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1993-2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Specs and Review

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The weird Sea-Doo Explorer was a mix of a center console RIB boat and a jet ski. It was a lot like the Kawasaki Jet Mate, but it also showed similarities to the latest Sealver RIB WaveBoats. The jet-powered Sea-Doo Explorer was marketed from 1993 through 1997 and in the 2002 model year.

If you want to find out more about this unique Sea-Doo vessel, you’ve come to the right place.

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

1993-2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Review

The history of the Sea-Doo Explorer goes back to the early ‘90s.

At that time, Sea-Doo manufactured both jet skis and various jet boats, so the idea came up: why not combine them into one vessel?

The competitor Kawasaki was also marketing a unique watercraft known as the Jet Mate (1989-1992). This vessel was a small jet boat, but thanks to special controls and a nimble hull, it offered a jet-ski-like riding experience.

There’s no question that this Japanese competitor heavily influenced the Sea-Doo Explorer!

As a result of careful designing and engineering, the Explorer was revealed for the 1993 model year.

Over the years, this model was marketed with three different engine options, which were as follows:

  • 1993 Sea-Doo Explorer: Rotax 587 (580cc, 56 HP)
  • 1994-1996 Sea-Doo Explorer: Rotax 657 (650cc, 70 HP)
  • 1997 & 2002 Sea-Doo Explorer: Rotax 717 (718cc, 85 HP)

This weird vessel was actually a jet-powered RIB boat featuring a jet-ski-like seat and controls.

It was built on a lightweight fiberglass hull surrounded by an inflatable tube, like any ordinary RIB boat. This durable tube was made of a special composite material that consisted of neoprene, hypalon, and polyester reinforcements.

Regarding dimensions, the Sea-Doo Explorer measured 155.9 inches in length, 81.1 inches in width, and 46.8 inches in height.

The most exciting part of the vessel was a unique center console unit that was similar to the top deck of a regular jet ski. A motorcycle-like handlebar and the thumb-throttle were mounted on a fixed handlepole. The latter also housed the dash panel, navigation lights, and an electric fuel gauge with a low-oil warning light.

Behind this handlepole, there was a jet-ski-like saddle instead of a regular boat seat. Like most runabout PWCs, the engine compartment was placed beneath the saddle.

The power source of the 1993 Sea-Doo Explorer was a “Silver Rotax 587” engine, inherited from the first-generation 1992 Sea-Doo XP. This 2-stroke, 580cc twin featured dual Mikuni carbs, open-loop water cooling, CDI ignition, and a variable rate oil injection system.

Thanks to these advanced features, the 1993 Sea-Doo Explorer produced 56 HP at 6250 RPM.

Engine power was delivered towards a Bombardier Formula jet pump. This axial-flow, single-stage pump housed a direct-driven impeller and produced a maximum torque of 65 Nm (48 lbf·ft).

Although this performance was more than enough for the tiny XP, it proved to be underpowered in the heavy Explorer.

This was no surprise, as the 1993 XP’s dry weight was 365 pounds, while the Sea-Doo Explorer weighed 655 pounds. On top of that, the latter was rated for one operator and four passengers and had a total weight limit of 1050 pounds.

As you can imagine, getting on plane a fully-loaded Explorer was hard to impossible. Even with one operator and minimal luggage on board, the boat had trouble hitting a moderate top speed of 30 mph.

The boat’s fuel consumption was about 6 GPH at WOT, so its 12.6-gallon fuel tank offered a cruising time of two hours. It was also equipped with an oil reservoir with a capacity of 95 U.S. fl.oz

Luggage and gear could be stored under the front seat and the rear seat bench. Although the boat didn’t come with a reboarding ladder, it had a reasonably-sized swim platform that made reboarding much easier.

Unlike regular PWCs, the Explorer came with navigation lights, making it legal to even run at night.

Keeping safety in mind, the boat was also equipped with a bilge blower or fan. This air blower was intended to vent the engine compartment to remove flammable fumes and avoid explosion accidents.

