The 2011 boats are out and I got a chance to have fun with them at Sea-Doo's press event. Sea-Doo holds these events once a year to introduce their new models to the press. It's a really nice planned out event. They had a lot of jet-skis and boats lined up for us to try out. It's a one day event split into two parts. The day started out early with a meeting to go over the model lineup for the year. The first half of the day we all as a group took a ride on all the skis and boats following one another to various pit-stops. At each stop, they'd talk about certain highlights on the new models. At our second stop, we actually had some extended time to practice docking the boats and manuevering the skis. Between pit-stops, everybody could trade off and ride a different ski or boat. Afterwards, the second half of the day was basically just "play" time to try out the models on your own.
So what's new or different for 2011?
First up, the biggest news in the addition of a 210 SP model. It's basically just a 210 SE 310 HP with a two tone color scheme and a collapsable tower. No engine upgrades are available for the 210 SP. The tower is a new design and standard for all boats. It easily folds and is designed to rest ontop of the windshield when down.
The 230 SP also receives some updating. It now gets the same tower. 430hp only. It's also slightly different in that instead of a rear facing lounger it now has a captains chair. The 230 also gets the 210 instrument cluster including a small gloveboxx and the new ITC control although it still retains the two lever system (one for direction and the other for throttle). Also gone for ALL 230 models is the stow-n-fold door and no more motorized windshield option. The stow-n-fold is replaced with a folding clear plexiglass door and a flip over windshield.
The 180 challenger also gets an updated dash with the new instrument cluster and ITC and the dash is lowered to provide better visibility through the windshield.
No more Islandia. The model has been dropped.
During the second half of the day I got to spend a lot of time on the 230 SP. The ride quality is just great. WOT, with 3 adults, was about 52mph. BTW, and I wasn't the one driving, if you're curious to know what happens if you hit a sandbar in a 230 doing almost WOT, well, it wasn't a lot. I was sitting in the back and I wasn't thrown forward but we came to a quick stop. And a 210 was able to pull us off! It was really nice being able to do back to back runs between the 210 and the 230. In rough water, the 230 shows it's ability for a smoother ride but that's expected given it's longer length and greater weight. WOT on the 210 SP was around 42mph. Hopefully, Sea-Doo can improve on this some. These are pre-production models and they're still fine-tuning the boats.
Click here to see the 2011 Press Event Image Gallery
A big thumbs up to Sea-Doo and WaterTop Unlimited for holding this event! It's a great way for introducing new models.