Gas Outboards lead Sea Ray Boats

2013 sea ray venture 37

test report photo

New gas outboards are slowly leading the boating industry out of the recession. It is simple. They are the least clean power source for all boaters, from Center Consoles to runabouts. Thus, the cheapest power plants.

The EPA and CARB require very high clean air standards for gas and diesel I/O engines, as well as marine inboards. Without the very high clean air standards, outboards look like the cheap way to go with a new boat purchase.

Take an early look at the new Sea Ray outboard cabin cruiser sport yacht named 370 Venture here…

It is not a true 37 footer, however, look at this boat’s beam and then look at this beam from a Silverton Express cruiser 31’ which has a beam of 11’6”, or, the Cruisers Yachts 33′ with a beam of 11′ 10″, or, a Regal Marine 32′ at a 11′ 2″ beam. Note, the 2013 Sea Ray Venture beam 11’ 3”. Oops, Sea Ray’s game changer new boat is really a 32’ foot cruiser with a stretched out nose (bow) and stern. Sea Ray is not alone in lenghting their new models but not the rest of the boat. If you approuch a new model at a boat show and think of it as a 37′, one allows for a 37′ pricing. If you think of a new yacht as a 31′ or 32′, then 2013 pricing may seem high.

In any event, a marina charges by the highest LOA it can find on a given boat, so this is an important ongoing cost for a boat owner. One does not like to pay for the monthly charges for a 37′ boat slip, if the boat is a 31′ or 32′, in what it provides.

Any boater will want to think about slip fees as a life-of-the-boat-ownership-cost, before one buys the boat.

And another thing, with just two outboards on an over 30’ boat, one must keep the boat’s bottom perfectly clean. Most center consoles of this size use three or four outboards to adjust their performance for this issue. That gives an always powerful hole-shot or good acceleration from low speed to planning speeds with slightly dirty boat bottoms. Outboards simply do not make the torque like a stern drive, thus one needs more of them or a perfectly clean bottom.

300 Horsepower Mercury Verado outboards are 158 cubic inch displacement gas engines each. Engine displacement is a good indicator of get-up-and-go torque. This new Sea Ray Venture has two of these. If the new Sea Ray was powered by two Mercury Mercruiser I/O engines it would have two 350 cubic inch displacement gas engines (you can see that you need at least four Verados to match up with two small block Merc I/O engines). This throttle lag is an issue with bigger twin outboard powered / engined boats. Think of the weight of passengers, full fuel, some water, and a somewhat filled holding tank, too, when you test boat. If it were powered as many used inboard boats are, it would have two 454 cubic inch displacement (big block) gas engines. Take a ride with a dirty bottom boat example before you form your opinion on a new Sea Ray. You and I know it will be OK with a clean bottom. They are a good company and do lots of pre-production boat tests. The metal and paint finish of a Mercury outboard is the same as a Mercury Mercruiser I/O. So, if you do not like the idea of a I/O boat, an outboard one is not any better choice for you. Both should be kept on a lift when in salt water while not in use or in a dry stack storage building, but many dry stack marinas will not take a 37o model boat. Their equipment will not balance it properly moving it around on land.

See more comments on this new Sea Ray Venture at the Sea Ray board here.…

By the way, Sea Ray has been cutting back on USA boat building staffing and now only make certain 2012 models in Europe and, starting in the fall of 2012, will start to make some 2013 model Sea Ray boats in South America.

2 Responses to “Gas Outboards lead Sea Ray Boats”

Leave a Reply