It’s more common than ever to see designated storage areas for personal watercrafts or PWCs on houseboats. If you happen to see the stern of a houseboat that doesn’t include a PWC, it probably just means it’s being used at that time, because they really do go together hand-in-hand.
These are perfect watercrafts to escape the crowd and head off on your own for a few minutes while using your houseboat as a base camp. As popular and as necessary as these crafts have become to houseboaters, we have seen a trend in pricing that has put a strain on some families. While the prices of these watercrafts continues to go up, we were thrilled to hear what Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has released for 2014.
BRP has launched the new Sea-Doo Spark watercraft, which earned an NMMA Innovation Award in the PWC category at the Miami Boat Show in February and for good reason. The 2014 Spark leads an entirely new entry-level segment of the Sea-Doo lineup that is designed for the young family who is looking for simple and accessible fun in a stylish and lightweight platform.
The Sea-Doo Spark model is compact and is the lightest watercraft on the market, providing a fun and playful ride. While in Florida for the Miami Boat Show, I was given the chance to test and try the latest Sea-Doo and I couldn’t believe the power as well as how easy it is to maneuver. The testing took place just off Flagler Monument Island, in a somewhat protected area. The island is an uninhabited artificial island of South Beach in the city of Miami Beach in Biscayne Bay, Fla. A 110-foot high obelisk with allegorical sculptures at its base stands as a monument to Miami pioneer Henry M. Flagler, and was built in the center of the island in his memory.
While the Spark PWC was designed for short rides on smaller bodies of water, in the choppy saltwater I had a blast jumping the waves. This model stands out with a stunning new look and comes in a variety of five colors and numerous ways to customize it.
The biggest reason I feel it could be the ideal secondary craft for houseboat owners is that the Spark costs nearly 40 percent less than the closest model and is the most fuel-efficient watercraft in the industry according to BRP. The Sea-Doo Spark model is powered by the ultra reliable Rotax 900 ACE engine family, the most compact and most economical to run, four-stroke watercraft engine.
I was able test a couple of different Spark models, including one that was equipped with the exclusive Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR) system. Having this brake gave me the ability to stop quickly and it provided a level of control and peace of mind as I rode the Sea-Doo watercraft like a 16-year-old on Spring Break. Sea-Doo’s exclusive iBR system provides added maneuverability and effortless docking that can be a great addition, especially for newcomers to the sport.
Available in vanilla, orange crush, bubble gum, pineapple or licorice colors, this watercraft provided a great time out on the water and I’m confident I’m going to start seeing the Spark Sea-Doo on the stern of houseboats this summer—or more realistically—out on the water being enjoyed by houseboat owners. And with an entry-level price tag, getting a pair has never been more tempting.
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Bombardier Recreational Products