Idling through a no-wake zone on the Sea-Doo Islandia, it's easy to get carried away by all the possibilities. Images of warm afternoons, lots of sun, the fore and aft cockpits crowded with friends and family, toys stacked up on the deck, music blaring and the barbecue smoking fill your mind as you think about all you could do with a boat like this.
That is what the Sea-Doo Islandia is all about — possibilities. As is the case with most deck boats, the possibilities have less to do with getting someplace, then enjoying yourself once you get there.
In that respect, the 22-foot Islandia delivers exactly what it promises. Sure, you could ask for a bit more power, a little more top end and better rough-water performance, but if those things are you're main concern, why are you looking at a deck boat?
On the other hand, the Islandia offers pretty much everything you could want from deck boat — plenty of room, easy access to the water and enough creature comforts and amenities to make it possible to stay out on the water all day. It's also an attractive boat that's built with care.
That attention to detail in the Islandia shows up in the little things, such as:
- Fore and aft seating for up to 12 passengers.
- Covered stainless-steel ladders on both the bow and stern swim platforms.
- A companion helm seat that pivots 90 degrees to form an L-shaped lounge with the stern sun pad.
- A sun pad that converts to a couch when raised with gas-filled struts.
- A roomy sink console that features two drawers and includes a 48-quart Igloo cooler and twin waste receptacles with covers.
- Lockable storage to protect your valuables and gear.
- A separate ski locker for water toys.
- A ski pylon and tow ring.
- A curtained changing room/head compartment that swings into place simply by raising the console.
- A shallow "kiddie pool" with fountain built into the forward cockpit.
When you're anchored or simply drifting, you appreciate the boat's layout. The front and back seating areas are great for socializing, and there are plenty of comfortable spots for laying in the sun, particularly when you pivot the helm seat to form the L-shaped lounge with the stern sun pad. The sun pad also features three integrated backrests that can be raised to form a couch or lowered to create a sun deck. There's also enough secure stowage space on deck for provisions and toys to keep you occupied all day.
We weren't exactly sure what the recessed pool in the bow was for until it was pointed out, but once we saw the fountain bubbling, we saw the possibilities. (It helps if you spent a little time with a toddler at a kiddie pool, something I've done often.) Having that feature on board with little kids will keep them occupied and happy for hours.
But while the Islandia offers all of the amenities you'd expect from a jet boat — and some you don't expect — it also suffers from the same drawbacks. Once up to speed, the open and roomy cockpit offers little protection from the elements. The helm area is roomy and secure, with decent sight lines for the driver and easy access to controls and instruments. However, seating areas — particularly on the port side — don't offer much in the way of secure purchase during acceleration. The low transom door, which provides easy access to the rear swim platform, also worried one of our passengers, making him feel like he could go tumbling out the back.
Performance is about what you expect from a deck boat. As noted, the Islandia is powered by a Mercury M2 jet that debuted on the craft a year ago. Available in both a 210-horsepower and a 240-horsepower EFI model, it is based on the Pro-Max 225 outboard, with the 2.5-liter powerhead coupled to a 90-degree gear set. It features a large 7-1/4-inch pump and a four-blade, stainless-steel, variable-pitch impeller with a twin-aperture reverse gate. The pump also contains a control steering system that automatically provides additional thrust when steering at low speed. This is especially helpful when the wind blows, considering the Islandia has a draft of only one foot.
The model I drove had the 240 EFI version, and acceleration was decent. It got up on plane fairly quickly — about four seconds — and topped out at around 43 mph in a slight chop.
Handling was surprisingly good. The Islandia turns crisply for a deck boat, although it does lose power in tight turns because of its jet propulsion. Under most conditions, the Islandia offers a smooth and comfortable ride. However, in chop, the cathedral hull with 17-degree transom deadrise can be somewhat rough riding, though no more so than the average deck boat. Still, the prospect of long jaunts across rough water left us a bit worried.
But, as we mentioned at the beginning. The Islandia isn't so much about going places as it is about the fun you can have when you finally arrive. If you're looking for warm days on the water filled with sun and a lot friends, the Islandia offers those possibilities — and a bit more.
|Standard Power||Single 210-hp Mercury M2 Jet Drive|
|Optional Power||Single 240-hp Mercury M2 EFI Jet Drive|
Non-skid decking; non-slip grab handles; padded/bolstered seating; windscreens/windshield; fiberglass inner liner; 20-gallon freshwater system with rear spray; spa with fountain; control steering system; horn; navigational lights; cockpit courtesy lights; full instrumentation; auto bilge pump/switch; blower; onboard lockable storage; sun-deck cushion; bow and stern cleats; ski storage; ski pylon and/or tow hook; AM/FM Stereo w/CD player; 12-volt jack; food preparation area w/sink, cooler, trash container and storage tray; changing room with toilet; custom-matched trailer; Bimini top; five-year limited warranty on structural fiberglass hull and deck; one-year limited warranty on parts and labor; and three-year corrosion protection.
For more information
Sea-Doo/Bombardier Recreational Products
730 Strawbridge Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32901