It’s that time again for me to predict what I think will happen for Sea-Doo in 2019.
A lot has happened in recent years, and you would think nothing significant will happen for 2019 but they’ve been known to surprise us before.
Some of what they’re going to do is common sense but there a few things that stuck out. Let’s go over that.
GTI Hull Transition
Sea-Doo has made the Polytec hull available for the 90HP GTI, and it has done really well. It’s at a great price point, and you get a comfortable ride with plenty of storage. A real winner if you ask me.
In 2018 they moved the Wake 155, which is a GTI hull, to the Polytec hull. This is them slowly moving over and the Wake Model is the best one to test it out on. The Wake is very popular and takes a lot of abuse from pull sports activities.
It only makes sense to move the rest of the GTI line up to the Polytec hull. This even might go under the radar or create a slow transition where it takes several years. But we can for sure say the GTI is getting the new bottom Polytec hull on all models.
This will for sure give Yamaha a run for there money as the lighter hull means better gas mileage and more bottom end power because it doesn’t have to carry as much weight.
ACE Turbo 150 HP
Ski-Doo, which is apart of BRP who also owns Sea-Doo has a new ACE engine. It’s the same engine that is in the Sea-Doo Spark but now with a Turbo.
Does this mean there will be a Spark-X with a Turbo from the factory?
But this engine could be used for something else in the Sea-Doo line up. You see, the 130HP and 155HP engine which is really the same engine but tuned differently have not gotten much love lately.
The 260HP was replaced by the 300HP ACE, and the 215HP was replaced by the 230HP ACE. Even the Spark has an ACE engine in it.
The 130HP and 155HP have been the same engine block and design since 2002, its time for a new one. The new 150HP Turbo ACE engine would be perfect, and it makes perfect sense.
The GTI 90 has the mounting spots for the smaller ACE engine that would fit this 150HP Turbo, so the manufacturing is already there. The ACE 150HP Turbo is smaller and all around better engine with its modern manufacturing and design. It screams use me in a Sea-Doo!
The best part is that they claim very little turbo lag which is a big deal, especially for a watercraft.
So the GTI SE 155 will be a “GTI SE 150 Turbo”, or maybe “GTI 150 Turbo” or keep it simple with “GTI Turbo.” The last one sounds really cool.
What about the 130HP? Well, its the odd stepchild of the lineup. The GTI 90 is more affordable, and people will gravitate to it more. If they want to jump up, the GTI SE 155 seems more attractive since you’re spending more might as well get the bigger engine.
It’s a good chance the GTI 130 and GTI SE 130 will go away. Too many units in the mix. They might keep the GTI SE which is the same ski but with the Polytec hull and 90HP engine.
GTI Body Change
Sea-Doo released the iS models in 2009 and showed off the new body styles of the GTX and RXT that would be released in 2010.
Then in 2011 Sea-Doo released the new GTI body. This could mean in 2019 Sea-Doo could be updating the GTI body. Going fully Polytec with a new top body would do well. I don’t think we’ll get the same lid design we find on the GTX and RXT where it opens from the sitting position but a new body could be possible.
If Sea-Doo brings that 150HP turbo engine to the GTI, they could really change things up. The engine is smaller so this could mean moving things around to give you more front storage. Or better yet, give you a huge glove box. I vote for more glove box storage!
I’m sure we won’t get the lounge idea that the GTX and RXT has, but we’ll for sure get the accessories mounting points. If anything, the motivation to get the mounting points for the GTI which is a big seller is a must have for Sea-Doo right now. These accessories are great ways to make extra money for them and opens the door for more accessories to buy down the line.
GTX or RXT
The GTX and RXT line up were recently given a new hull in 2018, so I very much doubt we’ll see anything beyond a color change on them.
I’ve been told picking the colors for the Sea-Doo line up is the hardest parts of making new jet skis.
The Next Big Wave
We’ve got 300HP engines.
We’ve got hulls so big that you barely get wet and take the chop amazingly.
We’ve got brakes, neutral, and so many accessories you don’t know what to do with.
So what’s next?
What we have now is quite good, in fact, it’s fantastic. I would have never thought we would have brakes on a freaking jet ski yet alone 300HP. It begs the question – what more can they do?
The next big thing for watercraft is going to be technology.
Tech to make them safer and easier to drive. Smartphone connections that you only see in your car will be more commonplace on watercraft. GPS and Bluetooth doing things you never thought were possible.
From a practical point, color touch screens don’t make much sense. It’s bright outside, and you need to see the screen clearly especially when wearing sunglasses. And a touchscreen is hard to use when jumping waves or floating in the rough water, but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming.
Everyone I talk to wants touchscreens or a color readout on their watercraft, so it’s bound to happen.
