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Sea Ray 260 Sundeck (2013-)
(w/ 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG)

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Sea Ray Quiet Ride Technology

Christopher Hughes explains the process behind Sea Ray's Quiet Ride Technology.
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Brief Summary

We love big bowriders. At one time boats built in this size were only pocket cruisers and cuddys. Then someone said, “why not a big bowrider?” The rest is history and these heavyweights in the BR class have been popular for years. Sea Ray has probably built as many big bow riders as anyone so its designers are familiar with the type and should know what they are doing. Sea Ray calls the 260 a deckboat, but to our way of thinking, up until now it has been a sportboat with a spoon-shaped deckboat bow. So when Sea Ray told us they had redesigned it from the waterline up – keeping the tried and true bottom -- we sat up and took notice.

Key Features

  • Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty on hull and deck
  • Mercury Installation Quality Certification - standard 2-year limited engine warranty
  • Available in black, blue, burgundy, red and patina two-tone or full color hull optional gel-coat finishes with Sundeck graphics
  • Two large storage lockers in cockpit sole, and transom-access ski/wakeboard storage
  • Transom seat that looks out over swim platform
  • Cockpit entertainment center with sink and faucet
  • Sony 12V AM/FM CD player with digital display remote and iPod connector
  • MerCruiser 5.0L MPI ECT Bravo III (260-hp) is standard engine
  • SmartCraft diagnostics system standard
  • Sunbrella bimini top standard
  • Forward boarding ladder in concealed anchor hatch
  • Large head compartment with vanity, sink, and portable head standard
  • Extended swim platform with non-slip rubber inserts and concealed ladder
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 26' 4''
    8.03 m
    Beam 8' 6''
    2.59 m
    Dry Weight 5,168 lbs
    2,344 kg
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 38''
    96 cm
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 21 deg.
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance N/A
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 65 gal.
    246 L
    Water Capacity 20 gal.
    75 L
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    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.

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    600 3.8 3.3 0.8 4.7 4.1 274 238 64
    1000 5.7 4.9 1.6 3.7 3.2 213 185 71
    1500 7.9 6.9 2.5 3.2 2.8 185 161 77
    2000 9.4 8.1 4.1 2.3 2.0 135 117 75
    2500 15.0 13.0 5.8 2.6 2.3 151 132 78
    3000 23.0 20.0 7.2 3.2 2.8 186 162 81
    3500 29.0 25.2 9.2 3.2 2.7 184 160 81
    4000 33.8 29.3 11.8 2.9 2.5 168 146 84
    4500 40.0 34.8 16.2 2.5 2.2 145 126 85
    5000 42.8 37.2 18.7 2.3 2.0 134 116 89
    5290 46.9 40.8 23.6 2.0 1.7 116 101 94
    600 238 441 6.10 3.03 1.99 64
    1000 185 343 9.20 5.87 1.55 71
    1500 161 298 12.70 9.46 1.34 77
    2000 117 217 15.10 15.33 0.98 75
    2500 132 243 24.10 21.96 1.10 78
    3000 162 299 37.00 27.25 1.36 81
    3500 160 296 46.70 34.83 1.34 81
    4000 146 270 54.40 44.48 1.22 84
    4500 126 233 64.40 61.13 1.05 85
    5000 116 216 68.90 70.79 0.97 89
    5290 101 187 75.50 89.34 0.85 94

    All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 3.4 sec.
    0 to 30 8.5 sec.
    Ratio N/A
    Props 15.75 x 22.5
    Load 2 persons, 2/5 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
    Climate 99 deg.; 80% humidity; wind: 0-5 mph; seas; calm

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck (2013-) Line Drawing


    Captain's Report

    Captain's Report by Capt. Steve--

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck

    Mission Statement

    The mission statement of the 260 Sundeck is to provide a large day boat for boat owners with lots of friends or a big family. In the 260 Sundeck the two types of boat -- sportboat and deckboat -- have been blurred on purpose in order to appeal to both segments of the market. She makes an solid entertainment platform as well as a functional watersports boat.Sea Ray gave her a higher freeboard than standard deckboats so that she will be dryer in big water conditions. Her designers also decided to also make her look more like a sportboat than a deckboat for styling reasons, even though she has all of the functionality of a deckboat.

