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When the GTI Limited 155 was first introduced, a lot of consumers likely asked why produce a Limited model…of a recreational-level boat? Turns out there are a number of reasons, but the most telling is that so-called recreational models, the low-priced alternatives in most lineups, don’t just sell to bargain hunters. Instead, they sell to people who appreciate their individual handling, simplicity, fuel-efficiency, power curve, even their style.
But just because this type of buyer is willing to forego a $15,000 flagship doesn’t mean they don’t want some of its amenities.
But first things first. As the name reveals, the core of the GTI Limited 155 is the 155 hp version of Sea-Doo’s popular GTI. In terms of speed, expect about 58 mph in good conditions, and acceleration powerful enough to deliver the necessary jump out of the hole as well as get your watersports types up and riding behind the boat.
In terms of handling, this is the familiar hull that has carried the platform through several makeovers. It sports a slightly shallower 16-degree deadrise that gives the craft a slightly more playful feel. In short, you can still skid that stern around with a little body english. Play with that weight position, however, and you can also lock it into corners with the precision of a race boat. The ability to do both styles adds to the boat’s versatility for experienced riders, while making it a confidence-inspiring, forgiving ride for true beginners.
While the hull below is familiar, the deck definitely benefitted from a makeover several years back. Rather than the dated, dull look of old, the GTI now rivals Sea-Doo’s premier models with a stylish design that blends the brand’s familiar “facets” with a flow from bow to stern. The level of fit and finish has also kept pace with the new looks. The result is a craft that will look at home at the yacht club, even if it does sport the price of a tender.
That cool deck also boasts plenty of function. Riders benefit from a design that focuses on ergonomics. Rather than push the thighs wide like many PWC, the sculpted, touring-style GTI seat narrows for comfort. Instead of footwells with abrupt angles, the GTI’s wells flow without creases to keep a rider’s feet in constant contact. The footwells even cant inward slightly to alleviate pressure on the knees. Only tilt steering is missing; it would make the entire setup more comfortable for taller riders, especially when standing.
Some seemingly “limited” features are standard with Sea-Doo. Intelligent Brake & Reverse (iBR) is now a given in nearly the entire line. The system provides on-water braking power by diverting pump thrust forward and to the sides with the squeeze of a handlebar-mounted lever, slowing the craft much faster than simply releasing the throttle. The onboard computer prevents that stopping power from being so abrupt it risks forcing the rider forward over the bow, or submarining the craft. That same system also allows the craft to start in a stationary mode at the dock or launch ramp, and be shifted between forward, neutral and reverse. It’s intuitive, and makes maneuvering within tight confines a simple task.
As to what truly distinguishes a Limited from the rest of the pack, Sea-Doo makes use of electronic throttle to provide cruise control, a no-wake mode, and three user-selectable acceleration profiles. The first two make riding that much easier by maintaining speed without constant throttle adjustment (also a benefit when towing a skier or rider), the latter can tailor the craft to different levels of driver experience or desired throttle response (touring or sport) or even be used to save fuel in a third (ECO) mode. Sea-Doo’s standard Learning Key lanyard also allows the owner to limit speeds with a second programmable lanyard.
Also on the list is a fast-responding electric trim with presets. It allows the rider to choose different nozzle angles (say for acceleration and top speed), then quickly set them with a double-tap of the trim button, rather than take their eyes off the water to watch a display.
And then there’s the “Limited” package itself, which tacks a number of items onto the features list. They include a custom storage and trailering cover, removable dry bag, sandbag anchor, safety kit, “Limited” wrist lanyard, the aforementioned high-performance variable trim, and exclusive coloration. True, you could probably package your own extras together and maybe even save, but Sea-Doo is betting on the idea that the exclusivity and the package concept will sell to the intended buyer.
A buyer that may be looking at a model many think of as an introductory craft…but has proven to be anything but.
Related Reading2013 Sea-Doo Lineup Preview2012 Sea-Doo GTX Limited iS 260 Review2012 Sea-Doo GTX S 155 Review
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