It does make sense for navigation and BRP has done it well in the Can-Am Spyder line up. If anything, that would be what they use in the jet skis with the joystick navigation.
Having the controls of your smartphone along with the GPS map of the nearest gas stations for boats would be huge. We actually used to have GPS navigation on the GTX Limited models back before 2009, but no one used them. It was a Garmin handheld device that most of my customers never even took out the box yet alone put batteries in them. Having the GPS already set up and built into the machine will see more people using them.
With Smartphones becoming as big as they are I would not be surprised if you could use them as a second screen. I do since I’m so prone to get lost, even did a post about how I use my phone for GPS navigation on the lake.
Your car has sensors that help prevent a crash and jet skis often follow what car companies do.
The problem is that the same sensors that work for your car won’t work for your jet ski. The waves and splashing will keep these from working.
What could work are GPS and Bluetooth. Most of the jet skis you see today use GPS to tell how fast they’re going. Bluetooth or some other signal could continuously be broadcasted to other boats that have a similar system to let them know how fast and where they are to avoid crashing.
This system could work well for a “follow the leader” situation if you do long rides. When you set it up you have one person who is the leader of the group and you follow there signal.
Sonar or other systems that can piece through water could be used instead for the crash prevention system. This feels out there, but I said the same thing about brakes on a jet ski.
No matter what tech they come out, the simple stuff like an impeller protector (Amazon Link Ad) will always be a must have.
GTR With Polytec
Oh boy, a GTR 230 with a Ploy-tec underbody would be amazing!
I’m a Sea-Doo guy, but Yamaha VXR is killing this machine. Yamaha has made a naturally aspirated engine that can keep up with Sea-Doo’s supercharged engine, come on.
The GTR needs an advantage, and that would come in a lighter hull. I’m just giddy with joy in thinking a GTR will get the Polytec hull. At the same time, I’m sad because I don’t think it will truly happen. Sure the GTI line up will get the Polytec hull, but the GTR will for sure be last or not even get it at all.
The power to weight ratio of a GTR with a Polytec hull would be so freaking fun, especially at that price point. Sea-Doo would not be able to keep them in stock.
They could at least meet us in the middle and give the Polytec to the GTR-X.
The RXP models are slow to change, body wise I would say.
Its what the racers use so a lot more time and design go into them so don’t expect anything new in 2019. Maybe 2020 or 2021 we’ll see something, but I’m not holding my breath for 2019.
Yamaha The Silent One
Update: Yamaha has released the 2019 models. Check out my post that goes over the good, the bad, and the ugly for 2019 Yamaha Waverunner.
I feel like Yamaha kind of got lazy and did not expect Sea-Doo to come out with brakes and all this other tech. They’ve been slowly catching up and doing quite well so far.
It seems like they’ve gotten themselves in gear and trying newer things and 2019 could be there year to push ahead of Sea-Doo.
I have a feeling Yamaha will do the color screens first just to get the jump on Sea-Doo.
I also feel like Yamaha sees accessories as value added and will be more willing to do more packages as they did with the Limited models with there tubes and such. Yamaha adding speakers to there 2019 or at least 2020 line up is for sure to happen.
Who knows what they’re going to do, but I do feel like they’re pissed and ready to go all out and show that they can be a leader in tech and features. This is good for everyone because we don’t need lazy innovation, we want stuff to blow our minds and competition is always good for the jet ski manufacturers.
New FX models
The Yamaha FX line up is due for a change for their body.
I had this stupid idea running through my head about what Yamaha could do to stand out and beat Sea-Doo. For 2018 Sea-Doo came out with the new hull that was super stable, and this is a big deal to all riders.
So what could Yamaha do?
If you did not laugh at that one, then you’ve not been around watercraft long.
Both Sea-Doo and Yamaha had 4-seater watercraft for a few years in the early 2000’s. They did okay but not really popular. But with this new divide being created where half the market wants nimble small watercraft and the other half wanting large and stable it does make you think about the 4-seaters coming back.
They could do it better this time since the old 4-seaters were these big things with underpowered engines. We now have over powerful engines and new tech that makes hulls lighter and stronger. It’s almost a perfect storm to bring back the 4-seater.
I doubt the FX line up will be 4-seaters, but size wise they might get close. They for sure might consider bringing back the huge amount of storage these things had.
Kawasaki Needs To Do Something
If you ask me, it feels like Kawasaki has gone stagnant. I’m not saying they make bad watercraft, but they have not done anything “new” in a long time.
Kawasaki still lacks brakes, starting in neutral, and all the other must-have features that both Sea-Doo and Yamaha have.
There’s been talk about Kawasaki making a Spark version themselves which would be awesome. We just need something, anything from Kawasaki.
What Do You Think?
Leave a comment below to let me know what you think the 2019 watercraft line up is going to be.