Luxury feels good — and it is perfectly all right to enjoy it in the company of others when you're aboard Sea Ray's new 200 Select. This fancy bowrider will soon be in dealer showrooms, and it is certainly worth a look if you are shopping for a premium-level boat.
Our opportunity to test Sea Ray's new bowrider came at the company's manufacturing facility next to Tellico Lake in Southeast Tennessee. The environmental luxury proved the perfect setting for Sea Ray's plush new boat.
The 200 Select abounds with soft seats, rich-looking carpet and soft padding on almost all of the hard surfaces of the interior. The look is one of stylish comfort, for here is a midsize, fast bowrider that exudes elegance and luxury in the Italian style. The interior reminded us of something you might see in an Italian luxury sedan.
The fiberglass is smooth, the gelcoat is flawless and the embedded striping is crisp. The color density is also first rate. The Sea Ray 200 Select's color palette and graphic design add to the sporting luxury appearance of the boat.
A large swim platform stretches across the transom. The platform is stoutly constructed and affects how the boat handles when coming to a stop. Since the platform extends beyond the hull, when the boat stops, the backwash flows under the platform lifting the stern instead of washing over the transom.
Also at the stern is a large sundeck that extends two-thirds across the stern and is amply padded for sunbathers. The sundeck covers the engine bay and contributes to quieting the engine sounds when under way. A bucket seat big enough for one passenger is to port. That area also serves as a step in from the stern of the boat.
A large, heavily padded bench seat resides just forward of the sundeck. An optional seating plan has the sundeck extending the full width of the boat, with a full-width bench seat just forward. The 200 Select is rated for eight passengers, or 1,100 pounds, but the comfort level is closer to five people.
Captain's chairs that offer a range of adjustments are on hand for both the skipper at the helm and the port passenger. The command console is elegantly designed with chrome bezels and large gauges that look considerably upscale when compared to other similar boats. The faux wood trim also looks better than most.
We have to comment more on the jewel-like instruments that look like large chronograph watches. It's a nice touch. At night, the instruments are lit with a soft blue color. We also liked the toggle switches used for controlling the accessories. They are better looking than those used on many other boats.
Standard equipment also includes Mercury's SmartCraft instrumentation, which allows the boat operator to get a digital readout of all the vital engine functions with the touch of a button. This can be particularly helpful for those monitoring fuel economy, because it provides a continuous readout of fuel use, fuel range and engine performance (all in a single gauge).
A remote control for the high-power satellite-ready AM/FM/CD system is also right at hand. The actual head unit is stored safely away from the weather inside a large glove box compartment on the passenger side.
On the port passenger side below the glove box is a built-in cooler that drains to the outside of the boat. Although the boat has cup holders for most seating positions, the captain's seat did not have one. However, a cup holder was within a small stretch on the passenger side, next to the walk-through to the bow.
The 200 Select also has plush-looking snap-in carpet and a durable fiberglass floor that looks good even without the carpet.
Our boat was equipped with the optional stainless steel watersports tower, which is nicely positioned in the center of the boat's mass. This allows wakeboarders to pivot around the boat without interfering with the boat's stability. The tower was sturdily mounted through the gunwales and anchored to the deck, which takes the load off the sides of the boat and distributes it evenly across the floor.
Several powertrain choices are available for the Sea Ray 200 Select. A 4.3L 220 hp MerCruiser Alpha is standard. Other choices include a 260 or 300 hp MerCruiser stern drive.
Out boat came equipped with the 5.0L 260 hp MerCruiser stern drive with fuel injection. This choice is one we would recommend, because it offers high performance and reasonable fuel economy. With all engine choices, Sea Ray includes a standard stainless steel propeller.
We saw a top speed of 52.6 mph with this engine and stern drive combination. While not the fastest we have seen, more speed is surely available with the 300 hp engine. Still, this is a fast boat by any means.
Out best cruising speed, based upon fuel use and speed, came around 3,200 rpm, which will give you 30.4 mph. At that speed, the boat glides relatively quietly over the water and it is easy to have a conversation with your friends without having to shout. Yeah, going fast is fun for the driver, but passengers are not always enthusiastic at high speeds.
Over the water, the 200 Select is a smooth operator. The boat accelerates strongly from idle and planes quickly. Turn-in is sharp and linear, which makes maneuvering to pick up skiers and wakeboarders a breeze. We tried to upset the handling by trying a variety of moves; each time, the boat followed our course without dramatics. The standard power and tilt steering wheel made it easy and comfortable to find a good driving position.
A fairly deep freeboard means you ride dry in most water conditions and younger passengers will feel safe. The 200 Select's good ride over wakes and light chop is also appreciated.
We noted no pounding over moderate-size wakes. The hull slices through those with appreciable precision. Bigger waves are felt only as a sudden shudder.
If you now have the impression that Sea Ray has done its homework and created a desirable boat, you are right. Sea Ray is a premium brand demanding a premium price for top quality and design — and the company's new 200 Select carries the Sea Ray badge with honor.
Sea Ray 200 Select Specifications
|Draft (drive down||3'1"|
|Dry weight||3,550 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||37 gallons|
|Maximum power||300 hp|
|Model||MerCruiser 5.0L MPI with Alpha stern drive|
|Maximum engine speed||5,000 rpm|
Engine Packages Available
MerCruiser 4.3L MPI (standard)
MerCruiser 5.0L MPI Alpha (test boat engine)
MerCruiser 5.0L MPI Bravo 3
MerCruiser 350 Mag Alpha
Built-in cooler, stainless steel fittings, snap-in carpet, large transom swim platform with built-in ladder, satellite-ready AM/FM/CD player, custom tinted curved windshield, stainless steel propeller, remote oil filter, pass-through door to bow, eight cup holders, Shore Land'r dual-axle custom-matched trailer w/brakes, finished fiberglass floor liner w/snap-in carpet.
Bimini top, cockpit cover, tonneau cover, premier stereo upgrade, satellite stereo, watersports tower, two bucket seats w/full sunpad.
For More Information
Sea Ray Boats
2600 Sea Ray Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37914