Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-)
(w/ Currenly no test numbers)

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Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-)
Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-)
Very few companies have had the successful run that Sea Ray has enjoyed with their Sundancer series over the last 30 years. That’s three decades, folks, and we’re hard pressed to think of another series, much less brand that has had such a run in the boat business. As we have said before, the ‘Dancer line blazed the way for express cruiser in American. These family cruisers have all the right ingredients of sportiness, user friendly handling characteristics, and family functional layout. The 310 ‘Dancer may have gone through some name changes, and a bit of tweaking here and there, but she still remains largely the same as last year.

Key Features

  • Mercury Installation quality certification – standard 2-year limited engine warranty
  • Choice of twin sterndrives, gas or diesel, or Axius drives with helm joystick control
  • Double helm seat with rotating base and folding backrest
  • Fold-down transom seating
  • Extra large cockpit wet bar with solid-surface countertop can accommodate optional built-in grill and refrigerator
  • Stainless steel trimmed walk-thru windshield allows easy access to deck area from cockpit
  • Oversized, electrically-actuated engine hatch for easy access to the engine room
  • Standard SmartCraft diagnostics with optional upgrades
  • Expansive cabin area with lots of headroom and storage
  • Gourmet galley with solid-surface countertops, recessed stove and stainless steel sink with solid-surface covers, refrigerator, microwave, and plenty of storage
  • Large enclosed head compartment with VacuFlush
  • Molded fiberglass sport spoiler with LED lighting
  • Sea Ray Owners Club membership (available in USA & Canada)

Specifications

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Specifications
Length Overall 31' 0''
9.45 m
Dry Weight 11,630 lbs.
5,275 kg
Beam 10' 0''
3.05 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 41''
104 cm
Fuel Cap 125 gal.
473 kg
Deadrise/Transom 21 deg. Water Cap 28 gal.
106 L
Max Headroom N/A Bridge Clearance N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Engine options
Std. Power 2 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI Bravo III
Tested Power Currenly no test numbers
Opt. Power Various MerCruiser and Yanmar up to 300-hp

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Line Drawing

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Captain's Report

Captain's Report by Capt. Steve--

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

At 31' (9.5 m) the Sea Ray 310 Sundancer is just the right size boat for many families who need little more than a day boat and a weekender.

Mission Statement

The Sea Ray 310 Sundancer is built specifically for the boater who wants to entertain friends and take the family on short weekend cruises. She also lends herself to the possibility of one or two longer cruises each season. In this regard, she makes a fine "proof-of-concept" vessel to people thinking about moving up into far larger cruising boats.

Distinguishing Features

Availability of Yanmar diesels. Sea Ray is now offering the option of powering 310 Sundancer with twin 248-hp Yanmar diesels driving through MerCruiser Bravo III outdrives. For Europeans particularly, this is a good option as it provides the efficiency of diesel engines with that of sterndrive propulsion.

• Standard radar arch. Sea Ray calls it a "molded fiberglass sport spoiler with LED lighting," but I would call it simply a radar arch, even though with this boat radar will probably not be necessary. Most builders charge extra for it.

Dual dining areas. Normally a boat in this class and size range we see a dedicated forward berth that can convert into a cozy forward dining banquette…OR, we sea a forward berth that can not be converted but there is a table with a bench settee amidships. In the 310 Sea Ray designers have given owners the option of one or the other…OR, possibly if there is a family aboard or a crowd, both could be used at the same time.

Rotating helm seat. Sea Ray caught onto this trend long time ago and were surprised it hasn't taken root in other companies. Normally there is a reversible helm seat which does little good due to the proximity of an entertainment/refreshment center just behind. Sea Ray has taken its double wide helm seat, and allowed it to rotate to join the crowd in the cockpit or sit and watch the action off the stern.

Well-done hull-side storage. It is not often that we put storage on the distinguishing list, but the 310 deserves the recognition. Forward, in the V-berth area, Sea Ray has fitted overhead cabinets in the bow flare along the sides. This is expensive to do, which is why most builders in class avoid it. Second, amidships at the booth dinette, Sea Ray has built in cabinets fore, aft and above the portlight. Again, this is the sort of important detail usually seen only in larger or far higher-priced boats.

A Single Boat and Engine OEM. The Brunswick Corp. owns both Sea Ray and MerCruiser, so consumers selecting the standard power or one of the MerCruiser options will have both the drive train and boat built by two divisions owned by the same company. At one time this circumstance did not make much difference when there was trouble involving the drive train and there was often finger-pointing as to which division was responsible. Today, we are told those problems are a thing of the past.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

It doesn't get any better than this: a family enjoying the water and each other at sundown.

Major Features

The Sea Ray 310 Sundancer is a feature-rich vessel. In addition to its "distinctive features" it also has as standard equipment many items that are not included by some, or in a few cases a very few, other builders. Here they are--

• Stainless steel trimmed windshield frame.

• Electrically actuated engine hatch.

• Maple wood lower deck.

• Extensive use of wood cabinetry

• Canvas curtains for the cockpit.

• Engine room automatic fire suppression system with manual over-ride.

