The Sea Ray 510 Fly is directed squarely at the world-wide market for motoyachts expressly designed for daytime entertaining at anchor, during short evening cruises, as well as when tied up at the dock. She was intended to go head-to-head with similar size and type boats built mainly in Europe. There, consumers seize on their relatively short summers to get maximum enjoyment out of fair skies and warm sun -- which places an emphasis on outdoor living. For that reason, European-designed and built flying bridge motoryachts tend to be designed largely for sunning and entertaining. Likewise, Sea Ray has followed suit, but in so doing has put its own distinctive American stamp on the 510 Fly. In this way, Sea Ray not only hopes to create a product more functional for Americans, but at the same time introduce Europeans to some uniquely American ideas about what a fly bridge motoryacht can be.
Inspired by European cruisers, the fly bridge is functional for modern boaters who enjoy entertaining, day-boating, and sunning. Access from the aft deck is up a flight of stairs with treads that are wide and deep. Stainless grab handles are everywhere, making the transition safe and comfortable going up, or down. A horizontal acrylic hatch is hidden under the flying bridge deck, but easily slides closed to secure occupants on the top deck.
The flying bridge helm
is located to starboard and mirrors virtually all of the controls from the lower station, ensuring the captain has everything needed to run and monitor the yacht. The helm’s dash provides room for two flat panel Raymarine e125 12.1” widescreen color LCDs. These provide radar, GPS, and chartplotter with integrated radar data. There is also a console glove box along with a 12V accessory outlet to give the captain a place to store and charge a cell phone.
The single helm seat is comfortable and from it the bow of the boat can be easily seen. Both the control sticks and the joystick are on the top of the gunwale which is 23" (58 cm) off the deck. A safety railing and design element is 30" (75 cm) off the deck. The captain's right hand fell easily to the controls which were ergonomically placed.
Dinette Booth Forward.
Directly to port from the helm is a dinette for four adults. The aft facing dinette seat converts -- laying flat, allowing the large forward sun pad to maximize space for sunbathers.
3 in 1.
The dinette placed here is somewhat unusual and, we think, a versatile feature that can be used in at least three different ways: 1) As a dining booth for lunch or a picnic; 2) As companion seating facing forward to help the captain pilot the vessel. The more eyes forward, the better; 3) As a large sun pad that can be used both underway (the wind deflector will offer protection to prone bodies) and at anchor.
To the aft end of the flying bridge is U-shaped seating creating an inviting atmosphere for dining around a standard fiberglass table. An upgrade to a teak table is offered that would complement the optional teak decking. In either case, the dining area comes with a commanding view of the surroundings. This seating area serves other purposes as well. It is a comfortable place for a cocktail either with or without the table. It is also can be a much envied spectators grandstand when watching sailboat races. With this seating, the four places forward, and the aft deck below, the Sea Ray 510 Fly can serve as a VIP boat for the local club.
Just behind the forward-facing booth is a standard wet bar which can become much more. A refrigerator is included as standard under the counter, and a grill and sink can be ordered. With the grill, sink and fridge this "wet bar" turns into a mini galley and a handy place to BBQ or grill up some fish. There is plenty of counter space for meals and a 120V outlet for blenders.
An optional fiberglass hardtop is available that includes lighting, a sunroof and an electrically retractable skylight. We think this option should be considered by people planning on doing serious cruising in the 510 Fly. With the addition of isinglass, it creates another three-season living space on the boat for relatively little money. Note, to enclose the fly bridge, an optional extended hardtop is available that is larger than the version shown and includes the full enclosure, bridge AC and a larger generator.
The main deck is designed to provide maximum visibility and comfort while at the same time allowing for blending in the outside and inside with a seamless separation of the two areas.
Passing through the sliding glass door into the salon, we were immediately greeted by the luxury details of the yacht. Solid hardwood flooring is standard and brings a rich look to the indoor entertaining space. Sofas flank both the starboard and port sides, while the starboard seating offers a dinette with folding table large enough for 4 adults.
