By Capt. Steve--
The mission of the 250 SLX is to add an upscale, premium model to a well-established builder. She has standard items that go beyond the regular option lists of other boats, and that together with her new stunning styling go a long way to making the 250 SLX a premium boat.
Redesigned Fiberglass Arch-
The arch is constructed to be a relatively thin, single fiberglass piece supported by a thinner aluminum brace. It improves visibility, looks more pleasing to the eye, and handles a number of functions. Best of all, it is standard.•
Aero Bimini Top-
Rather than just bolt-on a bracket and cover it with a canvas, Sea Ray custom-designed this Bimini top to integrate with the new arch. The result is a curved airfoil shape that reduces drag and eliminates annoying vibrating and shaking while underway. •
Crescent-shaped Aft Bench Seat-
This seat allows room for guests to not only sit, but to stand and move about. It’s a small detail, but a thoughtful one. •
Optional Wet Bar-
The optional wet bar adds utility to the SLX and a little bit of class. It also has room for a cockpit refrigerator and a step to the caprail is integrated into the aft side which guests will appreciate when boarding.•
Average Cockpit Depth (36.4" /92.7 cm)
– A deep cockpit means more safety for kids -- and adults -- and a dryer ride. The 250 SLX's average cockpit depth is also 3-6” (7.6-15 cm) deeper than most in class. •
Quiet Ride Technology-
This is a proprietary Sea Ray feature and reduces sound levels throughout the boat, beginning at the build process.
Take a Seat
Twenty-six feet (7.92 m) of LOA provides Sea Ray designers with a lot of opportunity in laying out the 250 SLX while keeping the bowrider utility. The forward cockpit is long enough for adults to sprawl in comfort. The bow seats have integrated armrests and comfortable backrests, and there's room left over for an anchor well. (Sometimes designers take over anchor-well space to lengthen the bow seats.)
The main cockpit has what one would expect, helm and companion bucket seats and a wraparound lounge aft. The buckets have flip-up bolsters for thigh support while standing and both seats swivel and adjust fore and aft. The lounge sits on a fiberglass base with stowage underneath, and looks to us to be big enough to fit the most families. A table is available ($538). The cockpit sole is fiberglass, with snap-in carpet standard and ski or wakeboard stowage in a lockable compartment underneath.
Aft of the helm seat is a wet bar with a Corian countertop and stowage for a carry-on cooler. A 12V refrigerator is optional ($1,100), but we’d stick with the cooler. We think it's more convenient to fill a cooler with food from home and carry it onboard.
Like most bowriders, the 250 SLX has twin consoles with the walkthrough between. But the boat is large enough to fit an enclosed head compartment under the companion console. Use a Porta-Potti, or upgrade to a VacuFlush with holding tank ($1,846).
Under the Hood
Sea Ray installs a single 5.7 L 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT Bravo III as standard power, with a 380-hp 8.2 MAG ECT Bravo III as an $13,615 option. We tested the 250 SLX with standard power recently, and recorded a top speed of 47.9 mph, burning 23.4 gph which produced a range of 138 miles. At best cruise, 3500 rpm and 28.9 mph our test boat burned 9.1 gph for a range of 214 miles with a 10% reserve.
The optional engine may add a few mph to both top speed and cruise, but does it matter with a boat like this one? We think the biggest advantage of the larger engine would be to maintain the tested performance with a boat full of family and friends, or when towing a beginning skier with a boat full of people. We tested the boat lightly loaded, with only two people aboard, little gear, no fresh water and only ¾ fuel. Packed up for a full day afloat with a near-capacity crowd, the 250 SLX will be somewhat less sprightly.
The stern features a center walkthrough with removable cushions on the bench seat providing a nonskid surface. When operating, a seat back gets inserted, as well as a center cushion for the aft sun pad creating nearly full beam sun space. The swim platform featured an optional teak deck ($1,577) that adds to the style and elegance of the 250 SLX.
Performance and Handling
Our test boat featured a single 300-hp 350 MAG as standard power. With this engine we reached a top speed of 47.9 mph while burning 23.4 gallons per hour giving us a range of 138 miles. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 28.9 mph which gives a fuel burn of 9.1 gallons per hour and a range of 214 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.
These are respectable numbers and show that the standard engine wasn't chosen just to keep the 250 SLX at a reasonable price. In my opinion this would be the engine of choice unless I planned to consistently load the boat to max capacity and engage in watersports at the same time. For people who want to be the fastest draw on the lake, only then would I suggest considering the 380-hp 8.2 L option.
The 250 SLX is not only good looking but a good handling boat. She has a 12° bow rise that keeps the horizon in view throughout the acceleration curve. There's no need to be aggressive with the trim, just a couple of shots of the throttle mounted trim control will bring the bow up to a 5° cruise attitude giving a slight boost in speed. She rolled 16-degrees into the turns and remained solid throughout any maneuvers showing no tendency to fall off the turn or presented chine walking. When taking power off she settles back into the water stern first while still leaving the horizon uninterrupted.
Quiet Ride Technology
The noticeably reduced sound level is part of Sea Ray’s exclusive Quiet Ride Technology. By engineering noise reduction into the build process with features such as a proprietary tuned transom, inner laminate material, engineered fit and finish of all components to reduce vibration, and full beam bulkheads with acoustical insulation, there’s less operator and passenger fatigue. Casual conversation, even while at cruise speed, is now much easier to have. We noticed the difference immediately.
Base price of the Sea Ray 250 SLX is $99,118; add shipping, prep and a couple of options and the price will be around $100 grand; go crazy with extras and you'll break six figures. But for that, you get a big bowrider with room for lots of folks, typical Sea Ray quality and a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and deck. The enclosed head is a valuable feature for families, the deep cockpit makes the boat family-friendly, and the large forward cockpit will be a perfect venue for enjoying a drink while swinging at anchor and watching the sunset. We think the Sea Ray 250 SLX is right for a lot of people, including many who are shopping for more expensive models. Sea Ray is now giving those builders a run for your money.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray 250 SLX (2013-) is 47.9 mph (77.1 kph), burning 23.40 gallons per hour (gph) or 88.57 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray 250 SLX (2013-) is 28.9 mph (46.5 kph), and the boat gets 3.17 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.35 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 214 miles (344.4 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|