By Captain Steve Larivee
As part of a game plan by Sea Ray, the 240 Sundeck has premium level treatments for a 24’ (7.32 m) boat with multiple power options. Now, buyers can choose from either an outboard-powered boat, a sterndrive-powered boat or even a jet-powered boat. Today we’re going to be looking at the 240 Sundeck, which represents the outboard and sterndrive options, and see how Sea Ray has done.
While the two versions have slightly different overall lengths, naturally the stern is where the main differences between the two conventional power choices will be seen. Let’s look at them individually.
At the stern of the outboard model there are two swim platforms flanking the 300-hp Mercury Verado that was the optional powerplant on our test boat. Other choices are either 200-hp or 250-hp Verados. The swim ladder is located at an angle off the starboard platform.
To starboard is an optional freshwater shower. Surrounding the engine well are steps that can be used as a service platform for daily engine checks. To port is a seat that serves as an excellent staging area for putting on boards. Stainless steel grab handles are a welcome sight to both interior sides of the platforms.
Underneath the port hand staging seat is a hatch held open by a gas-assist strut and the compartment goes well underneath the port hand cockpit seating. The compartment is deep enough to serve as convenient storage for a multitude of items, including wakeboards and skis.
The sterndrive version has the usual full-beam swim platform with the engine residing under a sun pad behind the aft cockpit seat. There are two drink holders along with a cubby for placing small items to the port end of the sun pad. Releasing an easily accessed latch just above a grab handle under the aft cockpit seat accesses the engine. The whole sun pad lifts and the engine is exposed showing a neat and orderly installation with even the batteries within easy reach for servicing. Standard propulsion is a 260-hp MerCruiser 5.0L MPI ECT Bravo III sterndrive, with options for 300-hp 350 MAG MPI ECT Alpha I outdrive or a BIII drive.
The cockpit has been expanded in this all-new 240 Sundeck to allow for a larger footprint. To the starboard side a small gate allows entry to the walkthrough, which consists of two steps down, into the cockpit. Our test boat was fitted with the optional-standard snap-in carpet. The entire deck is fully fiberglass lined and draining from the stern into the bilge.
L-shaped seating to the stern includes flip down armrests with a pair of stainless steel drink holders recessed in. The outboard version of the aft seat lifts to reveal storage as well as access to the battery switch and dual batteries. With the sterndrive version, this seat lifts to access the engine compartment. With both versions, an optional filler cushion creates yet another seat in the cockpit.
The port hand seat has a door underneath that opens to reveal dedicated storage to a 25-quart (23.66 L) carry-on cooler. This is convenient, as it’s no longer necessary to have to ask people to get up to access the cooler but simply swing legs to the side.
Just ahead is a convertible lounger that serves as a comfortable aft-facing place to recline with legs extended while watching either the wake shrinking in the distance or the action at the end of the towline. With the seatback flipped aft it becomes an over-wide forward facing seat, creating a second set of eyes looking forward. A spacious armrest in the port bulwarks has a stainless grab handle and the combination provides excellent ergonomics. Dual waterproof speakers are facing the cockpit and they're mounted on the beveled pieces that are molded into the deck liner.
And parents will certainly find safety in the cockpit depth and the roominess of this cockpit will ensure that even when the 240 Sundeck is loaded with friends, everyone will remain friends.
The port console head compartment features a re-styled door that is curved like the older doors but smaller so that it's much less obtrusive in the open position. A small tray in the top of the door serves as a quick spot to place the sunscreen or glasses and the curved bolster adds a raised edge to keep items in place. A strap at the hinge point keeps the door from opening into the helm console. The opening is gasketed all the way around to eliminate vibration. All hardware is stainless steel.
The head compartment itself is a bit cramped, but certainly for a boat in this size and class it serves its purpose. A pump-out head is standard. The bulkheads are all padded with the exception of the forward bulkhead, which as part of the optional trim package is wood veneer with two storage compartments. And the compartment can easily be washed down as it is self-draining into the bilge. Cargo netting is mounted to the portside bulkhead for magazines, storage and incidentals. An interior light is mounted to the aft bulkhead.
