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Sea-Doo RXT 230 Specs and Review [Video]

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Specs and Review [Video]

Besides the RXT-X 300, the 2018-2019 RXT 230 was one of the first performance supercharged Sea-Doos built on the lightweight ST3 platform. Its close relatives are the GTX 230 and the watersport-intended Wake Pro 230, both of which are still in production.

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

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know into this Sea-Doo RXT 230 review!

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Review

The Sea-Doo RXT Series

The history of the RXT started in the mid-2000s when the manufacturer released the iconic RXT 215.It’s safe to say that this ski was a touring Sea-Doo on steroids. It borrowed the hull of the touring GTX line, but it was tuned for high performance rather than comfort.

The legacy of the RXT 215 has been carried over to many newer models, including:

(You can discover each model by following the links in the list.)In this post, we will review the short-lived RXT 230, which was only marketed in the 2018 and 2019 model years.

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Hull

Unlike its predecessors built on the proven S3 platform, the 2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230 enjoyed the all-new ST3 hull. Compared to the S3, this shell was slightly shorter and significantly lighter.

As far as dimensions go, the RXT 230 was 135.9 inches long, 49.4 inches wide, and 44.9 inches high. Compared to its S3-based processors, this all-new ski was 3.1 inches shorter, 1 inch lower, but 1.4 inches wider.

The new ST3 was not only shorter but it was also more sporty since it was influenced by the T3 hull of the RXP line.

On top of that, the dry weight of the RXT 230 was as low as 805 pounds, 45 pounds less than its 300hp brother.

This relatively lightweight design ensured better fuel consumption and a greater overall performance.

The top deck of the RXT was also completely revamped and returned with an aggressive design. The hidden advantage of this new deck was a revolutionary front storage compartment rated at 27 gallons.

Also known as Direct Access Front Storage, this compartment was vastly different from any other PWC storage at that time.

Unlike the standard hard-to-reach front storage mounted in the bow of the machines, Sea-Doo’s new storage compartment was positioned directly in front of the seat.

Interestingly, the upper portion of the top deck functioned like the hatch, which also incorporated the glovebox and the entire steering unit.

This complete assembly was locked with two pull-up levers and could be opened toward the seat.

Thanks to this design, you could simply reach this storage bin without getting off the saddle. It was not only much more functional but also had a larger capacity than the storage of 2017 RXT models.

In return, the former glovebox was replaced by a much smaller unit housing a padded waterproof smartphone bin. While it protected the phone very well, it was quite small compared to the old glovebox.

Sadly, the fuel capacity of the ski was also decreased from 18.5 gallons to 16 gallons.

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Engine and Propulsion

As the name suggested, the engine of the Sea-Doo RXT 230 was a supercharged 1.5L Rotax triple rated at 230hp. It was based on its predecessor 260hp Rotax 1503 4-TEC, but the new engine was labeled 1500 HO ACE.

These engines shared most of their features, but the performance of the new configuration was electronically restricted to 230hp.

Why?

In a nutshell, in the 2017 model year, the most powerful Sea-Doo engine was the supercharged 1503 Rotax 4-TEC. This power mill was a 1494cc triple rated at 215 or 260hp depending on the model.

For 2018, the manufacturer released its all-new 1630 Rotax ACE engine with a peak power of 300 hp.

It was commonly used in the top-of-the-line models including the RXP-X 300, RXT-X 300, and the GTX Limited 300.

Since the manufacturer didn’t want 260hp skis to compete with the flagship 300hp models, the supercharged 1503 Rotax 4-TEC was transformed into the 1500 HO ACE rated at 230hp.

(However, the 260hp version of the 1503 Rotax 4-TEC was still used for a couple of years in suspension models.)

The key specs of the proven Rotax 1500 HO ACE engine include:

  • Type: Rotax 4-TEC, 4-stroke
  • Power: 169 kW (230hp) @ 8000 RPM
  • Inline 3-cylinder
  • Supercharged and intercooled
  • 12 valves with hydraulic lifters
  • Electronic throttle body (60 mm)
  • Single over head camshaft (SOHC)
  • Bore x stroke: 100 x 63.4 mm
  • Compression ratio: 8.4:1
  • Water-cooled exhaust system
  • Dry sump lubrication system
  • Rotax multi-port fuel injection
  • Closed-loop cooling system
  • Electric starter
This engine was matched with an axial-flow, single-stage pump, housing a 3-blade, stainless-steel impeller.

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Features

The RXT 230 came standard with a wide range of innovative features, including:

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Performance

The all-new ST3 hull was 1.4 inches wider than the S3 since it had an extension on the outer edges.

Although the difference in the measurements was not significant, the new platform was noticeably more stable when cornering.

At the same time, its shorter length and the RXP’s DNA in the hull ensured a very agile attitude. According to the Watercraft Journal, the ST3-based RXT 230 was nearly as sporty as the T3-based RXPs.The amazing performance of the 230hp supercharged engine ensured incredible acceleration and a limited top speed of 67 mph.

The RXT 230 also enjoyed the innovative iBR brake and reverse system, electric VTS trim system, and the iTC “fly-by-wire” throttle control.The latter allowed you to adjust the engine characteristics via different riding modes like the Sport, Touring, ECO, or No-Wake modes.

Thanks to these advanced features, the RXT 230 was easy to operate even for beginner riders.The ski also had very good rough-water capabilities. Industry professional Jeff Hammel at PersonalWatercraft claimed the ST3-based RXT 230 to be the best rough-water Sea-Doo at that time.

