Sea-Doo's All-New SwitchBy Craig Ritchie

The Best of Both Worlds

The author at the helm having a blast driving a gang in the new 2022 Sea-Doo Switch.

Sea-Doo’s all-new Switch marries the performance of a personal watercraft with the versatility of a pontoon boat to create what might just be the perfect entry-level watercraft for young families.

If there’s one thing that’s been a constant throughout BRP’s colourful history, it’s a penchant for stepping outside the box and coming up with what turn out to be ground-breaking innovations. The company that was created around the invention of the snowmobile – and furthered by the invention of the jet-propelled personal watercraft – has never been afraid to adopt revolutionary approaches to what it sees as new opportunities. And they’re doing it again, this time with an eye on the growing number of young buyers entering the boat market.

Combining the sporty performance of a personal watercraft with the versatility of a pontoon boat, Sea-Doo’s all-new Switch is a boat quite unlike anything that’s gone before it. That’s especially evident in its Rotax jet power and PWC-like handlebar steering, its synthetic tri-hull and a boatload of innovative new features that give the Switch completely unique capabilities.

The Sea-Doo Switch isn’t a single model, but a family of boats available in three different lengths, and each with multiple engine choices. All ride on a scratch-resistant Polytec hull design that, from below, looks much like a 12-foot or 14-foot cartopper with a sponson added to each side. The tri-hull design sits deeper in the centre than it does on the sides, giving Switch the stability of a pontoon boat while retaining the ability to dig in on turns and handle very much like a traditional V-hull – or a PWC.

The Seats

Seats can be easily repositioned as desired


Overhead, a fully flat deck composed of multiple LinQ quick-attach tiles allows owners to move the seats about as they wish by simply releasing a small, brightly coloured locking positioned tab in the seat base. In just a few seconds, Switch owners can configure the vessel as they wish for morning fishing, afternoon wakeboard sessions or evening cruises with the whole family by moving seats, adding additional seats, or shifting table locations to where they work best. BRP notes that while the helm console and seat always remain stationary, everything else onboard is fair game, allowing owners to achieve more than 100 possible configurations in all. How’s that for versatility?

All Sea-Doo Switch models also share revolutionary, clear side body panels, which provide excellent, unimpeded visibility of the water. It’s a novel approach that adds to the experience when underway and represents what Sea-Doo calls a “clear advantage” when docking, monitoring swimmers or spotting wakeboarders.

Extruded gunnel tops provide an opportunity to mount a range of LinQ accessories atop the fencing, including things like drink holders, waterproof storage bags for gear, and some neatly designed Switch fenders which clip to the outer gunnels when not required – keeping wet fenders out of the boat while stowing them securely until they’re needed again.

WakeboardingWake boarding behind the Sea-Doo Switch with passengers onboard.

All Switch models feature three driving modes (Eco, Standard and Sport) allowing users to customize the ride to suit their individual taste. BRP’s Intelligent Brake and Reverse feature also comes as standard equipment on all Switch models, providing greater confidence when docking or at the launch ramp, as well as allowing drivers to have some fun underway by side-slipping and spinning the boat around in its own length.

We’re not done yet – Switch also comes with a dedicated anchor storage locker in the bow, cruise control, a retractable stern boarding ladder, a ski tow eye and even a painted trailer. Depending on the specific model, some Switch packages include trailer brakes, or further amenities like stereos and Bimini tops.

Available options for all models include a full-enclosure camper top, a wide variety of extra seating and furniture options, and a corner-mounted JL Audio premium sound system complete with four speakers, an amp, a subwoofer and LED accent lighting.

One For All

The Trailer

The trailer makes weekend travel and boating an affordable and attractive plan.

Keeping versatility front-of-mind, Sea-Doo will offer three different models of Switch, with Base, Sport, and Cruise variants. This is where it gets a little confusing, since each of the three core models can be ordered in different lengths and with different power options.

The base model Sea-Doo Switch comes in lengths of 13 feet or 16 feet with a 100 horsepower Rotax 1630 ACE engine, as well as an 18-footer with a 170 horsepower engine. Standard features include a 4.5-inch digital helm display, an adjustable table, a glove box with dual USB ports, a 12-volt outlet, and a huge under-deck storage compartment. Designed with the sensibilities of young families in mind, the basic Switch comes in with a retail price starting at $22,499 Canadian, which is awfully appealing for a full package of boat, motor and trailer. All base model Switch boats come in white with a bright blue nose accent.