Opposing sofas provide a welcome conversational area and low windows allow clear sightlines to the horizon even from the seated position. This layout maximizes seating in a 51-footer, permitting 8 people to comfortably sit in the salon.With a table leaf that folds out in the starboard side, and the addition of two folding chairs inboard, the standard solid cherry table can seat 6 for dinner. We were impressed by the quality of the craftsmanship of the table which is made by Marine Tables in Savannah, Georgia.
A cabinet nestled in the aft corner offers a flat screen TV, surround sound stereo system, gaming center and the main AC/DC power panel controls. Our test vessel included a home theater system with a Bose 5 speaker set-up.
Galley Forward and Up
Sea Ray has chosen to place the galley of the 510 Fly up two steps from the salon on the helm deck, thus putting it forward in its traditional location, American-style. This is a major difference from other boats in class which either have the galley down below, or aft.
But there are other reasons why we like this location: first, the person working the galley is in close proximity to the captain for communication and help if underway. Second, when short-handed and the autopilot is on, the captain can easily step to port, grab a bottle of water from the nearby fridge or brew up some coffee while still keeping an eye forward.
Galley for Two.
Because the galley runs fore and aft the U-shape permits two people to work in it at once. This is an improvement, in our opinion, over conventional galleys with a dead-end aisle running from inside the boat outboard where only one person can easily work.
Much is made of having the galley aft in boats in this size range these days, but fact is these boats are often piloted by just a couple and are sometimes single-handed when on a delivery or repositioning. The standard 2-drawer refrigerator, 2-drawer freezer and the microwave oven are all below the counter, resulting in a sizeable amount of counter space for food prep. While we usually prefer a stand-up refrigerator/freezer, and a high microwave, in this case such a layout would destroy the 360-degree visibility as well as being an eyesore.
By eliminating the typical upper cabinets which would destroy good sightlines forward, the 510 Fly opens the galley to the salon and the "atrium" forward. Cooks can prepare meals without being isolated and enjoy the conversation with the rest of the crew. Add to this the large windshield and side glass, and we have a kitchen with a view.What has made all of this work is the fact that Sea Ray's designers have found other places rather than the galley to store china, crystal, flatware, condiments and dry goods. Ports and pans go under the microwave, but the rest is housed in cabinets adjacent to the helm and the salon.
Lower Helm Station
The lower control station is situated to starboard of the galley and shares the space with several low profile cabinets that conceal dedicated storage for the galley’s china, glasses and flatware. From this raised position, the pilot has 66” (1.67 m) of headroom clearance and a clear sight line over the bow. While this is not full-standing head room for most people, it is typical of Euro-styled boats and it’s a compromise that comes with the whole package. In order to have a low, sleek profile, every vertical inch above the waterline is crucial.
Given the fact that there are two narrow mullions for the windshield and there is both a diagonal and vertical support for the flying bridge forward, we found the visibility from the lower helm surprisingly good. Note the image above.
Perhaps making this all worthwhile is the standard Stidd captain's chair which is the premier helm seat on the market, known for its comfort, style and durability. It can be raised and lowered and moved fore and aft. In the aft position it can be used as sort of leaning post for those captains who want to stretch their legs.
The instrument console is large with more than enough real estate for two large 15" navigation screens and a dozen other gauges and systems of all sorts. A VHF radio or two could be mounted nearly anywhere. There is a small opening window, enough for some air but not large enough or close enough to use for backing in. That can probably best be done from the flying bridge or with a remote.
The Aft Deck
The aft deck
space has seating on two sides; along the transom and to port. This permits a table to be placed in the corner for dining or cocktails. Sea Ray has learned over the years that customers use their aft decks for all sorts of things and some people do not want a table here, so both fiberglass and high-gloss teak tables are options.
Better Use of Space.
This "L"-shaped seating arrangement is also a break from typical Euro designs which invariably will have port and starboard access steps from the swim platform. The problem with the twin stairway design is, while it may remind people of the stairs to an 18th Century palace, it is terribly wasteful of space, something in short supply on most boats. By eliminating the port stairs as Sea Ray has done, precious sitting room is picked up on the aft deck.
The salon door
is a full width sliding glass unit that can transform the salon and aft deck into an indoor/outdoor living space. The three paneled door slides and nests into one panel, opening the salon to the open air. In this case the idea is great but the door-vender's mechanical latch is not. We (two BoatTEST captains and the photographer) struggled repeatedly with the latch. It takes strength and the right technique to operate it and we wish the vender would improve its product.
