Sea Ray 190 Sport

The 190 Sport is cool, edgy and well appointed.

Something about this boat struck me as different, and as I walked down the dock to get a closer look, it dawned on me. The redesigned Sea Ray 190 Sport has a black-frame windshield. It gives the boat a cool, edgy look and is the first of many things to like about the new 190.

Behind that protective windshield, the driver has an excellent view from his bucket seat with a flip-up bolster. The gauges on the dash are inset into a glare-resistant dark gray molded part that adds style points. To port, the first mate can enjoy the same comfortable bucket seat; a strategically placed stainless-steel grab handle provides security in turns. Open the glove box on the port console to access the Sony stereo with its removable face and an MP3 jack.

Moving aft in the cockpit shows what else the 190 has to offer. The transom bench easily seats three adults. The plush cushion, made with antimicrobial foam encased in vinyl, opens on forward hinges to reveal a built-in insulated cooler. The full-beam sun pad is actually comprised of three separate cushions backed with StarBoard that open on gas-assisted struts. The middle one reveals excellent engine access; the automatic bilge pump is easily serviceable. Underneath the starboard one is a molded-nonslip walkway to the swim platform, and the portside section lifts, revealing a generous stowage compartment.

The 190 is well appointed, but how does it run? With the standard 135 hp 3.0-liter MerCruiser MPI paired with an Alpha drive, we topped out a few ticks shy of 40 mph. Turning and handling proved safe and predictable while carving at 30 mph, which with this engine package is at 4,000 rpm. Upgrading to the 220 hp 4.3 MPI adds $5,538 to the sticker price, but boosts the top end over 40 mph and adds extra oomph out of the hole.

Comparable model: Regal 1900