Sea-Doo Sportster Specs and Review

Sea-Doo may have already stopped manufacturing jet boats, but their previous releases remain popular up until today. This includes the Sea-Doo Sportster. In this Sea-Doo Sportster review, I’ll list all of the specs and features so you can decide if it is the right jet boat for you.

The Sea-Doo Sportster is a full-featured and agile jet boat. It is one of the most popular Sea-Doo jet boats. Boaters appreciate that it is quick and fun to operate. Also, it burns less fuel and practically no oil.

Read on to learn more about the Sea-Doo Sportster, including its specs, features, and performance.

About the Sea-Doo Sportster Jet Boat

sea doo sportster

The Sea-Doo Sportster is a jet boat that is full-featured and agile. It is one of the bestselling Sea-Doo jet boats. Its popularity is due to many factors, including how it burns less fuel and practically no oil. Not to mention that this jet boat is quick and fun to operate.

Let me start by enumerating the specs of the Sea-Doo Sportster 4-TEC Jet Boat according to the following categories:

  1. General Specifications
  2. Performance
  3. Engine
  4. Standard Features
  5. Optional Features

1. General Specifications

  • Length: 15’4”
  • Beam: 7’1”
  • Draft: 1’
  • Dry Weight (Hull): 1,454 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 23 gallons
  • Maximum Power: 155 hp

2. Performance

  • Top Speed: 51 mph
  • Cruising Speed: 35 mph
  • Estimated Miles Per Gallon at 35-mph Cruising Speed: 11.25
  • Range at 35-mph Cruising Speed: 259 miles

3. Engine

  • Model: 1503 Rotax 4-TEC Engine
  • Propshaft Horsepower: 155
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Displacement: 1494 cc
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Maximum Engine Speed: 6800 rpm

4. Standard Features

  • AM / FM radio with CD player
  • Full functioning instrumentation
  • Closed-loop cooling system
  • Digitally encoded security system (DESS)

5. Optional Features

  • Wakeboard tower with Bimini top
  • Bimini top accessory

Sea-Doo Sportster Engine Specs and Options

This jet boat has a standard feature of a 4-stroke Rotax 4-TEC TM engine, delivering 155 horsepower (hp). You can, however, upgrade it with the 4-stroke Supercharged Rotax 4-TEC TM engine for higher performance.

The Supercharged engine delivers roughly 215 hp. Its maximum speed is 52.6 mph. This engine is intentionally built with increased acceleration. In fact, it reaches 30 mph in just a matter of 2.2 seconds.

Sea-Doo Sportster Performance and Handling

1. Deep V Hull

This jet boat features a deep V hull. This allows it to perform tight turns with full control impressively.

2. Low-sitting Cockpit

The Sea-Doo Sportster’s cockpit is low-sitting, and the design is freely maneuverable. When you’re on board, it feels as if you are right there on the water.

Handling will always be well controlled whether you’re making a tight turn or going in straight lines. This feature then allows you to have a comfortable and confident jet boating experience.

In other words, you will surely have fun riding the Sea-Doo Sportster jet boat.

3. Flexibility

Another thing I appreciate about this jet boat is its flexibility. Literally, it can virtually turn 180 degrees in place. This feature can’t be done by most jet boats.

Its top speed is 51 mph. Impressively, its handling is well controlled, not to mention comfortable, even during high speeds. If you’re cruising, the boat speed is roughly 35 mph.

4. Load Plays a Big Role in Its Stability

This jet boat does not have a rudder for stability since it is a single jet drive. This means that load plays a big role in maintaining its stability. Suffice to say that if the boat is heavier on one side, there’s a tendency for the other side to tilt to that side. At the same time, the wind also has an impact on its instability.

However, this issue can be solved easily by simply shifting the load. The Sea-Doo Sportster is not the only boat with this issue. If you have operated a boat a few times before, you most likely know how to adjust.

