1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Specs and Review [Video]

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The last model of the popular Sea-Doo SP family was the 1997 SP 720 (a.k.a. SP 717). This model was built on the rounded, 2nd generation hull housing the more powerful, single-carb Rotax 717 (70 HP) power source.

If you want to learn all about this legendary machine, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 review!

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Review

The history of the legendary SP started in 1988 when BRP re-introduced its Sea-Doo PWC line.

This tiny agile jet ski instantly became popular among riders and brought long-awaited success to the Canadian manufacturer.

Over the years, the Sea-Doo SP line underwent three generations, which were as follows:

For the last model year of the iconic SP, Sea-Doo released the ski with a more powerful, single-carb 717 Rotax engine rated at 70 HP.

This engine made its debut in the flagship 1995 Sea-Doo XP, but it later found its way to lower-end models.

Regarding specifications, the single-carb Rotax 717 was a 718cc, 2-stroke twin power mill featuring a single Mikuni BN-38 carburetor, CDI ignition, and an open-loop cooling system.

This engine was the last high-performance 2-stroke Rotax engine without RAVE valves. Due to its simplicity, the Rotax 717 was more reliable than the 787, 947 RAVE, and 947 DI units.

Unlike the engine, the body of the 1997 SP was carried over from the previous model year without any changes.

This rounded, 2nd generation Sea-Doo platform debuted in 1994 and remained in production until 1997. The entry-level SP shared its hull with many siblings like the more featured SPI and the XP-clone SPX.

There’s no question that the SP was one of the most popular models among average riders. It was well-built, reliable, and came with a reasonable price tag. It was also cheap and easy to maintain even at home.

Unlike its underpowered predecessors, the SP 720 provided good performance, making the model more desirable even for performance-minded buyers.

Standard features of the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 included:

  • Electric start
  • Tether cord
  • Fuel valve
  • Fuel tank reverse
  • Overheating warning device
  • Docking eyelets
  • Bilge drain plugs
  • Storage compartment
  • Electric fuel level gauge
  • Injection oil low-level warning device
  • Tool kit

The 1997 SP 720 was the last model of the popular Sea-Doo SP series. After this season, the Canadian manufacturer dropped this family to make room for more advanced models.

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Specs Chart

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 specifications into these charts!

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Dimensions

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720Dimensions and Capacities
Number of passengers1 operator and 1 passenger
Overall length254 cm (100 in)
Overall width105 cm (41.5 in)
Overall height92 cm (36.2 in)
Weightna
Load limit160 kg (352 lb)
Hull MaterialComposite (fiberglass)
Fuel tank34 L (9 US gal)
Impeller shaft reservoir - Capacity90 mL (3 US oz)
Impeller shaft reservoir - Oil level heightup to plug
Injection oil reservoir4.5 L (1.2 US gal.)

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Engine Specs

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720Engine Specs
Engine type Rotax 717, 2-stroke
Induction type Rotary valve
Exhaust system Water cooled/water injected
Lubrication - type Oil injection
Lubrication - oil typeSea-Doo Injection Oil
Number of cylinders 2
Displacement 718 cm3 (43.81 in3)
Maximum Power (approximately)70 HP
RPM Limiter Operation @5900 RPM ± 50
Cooling TypeWater cooled, total loss type - Direct flow from propulsion unit
Overheating Beeper, Switch On @na
Fuel - typeRegular unleaded gasoline
Carburetor - type and numberMikuni BN 38, Diaphragm type - Quantity : 1

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Propulsion

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720Propulsion
Propulsion systemBombardier Formula pump
Jet pump typeAxial flow, single stage
TransmissionDirect drive
Coupling Typena
Impeller shaft reservoir oil typeSea-Doo synthetic polyolester oil 75W90 GL5
Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)~ 26°
Pivoting angle of variable trim systemna
Minimum required water level for jet pump90 cm (3 ft)
Impeller Diameterna

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Electrical Features

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720Electrical Features
Magneto generator output160 W @ 6000 RPM
Ignition system type Capacitor Discharge Ignition (Breakerless)
Spark plug - Make and typeNGK BR7ES
Spark plug - Gap0.5 - 0.6 mm (0.020-0.024 in)
Starting systemElectric starter
Battery12 V, 19 A
Starting system Fuse 5 A
Charging system Fuse15 A

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Performance

1997 Sea-Doo SP 720Performance
Horsepower70 HP
Cruising time at full throttle - Fuel tank without reserve~ 45 minutes
Cruising time at full throttle - Fuel tank reserve~ 9 minutes
Maximum Speed *46-48 mph
* Top speed may vary depending on operator and passenger weight, water conditions, wind, current, altitude etc.

These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

Vintage 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 For Sale

If you are considering purchasing one, you probably want to know where to find a Sea-Doo SP 720 for sale. As this model vanished from the market in 1997, it’s already a collectible item, so finding one is not an easy task!

We recommend that you start your research on dedicated Sea-Doo forums and Facebook fan groups. Aside from some good deals, you may find some valuable info there about this ski.

Besides these sources, you may also find some used 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720s for sale on Craigslist, PWC Trader, and other dedicated jet ski swap sites.

Takeaway

As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720!

What is a Sea-Doo SP 720?

The Sea-Doo SP 720 was an entry-level 2-seater Sea-Doo powered by a Rotax 717 engine.

What Year did Sea-Doo Make the SP 720?

Sea-Doo marketed the Sea-Doo SP 720 only in the 1997 model year.

How Many People Could Ride a 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720?

The tiny 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 was rated for two riders, but riding with a passenger on this Sea-Doo was virtually impossible!

What Size was the Sea-Doo SP 720?

The Sea-Doo SP 720 was 100 inches long, 41.5 inches wide, and 36.2 inches high.

What Kind of Engine Did the Sea-Doo SP 720 Have?

The engine of the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 was a 718cc, 2-stroke, single-carb Rotax 717 twin power source.

How Much Horsepower Did a Sea-Doo SP 720 Have?

The 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 provided 70 HP at 5900 RPM.

Did the Sea-Doo SP 720 Have Reverse?

No, the Sea-Doo SP 720 wasn’t equipped with manual reverse.

How Much Weight Could a 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Hold?

The total weight capacity of the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 was 352 pounds.

How Much Fuel Did a Sea-Doo SP 720 Hold?

The Sea-Doo SP 720 utilized a 9-gallon fuel tank.

How Much Fuel Did a Sea-Doo SP 720 Use?

The 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 fuel consumption was about 6.2 GPH at WOT.

Could the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

No, the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 wasn’t recommended for tow sports.

How Fast Did a 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Go?

The top speed of a single-carb 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 was 46-48 mph in stock condition.

Was a 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 a 2-Stroke Ski?

Yes, the 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 utilized a 2-stroke twin engine.

How Much is a 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720 Worth?

It’s hard to tell the exact price of a 1997 Sea-Doo SP 720, as it strongly depends on its year, condition, and location. But as a rule of thumb, the prices typically range from $500 up to $2,000.

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