Sea Ray’s 19 SPX breaks from the brand’s traditional bowrider mold. You see it immediately in the edgier curves and molded style lines gracing the hull, but the bow profile showcases the most functional change. Instead of curving to a point, the deck line sweeps gently around the bow in a rounded arc. Rather than feeling cramped, I could stretch out my legs and not feel like I was playing footsie with a passenger in the opposite lounge. Equally appreciated is the boat’s 8-foot-4-inch beam. It adds precious inches that most competitors lack, and Sea Ray makes the most of them. Rather than a companion seat, the SPX offers a 3-foot-7-inch-wide portside bench. Should you prefer the traditional forward-facing perch, lift the aftmost bottom cushion, remove and stow the forward filler, and add the slide-in backrest. Add the aft bench and you’ve got lounging room for 11 passengers, a total almost unheard of aboard a propeller-powered boat this size. Look out, jet boats.
As I’ve come to expect, Sea Ray sweats the details. Whether you choose to board at the bow, forward of the windshield, over the aft gunwale or through the portside transom walk-through, you’ll find nonslip underfoot. It’s also under the removable, center bow cushion, creating a three-step access on and off the boat. Most stowage lockers feature a gutter around the lip to deflect water. The 6-foot-long ski locker includes a woven rubber mat to cushion water toys, yet not retain moisture.
My test boat’s 190 hp MerCruiser 4.3 TKS sterndrive adds more punch than the base 3.0-liter, powering the boat onto plane in four seconds and topping out at a satisfying 47.5 mph in less than ideal conditions. I was most impressed with the agile, confident handling. Running in a windswept sound that would discourage most 19-footers from leaving the dock, I was able to crank hard-over turns at speed without the hull bucking wildly, bogging down or threatening to lose its grip. It’s the kind of confidence-inspiring, yet aggressive, ride that’s a perfect match for the boat’s target audience.
Comparable Model: Yamaha SX190