Sea-Doo Sportster Design, Features, and Specs

sea-doo sportster

1. Measurement

The Sea-Doo Sportster jet boat measures 15 feet and 4 inches long. Also, it has a beam measuring 7.1 feet and a draft measuring 12 inches. As for the dry weight, it is 1,454 lbs heavy. It can comfortably seat 4 passengers.

2. Fuel Capacity

Its base model has a fuel capacity of 23 gallons. At the same time, its Supercharged model has a fuel capacity of 21 gallons.

3. Appearance

The appearance of the Sea-Doo Sportster is like no other jet boat. It makes you feel like you are in some movie set. In essence, it means that you’re in for some fun and adventure as you ride this jet boat.

Other interesting features of the Sea-Doo Sportster jet boat include the eye-catching graphics. It also has a ski pylon, a built-in cooler, and a DESS.

4. Smooth Operator

There are two things I would like to emphasize about the Sea-Doo Sportster 4-TEC. First, it is a smooth operator. Second, it is intended for the younger generation.

The Sea-Doo Sportster 4-TEC jet boat is straightforward to start with just a push of a button. However, since this jet boat is equipped with the DESS, the waterproof ignition button only works when authorized users operate.

5. Quiet

It’s amazing how quiet this jet boat is. You can operate it on the waters of the Great Reservoir in Indianapolis, Indiana, surrounded by great mansions. People living there would not even notice that there is a jet boat right outside their homes. In fact, vehicles traveling over the bridge are noisier than this jet boat.

The Sea-Doo Sportster 4-TEC has a 155 hp 4-stroke 3-cylinder Rotax marine engine featuring a single overhead cam. This mainly explains why there’s significantly minimal noise when you operate this jet boat. In terms of increased efficiency, its multi-port fuel injection system plays a big role.

6. A Jet Boat for the Younger Generation

The physical appearance of the Sea-Doo Sportster is unique and aggressive-looking. Not to mention that some seasoned boaters find it small. It is available in several colors, which include striking yellow.

Its appearance is, in fact, intentional to be that way. It is an attempt by Sea-Doo manufacturer Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) to entice Generation Y or all other younger generations.

In essence, the primary target market for the Sea-Doo Sportster is young skiers and wakeboarders. But then, with all its great features, many boaters from the not-so-young generations also appreciate how this jet boat looks.

7. Safety Feature for Skiers

Its jet drive eliminates exposed props. It then makes this jet boat safer for skiers who want to try to ride behind the boat. But then, not all skiing enthusiasts may be captivated by such a safety feature. In which case, they can always opt for the standard ski pylon and the in-floor ski locker.

8. Sunpad as an Optional Feature

The Sea-Doo Sportster also has a sun pad as its optional feature. For sure, this is one enticing factor for the younger generation. It runs along the transom, impressively covering the engine compartment. The engine is located in the middle of the compartment. So this conveniently leaves stowage space on both sides.

The sun pad provides a seating capacity for three people. An observer seat faces the rear of the jet boat, located on the port or the left side of the boat. At the same time, the helm console is to starboard or the right side of the boat.

9. Other Interesting Sea-Doo Sportster Features

Full Instrumentation Panel

This jet boat features a full instrumentation panel at the helm. Aside from that, there’s also a marine AM / FM / CD stereo system. A hidden built-in insulated cooler is located underneath the hood-like protrusion, which conveniently covers or shields the helm.

Extra Storage Space

In the same area, there’s extra storage space. There’s also a pull-up latch that is useful for unlocking the engine compartment.

Stepped Design

The bow features a stepped design. However, it seems that the size is too small for additional seating. As for the seating capacity, it can only accommodate 4 people.

Sits Low in the Water

This jet boat sits low in the water, fairly enough for you to conveniently board it at any spot from the dock. Also, its rear swim platform features a boarding ladder. This will allow you and other passengers to climb back conveniently on board after swimming or skiing.

Again, what makes the Sea-Doo Sportster unique? Due to the Sea-Doo Sportster’s agility and full features, it became one of the most popular Sea-Doo jet boats. Also, boaters love that it is fun and quick to operate and burns less fuel and practically no oil.

