|Deadrise/Transom||17 deg.||Water Cap||
|Max Headroom||N/A||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Std. Power||2 x 459-hp Cummins MerCruiser Diesel QSB|
|Tested Power||2 x 459-hp CMD QSB 480|
2 x 600-hp Cummins MerCruiser Diesel QSC
Sea Ray includes a fiberglass hardtop and enclosure as standard, with an optional sliding sunroof. Air conditioning is also optional on the flying bridge, but standard in the salon and cabins.
Pod Power and More
Pods have an advantage in yachts like the 450 Sedan Bridge: They allow the engines to be mounted way aft, under the cockpit, making more cabin volume available for accommodations. And they improve efficiency, performance and handling, and permit electronic joystick control and one-touch position-keeping: Sea Ray includes Skyhook dynamic positioning which interfaces with the standard Zeus autopilot. Compared to the 2010 model, the new Sedan Bridge has better performance and longer range, thanks to both Zeus efficiency and larger fuel tanks made possible by moving the engines. So in our book the change in propulsion alone makes this a worthy upgrade from Sea Ray's already excellent 450DB of years past. (Sea Ray designates its Sedan Bridge as "DB".)
However, you can't just drop Zeus drives, or any pods, into a hull designed for midships engines and straight shafts – at least, not if you want to get all the pods' advantages. In creating the 450DB, Sea Ray started with a clean computer screen and drew an entirely new hull – nothing was carried over from the older boat. The 2012 450 Sedan Bridge is slightly longer and wider than the earlier boat, but a little extra means a lot: The new 450DB has larger master and guest staterooms, each with more room around the berths; a larger salon; larger freshwater tanks; and twice the stowage space, including a dry-stowage locker under the salon where the engines used to be.
The 450DB comes with SmartCraft instrumentation, joystick control, autopilot and Skyhook position-keeping technology, all standard. Sea Ray offers a suite of Raymarine electronics, too; the helm will hold two E120W widescreen navigators. A 4-kW HD open-array radar, Sirius weather and a DSM 300 fishfinder are also available.
Sea Ray isn't new to Zeus pods: Several Sundancers already run with them. But the 450 is the first Sedan Bridge to be so powered. The pods link to Cummins MerCruiser diesels; QSB 480s (480-hp; 353 kW) are standard, but power-hungry boatmen can upgrade to 600-hp (420-kW) QSC 600s.
The layout plan of the 450 Sedan Bridge.
The new 450 Sedan Bridge isn't only about power, though. Sea Ray designers reworked the exterior styling to make the boat look more European. The changes are subtle, but effective: The leading edge of the windshield is more raked in profile, with a decorative molding flowing aft that gives the roofline a bubble shape, at least visually. The deckhouse windows are completely restyled, and hull windows have been added to let more light belowdecks.
Changing the rake of the deckhouse and restyling the windows makes the 2012 450 Sedan Bridge look more European than her predecessor. Large hull windows, hard to see here because of the dark hull, let in light belowdecks. A canvas cockpit enclosure is also standard.
Here's the 2010 version of the 450 Sedan Bridge, still a nice-looking boat. (There was no 2011 model.) Despite the restyling of the new boat, we think the biggest improvement in the new edition is the Zeus drives.
Some Eurostyle boats have useless sidedecks, or none at all. Sea Ray maintained its American bloodlines by keeping the 450 Sedan Bridge's sidedecks wide enough for easy passage forward, and protects them with a stainless steel railing. It's double, with upper and intermediate steel rails forward; amidships the intermediate rail is wire. Note the grab rail, too.
The View From the Bridge
Sea Ray redesigned the flying bridge of the new sedan bridge. The helm has been moved slightly to starboard from its former midships position. Moving the helm provides more unobstructed area to port, enough for a double companion seat and extra console space for two nav displays and added stowage. Both helm and companion seats swivel through 180 degrees to serve also as part of the seating aft, where there's a U-shaped lounge and dinette. The hardtop is standard, with an optional sunroof.