Features We Like

There is yet a third category of features on this boat that that are not necessarily "distinctive" or even "major", but nevertheless I think they are noteworthy. They are--

• Sony brand stereo.

• Cockpit snap-in carpet liner.

• All tables come standard.

• Wood accent on steering wheel

• Battery charger/Converter, 120V.

• Shore power connection with 50' of cable.

• VHF radio with antenna.

• High-water bilge pump.

• Gel-coated engine room.

• 8 thru-bolted 10" ss cleats

• Dedicated storage for fenders and lines.

• Swim ladder with 4 steps.

• Hydraulic trim tabs

• Shower sump with automatic pump.

• 6 gallon (22.8 L) hot water heater with exchanger.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

The 310 layout lends itself nicely to a single couple, two couples or a family.

Features Walk-Through

The Accommodations…

The Mid Cabin. At this size range, the mid berth takes on a more permanent role of being a berth, rather than the occasional sitting room that converts to a berth that we see in the larger “Dancers”. Like all boats in this size range it is the "crawl-in" variety nestled under the bridge deck. I think Sea Ray has done a good job of making what could otherwise be a gloomy storage compartment some that is actually livable.

First, the 310 has wood cabinetry that doubles as a headboard. Second, there are two reading lights, and finally there is an overhead, opening hatch above the head of the berth. This not only lets in light but also provides much needed ventilation.

Salon/galley/dinette. As noted above the accommodations layout of the 310 Sundancer is versatile. Let's take it function at time. First, dining or cocktails: With both tables up eight people can be seated -- six in the wraparound banquette forward and two in the both to starboard. While eight people might be stretching the limitations of the 310's galley a bit, certainly that many could be seated for drinks or to get out of rainy weather.

More likely dining below will be limited to a couple, two couples or a family. Here the 310's two galleys should certainly be adequate for any creative chef. Remember, there is an optional gas grill in the cockpit in addition to the single-burner stove top below. There is also a small microwave oven in the galley. With these three cooking devices, two refers and a small freezer a Julia Childs should have no trouble. With four people sitting around the table forward, the starboard dinette table is opened up to use as a food prep counter.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

The dinette, to starboard, negates the need for a table forward if there is only a couple aboard. Note the cabinets fore, aft, and above the portlight. There is never enough storage space on a boat and this treatment is a bit unusual in this class and much appreciated.

In Sleep Mode. The booth dinette across from the galley converts to a large single berth and the banquette in the bow makes into a large double or queen. These two beds along with the mid cabin means the boat can easily sleep five adults, and possibly a family of six. Not bad for a 31-footer.

The head is to starboard and features a Vacuflush toilet with holding tank and pump out as standard. It is a wet head with a shower wand-type faucet and a

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

Decking is maple and cabinetry is either cherry or maple wood. Note the privacy curtain that separates the V-berth from the rest of the salon. The cabinetry up against the overhead in the bow area is unusual on this size boat and we give full marks to Sea Ray for making use of this space.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

The modest galley features the usual amenities of microwave, dual voltage refrigerator, and single burner stove. The trash receptacle is located under the sink. What is not so usual is the standard maple wood decking.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

The mid-berth is where a couple cruising alone would probably turn in for the night. Otherwise it will be used for a second couple or kids. The booth dinette also makes into a berth. Note the hatch in the overhead for light and ventilation.

The Helm

The helm instrument panel and functions are well-placed. Since there is a double wide helm seat, the nav display is off to port so the observer can do a fair share of the navigational workload, leaving the helmsman to keep his or her eyes focused outside the boat.

Gauges are across the top of the dash with sunshades above to keep glare down. The dash is a dark color to reduce glare on the windscreen. Multiple SmartCraft displays are standard so the information stream is as customizable. Digital throttles are mounted at an angle, and while I’d always like to see them mounted on the horizontal, their smooth operation still makes this workable.

Steering is power assisted with a wood accent, tilting steering wheel. As is typical of boats in this size range, the windshield frame could be a little higher, thus aiding in visibility in the no-wake range, but at speed, it’s of little to no hindrance because of the 5-degree running angle which will have the skipper looking through the glass.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

With a double wide helm seat, Sea Ray correctly mounted the chartplotter over to port, leaving the captains eyes focused outside the boat. I'd like to see a dark color over the fiberglass to the left of the helm to reduce glare on the windshield.

The helm seat is clever. Something rarely seen in a double wide helm seat is the rotating base that Sea Ray installs as standard on the 310 Sundancer. It allows the seat to be swung around to enjoy the company in the cockpit, or to watch the swimmers aft. Often, builders will settle for a flip back seat, something not possible in this boat because of the entertainment center right behind. This is a smart feature, and Sea Ray gets high marks for it.

A Compromise. Every boat is a compromise and the 310 Sundancer is no exception. There are no side decks on her for going forward to anchor, tie up, or to sun bath. The reason, of course, is so there can be more room in the cockpit. By eliminating the sidedecks Sea Ray designers are able to get a lot of functionality into the cockpit, making possible the double-wide swiveling helm seat I like so much and a rear-facing seat to port. Moreover, most boat builders have discovered that many owners prefer the security of walking through the windshield to access the bow.