In this Sea-Doo Sportster review video, boat enthusiast Matt Spencer reviews the 1997 Sea-Doo Sportster jet boat. He talks about its interesting features and performance and mentions its popularity on the used boat market.

What Is a Sea-Doo Jet Boat

sea doo sportster jet boat

A jet propulsion system powers a Sea-Doo jet boat. It either features one or two Rotax engines.

Sea-Doo jet boats are not like any other regular boats that make use of propellers. They instead make use of impellers to generate thrust. Water is sucked by the boat into the pump, forcing it out to make the boat move forward.

Aside from its distinct propulsion system, Sea-Doo jet boats also consist of many other convenience and safety features.

Does Bombardier Recreational Products Still Make Sea-Doo Jet Boats?

Unfortunately, Bombardier Recreational Products has stopped manufacturing Sea-Doo jet boats. It only built jet boats until 2012, and among its most popular products are the following:

  • Sea-Doo Challenger,
  • Sea-Doo Speedster, and
  • Sea-Doo Sportster.

These three jet boats impressively offer a horsepower ranging between 155 and 430.

BRP may have stopped making these jet boats, but second-hand ones are still available on the market. Surprisingly, there are jet boat enthusiasts who are still interested in owning Sea-Doo boats.

Why Sea-Doo Jet Boats Are No Longer Being Manufactured

Sea-Doo became a victim of the financial crisis. In 2007, Sea-Doo jet boat sales started to decline. By September 2012, BRP had decided to stop making Sea-Doo jet boats.

However, Sea-Doo is still in business and is, in fact, thriving with its other recreational vehicles. These include the following:

  • Ski-Doos,
  • Can-Ams, and
  • Sea-Doo Personal Watercraft.

Sea-Doo Sportster Pros

1. Safe, Easy, and Fun to Ride

Using a jet boat has many advantages. The most notable of all is the safety it brings to the passengers. This is aside from the fact that it is easy and fun to ride.

2. Jet Drive System Is Within the Hull

The jet boat’s entire jet drive system is situated within the hull. It then has a minimal draft and is capable of operating even in very shallow waters. In essence, there is the absence of an outdrive or a propeller that can be damaged if it hits bottom.

3. Jet Drive Impeller Is Within the Pump

It is also worth noting that the jet drive impeller is situated within the pump. The absence of the propeller makes it safer to swim around the transom of the jet boat.

4. Engine Takes up Less Space

Aside from that, the jet boat’s engine takes up less space and is significantly lighter compared to a sterndrive engine. This then makes the boat convenient to tow on a trailer.

Sea-Doo Sportster Cons

1. Pump Intake Might Get Clogged

Riding a jet boat has disadvantages too. One of which is the possibility for the pump intake to get clogged by weeds. Also, a stray dock line or ski rope can be drawn into the pump, causing it to get tangled inside.

2. Jet Nozzle Is Not Trimmable

Another disadvantage is that its jet nozzle is not trimmable. This means that it is impossible to adjust the running angle. Unfortunately, this will prevent it from adjusting to sea conditions, accommodating changing passenger load, or increasing speed.

3. Jet Drive Lacks the Rudder Effect

Also, its jet drive lacks the rudder effect present in a sterndrive. This means that it may be tricky to handle it around the dock.

Conclusion – Sea-Doo Sportster Specs and Review

The Sea-Doo Sportster is a full-featured and agile jet boat and is one of the most popular Sea-Doo jet boats manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products. Boaters appreciate that it is quick and fun to operate. Also, it burns less fuel and practically no oil.

Jet boats may not be as popular as other types of watercraft. Nonetheless, boat enthusiasts out there still prefer to operate jet boats more than anything else. After all, it is easy, fun, and relaxing to ride. If you are one of them, checking out Sea-Doo jet boats is highly recommended.

BRP may have stopped making Sea-Doo jet boats, but there are still units you can find on second-hand markets. Just make sure to check the unit thoroughly and test it on the water before making your final decision to buy.