The boat also featured a manual reverse system, including a reverse gate behind the jet nozzle and a reverse handle on the dash.

Other standard features on the Sea-Doo Explorer were as follows:

  • Dashboard (fuel valve, choke knob, safety switch, air blower switch)
  • Electric fuel level gauge (with low-oil warning light)
  • Tether cord
  • Handlebar-mounted start/stop button
  • Overheating beeper
  • Grab handles
  • Bow and stern eyes
  • Bilge drain plugs
  • Reboarding platform
  • Underseat storages
  • Manual Reverse
  • Bilge blower
  • Navigation lights

Sadly, due to its underpowered engine and poor hull design, the 1993 Explorer never become popular,

especially because there were several more attractive offers on the market, including:

  • Bayliner Jazz (MSRP: $7,995)
  • Boston Wahler Rage (MSRP: $9,995)
  • Chris-Craft Caper (MSRP: $10,695)
  • Excel 16DX (MSRP: $8,995)
  • Sea Rayder (MSRP: $7,995)

The main rival of the Sea-Doo explorer was the Excel 15DX, since both boats were offered at the same MSRP of $8,995.

To make the gawky Explorer more appealing, Sea-Doo redesigned its hull and engine for the 2004 model year.

Thanks to this new hull design, the 1994 model handled much better than its predecessor. Even though the boat’s dry weight jumped up to 710 pounds, it got on plane more easily and turned like a dream.

What’s more, the ’94 Explorer got a more advanced Rotax 657 power source borrowed from the 1993 Sea-Doo XP 650. This proven 650cc, 2-stroke twin cranked out 70 HP at 7,000 RPM and propelled the boat up to 33-35 mph under ideal conditions.

This engine configuration remained in production until 1997 when the model saw another engine upgrade.

The new power source of the Explorer was a Rotax 717 engine, which was also used in the 3rd-generation 1995 Sea-Doo XP 720.

This 718cc, 2-stroke twin cranked out 85 HP at 7,000 RPM and increased the top speed of the 1997 Sea-Doo Explorer into the 40+ mph range.

To the greatest regret of fans, the Explorer was discontinued after the 1997 season. The model made a final comeback in 2002 before it permanently disappeared from the market.

2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Specs Chart

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the most advanced 2002 Sea-Doo Explorer specifications into these charts!

2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Dimensions

2002 Sea-Doo ExplorerDimensions and Capacities
Number of passengers 1 operator and 4 passengers
Overall length 396 cm (155.9 in)
Overall width 206 cm (81.1 in)
Overall height 132 cm (52 in)
Weight (dry)323 kg (711 lb)
Load limit (passengers + luggage) 475 kg (1045 lb)
Hull material Composite (fiberglass)
Tube material Neoprene, hypalon, polyester reinforced
Fuel tank 48 L (12.6 U.S. gal)
Impeller shaft reservoir Capacity90 mL (3 U.S. oz)
Impeller shaft reservoir Oil level Up to plug
Injection oil reservoir 4.5 L (153 U.S. fl. oz)

2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Engine Specs

2002 Sea-Doo ExplorerEngine Specs
Engine typeBombardier-Rotax 717, 2-stroke
Induction typeRotary valve
Exhaust system Water cooled/water injected
Lubrication TypeOil injection
Lubrication Oil type BOMBARDIER Formula XP-S synthetic injection oil (or equivalent) OR BOMBARDIER injection oil (or equivalent)
Number of cylinders 2
Displacement 718 cm3 (43.81 in3)
Rev limiter setting7000 RPM (+100, - 50)
Cooling Type Water cooled, total loss type. Direct flow from propulsion unit.
Fuel type Regular unleaded gasoline
Carburetor Single diaphragm type with accelerator pump, quantity: 1

2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Propulsion

2002 Sea-Doo ExplorerPropulsion
Propulsion system Bombardier Formula Jet Pump
Jet pump type Axial flow, single stage
TransmissionDirect drive
Impeller shaft reservoir oil type SEA-DOO synthetic polyolester oil 75W90 GL5 gear oil
Pivoting angle of direction (nozzle)~ 26°
Minimum required water level for jet pump90 cm (3 ft)