At first glance you think you're looking aft, but the helm is at right rear, behind the man, and the arch supports the forward edge of the hardtop. Both helm and companion seats swivel 180 degrees to serve for socializing as well as steering. There's a U-shaped lounge/dinette at the camera position. The 22" TV is an option, as is a wet bar.
The helmsman has an unobstructed view of the waters ahead, and of the foredeck with its sunpad and accompanying handrails. We don't recommend riding up here in anything but dead calm weather, but if an unexpected wake comes along it's nice to have something to grab onto. Note the twin chain lockers; Sea Ray supplies a rope/chain windlass and galvanized anchor as standard. A stainless anchor is optional, along with an all-chain windlass.
Sea Ray usually does a good job with its accommodation plans, so why fiddle with success? The new boat's layout is evolutionary, not revolutionary, compared to the earlier model. The salon is more open, and the raised dinette in the forward port corner has been redesigned. Below decks the new boat's layout is basically the same, with a few small variations. Both boats have their master cabin forward, with a double berth, a twin-berth guest cabin amidships, two heads and galley down.
The main steering station is on the flying bridge, but Sea Ray has an optional lower station that replaces the raised dinette at the forward end of the salon, port side. A guest cabin with twin berths, not shown on these drawings, is tucked under the dinette, with access opposite the galley.
The 2012 450 DB's salon is larger and more open than the earlier Sea Ray 450 model, with redesigned seating. The new windows provide both light and views. The hi-lo coffee table is optional, a full entertainment center standard.
The redesigned raised dinette can be replaced by a lower helm station, but then where would you eat? We'd stick with the dinette and rely on the flying bridge enclosure for inclement weather. All interior upholstery is Ultraleather.
The galley is slightly changed on the new boat, but keeps the upright refrigerator/freezer we liked on the original 450DB. Why so many builders use half-size fridges is beyond us. There's also a pull-out pantry, a recessed two-burner stove, microwave oven and lots of stowage. Joinery is now real wood, vs. mica in the earlier boat. The wood sole is optional.
The master stateroom's queen berth has a pillow-top innerspring mattress, 22" TV and twin cedar-lined hanging lockers. We like the cabinets over the hullside ports, and the shelves either side of the berth for keeping odds and ends at night. The master head is en suite.
We like the twin berths in the guest cabin, better for carrying kids or guests who don't want to share a berth. They will convert to a king when needed. Sea Ray includes bedspreads and linen. A TV is optional, but it comes with a DVD and gaming system, perfect for kids, or guys who want to act like them.
Both heads are similar, and well-appointed, with VacuFlush toilets, solid-surface countertops and Grohe fixtures. This is the master. The acrylic bi-fold door creates a shower area, although most folks prefer a bona fide shower stall.
Cost and Recommendation
Sea Ray publishes MSRP and options prices for all their boats on their website (www.searay.com), something we think all builders should do. It makes boat shopping easier, and even though most dealers are open to negotiation, buyers can price out the boat they want ahead of time, so at least they have a dollar amount to start haggling with. MSRP for the 450 Sedan Bridge is $967,110 with standard power; upgrading to the bigger diesels will add $49,167.
There are enough options to satisfy almost anyone, and to drive the price past a million bucks without any trouble at all. The optional sunroof adds $16,500; air conditioning on the bridge, $12,000. We could do without both of those, really. But we'd like the Raymarine E120W nav package with radar ($19,083); cameras in the engine room and cockpit ($5,000 for both); cockpit wet bar with grill ($9,833); and, since we're spending money, the FLIR thermal imaging camera, very handy when navigating at night or in poor visibility ($15,833 – yeah, it's costly, but very cool).
Just another tough day on the water. The sunroof in the hardtop is a $16,500 option.
If you are in the market for a 40-something express cruiser or a sedan, we suggest you consider putting Sea Ray on your short list.
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
|Oil Change System|
= Standard = Optional
|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.|