Reviewed by Aaron Wasylyk
The 2011 230 Challenger SE is the crown jewel of Sea-Doo’s boat lineup. The first thing you notice when you hop aboard this boat is the abundance of available space. It’s a 23-footer that comfortably seats 12 people, with an equally impressive 60 cubic feet of storage capacity. There is no question that this is a craft designed for the boating enthusiast who wants a boat capable of doing it all, without sacrificing performance, style or luxury.
While the 230 Challenger SE definitely feels like a big boat, handling is still quite quick and nimble. The 1,494cc Rotax 4-TEC fuel injected engine delivers strong consistent power to the Direct Drive Jet Propulsion System. The Intelligent Throttle Control, (iTC) is nothing short of brilliant since it allows for complete customization of performance and power. There are 23 different functions, all accessible through the premium helm located just above the steering wheel. Anyone who has ever tried to maneuver a boat this size near a dock or boat launch, in windy conditions or choppy water, will absolutely love the Docking mode. This mode uses only a small amount of power, and greatly improves maneuverability resulting in precise handling at the low speeds required while docking your boat.
Another ingenious mode is the Ski mode, which is perfect for any kind of recreational towing behind this boat. It allows the driver to program the power, pull and top speed, based on the skill level of the person being towed. As a result, the boat will always start and pull at the same consistent speed, and will reach and maintain whatever top speed it has been programmed to achieve, providing the perfect launch every time.
Additionally, there are two other modes that stand out on this boat. With ever rising fuel costs, the nifty little ECO mode is a very welcome feature. It is designed to optimize fuel economy by running the boat at the best on-plane range and holding it there. And for those long open runs, the cruise control mode will certainly be appreciated as it effortlessly maintains your speed while you focus on executing those perfectly smooth wide arcing turns.
The power and performance of the 230 Challenger SE is perfectly complimented by its fit and finish. Sea-Doo spared no expense with this boat. You’ll find many upgraded features that come standard and wouldn’t even enter into the picture on similarly priced boats. The stainless steel package consisting of rub rail, bow rails, cup holders, grab handles, ski tow eye, and pull up cleats really enhance the overall appearance of this eye-catching vessel.
With the custom tilt steering, premium stereo and sound system, adjustable height captain’s chair with bolster seat, bimini top, snap-in carpet, removable cooler and a host of other features too numerable to list, you would easily be forgiven if you thought you were piloting a small yacht as opposed to a sport boat.
The 2011 Sea-Doo 230 Challenger SE is available in 3 new colours – Riviera Blue, Glorious Red or Black. Regardless of the colour you choose, this is one boat that is sure to turn your fellow boaters green with envy.
|Length:||23' 6"||7.16 m|
|Dry weight:||3435 lbs||1558 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||53 US gals||200.6 l|
|Engine / Drive:||Rotax® 4-TEC® engine|