2023 Sea-Doo Explorer Pro 170

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Richard Crowder

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You say you want adventure? You want to explore the far reaches of your lake system or waterways? You want to do a full weekend or week of camping? You want to get away for more than just a day trip on a personal watercraft because you love the feeling of being one with the water? Well, now you can do all of the above.

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has released for 2023 its first ever dedicated adventure model -- the Sea-Doo Explorer Pro 170. From all angles, this new PWC hits a home run in answering all of the above desires not available in other PWC on the market.

First, the basics. The new Explorer Pro 170 rides on Sea-Doo’s proven deep-V ST3 hull providing a comfortable and stable ride even when the going gets rough. The increased waterline length provides even greater comfort and smoothness during longer trips, especially in open water.

Power is provided by Sea-Doo’s proprietary three-cylinder Rotax® 1630 cc ACE™ (Advanced Combustion Efficiency) 170 horsepower four-stroke engine, the most powerful naturally aspirated Rotax engine ever installed on a Sea-Doo PWC. This engine is not only efficient but also provides lots of torque and power to satisfy your towing needs. Fuel capacity is a most credible 70 litres.

It also incorporates all of Sea-Doo’s electronic enhancements that users have come to enjoy on other models like the Electronic iBR® Engine Reverse System, iTC™ (Intelligent Throttle Control) system, D-Sea-Bel™ engine exhaust system, and the iDF (Intelligent Debris Free) pump system whereby clogging of the water intake can be cleared by simply pushing a button on the handlebar to reverse-flush the system. Neat. This engine also incorporates a closed-loop cooling system for increased efficiencies.

The new Explorer Pro 170 features an Ergolock™ two-piece oversized Explorer Touring three-passenger seat and not only is the seat positioned a bit higher to better accommodate long distance touring, but Sea-Doo has also added an extra inch of thickness to the foam padding to provide increased comfort on longer journeys. Knee pads are also provided for not only extra control but also for enhanced long-distance enjoyment. To this end, the handlebar riser not only tilts but also telescopes to place the bars in the most comfortable position depending on whether you are sitting or standing.

At this point you are probably wondering why I have not yet mentioned probably the most unique feature of the Explorer Pro 170 – its windshield. Yes, its windshield. It is the first of its kind in the industry and it is a standout in many ways. Its purpose is to protect the driver from the fatigue of wind pressure that builds over time and therefore making those longer excursions more enjoyable.

The windshield also obviously deflects a lot of spray from the driver. This can also lessen fatigue over longer distances and provide increased comfort in cooler riding conditions. The base of the windshield is shock-mounted to help protect itself and anyone (anything) who happens to bump it. It also folds forward onto the front cowling if you want the full wind-in-your-face experience. The Explorer Pro 170 windshield also contains a flap that can be opened to allow a bit of wind through. It is also easily removable if you so choose.

An underappreciated benefit to the windshield is the reduction in wind noise, thus allowing normal conversation between driver and passenger(s) as well as several levels of enhanced enjoyment from the onboard sound system. Adding the optional heated handgrips with five pre-set heat levels will keep you smiling all the way to and from those distant cruising spots when the weather gets cooler.

Another unique feature about the Explorer Pro 170 is its storage capacity. If you choose to use this PWC as intended, the storage will come in handy when you want to take tent, sleeping bag, clothes, food and beverages, and other outdoor equipment. The answer is yes, you can do it all. By tilting the entire handlebar/windshield console upward it will reveal almost 100 litres of dry storage with watertight phone compartment. This storage area is also accessible while seated, as is a 3-litre glovebox right in front of you.

Behind the seat is a platform with a multi-LinQ™ attachment plate behind which is an extended platform allowing up to five LinQ™ accessories. These are all standard as is a 100 litre LinQ™ explorer bag that comes with the Explorer Pro 170. This bag may also be used as a backpack. Neat huh?

Sea-Doo introduced its proprietary LinQ™ accessory mounting system in 2018 along with over two dozen accessories like storage and cargo bags, fuel and tool caddies, coolers, drinkholders, etc. that could be added to most models. Along with the cooler and fuel caddy, maybe the most desirable LinQ™ accessories for an extended touring excursion would be the available 10, 20, or 30 litre stackable storage boxes.

A couple of other well thought out features of the Explorer Pro 170 are the angled gunnel footrests, which not only add greater side protection but also allow much more comfortable and relaxed seating while sitting side-saddle chatting, listening, snacking, or relaxing. The Explorer Pro 170 also features the industry first front “bumper” which is actually more akin to a heavy duty bow surrounding grab rail which greatly aids in pulling the PWC onto a beach or dock.

Additional standard features include wide-angle mirrors, handlegrip with palm rests, footwell carpets, large swim platform, boarding ladder, ski-tow eye, seat strap, one LinQ™ front support and one cupholder. Included in that is a Garmin 7-inch touchscreen with GPS chartplotter and fishfinder.

In addition to that screen, an in-dash standard 7.6-inch digital display provides speedometer, tachometer, clock, fuel autonomy, water temperature, hour meter, plus VTS™ (Variable Trim System), Sport Mode, Slow Mode, ECO® Mode, and speed regulator. You may optionally add BRP Connect, music, weather, and Bluetooth connectibility. You can further opt for a slightly wider screen with a standard or Premium audio system which then allows you to add fuel consumption and speed statistics.

What the new Sea-Doo Explorer Pro 170 really accomplishes in spades is the answer to a whole new market demographic of those who like the idea of a PWC but not only want some comfort but also want to use it for more than just localized watersports fun. They want the capability of going where other boats cannot go; of exploring much further afield; of making weekend or week-long excursions; of going places in greater comfort for fishing, or for boating, or for all sorts of outdoor activities well off the beaten path if they so choose.

The Sea-Doo Explorer Pro 170 does all of that and does it all very well.

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Length: 12'2" 3.73 m
Beam: 4'12" 1.26 m
Dry weight: 859 lbs 390 kg
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 US gal 70 L
Base Engine / Drive: Jet Drive
Engine HP: Rotax 1630 (c.c.) ACE 170 horsepower four stroke
Fuel Type: Gas
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