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Boat Review: Sea-Doo Switch Cruise 21

BRP has created an entirely new pontoon sports day boat with the introduction of the jet-propelled, handlebar-controlled Sea-Doo Switch.

In 2022 Canada’s Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) energised the pontoon boat market with the launch of the innovative Sea-Doo Switch in North America. 

At a glance, the Switch appears similar to other pontoon boats, albeit with a fibreglass reinforced poly plastic (called Polytec) tri-hull bottom instead of traditional cylindrical alloy pontoons beneath a timber/alloy deck. 

The differences don’t end there, however. Pontoon boats are generally outboard powered with a regular steering wheel and side-mount or binnacle lever throttle.

In contrast, the Sea-Doo Switch is more like one of Sea-Doo’s personal watercrafts; it is powered by a three-cylinder Rotax supercharged inboard engine connected to a jet drive — straight out of a Sea-Doo PWC. 

And like a PWC, the Sea-Doo Switch has handlebar steering and trigger controls to operate the throttle and brake — like a motorbike. 

In the US there are now eight Sea-Doo Switch models available. Locally, BRP has elected to import and sell only the flagship deluxe model, the Sea-Doo Switch Cruise 21. As you’ll see, this model provides unparalleled adaptability.  

Build and construction

Regular pontoon boats are made from moulded fibreglass or with two or three welded alloy pontoon tubes beneath an alloy framed timber top deck. 

As noted, the Sea-Doo Switch has a tri-hull bottom made using the same tough, durable Polytec product that BRP uses in the construction of its personal watercraft. 

Above the waterline the Switch has a large, flat, rectangular open deck surrounding by clear vinyl enclosure curtains secured to powder-coated side rails.

The Switch has just the one entry gate — situated up on the bow. Most pontoon boats have two or three entry gates for improved access.

Internally, the Switch has plastic floor tiles or panels laid over the entire deck. This is an innovative tile system where the tiles have a snap-lock clipping mechanism which allows for the repositioning of the individual storage box seats — which assemble together to create the boat’s modular lounge bench seats. 

The deluxe appointed Cruise model also comes with soft-feel foam rubber floor mats which snap into place over each of the square floor tiles. 

Interior layout

As with rival pontoon boats, the full 6.2m of boat length can be fully optimised for day boating.

The floor plan itself is simple but effective for accommodating up to eight people on board.

In addition to the starboard side pedestal helm chair (with flip-up front bolster), there are two large port side lounge seats and a starboard lounge bench seat up at the bow.

The three lounges are made up of nine individual storage box chairs — three of which are corner chairs with arm rests. 

Two more box chairs with folding backrests are located at the transom, between two vinyl padded corner tables with built-in cup/drink holders.

The test boat was also set up with a table bridging the gap between the bow and stern lounge seats on the port side.

As noted earlier, each of the individual storage box chairs can be relocated to different locations within the boat. 

Pulling the yellow lever at the base of each chair unlocks it so that it can be lifted up and moved to another floor tile position. The chairs can be configured into rows — or set up as individual seats. 

At the helm

Almost everything within the Switch is reconfigurable — except the helm station, which is located to starboard, slightly aft of amidships. 

The helm chair (with a flip-up front bolster) is located close to the narrow helm console — which is topped with a set of handlebar steering controls, a small instrument panel, wind deflector and a bracket Garmin chartplotter/fish finder.

The layout here works well for the skipper; the handlebar controls (with starboard side trigger throttle and port side reversing brake) are comfortably within reach.

Overhead, the sturdy bimini top shelters the helm and aft seats from the sun. 

Other notable features include an anchorwell up on the bow, sub-floor storage compartment, sub-floor engine compartment, cleats on all four corners and a rear boarding/swim platform with telescopic ladder. 

With Sea-Doo’s innovative LinQ snap-on attachment bases you can also add Sea-Doo accessories — including ice boxes and extra fuel tanks.  

Power and performance

The Sea Doo Switch sold locally is powered by a 230hp Rotax four-cylinder inboard petrol jet engine — which is good for a top speed of 34 knots. 

BRP has recorded a top speed of 38 knots, but we could not achieve that figure during our sea trial. That said our test boat still felt quick, agile and responsive underway. 

Surprisingly, the handlebar steering did not take me long to figure out. If you can ride a bike, you can drive the Sea-Doo Switch.

With the intuitive handlebar controls the Switch is highly manoeuvrable underway, and at docking speeds. 

Backing up the boat can initially be a challenge as the jet driven hull will reverse in the opposite direction to your steering input — when compared with an outboard engine boat with a steering wheel.

Again though, it does not take too long to learn the ropes to be comfortable driving the boat at speed and when idling around the boat ramp, beach or marina. 

Interestingly, the Rotax engine has different engine modes — Eco, Normal and Sport — to allow skippers to choose between outright performance and fuel saving. 

On the handlebar the right trigger operates the throttle while the left controls the braking and reversing. Release the throttle and the Switch will come to a stop. 

A cruise control button locks the rpm at a certain position so you can take your hand off the throttle trigger. Touch the throttle again and it will disengage. 

Importantly, for saltwater boating applications, the Rotax engine employs a closed-loop cooling system; it does not require an external/outside water supply to cool the engine. 

Handling and ride

The Sea-Doo Switch does not have a huge amount of power, but it is still great fun to drive. 

This hybrid pontoon boat/PWC is incredibly stable at rest and underway — and is smooth riding through bay and harbour chop.

The Switch won’t turn like a ski boat, but I found it to be a lot more manoeuvrable than most rival pontoon boats.

Through the turns the Switch also leans inward like a traditional monohull — rather than outward like most alloy pontoons.

The Switch is not designed or intended to be used offshore, but for inshore bay, harbour and impoundment applications this unique new pontoon boat excels, providing unmatched comfort. 

The wrap

BRP’s new Sea-Doo Switch Cruise is a perfect platform for on-water entertaining and social gatherings, thanks to the open deck layout and the modular, reconfigurable seating.

I really enjoyed my time in the Sea-Doo Switch — as the jet driven inboard engine and handlebar controls provide you with a unique, fun-filled driving experience, creating a whole new feeling on the water. 

Sea-Doo Switch Cruise 21 price as tested $113,990 (including trailer).

Options included:

No options. Sold as complete BMT package.

Key standard features

  • Folding bimini cover
  • Modular lounge seating system
  • Handlebar steering with trigger throttle and brakes
  • BRP audio system
  • Removable vinyl floor tiles
  • Four corner tables
  • Glovebox with dual USB ports
  • 12-volt outlet
  • Four integrated cleats
  • Swim platform with LinQ attachment points
  • Retractable boarding ladder
  • Clear-view side vinyl fencing panels
  • LED navigation and courtesy lighting
  • Under-deck storage compartment


Boat type
GRP reinforced polypropylene pontoon trihull
Hull length
Deadrise (transom)N/A
Hull weight
Weight on trailer
Approx. 1500kg
Maximum power
Rotax 230hp inboard jet drive
Power as tested
Rotax 230hp inboard jet drive
Maximum persons
Maximum load

Supplied by JSW Powersports


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