2018 Yamaha vs Sea-Doo vs Kawasaki


Now that we have seen the official release of all the big three manufacturers for their 2018 lineup, it’s time to do a little comparison. With each successive year, we are seeing more and more consumers getting into the personal watercraft scene and with so many options now, it can be really confusing for first-time buyers.

Okay so we could literally write an entire novel on this subject which would likely take up nearly as much room on your bookshelf as your Bible. For the sake of our readers’ eyes and sanity, we will only look at the entry level and high-end luxury watercraft. This way new buyers can quickly and easily compare as well as previous owners who may wish to upgrade. You can always check out our individual lineup articles for Yamaha, Sea-Doo, or Kawasaki details.

The entry level category is called Rec-Lite. This category is mainly, but not strictly for the price-conscious buyer who just wants to get on the water or for first-time buyers. Sea-Doo’s model for this category is called the Spark. Characterized by its lightweight and playful Polytec hull, it is an excellent way to begin experiencing the amazing Sea-Doo Life. There are different sizes, engine options, and accessory options but the price ranges from $5399 to over $7500.

Yamaha’s Rec-Lite model is the EX. There are different model offerings here as well ranging in options and accessories. Its starting price at $6699 is a bit higher than the base model Spark, but it does start out with more storage and fuel capacity. Kawasaki does not have a Rec-Lite category but their closest entry level Recreation Jet Ski is the STX-15F. This can be a great entry ski as well as its heavier hull and more powerful engine offer better stability and comfort for family riding. It is however priced higher at $9699.

On the other end of the spectrum is the luxury category of personal watercraft. This category is mainly for those who have owned before and are looking to get the most comfort, power, and options available or for those who are just looking to blow some cash. For Sea-Doo, this is the GTX Limited 300. Priced at $16899, you get Sea-Doo’s new ST3 hull with its 300 horsepower engine. You also get pretty much every option your heart desires including the new 100 watt Bluetooth audio system.

Yamaha’s top-line luxury WaveRunner is the FX Limited SVHO. Pricing is right there with Sea-Doo and you also get an impressive list of options including a towable single-rider tube. For Kawasaki, there is the Ultra 310LX. It has the highest sticker tag at $17999, but you get a monstrous 310 horsepower engine with lots of storage, fuel capacity, and other accessories.

While we cannot sum up every single model in such a short article, there are other resources that give a generous amount of information on each make, category, and model out there including this comparison article by an unbiased third-party person.

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Brice Leckrone

Brice Leckrone

Brice is a Mechanical Engineer for 33% of the day and a PWC enthusiast for 100% of the day. When he is not at work or at the farmhouse with his wife and countless animals, he likes to be on the water. Having evolved from motorcycles and race cars that go way too fast for a married man, he now likes to ride watercraft that go way too fast for a married man.

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