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PWC – 2005 Jet Boat Buyers Guide

January 20, 2005
Filed under Features

Polaris’ retreat from the jet boat market has once again left only three jet boat manufacturers serving the consumer marine industry. Adding spice to their lineups in hopes to lure new customers and to keep existing ones, the OEMs have become more diverse with offerings that cater to a wide variety of boating enthusiasts.
In all, 23 jet boats will be available for the 2005 model year. Sea-Doo is offering the most with 10, while Yamaha plans to have seven and Sugar Sand Marine will have six.

SUGAR SAND MARINE
Although it is the smallest player in the jet boat market, Sugar Sand Marine of Fargo, N.D., enters 2005 with a brand new boat. The 23-foot Oasis open bow runabout is the company’s newest offering. The heart and soul of the Oasis is a 3.0-liter Mercury V-6 Optimax powerplant that pumps out 250 hp. The boat features a three-quarter rear walkaround sun pad. The interior features bucket seats for the captain and first mate as well as a three-quarter rear seat. Additional seating is available in the bow. It also has a 57-gallon fuel tank. The dimensions of the Oasis include an 8.5-foot beam and a 16-inch draft.
Returning to the Sugar Sand lineup are five other jet boats, which include the Tango Xtreme, Super Sport, Mirage, Mirage Fun and Fish, Calais and Calais GS. The 16-foot, 6-inch long Tango Xtreme offers an angled rear-facing passenger seat and comes with an optional wakeboard tower. The Super Sport, meanwhile, offers a traditional forward-facing passenger seat and two rear passenger seats. They have bow seating and ample storage space. A 2.5-liter Mercury V-6 engine with 175 hp powers both.
The Mirage and Fun and Fish packages feature a walk-through transom and seating for up to eight passengers. The 18-foot long boats have a 30-gallon fuel capacity and are powered by Sugar Sand’s standard-issue 175-hp V-6 Mercury mill. The Fun and Fish boat features removable pedestal seats and a large livewell.
The Calais and Calais GS can each seat up to nine passengers. The Calais offers an oversized captain’s chair and small windscreens atop its dual consoles. The Calais GS, meanwhile, features a wraparound windshield and twin bucket seats for the captain and first mate. A 175-hp Mercury V-6 engine powers both boats.

SEA-DOO
New in the Sea-Doo lineup is the Challenger 180. The 18-foot boat offers an abundance of passenger room, a step-through transom, a one-touch inlet clearance system to help clean out weeds and dual-access rear storage areas. It features a choice of a Rotax 185-hp supercharged 4-TEC or the 215-hp intercooled variation powerplant.
The Challenger X is geared toward wakeboarders. It features a collapsible wakeboard tower, seating for eight passengers and is powered by a Mercury OptiMax M2 jetdrive mill. Below, it has a 600-pound Fat Sac to increase the boat’s weight and push it deeper into the water to produce a large wake for launching.
The family-oriented Islandia returns with its 3.0-liter Mercury OptiMax M2 jetdrive powerplant and plenty of amenities and room for a day on the water. From the bow cockpit benches to the stern sun pad, there are plenty of spaces to lounge on the 22-foot long boat. It also features a pop-up changing room with a portable toilet and a combination sink/food prep area.
The Utopia 205 and 205 SE sport a more tradition wraparound windshield to help protect passengers from the elements. A doublewide passenger seat can swivel 90 degrees to mate with the stern bench for entertaining. The SE package offers snap-in carpet, a burlwood insert on the steering wheel, depthsounder, stereo with remote control and a custom trailer. Either a 240-hp Mercury EFI or 250-hp Mercury OptiMax engine powers the 19-foot, 5-inch long boats.
The Utopia 185, meanwhile, features a smaller cockpit than the 205 series, as well as a functional wraparound windshield, ski storage, a standard Bimini top and a Clarion stereo. It is 1 feet, 2 inches shorter than the 205.
Sea-Doo’s Sportster series is available in two different boat lengths and three engine options. The Sportster 4-TEC SCIC and Sportster 4-TEC come in a 15-foot, 4-inch long frame. Passengers sit in bolstered seats across the stern bench with one additional spot available portside. An optional wakeboard tower is available. The SCIC version comes with a Rotax intercooled supercharged engine, while the 4-TEC is available with a tamer 155-hp mill. The Sportster LE DI features a similar layout as the other two boats, but comes in a slightly shorter, 14-foot, 6-inch footprint. Power is provided by a 130-hp Rotax twin with direct injection.
The heart of the Speedster 200 is in its engine compartment where a choice of twin 155-hp or dual 185-hp four-stroke engines await. It offers seating for seven, plenty of storage and an optional wakeboard tower.

YAMAHA
In Yamaha’s seven-boat lineup, a “high-output” engine delivers the necessary power for many water-related activities. The MR-1 based 1052cc high-output four-stroke engine is found in Yamaha’s SX230 H.O. and AR230 H.O.
The 23-foot long SX230 H.O. is new to Yamaha’s lineup for 2005. It shares many of the same features with its sibling SX230. The difference is in the engine. Dual engines power the boats. While the 1052cc 320-hp high-output versions are found on the SX230 H.O., dual 998cc four-cylinder four-stroke mills, with a combined 280 hp, give the SX230 its gusto. Both feature 15 storage compartments, bucket seats for the captain and first mate, Bimini top, depth finder and a walk-through transom. The SX230 High Output gets an additional No Wake mode button, which limits the engine rpm at the touch of a button.
The family-oriented SR230 features dual 998cc four-cylinder engines with a combined 280 hp. The 23-foot long boat also has a walk-through transom, a large area at the stern for lounging, 15 storage compartments, a wraparound windshield and an adjustable steering wheel. It can seat up to 10 people in its spacious interior.
The value-minded LX210, meanwhile, is loaded with Berber carpet, a Bimini top, a JVC stereo with a CD player, an extended swim platform and multiple storage compartments. Twin Yamaha 1131cc two-stroke engines power the 21-foot long boat.
The AR230 High Output and AR230 are Yamaha’s wakeboard edition boats. They come with a wakeboard tower and seat up to 10 people. In addition, the AR230 High Output is powered by dual 1052cc high-out put four-stroke engines. The AR230 delivers the grunt via twin 998cc four-cylinder powerplants. Both feature 15 storage compartments, an adjustable steering wheel, a walk-through transom, depthfinder and more. The AR230 H.O. also gets a new No Wake Mode button, which limits the engine’s rpm to no wake speed.
The AR210 is a wakeboard boat at a lower price. It comes with a wakeboard tower, independent dual engine controls, 12 storage compartments, dual mirrors, an extended swim platform and dual 1131cc three-cylinder two-stroke engines. The dashboard features an electronic speedometer and dual tachometers.

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