If three-season entertaining is in the cards, then Sea Ray can also provide a cockpit enclosure thanks to the overhang of the flying bridge. A carpet liner will be a must-have addition if the teak decking isn’t chosen. We would definitely add the optional cockpit grill and icemaker. Just like adding a hardtop with isinglass to the flying bridge adds low-cost living space, so, too, does enclosing the aft deck for people planning on spending lots of time on the boat.
At the stern, Sea Ray offers a fixed, fiberglass swim platform with stainless boarding ladder, but many buyers opt for the 1,000-lbs. (454 kg.) capacity hydraulic platform which is a must for those planning on having a PWC or dingy on board. These watercraft can be launched with a press of a button.
A hydraulic option is available for the swim platform, and long experience has now shown builders that this popular option serves owners well as a launching platform for tender storage as well as creating the now requisite teak beach.
For owners who will be using the 510 Fly as a serious cruising boat, we would mark the hydraulic swim platform as a necessity as there is nowhere else to place the yacht's tender while underway. Removable chocks can be placed on the platform to hold the tender, then be removed when using the platform for swimming or entertaining. For those who don't want to go to the expense of a hydraulic platform, a Weaver-type mechanism can be installed at low-cost which will hold the tender on its side. Boaters who are just going from dock to dock can forget about both the tender and the hydraulic platform.
Moving to the lower deck of the 510 Fly is down a flight of companionway stairs to and area we will describe as an "atrium" because the overhead is 10' high and there is so much ambient light coming in from the windshield above.
At the bottom of the steps are four wood doors, three leading to the staterooms and one leading to the day head. Sea Ray has also utilized the space under the stairs to install an optional washer/dryer unit, which can prove handy on long cruises. The "atrium" bulkheads have a wainscot treatment using special textured fabrics and walnut dado rail molding to finish the space off with a distinctive and up-market look.
The owners’ cabin is situated mid-ship and is full beam width. This is the most stable part of the yacht, so it helps reduce rolling and hopefully a better night sleep. Several layout options are available for this cabin. Our test boat had dressers port and starboard, but the option with a settee to one side seemed better since otherwise there is no place to sit except for the bed.
Tea for Two.
A starboard dresser can be swapped out for opposing seating with a table next to the hull side window. This option creates a cozy little, romantic spot for the owners to unwind at night with a bottle of Dom Perignon. Conversely, it’s a good spot to linger in the morning with a bracing cup of coffee and look out the large portlight.
is a queen size innerspring mattress just like at home and feature drawer storage below. We measured 71” of headroom on centerline and 66” on port and starboard sides of the bed. Best of all, the same Bose surround sound system in the salon can be installed in this stateroomAll joiner work in the test boat was walnut, just as in the salon, giving the boat a unity of décor that works best on yachts of all sizes. For appointments, the entire accommodations deck was carpeted with Stainmaster carpets. All curtains are custom made in-house. Rift-cut white oak is also available for all interior joinery.
The master head is good-sized for a 51’ (15.54 m) motoryacht. With three separate areas, two people can get ready for an evening ashore at the same time. By the wash basin it offers 82”of headroom and has 85” of headroom in the separate stall shower with seat. Grohe faucets, tile flooring, and a quiet VacuFlush toilet complete the space.
VIP Guest Stateroom
The forward cabin is designated for guests and has an island berth that uses an innerspring mattress for maximum comfort and is household queen size. Storage can be found in lower cabinets as well as two cedar-lined hanging lockers. A LCD TV with built in DVD player supplies the entertainment for the cabin.Her head room is 6'6" and there is a good amount of room both at the foot of the bed and round to the sides. Because of the horizontal hull side windows and the forward hatch, there is plenty of light in this cabin.
The 510 Fly offers a third cabin for guests located to port. There are several important things to this cabin: 1) It has 6'8" of headroom; 2) It has real beds that are 24" wide and 80" long; 3) It has enough room in which to move around and change clothes. This room uses a convertible twin bed system that can be joined to make a single 48” by 80” berth. Storage can be found under the mattresses, in the cabinets, as well as the cedar lined hanging locker. Unlike some third cabins, this one is not an after-thought.
