I loved the up and aft location of the Sea Ray 47 Sedan Bridge's galley. With the galley up, there's room belowdecks for a midship master stateroom that's as wide as the beam of the boat. With the galley aft, guests don't have to trudge through the salon to get a snack or drink. It's an express cruiser format that combines al fresco entertaining, with room for a buffet, with a flying bridge boat's extra living space.
Need more kudos? The 47 Sedan Bridge's 46,000-Btu air conditioning, the best in class, is enough to keep even a boatload of guests cool on a sweltering day. I found gripes, such as the lack of a limber hole, causing water to pool in the bay formed by the starboard stringer and chine. (Sea Ray says that production models will have the drain drilled.) But none would dissuade me from recommending this boat to anyone in the market for a big sedan.
The 47 Sedan Bridge is available with an optional lower helm ($37,500). But I wouldn't give up the salon seating to get it unless I boated in extremes of weather or hated climbing steps to get to the bridge. The standard hardtop and canvas enclosure, combined with all those aforementioned reverse-cycle Btus, keep this bridge as climate controlled as an Airbus A320. Unfortunately, my tester's canvas didn't fit perfectly, gapping right beside the helm. Sea Ray says it was a trial fitting and that the gap would be gone on production models. Check for yourself.
I also liked that the helm is located on the aft third of the bridge as opposed to being forward. Aft helms make space for a forward settee (which cleverly folds down to create a lounge) so guests can sit and look the skipper in the eye while cruising. And when the helm is positioned aft, the skipper has better visibility when backing into a slip. That act proved no problem for the 47 Sedan Bridge, which is responsive to maneuvering with the clutches. Of course, the throttles provide fun too.
Grab the levers and hammer 'em down-modern diesels don't need to be eased up to speed. And the pair of 593-bhp Cummins QSC 8.3 diesel V-drive inboards proved the point. Despite the 47 Sedan Bridge's 22-ton displacement and deep, 19-degree transom deadrise, the 47 Sedan Bridge rushes up and runs. There was no excessive bowrise. And, although test day was flat calm, experience has shown me that weight and lots of deadrise usually combine to deliver a soft ride in choppy water. I'd expect no less from the 47 Sedan Bridge.