The helm features a wraparound seat that swivels, slides and includes a flip-up bolster. The bolster is well padded and in the lowered position the seat feels comfortable and snug. To starboard is a pair of drink holders and a storage compartment as well as a 12-V power supply. Interestingly, Sea Ray relocated the ignition to this recessed area in the starboard bulwarks removing the key from the knee-strike zone. An armrest is located just behind the engine control and a second armrest at the cap rail allows for small power corrections.
One of our test boats was fitted with the DTS, Digital Throttle and Shift system that includes a single pushbutton start and stop, a feature that I found convenient on more than one occasion. A footrest is beveled into the molded console and I found the ergonomics to be spot on, which is an unusual feature for a captain of my height. The three-spoke steering wheel is mounted to a tilt base. A stereo remote control is over to the port side. Toggle switches are lighted to show when activated. A horn button is located well to the outside in a conveniently located position and in plain sight, plus it is red to separate it from other switches.
A small cubby is located to the starboard side of the panel, and Sea Ray nailed the ergonomics of this simple item by angling it downward so items won’t spill out when the throttle is advanced. The upscale features start coming through again with the two-tone vinyl trim work on the dash panel embroidered with the 240 designation. All gauges are anti-fog with chrome bezels and include a SmartCraft gauge, providing selectable information.
Above, a vinyl dash panel provides more of the classy look to the 240 as well as adding a small eyebrow for sun protection so the gauges can be read even on sunny days. Our test boat included an optional compass, which was mounted to the port side of the curved eyebrow, and while not directly in line with the captain’s sightlines, since this is hardly a boat that will be used for hardcore navigation we can’t take away any points.
Bow Walkthrough Area
The separation of the consoles allows for plenty of room for walking through while still maximizing the available storage inside. A door leading into the helm console reveals dedicated storage for the cockpit pedestal table. And this is also where the stereo is located, mounted to a separate module that includes a USB port and a 12V power adapter conveniently positioned above a separate tray to hold the MP3 player. A bi-fold door will close off the walkthrough blocking the wind on chilly mornings. Two in-deck storage compartments, as opposed to a single, maximize the additional storage space made available underneath the deck. These are ideal for skis.
At the Bow
The bow seating has also been upgraded on this latest addition of the 240 Sundeck allowing for more occupants. Lounge seats to both port and starboard have flip-down armrests. Frequent readers of our reports will recall that we appreciate the ergonomics of flip-down armrests as opposed to flip-up armrests, which have to be latched into position and then released to stow.
There are the usual accommodations for storage underneath the lounge seats but with the cushions hinged from the aft end, the storage is not only easier to access but more of it is accessible. The forward seat includes an enclosed storage compartment with the lid creating a non-skid step to the foredeck.
Aft Facing Seats.
Two additional speakers are located in this forward area. The bow seating also accommodates aft-facing seating much more appropriately than models we have seen in the past. The bolster/seatback along the bow is the key to this as it runs all the way across, easily allowing for three-across, aft-facing seating.
Fully forward is a nonskid foredeck providing a launching point for swimming from the bow or an easy egress from a bow in docking, aided by the non-skid step of the forward seat hatch cover. Our test boat was equipped with a washdown shower to starboard and dual navigational lights to either side.
In the center is a hatch that is held open by a gas-assist strut and the storage compartment is able to accommodate both an anchor and the four-step beach re-boarding ladder. Normally we see this as an either/or arrangement but here Sea Ray managed to combine the two quite effectively. With the hatch in the closed, position the latch needs to be turned in order to lock, and we’d like to see these latches abandoned industry wide. They’re inevitably turned the wrong way leaving the hatch free to flap open once the throttle is advanced, and the latches that unlock when lifting are seen elsewhere on the boat, so why not here? Cleats to both sides of the bow bring the total number of cleats on the 240 Sundeck to 6.
Sea Ray correctly configured the 240 Sundeck to be accommodating for watersports. An optional ski-tow pylon can be fitted to the caprail at the transom, but our test boat was fitted with the much more popular optional wakeboard tower. It's a well-executed tower fabricated from powder-coated tubular aluminum rails. A single switch at the helm illuminates both the cockpit lights and tower courtesy lights, all colored white. However, the cockpit switches in two positions and the first detent illuminates blue accent lighting inside the port and starboard bulwarks.
The tower is also collapsible. By removing two pins the tower folds forward, allowing more clearance for the boat to be stowed in a garage. It can also be lowered and raised with one hand thanks to clever balancing of the components.