    Distinguishing Features

    Two large storage lockers in cockpit sole.

    Normally we will only see a single sole storage compartment located between the helm and observers seats. While it may run fully forward, one quick stop sends everything to the bow in the "unreachable" zone. Having a 2nd sole storage compartment in the bow alleviates that problem and adds usable storage space. The compartment has a vinyl mat, is lockable, and the lid has a gas-assisted strut. High marks to Sea Ray for this one!•

    Swim platform with standard rubber inserts.

    It's rare that we see the rubber matting as standard on the swim platform. Typically it is the molded nonskid surface with a rubber matting offered as an expensive option, if offered at all.•

    Swim platform extended beyond the prop.

    Regular readers know that we like to see the swim platform on boats of this type extend past the prop and lower unit when it is in the down position, so that people slipping into the water from the platform will not accidently hit the sharp metal below. Sea Ray has done it right. •

    Two built-in coolers, one carry-on.

    No worries about having to go far for your soda on this boat. There is a built-in insulated cooler in the bow and a place for the standard carry-on cooler aft. We like this arrangement because people can easily (and safely) access drinks and food without having to traverse the boat under way. •

    Standard cockpit table with designated storage.

    Another item that is typically added on with an up-charge, but virtually every person that gets this boat will want to have a cockpit table. She just lends herself so well to entertaining that it would be ridiculous not to have one, and sea Ray includes the table as standard.•

    Both engine and boat divisions owned by Brunswick.

    If something goes wrong on the boat there is only one company needed to put things to rights -- Brunswick. •

    Higher Freeboard.

    In their first incarnation, deck boats were meant for rivers and small lakes and they had low freeboard. The 260 Sundeck is designed to be used in big water, too, and therefore the freeboard is much higher, making the boat drier and the cockpit deeper.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    Check out the aft-facing seat at the swim platform. Great place for lounging while keeping an eye on the little swimmers, or big ones.

    Standard Equipment We Like

    As we look over the list of standard equipment we find that Sea Ray has included many items that are often optional on some boats in class. For that reason when buyers are comparing price they must be careful to be comparing apples-to-apples. Here is a list of things we're happy to see included on the 260 Sundeck--• Sony-brand stereo equipment.• SmartCraft engine diagnostic system.• Bimini top with boot and "ball-and-socket" hardware.• Snap-in carpet liner.• Compass.• Vinyl mats in all storage compartments.• Light and trash container in helm console.• Gel-coated engine compartment.• Insulated engine compartment with gas-assist hatch.• Speed and trim gauge with blue night light.• Stainless steel insert in PVC rub rail. • Starboard windshield wiper with "autopark."• Two bucket seats with thigh-rise flip-up bolsters.• Three pull-out sprayers -- Bow, head, and stern.

    Why Is Everyone Staring at My Rear?

    Seeing that this isn’t just a cruising boat, but a waterborne party platform – as deckboats are supposed to be -- Sea Ray has made the stern the boat's main attraction. And why not, that’s where the kids will be the second the anchor hits the bottom. With the stern seating on the 260 parents have a front row seat to the aft action. Sea Ray didn’t do the unthinkable and lose all that aft storage we’ve come to know and love. It’s still there, under that expansive seat. Be sure to resist the temptation to occupy that seat while the boat is underway though.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    There’s storage under the aft seats, and drink holders add to the convenience factor. Notice the storage under the cockpit walkthrough.

