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Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Carousel Feature, News and Events, Personal Watercraft, US |

Sea-Doo Spark Set to Ignite Personal Watercraft Market

Priced at just $4,999 and packed with innovation, BRP has aimed the Spark at the young adult customers who used to drive the PWC market.

BRP hopes to reset the PWC market with the introduction this week of the Sea-Doo Spark, an all-new model with a host of innovative materials and design ideas intended to keep the Spark affordable, fun and low-impact. The Spark will also be low priced, starting at just $4,999. That’s almost shocking. The best-selling entry-level Yamaha WaveRunner VX line ranges in price from $7,999 to $9,799.

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BRP says the Spark will hit 50 mph with its optional 90-hp engine.

A key element of the Spark is the material used to form the hull and deck, a low-density composite BRP is calling Polytec said to include polypropylene and long-fiber glass reinforcement. It’s significantly lighter than the traditional fiberglass it replaces in those components, and BRP says it is also recyclable. Like the plastic used to form Triumph powerboats, the Polytec material does not have the hard, glossy finish of fiberglass. BRP instead left the surface almost matte, and has infused the plastic with vibrant colors such as Pineapple, Orange Crush, Licorice and Bubble Gum.

The hull and deck are bolted together, with a gasket sealing the bond, and the deck can be unbolted and removed to service the powertrain in a matter of minutes. To cut weight even further, BRP employs a rigid composite “Exoskel” that surrounds the helm area, with a pair of arms that reach forward to mate with the deck. The spark has a reported dry weight of just 405 pounds, an astounding 331 pounds less than the 736-pound WaveRunner VX Sport.

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The Sea-Doo Spark (shown here in Orange Crush and Bubblegum colors) has a bow storage compartment between a pair of black Exoskel arms that stiffen the structure, an effort to shave weight and cost.

Less weight also requires less power, and BRP outfits the Spark with a new 899cc four-stroke, triple cylinder engine called the Rotax 900 ACE, offered in 60-horsepower and 90-horsepower “HO” trim. The engine is a compact, double-overhead cam design with drive-by-wire throttle control.

The Spark is offered in a single, 110-inch hull length, in a choice of two-up or three-up seating configurations. The three-up version is only offered with the more-powerful 900 HO ACE engine, while the two-seater is available with either engine. BRP estimates a top speed of about 42 mph with the 60-hp engine, and 50 mph with the HO engine. The fuel tank capacity seems small at just 7.9 gallons, but BRP says these new engines and the light weight of the Spark will produce outstanding fuel economy. The iBR (Intelligent Brake and Reverse) system that’s a feature on other Sea-Doo models is a factory-installed option, on a Spark equipped with the HO engine. With the base engine, the Spark has manual reverse control.

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Twenty optional wrap graphics kits will be offered for the Sea-Doo Spark.

In addition to the bright colors, 20 different graphic wrap kits will be offered for the Spark to allow owners to personalize the craft. The Spark is clearly aimed at a younger, less-affluent buyer – the kind of customer that used to typify the PWC audience and drove its initial sales boom twenty years ago. It’s an alternative to the powerful, complex, heavy, and very expensive  watercraft that have been grabbing headlines in recent seasons (for example, the new $18,000 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 310LX).

For more information, read Sea-Doo Spark: Revolutionary New PWC on boats.com UK,  or visit Sea-Doo.