Sea Ray has done a good job of making wide steps up to the windshield, but there is nothing to grab hold of except the windshield frame. I would like to see the placement of a hand-hold of some sort on to the left of the steps.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

Notice the swing around double wide helm seat. The fold down transom seat is always a hit, as is the integral swim platform. Note the storage in the deck below the kids' dangling feet -- it is for fenders and lines. Note that there is no step-up in the transom walk-through to stumble over.

The Cockpit

The 310 Sundancer cockpit layout is a bit unusual in that to port is an aft-facing single seat/lounger that creates a booth dinette arrangement with the aft bench seat. Add a filler piece and it becomes a full lounger where someone can stretch and sun bath or snooze at anchor. This, together with the fold-down aft seat, provides room for two or three people to stretch out under the sun or stars.

A Suggestion. While this design is good for entertaining and sunning, it is not so good for looking forward while underway (not that most kids or passengers would care). Nevertheless, I like to have as many eyes facing forward as possible when I'm blasting along at 35 knots. Why not have a seat back that swings fore and aft so the seat could face either way? A small fold-down foot rest could easily be nestled in for this solution.

Have a Party. The 310's primary mission is day-boat entertaining and her huge, well-equipped cockpit is made to order for that function. Counting the aft-facing transom seat, eight people can sit in this cockpit while at anchor.

The pedestal-mounted table can be removed for more walk-around room, if that is needed. To starboard is an entertainment center, with sink and storage below, which is one of the largest and most functional I have seen in class. It has an optional 120v electric grill and dual voltage refrigerator below.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

Dining outside is a breeze with the pedestal mounted table.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

An optional electric (or gas) grill and dual voltage refrigerator turn the cockpit of the 310 into a world-class entertaining area for day cruising or over nighting. Check out the clever flip-up cutting surface.

Basic Specs

The 310 Sundancer has a LOA of 31' (9.45 m), a beam of 10' (3 m), and a draft of 41" (104 cm). She has a dry weight of 11,630 lbs. (5,275 kgs), and carries 125 gallons (473.2 L) of fuel and 28 gallons (106 L) of water.

When I compare the Sea Ray 310 with other boats in class I find that she is about in the middle when it comes to beam and displacement. She carries less fuel and water than most, but not all, other boats in class, which is probably because Sea Ray has discovered that all that most of its owners need for a weekend outing.

Propulsion

Standard propulsion is via a pair of 220-hp 4.3L MPI MerCruiser gas engines attached to Bravo III outdrives with stainless steel props. You can opt for 260-hp or 300-hp MerCruisers. Mercury's Axius joystick system is available as an option, as is a bow thruster, so take your pick if you are concerned about docking with twin screws. The MerCruiser Seacore anti-corrosion system is an option. For buyers who plan to use their boats in saltwater and not dry sail the boat, I would recommend this alternative.

As mentioned above, twin 248-hp Yanmar 6BY-260Z diesels are available as an option. They drive through Bravo III lower units which can also have the Sea Core system, if desired.

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer

The boat's wet head is practical and designed for use underway.

Observations

The MSRP on this model ranges anywhere from about $200k to $275k depending on the options. Load her up and she could be more. It’s little wonder that this model has reached the popularity level that it has. Simply put: the 310 Sundancer comes loaded at its base price.

But there is more to this boat's popularity than just a plethora of amenities and features. For example, Sea Ray's extensive use of wood below helps make the 310 look like a real yacht. Wood veneers have been placed on bulkheads and in other areas where some builders would put carpet or vinyl. Further, the finishes and fit-and-finish of the joiner work is quite good.

For another thing, I found that virtually everything on the boat was done right. Where I though there was room for improvement, I mentioned it, and there were precious few suggestions. Of course, with Sea Ray's army of engineers and decades of experience there is no excuse for everything not being done right, yet that could be said of a lot of builders. These days the marketplace is demanding high quality, good customer service, and a reasonable price. No longer can builders get away with delivering two of those three, and Sea Ray knows it.

The 310 can be used any number of ways -- as a day boat for watersports, for entertaining friends and clients, weekending, or extended family cruising. The boat has an extensive option list -- not because necessary items were left out -- but rather so owners could outfit the boat for their specific purpose.



Standard and Optional Equipment

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
Fishfinder Optional
GPS/Chart Optional
VHF Radio Standard
Systems
Air Cond./Heat Optional
CD Stereo Standard
Head: Fixed Standard
Shore Power Standard
Trim Tabs Standard
TV/DVD Standard
Washdown: Fresh Water Standard
Washdown: Raw Water Optional
Water Heater Standard
Windlass Optional
Galley
Microwave Standard
Refrigerator Standard
Stove Standard
Exterior Features
Carpet: Cockpit Standard Snap-in
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Transom Door Standard
Transom Shower Standard
Wet bar Standard
Canvas
Camper Back Optional
Cockpit Cover Optional
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Bow Thruster Optional
Generator Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Warranty

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Engine Warranty
Years 2-year limited
Certifications
NMMA Certification Yes

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Price

Sea Ray 310 Sundancer (2012-) Price
Pricing Range $136,524.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.


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