Sea-Doo Handle Bars

Instead of a steering wheel, the Sea-Doo handle bars make sense functionally and give a clear link to the Sea-Doo heritage for owners moving up.



The more upscale Switch Sport lineup, available in white with a blue, red or yellow accent, starts with a 13-foot model with a 170 horsepower naturally-aspirated Rotax engine, and continues with 18-foot and 21-foot floorplans each powered by a supercharged 230 horsepower engine. Standard features include a seven-inch Garmin GPS, an inflatable tube holder on the swim platform that keeps wet towables secure without eating into interior space, a rear-view mirror for watersports and a dedicated Ski Mode. There’s also an upgraded driver’s seat with an integrated bolster, a Bimini top, a glove box with dual USB ports, LED courtesy lighting, two corner tables, the aforementioned aft swim platform and a stern lounge seat. The 18-foot and 21-foot models also come with a watertight BRP Bluetooth audio system.

Sea-Doo’s top-of-the-line Switch Cruise model is also offered in a choice of blue, red or yellow accent colour, lengths of 18 feet or 21 feet, and a choice of 100 horsepower, 170 horsepower and 230 horsepower power options. Standard features in the Cruise include a seven-inch Garmin GPS with a free regional map token, a BRP sound system, a Bimini top, a swim platform, deck mats, a stern lounge, four corner tables with drink holders, a glove box with twin USB ports, LED courtesy lighting, under seat storage, corner table storage, an under-deck storage compartment, additional seating and storage, and an upgraded helm seat with bolster.

Prices for the Switch Sport and Cruise models range up to $46,000 Canadian depending on options, keeping even the most expensive configurations still in line with comparable aluminum pontoons while delivering what the company notes is greater versatility, power and performance.

Fun Comes Standard

It doesn’t really matter which Switch you opt for, because fun comes standard in every model.

BRP had all three versions of its new jet pontoon available for test rides at a media event held in the days following its official announcement. Although I’m not the target market at all, I’ll readily admit – it’s a load of fun to drive.

LinQ System

The innovative interior flooring and LinQ system gives the Sea-Doo Switch amazing versatility.

My first experience at the helm came aboard a 21-foot Switch Cruise model decked out with a full camper top and pretty well every available option – including the 230 horsepower supercharged Rotax engine. In spite of this being the largest and heaviest Switch variant, underway it still felt a lot more like a Sea-Doo PWC than any pontoon boat I’ve ever driven before. The handlebar steering and handgrip throttle do admittedly take a bit of getting used to, but it doesn’t take long before you begin to appreciate the design and agree with the decision that this is the right set-up for the highly responsive Switch.

Acceleration – whether from a dead stop or from halfway through the powerband – is virtually instantaneous, with the power coming on immediately, yet in a measured, controlled way. After a few minutes to get the feel of the boat and its unique hull structure, you quickly develop confidence and feel right at home adopting increasingly sharper turns. Yet in spite of its power, the Switch Cruise simply goes where you point it – and gets there pretty quickly as well.

In-Floor Storage

In-floor storage is another smart design feature.

The mid-range Switch Sport that BRP had available for test rides also had the 230-horsepower supercharged Rotax, and in the shorter and lighter 18-foot hull, the responsive throttle was even more fun. Unlike the bigger Cruise model, the front deck in the Sport was configured with the bow set up as a big sunpad, complete with two forward-facing backrests. Hands-down that’s the most enjoyable seat in the house when the boat is underway, in spite of the revealing view of the water through the clear side panels. The sight of oncoming boat wakes does look a bit alarming being so low to the water, but the floating Polytec hull always managed to rise to the challenge and keep the water out of the boat.

Although the least powerful variant with its 170 horsepower naturally-aspirated engine, the 13-foot base Switch – named the Compact in a nod to its trim dimensions – was arguably the most fun of all. The responsive throttle and short hull length make it a genuine blast to drive, especially if you try fishtailing it back and forth PWC-style.

