Many of us who have browsed new watercraft at boat shows over the past several years have been jolted by sticker shock. But there are signs that the boating industry has finally understood our pain, and is doing something about it. For instance, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) just released the “Spark,” a new Sea-Doo
watercraft that’s designed to appeal to young families on a budget.
I attended the official unveiling of the Spark in Orlando, Fla., in mid-September. First off, I was impressed by the low price (MSRP for the 2-up model starts at $4,999). Basically, it amounts to a 2-for-1 when compared to other entry-level recreational PWCs on the market. “The Sea-Doo Spark makes the dream of family fun on the water accessible now,” says Julie Tourville, marketing director for BRP Sea-Doo.
Aside from the low cost, Sea-Doo’s designers and engineers were tasked with giving today’s savvy consumers a PWC that’s clean, fun and easy-to-use.
Clean: The Polytec chassis is 100% recyclable, and the 4-stroke Rotax 900 ACE engine is economical, clean-burning and surprisingly quiet. During testing, four of us at a time rode Sparks around on a small lake, and the noise was not annoying at all.
Fun: Because the Spark is remarkably lightweight (I watched four average-size people pick it up and carry it), the engine delivers a big punch to this nimble yet stable craft. This Sea-Doo also offers ergonomic seating that makes it more comfortable to ride for people with smaller body frames. And it comes in five colors, not the typical two.
Easy-to-Use: The Spark is easier to transport and store than heavier machines. Plus, the mechanicals are extremely easy to access and service; take an electric screwdriver to the removable top chassis and you have full access to the engine. Lastly, the engine is designed to prevent water or oil intrusion, even if you manage to flip the craft.