240 Sundeck OB Performance
The Sea Ray 240 Sundeck OB has a length overall of 23'10" (7.26 m), a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m) and a draft of 3'1" (.94 m). With an empty weight of 4,011 lbs. (1,819 kgs.), 3/4 fuel and two people onboard we had a test weight of 4,679 lbs. (2,122 kgs.). With a single 300-hp Mercury Verado 4-stroke turning a 19” (48.3 cm) Enertia propeller we reached top speed at 6000 rpm of 58.9 mph. At that speed fuel burn was 29.8 gph giving us a range of 98 miles.
came in at 3500 rpm and 29.3 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 7.65 gph giving us a range of 189 miles and an endurance of 6 hours and 30 minutes while still maintaining a 10% reserve. We had a time to plane of 3.1 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 5.1 seconds, 30 mph in 8 seconds, 40 in 10.1 seconds and continued accelerating through 50 mph in 14.1 seconds.
240 Sundeck OB Handling
The 240 Sundeck OB exhibits a 10-degree bow rise upon acceleration, which leaves clear sightlines to the horizon. Once up on cruise, bring the trim up to about the 1/4 mark on the gauge and that will put her into a proper cruising attitude. She seems to handle quite well, much like the rest of the Sea Ray line in that she stays solid on the water during turns with no tendency to fall off the turn and just a minimal amount of chine walk as the turn gets aggressive. In hard turns she tends to bleed off speed at a fairly consistent level but that can be countered by adding throttle. Also, be sure to bring the trim down fully if any aggressive maneuvers are planned, otherwise (as when towing) the trim can be left in the cruise position. When taking power off she settles back into the water stern first.
240 Sundeck I/O Performance
The Sea Ray 240 Sundeck I/O (simply known as 240 Sundeck) has a length overall of 24'1" (7.34 m), a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m) and a draft of 3.1'' (.94 m). With an empty weight of 4,740 lbs. (2,150 kgs.), 35 gallons (132 L) of fuel and three people onboard we had a test weight of 5,555 lbs. (2,520 kgs.). With a single 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT with a B III outdrive we reached top speed at 5200 rpm and 48.7 mph. At that speed fuel burn was 23.15 gph giving us a range of 104 miles.
came in at 3000 rpm and 23.5 mph. At that speed fuel burn was reduced to 6.85 gph giving us a range of 169 miles and an endurance of 7 hours 12 minutes while still maintaining a 10% reserve. I found her to be most comfortable at 3500 rpm where we had a speed of 30.4 mph and a fuel burn of 9.1 gph. That only caused a 4-mile penalty in range so feel free to advance the throttle a little bit. We had a quick time to plane of 4 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 6.7 seconds, 30 mph in 9.6 seconds and continued accelerating through 40 mph in 13.6 seconds.
240 Sundeck I/O Handling
The 240 Sundeck I/O was a comfortable boat to handle. She presents a 14-degree bow rise upon acceleration, which produces no loss of visibility to the horizon. Much like her outboard counterpart, she clings to the water when making hard turns but in high-performance turns, much as a test captain would do, she does tend to bleed off a lot of speed. It's also best to lower the drive before entering performance turns as the propeller will tend to ventilate. However, with regular maneuvers such as those one might experience while towing a water skier or wake boarder, there's no need to lower the drive. In high-performance turns she had just a hint of a chine walk but no tendency to slide off the turn or fall off the turn. When taking power off she settles back into the water stern first.
While the 240 Sundeck may not be a new model, this completely redesigned version certainly offers plenty of benefits over previous models. Her large cockpit floor plan, and expansive bow seating has served to increase capacity to 13 people. There is convertible oversized port seating. The port compartment includes a standard pump-out head and upgraded treatments. There’s an innovative aft-facing seat at the swim platform and as noted the upholstery treatment is striking. Altogether it appears that Sea Ray intends to compete seriously in the upscale sportboat arena and is doing so with a vengeance.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray 240 Sundeck Outboard (2013-) is 58.9 mph (94.8 kph), burning 29.80 gallons per hour (gph) or 112.79 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray 240 Sundeck Outboard (2013-) is 21.0 mph (33.8 kph), and the boat gets 3.52 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.5 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 174 miles (280.03 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Mercury Verado four-stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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