PWC Buying Guide

pwc buying guide

Personal WaterCraft (PWC) Buying Guide

Personal watercrafts (PWCs) offer nimble handling and amazing performance all wrapped up in a package that is affordable and easy to own! We argue that there is no boating option that offers more bang for your buck than a PWC. In much the same way Jacuzzi has become synonymous with hot tubs, a PWC is often referred to as a Sea-Doo, which is a well-known brand of personal watercraft manufacturers. 

Buying the best PWC for your needs, like buying any boat, involves making a few important choices:

  1. Determine the number of passengers you want to carry.
  2. Compare different models—rec-light, recreation, touring/luxury, performance, and stand-up.
  3. Decide if you’d like to buy new or pre-owned.
  4. Set your budget and explore financing options.
  5. Start shopping.
  6. Work with us—and close the deal.

Determine the number of passengers you want to carry.

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Almost all new PWC models are rated to carry three people, but not all are really comfortable with three adults on board. Mid-size three-passengers models can carry three adults in a pinch but two adults and a child is really more realistic. Some of the smaller Rec-Light-category models, and some high-performance PWC, are rated for two passengers. A three-passenger model offers seat room and buoyancy to comfortably carry two adults for a long cruise. That three-passenger rating is also a requirement when using a PWC to tow tubers or wakeboarders in most states.

Compare Brands & Models

For a complete list for certified brands and manufacturers, visit our Personal Watercraft (PWC) page.

Rec-Light Models

These are the most affordable PWC models. They can carry two adults (or two adults and a child),  have a 60 to 100 HP engine, and can reach a top speed of about 45 MPH. However, they don’t really have enough power to tow a tube or boarder and they often don’t have some of the convenience features found on larger models. They also have a smaller and lighter hull that works fine in smooth water but can deliver a rougher ride when conditions get choppy.

Recreation Models

The mid-rage offered by PWC manufacturers, these models are larger and faster than the Rec-Light models and can come with more features. Engine options may range from about 120 to 180 HP, good for a top speed of 50 to 60 MPH. Features offered on Recreation models include electronic reverse control, speed control options, performance options (such as a fuel-saving ECO mode), security systems, and optional audio systems. Some models can be set up for long-range cruising with a bolstered seat, or for towing with a tow-line pylon.

Luxury/Touring Models

These models offer the most-powerful engines, with more than 300 HP available and a top speed exceeding 65 MPH. The large hull is designed to offer a comfortable and stable ride in most water conditions. They also offer more storage and fuel capacity than the Recreation models. Electronic trim and reverse controls, adjustable speed and performance options, a touch screen display, a security system, adjustable handlebar angle are often standard equipment. There are models designed specifically for touring, fishing, and tow sports.

Performance Models

Designed for experienced riders looking for a no-compromise performance inspired by competition, a Performance PWC is often the quickest and fastest boat on any lake. The hull and deck are often molded from the special lightweight material, the jet pump is enhanced with special components, and the highest horsepower engine is placed under the seat. The result is not just top speed approaching 70 MPH, but eye-popping acceleration and razor-sharp handling. These are not machines intended for beginning riders.


Buy New or Pre-owned:

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There are benefits to either of these options. If you are looking to save money on your PWC, buying used is a safe bet. Gull Boats and RV has a large selection of pre-owned Sea-Doos that are perfect for any price level. 

If you are looking to start your PWC adventure out with a brand new PWC, we can get you the model that best suits you and your needs. 

Set Your Budget and Explore Financing Options:

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If you are planning to purchase your PWC outright, it can cost you around $14,000 depending on the model type. Make sure to consult our team of experts on the additional fees and accessories you are looking to purchase. Our professionals can help point you in the right direction and help you stick to your budget.

If you are looking into financing your PWC, there are plenty of options and plenty of variables to account for. Reach out to our fantastic team at Gull Boats & RV, and we’ll help get you started!

Start Shopping

Now that you’re ready to start shopping, stop by and check out our amazing PWCs! We have a team of highly professional sales members who are looking to get you on the right PWC for you and your needs. As an added bonus, in the event of any necessary repairs or maintenance, we have an excellent service team ready to help you with your PWC. 

Work With Us—and Close the Deal

If you’ve found the PWC of your dreams, close the deal! 

We hope this helped you get an idea of what to expect when you are purchasing your first Sea-Doo. These are a fantastic investment and we can’t wait to hear all about your PWC adventures!

If you have any questions about PWCs or other types of boats, please reach out to GULL BOATS & RV at 406-549-6169 or stop by our shop at 2601 West Broadway, Missoula, MT 59808. 

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