The Sea-Doo brand was embracing the watercraft industry leadership position in 1995 and product development was progressing at an astounding pace. Two new Rotax marine engine platforms were introduced in 1995, the 717 twin-cylinder and the 787 RAVE (Rotax adjusting variable exhaust) engine. The 717 engine was nestled into the new Sea-Doo XP hull code named the X4 hull that spawned from learnings from the companies race teams. This hull’s design included a nose section dropped down and extended the transom with interchangeable trim tabs for greater surface area touching the water for better handling than the previous version hull.
The headliner of the 1995 line was the new Sea-Doo HX watercraft. The Sea-Doo HX featured a very aggressively designed hull with extreme keel angles and ultra narrow running surface for slicing through chop and a pronounced inward angled gunnel chines to allow the machine to lean into turns similar to a motorcycle with the industry’s first production suspension seat that compressed with the g-forces of a turn to lower the rider’s center of gravity and absorb shock in straight line chop. The Sea-Doo HX was inspired by the dolphin and the design characteristics can be seen in the shape of the HX. The 1995 Sea-Doo HX was the first watercraft to win the prestigious NMMA IMTEC award (now the NMMA Innovation Award).
Bombardier also released a monumental watercraft called the Sea-Doo XP 785, a limited edition performance model featuring the new 787 “slant” engine featuring the RAVE system perfected in Ski-Doo snowmobiles to change exhaust timing to maximize low end torque and top end RPM. This would be a historical model introduction that would go on to be the winningest racing runabout watercraft model of all time.
Watercraft racing would be close to its all-time peak in popularity and the biggest names in the sport were now competing in the Pro Runabout class with the Sea-Doo X-TEAM led by the sport’s most popular rider, ‘the flyin fish’ Chris Fischetti. The Sea-Doo brand was also growing its involvement with the Pro Wakeboard tour as wakeboarding was quickly overtaking traditional skiing as the most popular tow sport. Enthusiasts began to realize they could be pulled by the Sea-Doo GT model watercraft making wakeboarding easier, less expensive, and more accessible to more people.
Innovation in the three-seater category continued to grow that segment with the Sea-Doo GTX receiving a power upgrade in 1995 with the addition of the 657 Rotax engine and first ever touring seat option for a plusher ride. Personal watercraft was the hottest recreational product in the industry and the Sea-Doo dealer network could not get enough product to fill demand.
Bombardier also became very proactive in the areas of social responsibility and boater education with the “Boat Smart From the Start” campaign. To gain public attention boating safety and responsible watercraft operation the Sea-Doo brand was partnered with the world’s most popular TV show of the time, and a show that’s theme was water safety, Baywatch. Many of the actors made public appearances at boating events promoting safe boating practices as well as lending their time for Public Service Announcements for proper watercraft use and wearing Personal Floatation Devices (PFD).