Longevity Review: 2007 150 Speedster: Full Review & Video
Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:28 AM
Review and Video By Cap’n Brandon
After 5 full seasons with this spectacular vessel – the 150 Speedster just keeps getting better and more versatile.
In the Spring of 2007 we decided it was time to replace our aging Sea Doo Explorer with a new vessel. Not wanting to sacrifice handling and speed, we looked towards Sea Doo’s Sport Boat line-up. Now after 5 seasons – and over 400 hours – I have enjoyed countless hours of fun on the water with friends and family on this incredibly versatile sport-boat.
Power: High Revving Horsepower Meets High-Tec Reliability
We chose the base 155 horsepower, naturally aspirated, Rotax 4-Tec engine for its proven reliability and fuel efficiency. Upon start-up the 3-cylinder engine idles at 1,800rpm. It doesn’t emit any unwanted vibration and is fairly quiet at lower RPM’s. Putting around the local waterways is best done at around 5mph at 2,500rpm. The most efficient cruise speed is found at 5,000rpm on plane at 20-23mph. My engine has spent the majority of its life at this cruise speed, where it reliably hums as we wakeboard, wakesurf, and cruise around local waterways hours at a time.
Maxed out this naturally aspirated engine will reach 7,200rpm and a top speed of 50mph. Only twice have I put the engine to its redline, as 6,500rpm will pull the boat past 40mph with much less strain put on the engine and its components. The boat rips onto plane in less than 3 seconds at ¾ throttle. We are happy with the amount of power this engine emits and believe the supercharged version would be excessive (although undoubtedly more fun).
Handling: Direct. Precise. Confident.
Rumors were milling around that the Sea Doo sport boats are the best handling production boats in the world. After putting the 150 Speedster through its paces for 4 years I have no doubt that this statement is true. The faster you push the boat through turns, the harder it carves. Blasting at 40mph and turning the wheel will put the boat into an addicting 360 spin. It is easy to compare the handling to that of a sports-car on the water.
As the sea’s rise and the chop increases, the 150 Speedster does lose a bit of its charm. Being a shallow-V hulled vessel – designed for speed and handling – the Speedster does slam harder than larger ski-boats in moderate chop. However, if one’s back is built of steel, little in life can compare to the excitement of going 40 mph in 3 foot seas, spending half of the time airborne – skipping from the tips of waves as if in a mini-Cigarette boat.
Water-Sports: Tower = Necessity
At 2000 lbs wet (with driver and spotter) the 150 Speedster is a lightweight in the wakeboarding and wakesurfing world. However, I have found that the tower is a must have for water-sport enthusiasts, as it gives riders the extra hang-time and unrestricted pull they crave. The boat puts out a clean 2’ launching pad for wakeboarders, making 360’s and airs a cinch to pull off with a little practice. The difference here is that one needs to spend time getting every ounce of pop out of the wake. On traditional wakeboard boats, with large ballast tanks, big-air is as simple as cutting in hard and hanging on. That’s not the case with the 150 Speedster. Technique is king and the wake rewards those who spend the time to learn the ins-and-outs of popping off of a small wake. I have had hundreds of sessions behind the Speedster and believe it makes an exceptional wakeboard boat for the right rider.
The majority of the engine hours have been spent pulling myself, friends, and family wakesurfing (utilizing a shortened ski line). Due to the small wake one cannot perform this sport without the handle on this boat. However, the direct drive puts out a crisp and clean wave perfect for cutting, slashing, and launching with a surfboard. At 10-11mph we carve and glide across the wave just feet behind the boat, mimicking the feeling of traditional surfing. The direct drive propulsion system also makes this sport safe, as there are no exposed propellers under the transom.
Waterskiing is a mixed bag behind the Speedster 150 w/ the 155 horsepower engine. With twin ski’s the sport can be done, however it requires near WOT starts and is both uneconomical and rather unexciting. Single ski waterskiing is only do-able for very experienced skier’s. And even then the boat has a very difficult time pulling anyone over 150lbs out of the water due to the 3-cylinders lack of torque.
Build Quality: Little Things Make The Difference
After 5 seasons of heavy use the Speedster has held up fairly well to its time on and off the water, with a few major exceptions. The cleats, stereo, speakers, grab handles, navigation lights, buttons, and ski-pylon are all in like-new condition.
The same cannot be said for the plastic materials used throughout the boat. The hood latch has surrounding plastic that completely cracked and broke through in its first year. The CD cover has broken off 3 times in open-water conditions. The plastic hinges the cooler also broke off while under-way. The tower does rattle even in mild-chop and gives off an air of structural uncertainty. In addition, the welds on the tower cracked in the 3rd season of use (a new tower was sent from BRP under extended warranty). The chrome surround on the dash cracked and fell off, in addition to a crack in the plastic screen on the dash. Lastly, the running light connector rusted through in its 2nd season, very premature for a boat in fresh water that is always covered.
Aside from these issues, the 150 Speedster has held up well for over 400 hours of fun on the water. The gel-coat still shines nearly as bright as the day we first launched it into the water.
Reliability: Rotax – Never Let You Down
There is something to be said for a boat that after 5 seasons has never broken down while on the water. I have never had a single issue with the power-plant of the 150 Speedster. It’s as simple as that. The only component that has been replaced is the bilge pump, which went out after the 3rd season. Regularly scheduled maintenance and low-rpm use (5,000rpm cruising and no redlining) has proved to be an ideal combination for reliability of the naturally aspirated 1503cc Rotax engine.
Fuel Economy: Fun on the water – Savings at the Pump
The fuel economy of the 4-Tec is greatly improved over the older 2-stroke engines of yesteryear. At cruising and wakeboarding speed it generally burns 3.5-4.5 gallons per hour with a light load on the boat. Pile the people on the boat however, and the fuel economy plummets as the RPM’s rise. It has a fuel capacity of over 21 gallons, meaning stops at the pump are few and far between.
Final Thoughts: Let the fun continue for years to come…
As my 5th summer with the 150 Speedster comes to a close it is a great time to reflect on the joy that this boat has brought my friends, family, and I over the years. Endless hours of wakesurfing on hot summer evenings, SeaFair’s spent watching the Blue Angels roar overhead, and cruises to dinner on crisp fall nights. All of these times were made possible by a little jet-boat that has proven itself reliable, affordable to own, and an absolute blast to drive and ride behind. I can only hope that my next 5 summers with the 150 Speedster will bring as much joy as the first!
By Cap’n Brandon
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