More than any other, this model really makes the most of BRP’s standard Intelligent Brake and Reverse feature, allowing you to – with a bit of practice – literally turn the boat 360 degrees in pretty much its own length. Not much larger than a three-seat Sea-Doo, the Compact is far more personal watercraft than pontoon boat – even if it does require a bit of trim to get it up on plane when you have all your passengers seated in the stern.

The Future of Boating

With its bold look, innovative features and distinctive design, Switch is very much designed and built with younger buyers in mind. In fact, BRP invested heavily in extensive market research in order to ensure Switch speaks directly to the young, first-time buyers that Sea-Doo sees as the future of boating. “We saw a gap in the market for smaller-sized pontoon boats, and an opportunity where we could really shake things up and disrupt the markets,” says Annick Lauzon, director, global marketing for Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo. “We did a lot of customer research to make sure that what we were developing was truly answering the needs of those customers. Two of the key features that we knew we had to address were ease of use, and ease of docking. This is where the decision of having a handlebar-driven console came in early on in the design process, because it's simply a more intuitive type of riding. Anyone who ever rode a bicycle is immediately comfortable with it.”

Lauzon adds that adaptability also ranked highly among Switch’s initial design parameters. “A family’s needs are always changing, not just from one year to the next, but even over the course of a single day,” she says. “They want to go fishing, then later in the day the kids want to go tubing, or maybe everyone wants to go for ice cream and a boat ride after dinner. That’s hard to accommodate in a single boat, and our research confirmed that the ability for Switch to switch things up and adapt as needed was critically important.”

Clearly, the company’s market research was right on target, with Sea-Doo’s Twitter posts about the Switch launch going viral worldwide and YouTube reviews attracting over a quarter-million views within days of the initial announcement. Initial response from dealers has been overwhelmingly positive, says the company.

Built in the US at BRP’s Sturtevant, Wisconsin plant, the Sea-Doo Switch should arrive in dealerships across North America in the coming weeks, with a global rollout to follow.

Different? You bet. But with its bold combination of pontoon boat amenities and personal watercraft performance, the Sea-Doo Switch really does represent the best of both worlds – and in an eye-catching package that’s loaded with innovation and fresh new ideas. With an enormous cohort of young families now entering the boating market, this is one boat that we’re all going to be seeing a lot in the seasons ahead.

Visit: https://www.sea-doo.com/ca/en/

Related Articles

Friday, 05 May 2017 03:54

Following a 10-year hiatus, Richmond, BC-based Crescent Custom Yachts is once again launching new-build superyachts on Canada’s Pacific coast.      

Thursday, 24 January 2019 00:36

This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. When the recession hit in 2008/2009, new product development for most manufacturers ground to a sharp...

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 03:00

Designed and built to cruise the world’s oceans, the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge offers abundant outdoor spaces with the protection of a fully-enclosed flybridge for perfect comfort in any weather.

Monday, 10 December 2018 11:23

While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be said for marine electronics. Indeed, the explosive growth in this market has changed the way we go...

Thursday, 06 December 2018 02:01

Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, innovative Helm Master digital control, and an all-new 25 horsepower kicker – creating what it says...

Monday, 26 March 2018 03:17

Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal found on outdrives, shafts, rudders, and other metal components that dangle under the boat.

 

 

X Shore Eelex 8000By Andy Adams

100% Electric performance available now

When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex 8000 for the June 2021 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, it was on the understanding that we always prefer to actually drive and experience the boats we write about, and we were especially keen to drive the X Shore when BCI Marine here in Canada, got their first boat from Sweden.

There has been a lot of media attention around everything electric lately, especially electric vehicles, but so far, most electric boats are a concept, not yet a reality. The X Shore Eelex 8000 is a reality and a very impressive one at that.

Read More

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis 34.1

 

Beneteau Oceanis 34.1By Zuzana Prochazka

Boats have been in high demand for the past two years and there’s no sign of this easing. Sailboats, that can move with the power of the wind, have made an especially significant comeback probably because of the high prices of fuel.

