Sea-Doo is a brand of pleasure craft manufactured and distributed by the Canadian company Bombadier Recreational Products (BRP), involved with many other brands.
Bombadier has been an industry leader in jet skis and personalized watercraft (PWC’s) since 1968. Sea-Doo used to build a range of jet boats that were one of the most popular ranges in the industry (along with Yamaha) but discontinued in 2012.
Nowadays, the company offers a line-up of family-friendly Pontoon boats as well as their personalized watercraft.
Here’s How Good Sea-Doo Boats Are:
While Sea-Doo has discontinued some lines and introduced others, they remain one of the best-known brands in the sport boat business and are recognized worldwide. Sea-Doo and BRP produce quality products across all their lines, and the many boat forums and their fans back this up.
A Brief History Of Sea-Doo
In 1968, L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limité introduced a personal watercraft or PWC called the Bombardier Sea-Doo.
This PWC was a revolutionary development in the sport boat industry. However, the Bombardier Sea-Doo was ahead of its time and was discontinued after 2 years following many customer complaints about it being uncomfortable and unpractical.
In 1988 the Sea-Doo was reintroduced to the market with significant improvements, and this new model went on to capture more than half the PWC market over the next few years. As a company known for its design and innovation, new models were introduced, and they are still a strong leader in the PWC market today.
By 1995 the first Sea-Doo Jet Drive boat was launched, a 14 foot, twin-engine Speedster model that could carry up to four passengers. Unlike normal boats that use propellers, jet boats were revolutionary as they used impellors to generate thrust, resulting in much faster speeds.
Sea-Doo manufactured several popular models of jet boats until the financial crash in 2007-2008 saw sales drop, and they announced that they would cease production of the jet boats in 2012.
The company became known as Bombadier Incorporated, and by 2003, they decided to divest, and Bombadier Recreational Products (BRP) became a stand-alone company.
Today BRP is still in business, and Sea-Doo is still a leader in producing personal watercraft or PWC’s and their pontoon boats.
How Reliable Are Sea-Doo Boats?
Sea-Doo has a reputation for reliability, with many fans on the various boating forums saying that their Sea-Doo has fewer problems than many other brands.
This implies that Sea-Doo owners get more time on the water!
So, as a general rule, Sea-Doo boats are as reliable as any other jet ski or PWC. While Sea-Doo offers various models, non-supercharged Sea-Doo models like the Sea-Doo Spark are more reliable than their supercharged models.
Supercharged models offer higher performance, but like anything high-end, they require more maintenance.
The reliability of the Sea-Doo pontoon boats is yet to be proven, as the company has only recently announced that it will be entering this market with its new 2022 line-up.
How Durable Are Sea-Doo Boats?
Generally, jet skis come in either 2-stroke or 4-stroke versions, with the 4-stroke engines giving a higher or faster performance.
As for durability, the 2-stroke engines should give you 200-300 hours of use, and the 4-stroke engines should give you 300-500 hours. But bear in mind that these hours will also depend on how well the boat and engine are kept.
However, Sea-Doo has been on the cutting edge of personal watercraft design since the beginning. They know how to listen to their customer’s needs and provide the best possible user experience.
The various Sea-Doo design and engineering teams strive to develop innovative construction methods and source new materials to provide rugged durability while enhancing their personal watercraft’s performance and aesthetic designs.
What About Older Sea-Doo Boats?
Older second-hand models are widely available – a quick search on the internet found Sea-Doo models available from 1997.
However, like buying anything used, there are a few things to look out for:
- Engine hours – the engine hours on a used jet ski are usually the main focus, and for a good reason. Too high, and you could be in for high maintenance or replacement costs. Too low is also cause concern as unused jet ski parts can seize if they haven’t been used.
- Maintenance records – how well a Sea-Doo boat has been maintained is more important than the engine hours. If regular maintenance has been done and recorded, this will contribute to a longer life span.
- Higher Performance – while higher performance models with more features may seem attractive, bear in mind that then there is more stuff to go wrong, especially with older models.
- Age – beyond the engine hours of an older Sea-Doo boat, the actual age is considered. Older models should have more hours on the water, so you should also be wary if an older model has low hours.
- Overall condition – the overall condition of an older Sea-Doo boat will give a good indication of if the jet ski has been used, abused, or just well maintained.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
From Sea-Doo themselves to various boating distributors, spare parts are widely available for older Sea-Doo models, including the discontinued jet boats.
For more information about parts for older models, you can go to the Sea-Doo Parts House website, which is a major source of parts for older Sea-Doo models.
What Are Typical Problems With Sea-Doo Boats?
Common problems with Sea-Doo boats, as well as other jet-powered boats, include the following:
- The engine misfires or runs irregularly
- Top speeds are not achieved
- Reverse gear gets jammed or blocked
- The storage compartment hinge breaks
- The spark plugs can be difficult to remove or replace
While these are common problems with Sea-Doo boats, good and regular maintenance is your first line of defense.
How Long Do Sea-Doo Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
There are only 3 mainstream brands available for the PWC market: Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki.
How long Sea-Doo boats last compared to the other brands will depend on who you talk to and how well the boat has been maintained.
However, Sea-Doo was, and still is, a leader in its industry and is well known for its boats and PWC’s reliability, durability, efficiency, and aesthetic design. They are also recognized as being extremely versatile and user-friendly.
Do Sea-Doo Boats Hold Their Value? (Do they depreciate faster than normal)
Statistics show that jet skis and PWCs depreciate in the same way as cars.
In real terms, this means that jet skis will lose around 22% of their value in the first year after a new purchase from a dealer and then 8% per year after that.
A Sea-Doo boat doesn’t depreciate any faster than normal, but some competitors hold their value better.
For example, a brand new Sea-Doo Spark will set you back around $6,000, but this is for the basic model with no extras like the all-important trailer. However, a quick search on the internet turns up a similar model from 2017 with low mileage and a trailer selling for $7,500.
After leaving the factory, no two Sea-Doo boats are the same, so it isn’t easy to establish the correct resale value. Each owner will have opted for a different package which will add or detract from the value on the second-hand market.
Are Sea-Doo Boats Still Being Made?
Sea-Doo is very much still in business. While they have discontinued their sport and jet boats line, the Sea-Doo jet skis and PWC’s are still going strong.
In addition, Sea-Doo has recently announced that they are entering the pontoon boat market.
The all-new 2022 Sea-Doo Switch is a pontoon boat that combines all the qualities and fun of Sea-Doo with versatility and stability. BRP and Sea-Doo are ready to shake up the pontoon boat market by creating a boat that can be completely re-configured at any time.
It’s a boat that can be used for a solo fishing trip in the morning, a family picnic at lunchtime, and then for a wakeboard session or sundowners with friends in the evening.
Sea-Doo PWC’s have been around since 1968, and they’re not about to quit the market anytime soon.