2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Electrical Features

2002 Sea-Doo ExplorerElectrical Features
Magneto generator output 160 W @ 6000 RPM
Ignition system type Capacitor discharge ignition (CDI)
Spark plug Make and typeNGK, BR8ES
Spark plug Gap 0.5 - 0.6 mm (.020 - .024 in)
Starting system Electric starter
Battery 12 V, 19 A
Fuse - Starting system5 A
Fuse - Charging system15 A
Fuse - Lights and auxiliary system7.5 A
Fuse - Blower system7.5 A

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

Sea-Doo Explorer For Sale

If you are considering purchasing one, you probably want to know where to find a Sea-Doo Explorer for sale. As this model vanished from the market in 2002, it’s already a collectible item, so finding one is not an easy task!

We recommend that you start your research on dedicated vintage 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 Sea-Doo Explorers 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 1993-2002 Sea-Doo Explorer!

What is a Sea-Doo Explorer?

The Sea-Doo Explorer was a unique jet ski-boat conversion manufactured by the Canadian Bombardier. This unique boat was built on a V-shaped RIB hull, but utilized a special center console that looked like the top deck of a jet ski.

What Year did Bombardier Make the Sea-Doo Explorer?

The Sea-Doo Explorer was marketed from 1993 through 1997 and in the 2002 model year.

What Kind of Engine Did the Sea-Doo Explorer Have?

The Sea-Doo Explorer was manufactured with three different engine options, including:

  • 1993 Sea-Doo Explorer: “White” Rotax 587 (580cc)
  • 1994-1996 Sea-Doo Explorer: Rotax 657 (650cc)
  • 1997 & 2002 Sea-Doo Explorer: Rotax 717 (718cc)

How Much Horsepower Did a Sea-Doo Explorer Have?

Sea-Doo Explorers offered 56-85 HP depending on the model:

  • 1993 Sea-Doo Explorer: 56 HP
  • 1994-1996 Sea-Doo Explorer: 70 HP
  • 1997 & 2002 Sea-Doo Explorer: 85 HP

How Fast Did a Sea-Doo Explorer Go?

The top speeds of various Sea-Doo Explorers were as follows:

  • 1993 Sea-Doo Explorer: 28-30 MPH
  • 1994-1996 Sea-Doo Explorer: 33-35 MPH
  • 1997 & 2002 Sea-Doo Explorer: 38-40 HP

Could the Sea-Doo Explorer Tow a Skier or a Wakeboarder?

The 1994-2002 Sea-Doo Explorers could tow a skier or a wakeboarder, but towing with the underpowered ’93 model was hard to impossible.

How Many People Could Ride a Sea-Doo Explorer?

The Sea-Doo Explorer was rated for one operator and four passengers.

How Much Weight Could a Sea-Doo Explorer Hold?

The total weight capacity of the Sea-Doo Explorer was 1050 pounds.

What Size was the Sea-Doo Explorer?

The Sea-Doo Explorer was 155.9 inches long, 81.1 inches wide, and 46.8 inches high.

How Much Did a Sea-Doo Explorer Weigh?

The dry weight of the 1993 Sea-Doo Explorer was 655 pounds, while the 1994-2002 models weighed 710 pounds.

Did the Sea-Doo Explorer Have Reverse?

Yes, the Sea-Doo Explorer was manufactured with manual reverse.

Was a Sea-Doo Explorer a 2-Stroke Boat?

Yes, the Sea-Doo Explorer utilized a Rotax 2-stroke twin engine.

How Much Fuel Did a Sea-Doo Explorer Hold?

The Sea-Doo Explorer utilized a 12.6-gallon fuel tank.

How Much is a 1998-2002 Sea-Doo Explorer Worth?

It’s hard to tell the exact price of a Sea-Doo Explorer, as it strongly depends on its year, condition, and location. But as a rule of thumb, the prices typically range from $2,000 up to $12,000.

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