Captain's ReportSea-Doo’s Biggest Musclecraft By Capt. Vince DanielloTest CaptainFor me, speed is a great thing, but raw power is much better. Who wants to go fast in a tiny little two-seater when you can go fast in a big, heavy machine with lots of horsepower? That was the philosophy behind the classic muscle cars of the 1970’s: a large car with room for few friends and their stuff, and a big, powerful chunk of American iron under the hood. That is also the driving force behind Sea-Doo’s 2005 RXT. The company cranked up the horsepower on their biggest engine and put it in their large, 3-passenger personal watercraft hull. Sure there may be a few slightly faster PWC’s on the water, but not with room for three and lots of storage.Power and PerformanceA supercharger forces air into the cylinders like a turbocharger, but without the delay common on turbochargers, giving the Sea-Doo immediate throttle response. This year Sea-Doo added an intercooler which increased the output of their 1494cc engine to 215 horsepower (up from 185 last year.) An intercooler cools the charged air before it reaches the pistons, which makes the air denser and therefore creates a better air and gas mixture within the cylinders. This amplifies the effects of the supercharger, and also allowed Sea-Doo to adjust the engine timing for even better acceleration. Our tests showed the increase, a little over 3 mph faster at top end and a noticeably quicker time from 0 to 30 mph. Our test model achieved a top end speed of 63.1 mph at full throttle. Because the RXT is a large boat with a V-hull, it powers through choppy water when a small, light PWC would have to slow down for comfort.Retro DesignOf course power is only part of the equation. Sea-Doo dressed out the boat with black and chrome accents clearly reminiscent of early seventies automobiles. The instrument display for instance, with chrome accents and bright red needles in retro-styled analog speedometer and tachometer that could have come right out of an old ‘Vette or ‘Stang. For a moment I found myself searching for the 8-track player. Looking at the RXT, it’s easy to see the muscle car motif wasn’t an afterthought. These accents are not just applied decals, but molded plastic trim that in many cases is integral to the design of the boat.FeaturesWhile the RXT may have retro styling, it isn’t at the expense of modern design and convenience. The modern gauges look cool and are functional, but Sea-Doo included their multifunction digital display with a host of additional information. Other features only found in personal watercraft of recent vintage include Sea-Doo’s digitally encoded security key, and the company’s “learning key” which limits the engine to 5,500 RPM for less experienced riders.After testing the boat, I’d have to say Sea-Doo has accurately captured both the look and feel of the muscle car, in a modern, full-feature personal watercraft. Whether you’re into the seventies look or not, with 215 horsepower in an eleven-foot-long personal watercraft, it is hard not to appreciate riding the biggest, baddest PWC on the water.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea-Doo RXT (2006-) is 63.1 mph (101.5 kph), burning gallons per hour (gph) or N/A liters per hour (lph).
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Sea-Doo RXT (2006-) is 2.0 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!