Mission: Sea Ray 270 SLX
Sea Ray's SLX Series of bowriders is a line designed to put more excitement into boating by raising the bar on the overall look and feel of the boat. That means snazzy upholstery with high-quality stitching and embroidery work. It means decor and trim that is more like what one might find in an upscale touring sports car rather than what is standard on a middle-of-the road runabout. And it means expert design with flourishes that signal a builder who knows what connoisseurs of good boats appreciate. For example the new 270 SLX has Sea Ray's "Quiet Ride" technology, something that certainly improves the boating experience.
●Quiet Ride technology ●Fully enclosed portside compartment for changing and an optional head ●SmartCraft instruments with Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) ●Limited Lifetime warranty on structural aspects of the hull and deck ●Cockpit wet bar console with freshwater system and Corian counter top and refrigerator ●Fiberglass deck with snap-in carpet ●Blue-tooth compatible stereo ●Bimini top with boot and ss ball-and-socket hardware. ●Gel-coated engine compartment ●Molded-in side panel tubs
Performance and Handling
We tested the 270 SLX powered by the optional 8.2 L 380-hp Mercury sterndrive with Bravo III lower unit. Our test boat was 6,617 lbs. (3,007 kgs.), she had two people aboard and 1/4 tank of fuel. We recorded a top speed of 48.6 mph burning 32.5 gph. Well, it's fun to know how fast a boat will go and to kick wake in the eyes of the big bully on the lake, but WOT is not something that anyone in any boat does for long.
Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 27.9 mph burning 11 gph for a range of 215 statute miles with a 10% fuel reserve. That means that she can run at this speed for nearly 8 hours and still have a fuel reserve. Time to plane was 7.4 seconds and time from 0 to 30 mph was 9.3 seconds.
Her 21-degree deadrise at the transom pays off in a rough chop at speed giving a smoother ride than one would expect from a boat with a flatter deadrise, say something like 16 to 18-degrees at the transom which one often sees in bowriders. That means that if she catches air she will come down cushioned with her deep-V bottom rather than being jarred with a flatter bottom. All of this -- and her relatively high freeboard -- makes her appropriate for big water lakes and coastal work as well. But there is a price to be paid for this comfort in choppy conditions provided by that deep-V. When getting on plane her bow does rise above the horizon obscuring forward visibility until she gets on plane. This is not an unusual attribute for a boat with these specs and bottom shape. Skippers simply need to be aware of it, clear the area in front of the boat before accelerating, make sure she is trimmed properly, put the hammer down hard, and wait for the bow to fall.
We think that the strong suit of the 270 SLX is her interior design, upholstery treatment, her substantial seating, and her fit-and-finish. The photos on this page show the details of the stitching, and optional four-tone earth-tone vinyl colors used on the seating, bulwarks and bolsters are the way to go in our opinion.
There are no sharp edges in the cockpit, rather all of the seat bases and fiberglass work has a graceful sculptured look which is easy on the eye as well as on legs and knees. The cockpit is self-bailing and has a snap-in carpet. A table comes standard and there are bases for it both forward and aft. We would consider having two tables for entertaining. There is dedicated storage for them.There is a standard cooler and a place for it under one of the seats. The head compartment/changing room has a molded in sink with sprayer faucet. Sea Ray offers an optional VacuFlush toilet with a 10-gallon (38 L) holding tank. There is an optional head upgrade package available that includes vinyl teak flooring, Corian on the counter, and vinyl accents on the bulkheads.
Probably the most popular amenity in the cockpit is the wet bar on the starboard side behind the helm seat. It has a pressure water system for the sink, a stainless steel refrigerator and a trash container. The builder offers a portable grill and this would definitely be checked on our option list.
The helm console on the 270 SLX is one of the most attractive we have seen in class. We like the vinyl-wrapped visor, the black leather wrapped steering wheel, VesselView diagnostic gauges and the DTS control system. The boat comes standard with hydraulic trim tabs, power-assisted steering and tilt.
Jazzing Her Up.
The helm seat is robust and comfortable. Most important, the ergonomics of the seat and windshield will have most people looking through the windshield while underway and not at the windshield header which is black anodized aluminum. A polished stainless steel windshield header is optional for those who want their boat to look like the cat's meow. (For these folks we would also recommend opting for the two-tone hull gel coat treatment -- Sunset Red, Mojave Tan, black and blue are available.)
The standard engine for the 270 SLX is the 300-hp 5.7 L Mercury 350 MAG MPI ECT DTS with Bravo III drive. We tested the boat with the optional 8.2 L 380-hp ECT DTS with Bravo III drive. A third option for the hot shots is the Mercury 8.2 MAG HO ECT DTS Bravo III rated at 430-hp.
Which one to choose?
A rule of thumb in the boating industry is that in this size range it takes 6-8 hp to equal one mph in WOT speed. Since we tested an engine pretty much in the middle of the horsepower range available, one can roughly figure how the boat will perform with the other two engines. She will obviously get on plane faster with the big engine, but who needs to go over 50 mph WOT?
Builders know that every customer uses the boat slightly differently so buyers should carefully consider how they will use the boat and then check off the appropriate options. Major options to consider, which have not already been mentioned, include--1.
The white powder-coated aluminum Sports Arch
with tow point and integral Bimini. 2.
The Canvas Package
which includes front, side and aft curtains, a cockpit cover with Tonneau, and a storage bag. This effectively turns the boat into a little cabin cruiser when the weather turns rainy or chilly. This, along with the optional VacuFlush head, will make the boat a lot more appealing to Mom and the kids who tend to be a little more sensitive to the threat of rain and the call of nature than is the man of the boat. 3.
Shore Power Package.
Most people we know spend a lot of time on their boat at the marina both at home and when visiting other waterside locations. Sea Ray's shore power package includes 50' of 30 Amp cable with inlet and adapter, a battery charger/converter, galvanic isolator and main distribution panel. Now the boat can be lit up like a Christmas tree at night with no worries about running the battery down -- and cell phones can be recharged!4.
Tandem Axle Trailer.
Sea Ray offers trailers at three price points: base, galvanized and premium.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray 270 SLX (2014-) is 47.6 mph (76.6 kph), burning 30.55 gallons per hour (gph) or 115.63 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray 270 SLX (2014-) is 19.1 mph (30.7 kph), and the boat gets 2.32 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.99 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 197 miles (317.04 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2L Gen 2.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Structural limited lifetime
||Structural limited lifetime|