I walked over like I belonged and nobody stopped me.
My stint as a snoop occurred at a recent Sea Ray Boats event. I snuck away from the crowd and walked behind a building, at the bottom of a hill, where a little slough of water serves the company’s Knoxville plant fuel dock. There, I spied a boat that no one was mentioning at the event taking place on the main river at the other side of the Sea Ray’s headquarters compound. It was an express cruiser, I could see, but under cover.
Continuing my bluff, I snapped off the cover and threw it aside with a flourish. I never looked over my shoulder at the guard in the booth some 100 yards away. The boat was badged “350 Sundancer” and I immediately noticed it had a unique cockpit configuration. Can you spot what I’m referring to in this picture?
There’s a reason for that chaise lounge besides the ability for a mate to recline or a pair of guests to sit high enough to enjoy the same view as the captain. The height of the lounge allows for this feature. Can you see it?
Yep, standup access to the aft cabin. Pretty neat aboard a 35-foot express cruiser. It’s also an excellent example of how changes in one part of a boat affect changes in other areas. Every boat is a compromise, as the saying goes. That’s a point to consider when you’re out shopping for your next new boat.
My unauthorized prowl was cut short by a burly pair of blue-suited guys who came screeching to a halt in their golf cart. I didn’t get a chance to snap more pics or see how she was powered (Though I did notice Mercruiser‘s DTS engine controls). Seems this was a prototype and not yet authorized for inspection.
I had my wrist slapped, was escorted back to the gala, and later scheduled a test of this new Sea Ray 350 Sundancer after pressing an executive for details. Look for a complete review in the months to come.
Takeaway: “If you want standing headroom, go up on deck.” –L. Francis Herreshoff