Even more interesting is the increased interest in smaller models that have been doing well at recent boat shows. These compact cruisers have definitely held their own even among the 50-foot behemoths at the docks. A good example of this is Beneteau’s new Oceanis 34.1, the second smallest in the line. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

Cowichan BayText and Photos by Marianne Scott

Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a variety of places to eat. It also has a delightful Maritime Centre. You can easily spend a day or more here at one of three marinas hosting transient moorage. The place feels like an old-fashioned fishing village.

We arrived at this quaint hamlet on a calm day when the sun burned off twists of mist and created undulating oval diamonds on the wavelets. From the water, the village looks enticing with its dense jumble of colourful character buildings, float homes and houses-on-stilts lining the coast.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...
A study on water levels projects an unprecedented drop of water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron and ...
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
Last month, Canadian Country Singer Brian John Hardwood, released his new single “Rich”, featuring ...
Things are busy on the Trent already and it’s barely June. Mike Gridley sent us this shot last ...
From cottage boats to luxury cruisers, there have been a host of major design changes over the past ...
Thanks to Louise from Gyles Sails and Marine for catching us up on this weekend’s massive parts ...
The marine industry provides exciting opportunities for Canadians. Every month CYOB will introduce ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Unlike a car that moves (and requires control) left and right (and perhaps, if you’re an ...
Our boats are now on the water after a couple of really unusual years – if we did get out it was ...
Last issue of CYOB, we discussed stay and shroud tension and how these adjustments can affect ...
I was recently reading a number of Facebook posts from sailboat owners’ groups, wondering why their ...
Sails are attached to the sailboat rig using several different systems. Let’s begin with mainsail. ...
I’ve always thought that where safety is concerned aboard, it should be the same whether the boat ...
It seems like everyone has their “guy”, usually a marine surveyor they either know personally or ...
Mechanics use a lot of strange terms when describing problems aboard. An engine may be skipping or ...
Full disclosure and confession: I enjoy watching boat failures and crashes on YouTube! As long as ...
As I write this, boat yards are checking over systems, and re-familiarizing themselves with the ...

Marine SurveyingStory and photos by Timothy J.S. Martin

It seems like everyone has their “guy”, usually a marine surveyor they either know personally or have been referred to by another boater (or someone in the marine or insurance industries). Marine surveyors are often hired based on this type of referral, rather than on the merits of their qualifications and skills.

I often hear boaters express their displeasure about an experience where a marine surveyor “condemned” a boat, or the surveyor was viewed as unreasonable in relation to their recommendations. As a result, surveyors known to be less thorough and less detailed in their work tend to be favoured by boaters, especially for insurance surveys. 

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Words of exasperation wafting across a marina often signal a boat owner fighting with a jammed ...
Chatting at the club bar last week, the subject of current boat projects popped up. One boater ...
Books to read while you’re semi-snoozing in the cockpit on a lazy summer afternoon. Some diversion, ...
With Albin Group Marine's new line of Cartridge Submersible Bilge Pumps, Aerator Pumps and Twinport ...
The Freedom LTE-A is a Dual Band MU-MIMO 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz WiFi transceiver with a built-in universal ...
Three books in a series of books by Canadian author Erik Skovgaard. These three books, as the ...
The little darlings can’t wait to get on the boat. Just make sure they have properly fitting PFDs ...
With a bold, fresh look and key features, the new JBL-R4500 is the latest in the WAKE Series of ...
When the twist-type connector was invented in 1938, production boats were made of wood and didn't ...
Luxor Marine & RV products offer boat owners an innovative architecturally pleasing range of ...

News

  • Prev
As bonus of my journalistic responsibilities here at CY Media, I occasionally get called upon to do ...
Professor Charles Spence, from Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, has researched ...
Cut out for adventure and marine activities, the NC 895 Sport offers seriously convincing arguments ...
The Canada Games, held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, are the largest ...
The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (MEBC) took place in the principality July 8 to 13 and shows how ...
Parks Canada has just released an Up-to-Date Big Chute Marine Railway Status Webpage with weekly ...
Groupe Beneteau is launching a partnership with Quebec-based Vision Marine Technologies to develop ...
Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston was the site of this weekend’s Canadian Waszp Class Championship ...
A resistance force has mobilised in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Threats of crowds egging Jeff ...
For more than 18 years since the launch of the first model, the Elan Impression line was one of the ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More