by Bob Wonders
American boat manufacturers, unlike their Australian counterparts, put a lot of faith in their ‘model year’, using the end of a 12-month period to unveil their new range for the ensuing summer.
Classic sport boat profile of Sea Ray’s ’09 350 Sundancer.
If you’ve taken the opportunity to read my piece on Sea Ray founder ‘Connie’ Ray, you will have noticed that Sea Ray is currently releasing its range of boats for the ’09 model year, which celebrates the 50th year of the company.
Now, the first ’09 model to hit our shores has arrived in the form of the Sea Ray 350 Sundancer, offered with Mercury Marine’s brilliant Axius stern drive control system, which we reviewed here some time ago.
Sea Ray, of course, is part of the giant Brunswick Corporation, parent company of Mercury Marine, so whatever Mercury has, Sea Ray can have, too.
The 350 Sundancer is essentially an express-style sportboat, boasting sweeping aerodynamic lines and a seamless fibreglass hardtop.
It is definitely capable of high performance with Sea Ray offering a broad range of engine options including stern drive, inboard, petrol and diesel. Standard power is a pair of the proven MerCruiser 496 Magnum MPI and Bravo III drives at 375hp each, complete with Digital Throttle and Shift.
This impressive new rig does offer some innovative features, and is promoted by Sea Ray as having ‘design excellence at every turn.’
Taking it easy...this clever seat pulls down when needed, slots back into its own compartment when not required. - First of the '09s
A couple of features definitely impress; at the stern, pull down on a handle and a two-person transom seat unfolds alongside the big swim platform. When not required, it disappears!
And what about this?
The master stateroom forward has an island berth with an elastic foam mattress boasting an electrically actuated posturpedic back rest that’s perfect for viewing the optional drop down television with its built-in DVD player.
Internally, the 350 Sundancer’s main cabin is bright and relaxing; two oversized windows and a pair of skylights ensure that. First class amenities include deep pile carpet, luxurious upholstery, including ultra leather for the sofa, timber dinette table and flat screen television and DVD player.
The galley is well-equipped, with a full range of appliances including a space-saving microwave oven/coffee maker combo, a two-burner stove and two refrigerators, one regular, one drawer-style. A convenient door gives access to the cockpit which has its own entertainment centre in the form of a solid surface counter top with stainless steel wet bar, refrigerator and an optional barbecue grill.
Sea Ray rates the 350 Sundancer as 'a prime example of the company’s commitment to producing the best performing, most comfortable and easy-to-own sport cruisers on the market.'
For further information or the name, location of your nearest Sea Ray dealer, visit the website, www.searay.com.au
The spacious helm/companion seat swivels aft enabling its occupants to join the party when the driving is done. - First of the '09s