In its design of the new 350 SLX, Sea Ray strived to make as many seats as possible face forward, allowing passengers to enjoy the same view as the captain’s.
This concept starts in the bow seating area, where Sea Ray takes advantage of the boat’s 10-foot-6-inch beam to create double-wide backrests against both consoles. This provides the opportunity for up to four people to kick back up front; or you can flip up the armrests on either side and install the optional teak table to create a conversation pit. The table works via a stainless-steel chock mounted vertically on the liner. It makes it so easy to slide the table in and out that you’ll be more likely to actually use it.
More evidence of thoughtful design can be found in the aft cockpit. The helm sports a double-wide seat with individual flip-up bolsters for the captain and first mate. The same setup exists in front of the port console, with a twist. With the flip of a latch, the portside seating flips aft to create a conversation pit with the rest of the cockpit. Sea Ray astutely placed a love seat behind it to create a truly circular seating array. The outdoor galley to starboard helps make the cockpit a primo entertainment spot.
Usable space continues aft beyond the transom with a generous extended hydraulic swim platform. Rather than just installing a typical sun pad over the engine compartment, Sea Ray designed an aft-facing seating system that can be converted in several ways. Two sun worshippers can recline, prop up a backrest or push up the thigh rise for more comfortable lounging or daydreaming.
A day room in the starboard console provides respite from the sun; with the air conditioning, the kids could duck in and watch a DVD on the flat screen. The head occupies the port console. Our tester featured teak flooring and a Dometic VacuFlush toilet.
The Sea Ray 350 SLX rides as great as it entertains, thanks to its Axius propulsion and the exclusive Dynamic Running Surface. We took this boat outside the inlet and it handled the mild swell and all the chop and wakes we could find with ease. The twin 300 hp MerCruiser sterndrives pushed us to a top speed over 47 mph, while proving secure and predictable during turns at speed (30 mph).
*Sea Ray’s Quiet Ride technology keeps ambient boat noises at bay.
*Stainless-steel grab rails are well placed throughout the boat, including one for the inboard passenger on the portside double-wide.
*Actuated engine hatch can be raised and lowered without moving anything around on deck.
*Anchor light is electrically actuated; raise and lower it with the push of a button.
*Optional removable canvas shades can be mounted on either console to provide shade for the bow passengers.
*Electrically actuated SureShade extends all the way aft to the spacious swim platform.
How We Tested
Engines: Twin 300 hp MerCruiser 350 MAG gasoline sterndrives
Drives/Props: Bravo Threes with 24-inch-pitch propsets
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 110 gal.
Crew Weight: 530 lb.
$246,481 (with test power)
Sea Ray Boats Knoxville, Tennessee; 800-772-6287; searay.com