Would a little sea doo sport boat be a good first time boat?

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by henrythomas, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. henrythomas

    henrythomas New Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    Hi to all,

    I would like to buy an inexpensive smaller boat for our first "learner" boat. i kind of like the looks of a little seadoo, but just wondering if they are good little boats for tubing.
    The one I am looking at only has 115hp. Plus I know that intake motors seem to have alot of issues when it comes to jet skis, so thought maybe the boats might have the same issues...?
  2. fc3

    fc3 Just another eclectic geek TECHNICAL Contributor

    Nov 12, 2006
    Northern NJ
    1999 Sea Ray 330DA
    Twin 7.4 MPI (310 propshaft HP) V-drives
    Twin Mercury Marine marinized 7.4L L-29 V8s
    Cast iron block w 4-bolt mains
    They are not bad boats. Some of the older two stroke engines are problematic and difficult to maintain. The main disadvantages of these boats are
    1. rather flat bottom, so they ride hard
    2. little freeboard, you must wear life vests when operating them
    3. Jet drive is less efficient than propeller drive. Burn more fuel for the same level of performance. Reducing wetted surface tends to mitigate against this, but then... See #1

    BTW, I have a Sea Doo PWC and am very happy with it.

    Best regards,
  3. wish2fish

    wish2fish Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Locust Creek, Ohio River mm 433
    2003 220BR
    5.0 MPI
    Welcome, loved you in ET!


    I'm sure someone will be along shortly. IMO, I don't think it would be a good first boat. Seems a lot of jet drive (impeller driven) boats have problems that most people can't fix themselves. A lot of fun though!
  4. katricol

    katricol Active Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    2000 540DA
    CAT 3196 660 HP
    I think it depends on the type of water you're talking about; lake, well protected bay or ocean/seas. I think it would get old quick in any type of rough water, in which case you could look at a boat like a boston whaler type...Ric ps. If your goal is to get some boating experience so you can move up to a larger one, the jetboat is not going to teach you to handle a regular boat very well.
  5. roman150

    roman150 New Member

    Oct 12, 2009
    1999 210 Sundeck
    We test drove a Sea Ray Sea Rayder which is very comparable to the SeaDoo boat. It had a 190 hp Mercury jet drive Engine in it. Very fast and fun boat. I have also had a SeaDoo PWC and it was a maintenance nightmare. Also had a Honda Aquatrax R 12 PWC, now that was an awesome machine. My opinion, stay away from SeaDoo. The little jet boats are fun but they will beat you to death. I think you would be better off with say around a 17' boat with a 3.0 mercruiser in it for your first boat. The jet boats are a little difficult to navigate at low speeds also, just like a PWC. Good luck.
  6. Arizona240DA

    Arizona240DA Banned

    Jun 20, 2007
    Don’t forget about reverse and overall steering issues, especially on the older Speedsters.

    What model and year are you looking at?

    If I were you, I would be focusing more on a smaller I/O day runner…

    I do however think Sea Doo makes a good product. They also have a good handle on engines.
  7. TexasA&M

    TexasA&M New Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    2005 185 Sport
    I had a Sea Doo sport boat for my first boat. It was a ton of fun!! The reasons I got it for my first boat were that it was small and easy to handle (on a trailer and in the water), it was relatively cheap (compared to bigger 18' boats), and it was something different than what everyone else had.

    It was 6 years old when I bought it, but was in good shape. I kept it for a year, and then sold it for the same price I bought it for.

    I wanted to make sure that boating was something I wanted to do long term before jumping into a higher dollar boat, so the Sea Doo was a great way to do that.

    The downsides are the same as the upsides though... size and jet power. When it came down to it, the boat was just too small for what I wanted to use it for... 4-6 people hanging out on the water all day long. The jets were a lot of fun when driving the boat like a jet ski, but they lack torque when pulling up skiers, etc.

    All that said, one of these days when I win the lottery and can afford an extra boat (and a lakehouse!), I will get one of the new high powered 15' boats to ride around in when the water is nice.
  8. TexasA&M

    TexasA&M New Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    2005 185 Sport
    The steering and reverse issues just take some getting used to. If it's your first boat, you shouldn't know any better and that will make it easier to handle (and much easier when you upgrade to an I/O).
  9. TexasA&M

    TexasA&M New Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    2005 185 Sport
    I disagree.... if you can master the jet, then a prop boat is very easy to handle.
  10. Arizona240DA

    Arizona240DA Banned

    Jun 20, 2007
    I was referring to the older technology…steering and reversing were issues.

  11. jhild

    jhild New Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Cape Ann, MA
    1999 BW 18 Ventura /
    Sold: 2003 176BR
    Current: 135 OptiMax /
    Sold: 3.0L Alpha
    I will only add that a jet drive is probably not your best choice if you will be using the boat in an area with lots of weeds or other debris in the water.
  12. coolings

    coolings New Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    2008 205 Sport
    5.0, Alpha one
    When I purchased a boat I was considering one of the Yamaha boat that have twin jet drives. They cost less and had a lot to offer. I asked around and was told to go with an I/O or an outboard. I did since I did not know much about boats and those who did was telling me to. I am glad I went with an I/O. I can do so much more than I could in a jet drive. I have taken my boat out into the gulf, pulled someone who weighed about 200 lbs on a wakeboard, and made several day trips in not the best conditions. The more cost was well worth what I have gotten out of it. If you cannot afford a newer I/O or outboard, go with a used one over a newer jet drive.
  13. springer3

    springer3 New Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Atlanta GA
    1996 215 EC
    4.3 liter Mercuriser LX
    I had a 97 Yamaha 10 ft, 120 HP WaveRunner. Great fun, and not too bad a ride even when it was choppy. 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine drank far more fuel than my 20.5 ft Seville, but was reliable. I let my teenagers drive it but was always very concerned for their safety. It would run 60 MPH (indicated) on flat water.
  14. Groucho

    Groucho Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Albany/Lake George NY
    2006 290 DA
    496 B111
    I would save up for a larger boat. A bowrider is a good first choice.
    Part of the fun of a baot is hanging out on it. The seating and comfort of a boat like this isn't like a normal boat. These types are lots of fun for tubing and wake jumping, but not for comfort.
  15. At Ease

    At Ease New Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 28, 2007
    I have a friend who bought the Yamaha AR230 a year ago as a first boat and now he is selling it. Hard to manuever especially on a tidal river. Terrible around the docks.
  16. Arizona240DA

    Arizona240DA Banned

    Jun 20, 2007
    I read (Boating Magazine) a while ago, that Yamaha had one of the best selling bow riders over the past few years. Given the concerns that have been posted concerning jet drives, including by myself, I wonder why their sales have been so good? I think both the Yamaha and See Doo models are nice looking…
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009

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