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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray 450 Sedan Bridge (2012-) is 35.2 mph (56.6 kph), burning 50.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 192.28 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray 450 Sedan Bridge (2012-) is 29.2 mph (47 kph), and the boat gets 0.81 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.34 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 272 miles (437.74 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 459-hp CMD QSB 480.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Standard|
(It's quick and FREE!)