Deckboat Back Story
Originally deckboats were made for small bodies of water that were protected and the primary reason for the deck boat design was to be a low-cost, movable dive platform for swimming, tubing, beach boarding, with extra room in the bow seating area.
But that was before wakeboarding became popular -- and before people started using these boats in larger bodies of water. Low freeboard, lightweight, wet boats were not very good at that, particularly in larger bodies of water where wakeboards often seem to hang out. Most of the first generation of deckboats did not have swim platforms that extended beyond their lower units when in the down position. Because the boats were intended to be a swimming platform, that was problematical.
Further, because of the speed of the vessels, parents were concerned about the relative modest cockpit depth in some of the early deckboats. By building a deckboat with more beef, more freeboard, and more up-scale amenities, the Sea Ray 280 Sundeck becomes a vessel that can be used in saltwater, the Great Lakes, or virtually any body of water. The added freeboard also allows the cockpit to be deeper.
Up-Market Build Quality.
During the last two years Sea Ray has consciously up-graded the quality of its boats in a dozen small ways that include upholstery, styling, deck coverings, cushion and seat design as well as the addition of some amenities, such as stern shower, Bimini top, a cockpit table, and SeaDec matting on the swim platform. ●
Size and Beef.
The dry weight of the 280 is 5,276 lbs. (2,597 kgs.) and this plus her 8’10” (2.69 m) beam – 4” wider than most boats in class – combine to give this deckboat more weight than many others.
Sea Ray has not stinted on the propulsion system and related electronics. The standard engine is the 300-hp Mercury 350 MAG ECT with Bravo III lower unit with twin counter-rotating props. ●
Instruments and Controls.
The boat comes standard with Mercury digital throttle and shift (DTS), SmartCraft diagnostics, power-assist steering and trim and tilt drive. This is about as complete as it gets. ●
The 280 Sundeck has a large swim platform that is an extension and is bolted on to the transom. This not only becomes a good launching pad for watersports, but also covers the lower unit when it is in the down position. ●
In addition to her slightly wider beam, which is carried well forward to make her bow seating larger, the 280 also has higher freeboard than a number of deckboats on the market, particularly the inexpensive ones. This is the major feature of the Sea Ray Sundeck Series that sets them apart from many boats in class.
Standard Equipment (Partial List)
The 280 Sundeck has a laundry list of options that allow consumers to direct the boat to any particularly watersport function or specialized use. Visit the builder's website for a complete list.
The 280 Sundeck is remarkably well-equipped as standard and when comparing boats, consumers should take careful inventory of options and costs to get an idea of pricing on an apples-to-apples basis. When we looked down the options list, we found only two things that we consider a "must" on any boat of this type -- a battery switch with tray for a second battery, and a cockpit or mooring canvas cover.
All in the Family.
Finally, as we think everyone knows by this time, Sea Ray is owned by Brunswick Corp., which also makes Mercury sterndrive propulsion systems and related instruments and controls. For those who remember the days when Sea Ray, Mercury and dealers went around-and-around as to who would take responsibility when something went wrong with the propulsion system -- things have changed. There is new top management at both Mercury and Sea Ray and all are agreed that the consumer comes first.
Sea Ray has positioned its deckboats at the high end of the market in terms of build, capabilities, amenities, quality of finish and price. As such, she becomes an important benchmark for anyone considering a large deckboat.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|