    Take a Bow…

    The comfort level of the bow was not left on the design room floor either. Sea Ray kept the stowable armrests for the bow seats, and the addition of storage in the sides is long overdue. In addition to the four-step beach re-boarding ladder there is also a built-in insulated cooler at the bow -- one of the three onboard coolers, by the way. Naturally, there is storage under the bow cushions, but we were also happy to see that the cushions are hinged. It is much easier to access the storage compartments this way, rather than having to wrestle the cushions out of position and then jam them back where they belong.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    Notice the added storage to the sides and outboard armrests. The handhold is under the arm rest. Filler cushions ($423) turn the bow area into a sunpad. A Danforth anchor lives behind the bow ladder.

    Additional Features to Love…

    In looking over the standard equipment list a number of things should be pointed out which were not listed above. For example, all hatches are gas assisted, the fuel level sender is ultra-sonic, and there are 6 pull-up cleats (not 4). Pressure water is standard and can be had at the entertainment center, head and at both the bow and stern with pull-up washdowns. All are fed from the 20 gallon (75L) tank, a 2 gallon (7.6L) increase from previous models.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    The wet bar has a standard sink and a carry-on cooler. It’s also where the stereo is stored so it remains protected from the elements. There’s a small shelf for the mp3 .

    The helm

    is uncluttered thanks to the addition of the SmartCraft diagnostics. This provides selectable information on operational parameters including depth, hours, oil pressure, water temp, fuel consumption, trim level, voltage and digital speed. That just leaves separate gauges for the big four… fuel, speed, tach, and trim.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    An uncluttered helm thanks to the multi function SmartCraft gauge to the right. All appears to be ergonomically correct which is an advantage of a refreshed model such as the 260.
    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    The helm seat swivels, slides, and has a thigh-high bolster.
    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    Between the helm and observer’s seats is the first sole storage locker. The second is ahead at the bow.

    Options We Love…

    Naturally, even a well-equipped boat such as this has an options list. On this one, there are some notables that some people can’t live without. An air compressor for water toys is right at the top ($308). No sense taking up valuable deck space with a four-person tube when it can be deflated into a small package under the seat. This simple device also lets you carry a number of different inflatable tubes and toys so you can change up the kids’ fun without looking like the Beverly Hillbillies as you drive out to the middle of the lake. We’d also give serious consideration to a water sports tower ($5,662). Besides the obvious functionality, they just look flat-out cool. A battery on/off switch is optional on the 260 Sundeck ($169), but we’d rather it be standard. Save the option for the second battery and dual switch ($300) that we think most everyone should be ordering.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    The head/changing compartment appears large on the 260 Sundeck shown here with a portable toilet. We like the aft-facing door rather than one on the side. An opening portlight provides ventilation and natural light.

    And while it’s nice that the portable toilet is standard, unless you crave lugging a container full of bio-waste off the boat, we’d opt for the pump-out head ($231) with holding tank. On the other hand, if you’ll only be using the boat a few hours at a time, or if there are no pump-out facilities in your boating area, lugging the bio-waste might be your best option. If you go for the holding tank system, let’s add the vacuFlush option ($1,846), as well. If you plan to be boating after dark, then you might want to consider docking lights ($385). Other options that make boating more fun or comfortable are the "VisionAir” mesh bucket seats that help wet bathing suits dry out and eliminate soggy cushions after a rain storm, a VHF radio, and a colored hull. Sea Ray offers five color options.

    Important Options…

    Canvas covers are a "must-have" option for trailering, storage, mooring or just UV protection. Sea Ray has all sorts of canvas options including cruising canvas for the adventuresome. We'd go for the automatic engine room fire suppression system as it can save precious seconds if there is a fire. In addition to the options mentioned here Sea Ray has a long list of others that let owners tailor-make a list of amenities on the boat for specific applications. For example, for owners planning on hauling the boat long distances for exotic and varied boating experiences, we would consider the tandem-axle trailer option that comes with bearing protection and submersible lights.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    Here you can see the aft seating at the swim platform. Notice the width of the bow seats and the rounded bow which makes room for the bow ladder.


