Sea Ray celebrates 50 years of building boats this year,
The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company has introduced a new pocket express cruiser, the 250 Sundancer.
As program manager in new product development, Dan Robinson helped shepherd the 25-footer from the initial idea through manufacturing. In short, the boat is an entirely new model for Sea Ray, he says, and contains a handful of new design features. First and foremost is the hull design.
“The boat has what we call a ‘new and improved’ hull shape,” says Robinson. “It’s designed to take the weight of a cruiser.”
Because of their amenities, express cruisers often weigh more than other boats in the same size range and carry much of that weight high, according to Robinson. Consequently, many have a tendency to rock. “A criticism of all express cruisers is that they’re quite tender,” says Robinson. “So on this boat we changed the hull shape … to give a more stable ride.” Sea Ray accomplished this by increasing the hull area for a more stable platform, he says. “It’s very rock-solid in the way it performs.”
The 250 retains the reverse sheer that all Sundancers have. A “spoiler” — a forward-raked, molded fiberglass radar arch — adds to the boat’s sleek profile. While the spoiler with canvas soft top is optional, a Bimini top comes standard. The boat has an integral, extended swim platform with transom storage and walkthrough cockpit entry to starboard.
“Up in the cockpit, one of the things we attempted to do is make the boat more versatile,” says Robinson. “It has what we call ‘deployable furniture.’ ” For example, the double-wide helm seat can be rotated to face aft when the boat is at rest, and the L-shaped lounge seating to port can be configured in a variety of ways. The L-shaped seat has a flip-up backrest, a removable center section, and an optional solid teak cockpit table with filler cushions.
“So once you drop in the cockpit table, you have a nice place for three to four people to dine,” Robinson says. “It allows the owner to customize the seating for how they use it.”
The 250’s helm station has a wood-grain finish, MerCruiser SmartCraft instrumentation, and a space for flush-mounting optional electronics. The curved glass windshield has a center walkthrough to the foredeck, while cabin entry is located along the port side.
Below deck, Sea Ray designed the cabin around natural light, air and roominess. “We introduced skylights into the cabin,” says Robinson, noting that the additional overhead ports make the space feel larger. “It’s much more spacious and open than typical 25-foot express cruisers.”
The boat has a convertible V-berth/lounge/dinette forward, a galley to port, an enclosed head compartment to starboard, and a midcabin stateroom aft. Sea Ray used an aluminum frame to support the seating area, Robinson says, rather than a more conventional molded fiberglass base, and this opens up more space. There’s dedicated storage for the solid wood V-berth table and filler cushions, though the company did away with the standard hanging locker.
“Instead of having a hanging locker, it has a dedicated area for a hanging garment bag,” says Robinson. “It allows you to travel from your house to your boat without unpacking.”
The galley is located along the port side and comes equipped with a microwave, molded fiberglass sink, stainless-steel, drawer-style refrigerator, upper and lower cabinetry, and a storage locker with a dedicated trash receptacle. A single-burner stove is available as an option.
In addition to the 250, Sea Ray has introduced 230 and 540 Sundancers for this model year.
LOA: 26 feet, 7 inches
BEAM: 8 feet, 6 inches
DRAFT: 3 feet, 5 inches (drive down)
DISPLACEMENT: 6,950 pounds
HULL TYPE: modified vee
TRANSOM DEADRISE: 19 dregrees
TANKAGE: 75 gallons fuel, 20 gallons water, 18 gallons waste
POWER: single gas or diesel sterndrive to 320 hp
SPEED: 38-40 mph top, 28-30 mph cruise (with MerCruiser 350 Magnum MPI Bravo III)
PRICE: $103,770 (with MerCruiser 350 Magnum MPI Bravo III SeaCore)
CONTACT: Sea Ray Boars, Knoxville, Tenn.
PHONE: (865) 522-4181
This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue.
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