|Deadrise/Transom||19 deg.||Water Cap||
|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.|
|Std. Power||2 x 425-hp Cummins MerCruiser QSB 425|
|Tested Power||2 x 459-hp Cummins MerCruiser QSB 480|
2 x 480-hp Cummins MerCruiser QSB 480
Some boats look like they're going fast even when the anchor's down. A wet bar aft with lots of seating both under cover and on the transom makes the boat a fun place to hang out for the whole crew, adults and kids alike.
Technology Takes Commitment
When the age of pod drives and joysticks arrived on the boating scene several years ago Sea Ray was one builder into testing the concept. A sea change was underway in the competitive diesel-powered class of boats that ran roughtly from 35'- 45'. Converting to pods takes more than just changing the drivetrain: it necessitates a completely new hull drawn specifically for the different engine placement, and, usually, an accompanying change in the center of gravity.
The 470 Sundancer's helm station has space for two large touch screens directly in front of the wheel, vessel view to port of the wheel and switches located on the lower dash. Note how the joystick is positioned. This is unusual placement -- but, considering it is needed most when you are backing into a slip -- and the skipper is stanfind, facing aft -- we think its location is inspired.
And a new hull means new tooling (expensive) and new engineering (also expensive); since the pod-based drivetrain takes slightly less room than V-drives (used in earlier Sundancers), it also allows larger accommodations down below. In short, switching to pods isn't something a boatbuilder takes lightly, and the company has to be willing to make a serious investment in time, money and manpower.
There's seating around the helm, under cover of the fiberglass hardtop, and aft in the open air. A cockpit wet bar is standard, as is an icemaker. We think most buyers will add the optional grill and refrigerator in lieu of the icemaker too. A cockpit TV/DVD is also available.
In creating the 470 Sundancer, Sea Ray designers drew a deep-V hull with tunnels in the afterbody for mounting the Zeus pods vertically, despite the hull's deadrise. (The top of the tunnel has zero deadrise; this is Zeus recommended practice.) This increases efficiency and performance, according to Sea Ray, while reducing draft and protecting the pods by the hull deflecting debris down and away from the drives. (At least, you hope so.) Zeus pods use aft-facing props, which are further shielded from debris by the gearcase and skeg, adding a bit more protection. But whacking something hard will damage any running gear.
Two cabins, two heads, with salon and galley in-between: No surprises in the 470 Sundancer's layout. But what is a surprise is the quality of jointer work and the elegant look of the interior. Indeed, this is a new Sea Ray.
Sea Ray stuck to the classic express-cruiser layout, with a master cabin forward, a guest cabin aft and an open salon and galley in-between. The 470 Sundancer's length makes room for each cabin to have its own head – both are cleverly designed to take advantage of the space available. The forward head, just abaft the master cabin, is split, with the toilet and sink in a compartment to port, the shower to starboard. As we always say, it allows two people to see to their ablutions simultaneously, and the person showering doesn't tie up the head for the other person.
The galley benefits from an upright refrigerator/freezer; it's dual-voltage. A microwave/convection oven and two-burner stovetop provide cooking power. Most important, there is a coffeemaker, too. The glossy dark cherry is one of five wood finish options. Carpet is standard, but we like the optional light maple sole shown here. Dark maple is also offered.
New, Higher Level of Joiner Work
The joinery is cherry, available in either dark or light, glossy or matte; light oak is also optional. A Sea Ray spokesman said the glossy cherry was most popular, about evenly split between dark and light. Even the master head has attractive joinery, made possible by isolating the shower in a compartment on the other side of the boat. Otherwise it would be ruined by overspray.
We recently saw a new 470 at the New York Boat Show with an interior finished in dark cherry -- so dark, in fact, that it looked like walnut. The fit-and-finish and the elegant, high-gloss wood made this the best-looking Sea Ray interior we have ever seen. To us, it signals a fresh, new approach.
Opposite the galley, an L-lounge should seat the whole crew. It's upholstered in Ultraleather. A 26" drop-down flatscreen TV/DVD is standard in the salon, along with a Sony stereo and Sirius satellite radio. There's a gaming system to port, an iPod dock and a generic MP3 port with adjacent 12v outlet.
Standard power for the Sea Ray 470 Sundancer is twin 407-hp Zeus CMD QSB 425 diesels, but we think most buyers will upgrade to the 459-hp QSB 480s. The bigger engines add only $16,250 to the price, a pittance compared to the 470's MSRP of nearly $1M. Both power options include the Zeus autopilot and Skyhook station-keeping. A 11.5-kW Onan genset is also standard.
The island berth in the forward stateroom has an innerspring mattress with drawers under; there's more stowage in two hanging lockers and cabinets along the cabin sides. We like the opening ports that will allow a nice flow of fresh air. A 22" flatscreen TV is standard here.
Our captain tested the 470 Sundancer with the optional, bigger diesels; the test boat carried half-tanks of fuel, minimal fresh water and two crew. He measured a top speed of 34.4 kts, and calculated best cruise to be 28.7 kts. with 247 n.m. of range at that speed, including a 10% reserve. The Sundancer planed in 12 seconds with, he reported, minimal bowrise and no loss of forward visibility.
Best cruise was at 2500 rpm where the boat made 20.9 knots in flat conditions burning 27.2 gph, giving her a range of 242 nm.
Yes, the twin single berths in the aft cabin can be converted to a double. There is full standing headroom at the entrance to this cabin and in the head. Notably, there is very good headroom between the beds, through a bit less than 6' (1.82 m)
Starting from an MSRP of $949,688 (includes $25,610 inland freight), we expect most buyers will break the million-dollar mark fitting out their 470 Sundancer, especially if upgrade the engines. The hydraulic swim platform adds $46,667, you can spend $30,000 on electronics and more than $38,000.00 on teak decking if you choose – and there are lots more options, many of them very attractive.
In our opinion the new 470 Sundancer is a big step in the right direction. While she has a strong family resemblance to earlier models and her stable mates, we think her lines are much more refined. It is a hard thing to describe, but to our eye she is a sporty-looking yacht. Below, as mentioned, her look is classy.
Moving the shower into its own compartment let Sea Ray finish the master head nicely in dark cherry joinery. If the shower were here, overspray would ruin the wood. Both heads have VacuFlush toilets.
When you play in this sandbox, you expect to spend some cash, and Sea Ray traditionally gives you an appealing balance of quality and value. You can spend less and you can spend more. Sea Ray has loaded the boat with some rquipment that would be optional on other brands, so when comparing, take note. Add the Zeus advantages and you've got a package that we think deserves your attention.
|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.|