It would be embarrassing if it wasn’t so funny. Sea Ray misspelled the name of its new yacht! You see, the new 35-foot triple-outboard-powered Sea Ray is called the SLX 350 Outboard.
One look at this 56 mph rocket ship, however, and you’ll know it should be the SEX 350 Outboard. And that one look will turn you into a pillar of lust. It is what would happen if you fed a Sea Ray bowrider oodles of steroids. The SLX 350 Outboard is big, fast, spacious, multipurpose, luxurious, and the first triple for Sea Ray. Standard power is a trio of 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards, which add up to a top speed exceeding 60 mph.
You can see the essence of the SLX 350 Outboard in the pictures, but there are cool details we need to point out so you don’t miss them. Let’s start with the amidships living area behind the helm. This is a social center, with an L-settee around a planked teak table. The double-wide companion seat opposite the helm does that tricky Sea Ray swivel thing so it can face the cockpit, and there’s another double seat facing aft. Let’s see, that’s 10 people, depending on how cozy you want to get on the settee.
To make these 10 people happy, there’s an outdoor kitchen to starboard with a drawer fridge, sink and, on our test boat, an optional electric grill ($2,535). Burgers anyone? Part of this social area is shaded by the standard fiberglass hardtop with rakish supports and a canvas sunroof.
Moving forward, it’s a big bowrider with wraparound seating. A pair of forward-facing backrests turn into lounges when needed, with clever armrests that fold out of the way. If you’re in the mood for munchies, a teak table between the forward cushions frees foot room with a side mount, and you can also turn this area into a huge sun pad with optional filler cushions.
Lift that hatch between the forward cushions and you’ll find a hidden anchor windlass that handles both rope and chain, controlled by a corded remote.
The helm features dual Raymarine A9 chart plotters that display the VesselView 5 system to keep track of all the systems. The Joystick Piloting System simplified docking during our test by linking the engines for total control. If you’re curious, a single-lever throttle controls all three engines.
A double-wide helm seat offers bolsters for standing (as does the swivel companion seat), and a door blocks any wind under the hinged, walk-through windshield section.
Wondering what’s in the consoles? The port side boasts an amazingly spacious head compartment with a sink, counter and, ta-da, a real VacuFlush marine head, not a port-a-loo. You can even pull out the faucet and take a shower, with a drain in the fiberglass sole.
The console under the helm is a storage area, although our test boat had the optional berth, which provides a bunk big enough to tuck in a couple of kids for naps, or yourself in for, ahem, some adult fooling around.
But wait — as those TV ads say — walk aft through the teak-planked passage from the amidships cockpit and you’ll find yourself on a wide teak swim platform. Unlike many triples, the engines are set well aft so you have a great space to climb out of the water or board from a dock. And there is an aft-facing triple-wide convertible lounger with a design that was clearly stolen from those comfy Barcaloungers favored by couch potatoes. Lift this lounger and there’s a big bin for all your water toys.
This is the first Sea Ray triple, but another to consider is the Formula 350 Crossover, offered with either inboards or triple outboards (about $375,000).
Underway, the Sea Ray SLX 350 Outboard is nothing but sheer fun. With 900 hp under your fist, putting the hammer down will remind you of dragging from stoplights. The response is instantaneous, so be sure to alert your guests that the space shuttle is launching. Once on plane, the steering is light and positive, so much so that it’s hard to resist carving big doughnuts in smooth water.
We didn’t have man-against-the-elements seas for testing, but we found some big motoryachts carving wake holes and ran through them flat-out. Doing so proved that the Sea Ray’s 21-degree deadrise hull slices waves gently into pieces. Every seat has a sissy bar so guests can hang on, but I’d bet they are rarely used.
The SLX 350 Outboard also features the new Sea Ray Dynamic Running Surface, which is computer-driven technology that automatically optimizes the running angle and trim to deliver both speed and economy. Wakeboarders and skiers will be delighted that they can define their own preset wake heights and shapes for water fun.
OK, so Sea Ray misspelled the name. But the SLX 350 Outboard is so much fun and so well-designed that no one will notice.
* Pleasantly spacious head with real marine toilet is appreciated on a big day boat.
* Triple 300 hp outboards provide snappy acceleration and the handling of a go-kart.
* Rear-facing convertible lounges are fun at speed or at rest.
* Inverter powers the grill and other goodies, like the TV, stereo and fridge, so mind your battery state.
* Air conditioning is optional ($3,169). Expect the head and mini cabin to be warmish in the summer without it, even though they’re shaded from midday sun by the hardtop.
Price: $354,999 (with test power)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Triple 300 hp Mercury Verados
Drive/Prop: 14.75″ x 19″ 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 220 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Sea Ray Boats – Knoxville, Tennessee; searay.com