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Problems

Although the RXT 230 was a revolutionary machine, just like any PWC, it also had some characteristic problems. The most common of which were as follows:

Sea-Doo RXT 230 Specs

For your convenience, we’ve listed the specs of the Sea-Doo RXT 230 in these charts!

2018 RXT 230 Engine Specs

Engine Specs2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230
TypeROTAX 1500 ACE HO, 4-stroke, Single Over Head Camshaft (SOHC)
Performance169 kW
InductionSupercharged with intercooler
Number of cylinder3
Number of valve12 valves with hydraulic lifters (no adjustment)
Displacement1494 cc (91 cu. in)
Electronic Throttle body60 mm (2.4 in)
Bore100 mm (3.9 in)
Stroke63.4 mm (2.5 in)
Compression ratio8.4:1

2018 RXT 230 Electrical System

Electrical System2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230
IgnitionIDI (inductive discharge ignition)
StarterElectric
Battery12 V, 18 A•h
Spark plug typeNGK, DCPR8E with solid post or equivalent
Spark Plug gap0.80 mm to 0.90 mm (.031 in to .035 in)

2018 RXT 230 Cooling System

Cooling System2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230
TypeClosed loop cooling system
CoolantLONG LIFE ANTIFREEZE: (P/N 219 702 685) or low silicate, extended life ethylene-glycol premixed coolant (50%-50%) specifically formulated for internal combustion aluminum engines.
Cooling system capacity5.8 L (6.13 qt (U.S. liq.)) total

2018 RXT 230 Fluids

Fuel System2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230
Minimum octaneInside North America: 87 (RON + MON)/2, Outside North America: 91 (RON)
Recommended octaneInside North America: (91 (RON + MON)/2), Outside North America: 95 RON
Fuel tank (including reserve)16 U.S. gal. (60 L)
Engine Oil TypeXPS 4-stroke synthetic blend oil (summer) (P/N 293 600 121) or motorcycle oil compatible with wet clutches and meeting both requirements for API service classification SL, SJ, SM, or SN and JASO MA2 classification
Lubrication Capacity3 L (3.2 qt (U.S. liq.)) oil change w/filter, 4.8 L (5.1 qt (U.S. liq.)) total

2018 RXT 230 Propulsion

Propulsion2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230
Propulsion systemSea-Doo direct drive
Jet pump typeAxial flow, single stage
Drive shaftCrowned splines, direct drive
Impeller materialStainless steel
Impeller housing/statorAluminum/aluminum
VTSElectronically-controlled through the VTS control button with 2 preset positions

2018 RXT 230 Dimensions and Capacities

Dimensions and Capacities2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230
Rider Capacity3
Load limit (passengers + luggage)272 kg (600 lb)
Weight (dry)348 kg (805 lb)
Length354 cm (135.9 in)
Width122 cm (49.4 in)
Height118.1 cm (44.9 in)
Storage capacity102.5 L (27 U.S. gal.)
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.

Sea-Doo RXT 230 for Sale

You can find a lot of great Sea-Doo RXT 230s on the best jet ski swap sites like PWC Trader.

Also, you may want to check some FB groups and PWC forums like Greenhulk or PWC Today.

If you are lucky, can also find a used RXT 230 for sale on Craigslist, eBay, or even Kijiji.

Takeaway

As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the Sea-Doo RXT 230!

What is a Sea-Doo RXT 230?

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 was a “budget” supercharged Sea-Doo built on the lightweight ST3 platform.

What Year Did Sea-Doo Make the RXT 230?

Sea-Doo offered the RXT 230 from 2018 through 2019.

How Many People Could Ride a Sea-Doo RXT 230?

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 could carry three adult riders.

What Size was a Sea-Doo RXT 230?

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 measured 135.9 inches in length, 49.4 inches in width, and 44.9 inches in height.

How Much Did a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Weigh?

The 2018 Sea-Doo RXT 230 weighed 805 pounds dry.

What Kind of Engine was in the Sea-Doo RXT 230?

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 was powered by the 1500 Rotax ACE HO engine. This unit was a 1494cc, 4-stroke, supercharged, SOHC, inline-3 power mill rated at 230hp.

Was the Sea-Doo RXT 230 Supercharged?

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 utilized a supercharged engine.

Was the Sea-Doo RXT 230 a 4-Stroke?

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 was powered by a 4-stroke engine.

How Much HP Did a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Have?

The RXT 230 was rated at 230hp.

How Much Fuel Did a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Hold?

The fuel capacity of the Sea-Doo RXT 230 was 16 gallons.

How Much Oil Did a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Hold?

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 required 3.2 US quarts of engine oil with filter (5.1 US quarts total).

How Much Weight Could a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Hold?

The load limit of the Sea-Doo RXT 230 was 600 pounds.

What Size Storage Compartment Did a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Have?

The storage capacity of the Sea-Doo RXT 230 was 27 gallons.

How Fast Did a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Go?

The top speed of the Sea-Doo RXT 230 was 67 mph in stock condition.

Could the Sea-Doo RXT 230 Tow a Wakeboarder?

Thanks to its three-passenger seat and powerful engine, the Sea-Doo RXT 230 could easily and legally tow a wakeboarder.

Did the Sea-Doo RXT 230 Have a Reverse?         

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 featured an advanced electric reverse system.

Did the Sea-Doo RXT 230 Have a Brake?             

The Sea-Doo RXT 230 came standard with the iBR brake and reverse system.

How Much Does a Sea-Doo RXT 230 Cost?

The asking price of a used Sea-Doo RXT 230 averages between $10,000 and $15,000 depending on its year and condition.