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Sea-Doo Terminology: Sea-Doo Acronyms and Phrases Explained

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Sea-Doos have a language of their own. They are complex vessels; thus, require special terminology!

What do the terms iBR, iTC, iControl, CLSC, VTS mean? These terms can be confusing, especially for beginners.

If you own a Sea-Doo (or are just considering buying one), you may want to become familiar with these basic terms, so you can understand your craft better.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the most important Sea-Doo-specific words and acronyms into this post.

If you want to learn more about the basics of PWCs, you may also find this post useful since it defines the most basic terms and parts!

Sea-Doo Terms and Acronyms

AES – Adjustable Ergonomic Steering: You can adjust the angle and the width of the handlebar based on your needs. This gives you a more ergonomic and convenient riding position.

ACE – Advanced Combustion Efficiency: ACE is a series of 4-stroke engines from Rotax that are specially designed for Sea-Doos.

Adjustable Sponsons: You can change the handling characteristics of your Sea-Doo by adjusting the sponsons. Most Sea-Doo sponsons offer 3 different settings: Race, Sporty, or Freeride. The higher setting offers more playful rides, while lowering them allows you to do more aggressive turns. Beware that you must have both sponsons always adjusted at the same height!

aS – Adjustable Suspension: Some pre-2018 Sea-Doo models were manufactured with sponsons for a smoother riding experience. The term ‘aS’ refers to the Sea-Doo’s manually adjustable suspension system.

Beep Codes: In case of malfunctions, your Sea-Doo warns you with beep sounds. You can learn more about Sea-Doo Beep Codes here.

CDI – Capacitor Discharge Ignition: Also known as the CDI BOX. Simply put, the CDI on a Sea-Doo is the “brain” of the ignition system.

CLSC – Closed-Loop Cooling System: Just like cars or other vehicles, PWCs also have a cooling system to keep their engines cool. Sea-Doos feature a closed-loop cooling system (known as CLSC), which is exclusive in the PWC industry.

Cruise Mode: Cruise mode on a Sea-Doo allows you to set a maximum speed. Turning on Cruise Mode will limit your top speed, but it doesn’t maintain it. This means you can set your desired speed with the throttle lever, within the preset value. If you hold the lever fully depressed, your Sea-Doo will run constantly at the set speed. The main advantage of this is that you can pay attention to the environment instead of the speed control.

Cruise Button: On many Sea-Doos, you can find a dedicated Cruise Button, with which you can activate the Cruise Mode.

DESS – Digitally Encoded Security System: From the mid-1990s, every Sea-Doo came with a custom theft-deterrent system, the DESS (Digitally Encoded Security System). This is a very useful feature as security is paramount to many owners.

Speaking of the system, the Sea-Doo’s safety lanyard cap contains a unique chip. To start the Sea-Doo, you simply have to attach the tether cord clip to the cut-off switch and press the start button. The computer will automatically recognize the DESS key and allow you to start the engine. The drawback of the system is that in case of a damaged or lost key you have to take your Sea-Doo to your dealer. This is because a new DESS key must always be programmed for your Sea-Doo.

D-Sea-Bel System: Sea-Doo’s unique D-Sea-Bel system is comprised of a bunch of vibration absorbing and resonator components. These parts work together to make your Sea-Doo quieter on the water.

DI – Direct Injection: The acronym “DI” refers to the direct-injection fuel system on vintage 2-stroke Sea-Doo models. Sea-Doo released its first fuel-injected engines in 1998. From that year on, the manufacturer has offered carbureted as well as the more efficient fuel-injected models. Nowadays ‘DI’ isn’t included in the engine’s name, as every Sea-Doo comes with a 4-stoke, fuel-injected engine.

Drown Mode – What is Sea-Doo Drown Mode? Sea-Doo Drown Mode is cranking the engine over without starting it. This makes sense when you change the oil in your Sea-Doo as you can pump more oil into the bottom of the engine. Doing it this way, you can siphon more of the used oil. To activate Drown Mode on your Sea-Doo, fully depress the throttle lever and hold it while you’re cranking the engine. After a couple seconds of cranking, first release the start button, and only then release the throttle lever.

ECO Mode: The ECO mode on your Sea-Doo is the most fuel-efficient riding mode. To achieve this, ECO Mode limits your top speed and acceleration. Keep in mind that it results in more moderated performance. That’s why ECO Mode is a great choice for every beginner Sea-Doo rider.

ECO Button: You can activate and deactivate ECO mode with the ECO button on the handlebar.

ETC – Electronic Throttle Control: If your Sea-Doo features this system, it means you can control the engine speed electronically instead of with a regular throttle cable. This results in a more direct throttle response and smoother operation. The throttle lever is also more sensitive, and when released it returns its initial position straightaway.

Ergolock System: Sea-Doo’s Ergolock system consists of a bunch of ergonomic features. It contains the special “racing style” seat, the angled footwells, and the adjustable handlebars. These features “lock” you onto the seat, which leads to better handling, more aggressive turns, and higher safety.

Fault Codes and Messages: Fault codes and messages will appear on your dashboard if a malfunction occurs. You can find the list of the official Sea-Doo Fault codes here.

iBR – Intelligent Brake and Reverse System: Sea-Doo iBR is the brake and reverse system on your craft. Simply put, the iBR is a gate behind the pump that you can control with the iBR (left hand) lever. By lowering the iBR gate you can reverse the direction of the water jet. Finally, this can slow down or even move your Sea-Doo backward. This means you can electronically command it to brake, go in reverse, or be in neutral with one handlebar. That’s why owning a Sea-Doo with the iBR system is a big help to any beginner!

iControl – Intelligent Control Systems: iBR and iTC are all integrated and controlled by one main system, known as iControl. This means you can control your Sea-Doo by just using the two levers and the control buttons. It’s a very safe and convenient feature, as you can drive your Sea-doo without taking your hands off the handlebar.

iS – Intelligent Suspension: Sea-Doo’s Intelligent Suspension automatically adjusts itself based on the riders’ weight and the weather conditions.

iTC – Intelligent Throttle Control: Sea-Doo’s Intelligent Throttle Control system helps you operate the craft easily and smoothly. The ETC (Electronic Throttle Control) delivers electric signals to the ECM (Engine Control Module) so no throttle cable is needed anymore. The other main advantage of iTC is that you can choose from many different operation modes based on your skills and needs. These are as follows:

  • Touring mode
  • Sport mode
  • ECO mode
  • Cruise mode (if equipped)
  • Slow speed mode (if equipped)
  • Ski mode (if equipped)

Learning Key: Sea-Doo’s learning key offers safer rides as it limits the performance of the engine. It’s highly recommended for beginners and children. It ensures that they won’t drive the Sea-Doo at maximum speed, which can be dangerous for inexperienced riders.

Aside from learning keys, rental shops can also request “Sea-Doo rental keys.” They can be programmed according to the rental’s specific needs.

LinQ System: LinQ system switched from Ski-Doos and Can-Am ATVs to Sea-Doos. With the LinQ system, you can attach several (LinQ compatible) accessories to the rear platform easily and securely. These can be coolers, fuel caddies, cargo bags, storage boxes, and so on. Discover the newest LinQ accessories here!

MPEM – Multi Purpose Electrical Module: It’s safe to say that that MPEM is the “brain” of the Sea-Doo. It controls the ignition, rev limiter, and the start-stop buttons.

Moreover, MPEM also controls the DESS security system. This means that if you need a new key, it has to be programmed to your Sea-Doo’s MPEM.

It’s also good to know that since 1997, Sea-Doo started integrating the CDI into the MPEM.

ROTAX 4-TEC Engine: Each new Sea-Doo is powered with a Rotax 4-TEC engine. These 4-stroke, 3-cylinder power sources are available in supercharged as well as a naturally aspirated version. If you are looking for a 2-stroke Sea-Doo, your only option is to buy an aged, pre-2006 model.

ST3 Hull: Sea-Doo’s ST3 hull was released in 2018. It’s a hybrid of the previous T3 and S3 hulls. The ST3 is not just the widest Sea-Doo hull ever made, but it has a lower center of gravity. These all result in better stability. The ST3 hull cuts the waves more efficiently thanks to its a deep-V design. Finally, this means it offers much smoother rides even on choppy water.

Seadooing: Riding a Sea-Doo PWC.

Slow Speed Mode: You can set a “Slow Speed Mode” on many Sea-Doos. Using this function, you can set and adjust your speed from 1 MPH to 7 MPH based on your needs. Once Slow Speed Mode is active, you don’t even have to touch the throttle lever. This means your Sea-Doo will go at this slow but steady speed. You can make good use of this feature in no-wake zones!

Ski Mode: Sea-Doo’s Ski Mode is a great feature when it comes to tow sports. It allows you to adjust the intensity of the start based on the skier/wakeboarder’s skills. Additionally, it’s a kind of cruise control, as it can maintain a steady speed when you’re towing a wakeboarder or skier with your Sea-Doo.

Sport Mode: Unlike other operation modes, the Sport Mode offers the maximum engine power available. Using this mode, be prepared for an instant throttle response and the fastest accelerations. Don’t forget that Sea-Doo’s sport mode is not available if you use a learning key.

Supercharger: Sea-Doo engines are available in supercharged as well as non-supercharged versions. Superchargers force extra air into the engine, which means a ton of extra power and much better performance. On the other hand, they mean higher owning costs and higher risks of failure. If you’re considering buying a supercharged Sea-Doo, keep in mind that a Sea-Doo’s supercharger has to be rebuilt periodically.

Touring Mode: If you start your Sea-Doo, it sets to Touring Mode by default. Touring Mode offers reduced top speed and acceleration for smoother starts and cruising. It’s ideal for riding with passengers or for longer tours when you want to maximize the MPG.

Touring Seat: Sea-Doo’s touring seats feature an ergonomic design and softer surface. This provides more comfort for you and your passengers.

VTS – Variable Trim System: With the VTS you can move the jet pump nozzle up and down. In this way, you can raise and lower the bow (front) of the Sea-Doo. You can adjust it with the VTS control buttons at your left hand.

XPS: XPS is the brand name of the OEM Sea-Doo oils. You can find more info about Sea-Doo oils here.

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