Supersize bowriders are for social butterflies, a fact Sea Ray clearly emphasizes aboard the crowd-friendly 310 SLX. Split the party between the adult-proportioned bow cockpit, doublewide helm and passenger seats, L-shaped cockpit bench and one more perch behind the helm. Nose up to the sandbar and the stern competes for attention with a 5-foot-4-inch by 3-foot-2-inch sun pad with a full backrest, inviting swim platform and optional yacht-style, submersible swim platform. Seating is decidedly upscale, covered in rich three-tone vinyl with exquisite detail stitching and flanked by leather-wrapped stainless-steel grab handles. The starboard wet bar comes standard. A generous port-console head compartment with 4 feet 6 inches of headroom, stainless-steel sink and standard VacuFlush toilet is ready for those who need to make use of the facilities before the clock strikes midnight.
Behind the big, comfy-couch trappings, Sea Ray embraces plenty of tech. Turn the key and the seemingly barren dash comes alive with Sea Ray’s Dynamic Display, a pair of 12- and 7-inch Medallion-designed color touchscreens that provide navigation and vessel data and eliminate nearly all switches from the dash. SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) offers precision control of engines and shifting, and the optional Axius joystick control makes virtually anyone an old salt at docking. Even the hull can be tech-enhanced. The optional Dynamic Running Surface features two large, triangular trim plates flush-mounted into the aft corners of the hull. Using a combination of GPS data, gyroscopes, accelerometers and software, the tabs adjust to reduce bow rise, improve acceleration, find the most efficient running angle, or even shape and size wakes for wakeboarding and skiing. Manual override keeps things sane for captains who prefer total control.
Our test boat was powered by a pair of Mercury’s newest 250 hp MerCruiser 4.5-liter engines, matched to Bravo Three drives. The pair powered the 310 onto plane in 5.3 seconds and reached 30 mph in 11.5 seconds. Activating the ride-enhancing, wake-shaping Dynamic Running Surface, we bested our time to 30 mph by a second. Underway, Sea Ray’s Quiet Ride technology, a system of acoustic insulation, vibration-dampening materials and careful design choices, kept noise levels to 80 decibels at an economical 28 mph cruise, never drowning out the guests.
Comparable Model: Cobalt R30