm is so large that the wind can overcome its pneumatic lift.Another characteristic that gives the Sportster a futuristic feel is that it seems to “hover” in neutral. The jet pump is always pumping water, but the water is diverted downward when the boat is in neutral. Because of this, the boat sits in one place but still responds to the steering wheel for uncanny maneuverability - simply point the boat in the right direction and go. It does take some getting used to. My boat-handling instincts were challenged whenever I put the boat in reverse until finally I realized that no matter what gear I was in, whichever way I turned the wheel the bow turned the same way. This is opposite to propeller driven boats where the bow swings opposite the steering wheel when in reverse. For new boaters the jet is probably easier, and experienced boaters will pick up the difference quickly.If you have fun simply driving a boat, you’ll have a blast with the Sportster. It’s a truly a unique experience. Of course if I’m around, you might have to fight me for the helm.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea-Doo Sportster SCIC (2006-) is 52.6 mph (84.7 kph), burning 17.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 65.48 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea-Doo Sportster SCIC (2006-) is 27.0 mph (43.5 kph), and the boat gets 4.62 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.96 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 87 miles (140.01 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 215-hp Supercharged Rotax®.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!