Sea Ray’s 21 SPX boasts impressive cockpit space for a 21-foot boat and an almost unheard of 12-passenger capacity. A closer look at the design reveals the brand’s secret. The beam is stretched to a full 8 feet 6 inches, larger than the norm in this size range. The gunwales are also narrower than average, maximizing nearly every inch of added width. Of course, the 21 SPX is available with a variety of MerCruiser sterndrives, in addition to the OB version in our test. Remove the engine from inside the boat and bolt it to the transom and, when combined with the other space-enhancing features, that creates room for a capacious L-shaped lounge and a huge port bench.
That bench is so versatile that it bears more mentioning. For instance, position the portable seat back to the rear, take away a filler cushion, and you’ve got a forward-facing chaise that proved really comfortable during our day testing this new Sea Ray. Move the backrest forward and you create that old runabout standby: back-to-back seats. Place the filler cushion against the port console and the resulting aft-facing lounge offers room to stretch while watching the action in the boat’s wake. That adds comfort and safety. The filler stows out of sight below a hinged seat cushion, a convenience many runabouts fail to incorporate. All the way aft, a sun pad adds additional passenger-comfort options. Pivot its forward section upward to create a great seat for lounging at anchor or when you’ve pulled into your favorite beach.
Even more room is gained in the bow. Rather than narrow to a traditional cramped point like other boats, Sea Ray rounds the bow in a gentle arc, inviting crew to relax without tangling Top-Siders. Room for everyone’s gear can be found within the port console, below the transom walk-through and the adjoining step, within the in-floor ski locker, and, should you choose an outboard for power over a sterndrive, the cavernous compartment normally reserved for the engine.
Our test boat was powered by a Mercury 150 outboard that pushed the hull onto plane in under 4 seconds with minimal bow rise. We passed 30 mph in 8.5 seconds, en route to a top speed of 46.6 mph. For those that demand more power, upgrades include a 200 hp Mercury Verado Pro.
*Ski locker swallows gear and pads it with matting. Extra points for the gas-shock-assisted lid and rain-draining gutter.
*You can tailor this boat for multiple uses, including water sports and fishing.
*Swim platform provides space on each side of the outboard and includes a four-step telescoping ladder.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 150 EFI FourStroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Black Max 15″ x 17″ 3-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 1.92:1
Fuel Load: 30 gal.
Crew Weight: 375 lb.
$39,111 (with test power)
Sea Ray Boats – Knoxville, Tennessee; searay.com