    The Sea Ray 260 Sundeck has a LOA of 26’4” (8.03m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59m), and a draft of 3’2” (96 cm)… a 2” (5 cm) reduction from previous versions. Her dry weight is 5,168lbs (2,344 kgs), a 94 lb. (43 kg) increase, and she’ll carry 65 gallons (246 L) of fuel (same), and 20 gallons (75 L) of water, a 2 gallon (7.6L) increase. As you can see, the advantage of the latest version of the 260 is that the “test of time” has suggested some improvements on the old version.The boat is rated with a USCG weight capacity of 2,000 lbs. (907 kgs.) If everyone weighs 166 lbs (75.45 kgs.), that means 12 people.When we use the comparison feature we see that the 260 Sundeck falls pretty much in the middle of the competition basic-spec-wise. She is lighter than some and heavier than others. Same goes for fuel and water capacity. Issues like freeboard and cockpit depth are not measured and these are important areas for consumers to investigate on any sportboat being purchased.

    Sea Ray 260 Sundeck
    The optional MerCruiser 350 MAG has a displacement of 5.7 L and is rated at 300-hp. The standard engine is a 5.0 L, 260-hp MerCruiser.


    With the 300-hp 350 MAG MerCruiser turning a Bravo 3 outdrive we reached a top speed at 5290 rpm and 46.9 mph. At that speed fuel burn was measured at 23.6 GPH giving us a range of 116 miles. Best cruise was found to be at 3000 rpm and 23 mph. That reduced the fuel burn to only 7.2 gph which the 260 Sundeck can keep up for just over 8 hours and 186 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.Clearly, if you plan on loading your 260 up to the 14 person max capacity and still do some towing, the 350 MAG will be the way to go. It gave us very quick response to the throttle reaching planing speed in 3.4 seconds. We then continued accelerating through 20 mph in 5.7 seconds, 30 mph in 8.5 seconds, and passed 40 mph in only 12.6 seconds.


    I found the 260 Sundeck to be an exciting boat to handle. Her quick response to the throttle certainly has a lot to do with that but mostly it's the way that she handles my aggressive behavior behind the wheel. She comes around smartly in a turn but the slight bank angle coupled with a bit of a slide keeps the turn comfortable and manageable. I also found her to be very responsive to trim adjustments, and a couple of shots of up trim are all you will need to get her into running attitude. You will feel the boost in speed and the spray moves from the helm area towards the stern. If you add any more trim you'll start to ventilate the propeller.


    Overall, it looks like Sea Ray has created a more compelling package with the new 260 Sundeck. Its designers took a model that wasn’t broke, made it better anyway, and left us with a version that leaves little to be desired for most general applications.We would not get too wrapped up in the details of whether the 260 is a deckboat or a sportboat as clearly she has DNA from both species. Sea Ray has designed a vessel to stand on its own and has dubbed it a "Sundeck." When comparing boats, then, we would look at the specs, standard equipment and over-all utility, as well as price.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Sea Ray 260 Sundeck (2013-) is 46.9 mph (75.5 kph), burning 23.60 gallons per hour (gph) or 89.33 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Sea Ray 260 Sundeck (2013-) is 23.0 mph (37 kph), and the boat gets 3.19 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.36 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 186 miles (299.34 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    GPS/Chart Optional
    VHF Radio Optional


    Battery Charger/Converter Optional
    CD Stereo Standard
    Head: Portable Standard
    Head: Fixed Optional
    Shore Power Optional
    Trim Tabs Optional
    Windlass Optional

    Exterior Features

    Carpet: Cockpit Standard Snap-in
    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard
    Swim Platform Standard
    Tower: Watersports Optional
    Transom Door Standard
    Wet bar Standard


    Bimini Top Standard
    Cockpit Cover Optional


    Hull Warranty
    Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty

    Deck Warranty
    Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty
    NMMA Certification Yes


    Pricing Range: $87,110.00

    Price as Tested: $85,496.00 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.