By Capt. Dan Armitage
According to our source at Sea Ray, the 330 is built specifically for the active boater who wants to entertain friends and take the family on short weekend cruises, with possibly one or two longer cruises each season. Because of Sea Ray's large world-wide dealer network the 330 has many different engine options to fit local conditions and needs..
There are very few boats on the market in this class that offer both stern drive and V-drive inboard propulsion systems. If you like inboard power -- and there are owners who prefer the props under the boat rather than hanging off the transom -- then the 330 should be considered.
The Sea Ray 330 is one of the heaviest boats in class. That heft, together with its 21-degree deadrise should make this a comfortable boat in a chop.
Best cruise for the 330 is at 3500 rpm going 26.7 mph, getting 1.41 statute miles per gallon powered by the optional 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG. This is among the greatest ranges offered by any boat in class. One of the reasons for this is her 10'5" (3.18 m) beam which is among the most narrow in class.
If you have been aboard one of the new 2012 Sea Rays then we urge you to do it. The interior treatments, décor, materials used, and overall feel have been greatly enhanced on many of the company's models. The 330 is one of those boats.
Power and Performance
We tested the 330 with twin 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG 5.0 L engines driving through Bravo III dual-prop sterndrive lower units. WAT speed at 4800 rpm was 39.0 mph with 1/3rd fuel, no water, and two people aboard. Best cruise was at 3500 rpm, as noted above, where the boat goes 26.7 mph, getting 1.41 mpg giving the boat a range of 253 statute miles.Standard power on the 330 is twin 260-hp 5.0 L MPI ECT MerCruiser Axius engines with DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) driving Bravo III drives. This is a joystick package that it pretty mush state-of-the-art. Power options include the 350 Mag that we tested rated at 300-hp. As noted the boat is also available with V-drive 350 MAGs. Twin Yanmar diesels (6LPA/STZP) 307-hp diesels connected to Bravo III drives are also available.
Noteworthy Standard Features
We look over dozens bats' standard and optional lists every week and most are pretty much the same in class. However, every company has its own pet items that they seem to like to make standard. Also, increasingly the last couple of years a number of builders have been packing in more "often-needed" equipment on the standards list. In looking over the Sea Ray 330 Sundancer's standard list here are the items that caught our eye-- *Axius joystick *Electrically actuated engine room hatch *Teak cockpit table *Ultraleather material covering interior sofa *Mirrored bulkhead in mid cabin *Power vent in the head (You'd be surprised how many boats make this an option.) *High water bilge alarm *Smart Craft Engine Diagnostics * Digital Throttle and Control (DTS) *Battery charger/converter *VHF radio *Engine room fire suppression system *Gel coated engine room *Cockpit shower
Price and Observations
As we write this the boat's MSRP with the twin 260-hp engines is $251,554. If you want twin 300-hp engines such as the ones we tested, add $20,617 in the U.S., or about $10,000 in the rest of the world. (The catalyzed engines make the difference,)Sea Ray has been building express cruisers for about as long as anyone and knows what it is doing. Competition is keen these days and Sea Ray is responding by adding important items of gear to its standard list (such as the Axius joystick). Likewise the interior of the 330 is definitely an up-grade over what we have seen before.The Sea Ray 330 Sundancer is pretty much ready to use right out of the standard box and does not require much more than USCG-required safety items and fuel. We would add a chartplotter/gps. People in the tropics may want A/C which will also require the addition of a generator, but that is about it.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray 330 Sundancer (2011-) is 39.0 mph (62.8 kph), burning 30.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 113.55 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray 330 Sundancer (2011-) is 26.7 mph (43 kph), and the boat gets 1.41 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.6 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 253 miles (407.16 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI with Axius.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet