Boat Test: 2018 Sea Doo PWC GTX 230

Boat Tested2018 Sea Doo PWC GTX 230
Price As TestedNot Available
Category PWC
Manufacturer Sea Doo PWC
Length11ft 39in / 4.34 m
Beam4ft 14in / 1.57 m
Drive TypeJet Drive
Engine MakeRotax
Fuel Capacity15.9
By Steve Bull
In the summer of 2017 we were invited to the desert for Sea-Doo’s media launch with the promise of “something epic”. To mark the 50th anniversary of the very first Sea-Doo, the first ever personal watercraft, Sea-Doo redesigned the entire platform.

For the first time, Sea-Doo has integrated optional Bluetooth speakers into the GTX 230. Trust me, they work. I had them cranked as we ripped down the Colorado River at 60 miles per hour (and ruined quite a few video shots by singing along). Because of their angle, they focus sound at the rider and not out on the water, so you won’t create a racket. Music can be controlled by stereo controls above the port-side speaker while your phone is secured away in a watertight compartment.

The new ST3 hull has an aggressive deep-V at the bow and it really cuts through the waves. The redesigned sponsons and chines mean the performance is what you expect from a modern PWC: instantaneous and responsive with the ability to cut through waves.

The 2018 GTX 230 is actually 90 pounds lighter than the previous model. Shaving three inches off the length and simplifying, yet advancing, the cooling system helped make this possible. The result is most evident in mid-range acceleration.

PWC-Yoga is no longer required to manoeuvre around the handlebars to access bow storage. Sea-Doo has developed a direct-access, front storage unit that raises the whole handlebar assembly up on a hinge, revealing a 27 gal/102 L compartment and it is easily accessed while seated.

At the stern, the all-new, two-clip LinQ Cargo System allows for an optional, removable storage bag, fuel caddy or cooler.

Sea-Doo’s clever modular seating system is also new for 2018. The rear seat comes off for 1UP riding or to extend the swim platform to a massive lounger. The seat base can also be placed at the stern for a face-to-face floating picnic, using the LinQ cooler.

The GTX 230’s modifications for 2018 certainly surpassed my expectations.

ROTAX 1500 HO ACE, 230 hp, 1,494 cc, Supercharged with external intercooler
DETAILSLength: 11 ft 3.9 in / 3.45 mBeam: 4 ft 1.4 in/ 1.26 mWeight: 768 lbs/ 365 kgFuel Capacity: 15.9 gals / 60 L
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