Sea Ray is a consistent leader in customer-satisfaction surveys. So when it came time to put together our top 10 list, the only question was "Which boat?"
The answer — especially in this era of downsizing and economic sensibility — is the 185 Sport. We also chose the 185 because its style and performance do not suggest a budget boat. It's also easy to tow and stow, thanks to a folding-tongue, single-axle trailer and sub-3,000-pound dry weight.
Not only does this boat occupy a sweet spot in terms of size, it also offers a tremendous degree of versatility. It's sleek enough to blend in at the yacht club, yet underneath the removable cockpit carpet is a tough, hose-it-clean interior that will stand up to years of swim parties and ski runs. Yes, the 185 has been in the Sea Ray line for a few years, but it is the durability factor, proven over those years, that solidifies the 185 as a top choice.
We've found that the standard 3-liter power plant provides enough power for casual cruising, something we rarely say. However, we'd still strongly consider upgrading to the 4.3-liter engine and adding the wakeboarding package with tower. Bill Yingling of Parker Boats in Orlando, Florida, tells us that about one-third of the 185s the dealership sells goes out tower-equipped with the midrange 4.3-liter motor.
The 185 Sport is very much a Sea Ray, a brand that always garners respect at the dock.
MSRP $26,902 (w/ 4.3, 190 hp motor and trailer; add $3,654 for a wakeboard tower)