Guest Head/Day Head
Virtually all boats in class, whether they have two or three staterooms, all have two heads, the second serving double duty as a day head. Just forward of the master head compartment is the guest/day head. On the Sea Ray 510 Fly this space is almost identical in features and amenities found in the master, but privacy doors leading to the "atrium" and the guest cabin add convenience and privacy. Headroom is generous in the compartment at an average of 79” throughout.The boat comes standard with a holding tank (68 gallons) with dockside pump-out.
The engine room is reached through a large hatch in the sole of the aft deck. A stainless steel removable ladder leads down to a position between the two engines. Headroom is 54" on the centerline.
Access to Equipment.
Sea cocks are easily reachable, as are the oil dipsticks on the mains. The generator on the other hand is located just outboard of the port side engine, which make for some challenging work to do basic service. "Y"-shaped metal deck support struts restricted access from forward for our 6'5", 265-lb test captain. It was possible to get between the engines to move aft to reach the sea water strainers and the ZF transmissions. An automatic fire suppression system with diesel shutdown at both helms is standard safety gear.
includes a pair of 600-hp Cummins QSC diesels with V-drives.
consists of twin 684-hp Cummins QSM 11s with V-drives or Zeus pod drives, or Cummins QSC 600 diesels.
The standard generator
is a 13.5 kW Onan with sound shield, remote start, muffler, and its own closed cooling system, which is the preferred way to go. Optional generators are 11 kW and 17 kW, both from Onan. Some optional equipment requires more power, and in that case the larger generator is required. Sea Ray has selected Onan because it is a division of Cummins, therefore their engine techs can work on all three engines.
We conducted our test of the Sea Ray 510 Fly in the ICW about 10 miles north of the builder's Palm Coast, Florida factory. This guaranteed us flat water and optimal testing conditions for both speed and fuel economy during the 82-degree day. Test power was twin Cummins QSC diesels rated at 600-hp driving through Zeus pods.
speed recorded was 32.1 mph (27.9 knots) at 3000 rpm. At that speed the boat was burning 64.67 gph.
was found to be also at the WOT speed where the boat has a range of 223 statute miles, or 194 nautical miles. This is a phenomenon we have seen before with some boats. Essentially it means that captains can let this boat rip, and the faster the better, in terms of miles traveled per gallon burned. Our guess is that most owners will chose to run from 18 to 22 knots (21 to 26 mph) which will consume from 47 to 55 gph. See the test numbers for full details.
The 510 Fly is the largest boat in Sea Ray's "Sport Yacht" Series, and we very much agree with that designation. Indeed, her handling is definitely "sporty". We put her through a slalom course at speed that had her cranking and banking like a small sportboat. She obeyed commands from the helm instantly and we would have no worries taking her through a Maine lobster pot field at most any speed.
Like all pod drive boats, the 510 Fly's turning radius is governed by software that has been pre-programmed to keep the boat and its guests on the flying bridge safe during turning maneuvers. That means the faster the boat is going, the wider is the turning radius. Nevertheless, when running the boat in the mid-teen mph range we were able to turn and stay in the channel of the ICW. At idle she would turn in about 1-1/2 boat lengths, slowly getting wider as we went faster.
The Achilles heel of conventional inboard-only propulsion -- and to some degree even those inboard boats with bow thrusters -- is their difficulty in handling strong cross-currents when entering a slip. The Zeus drives tame those issues by computer controlling the thrust from the drives -- and that thrust from the counter-rotating props is significant.
Switching to the joystick
controls at either of the helms, allow the pilot to hold the vessel in one spot or to move her easily into a tight slip. We also found the joystick handy when making continuous tight turns and spinning the huge boat around on her axis was…fun. A joystick is also available with the V-drives, as long as a bow thruster is fitted.
Major Standard Equipment
Sea Ray provides as standard equipment a complete set of ground tackle, including a galvanized anchor, chain and rode. The boat has a through-the-stem stainless steel anchor chute that we like because it keeps the anchor off the neck, making handling it easier and cleaner. An anchor windlass and fresh water washdown bib located in the anchor locker also comes standard.
Standard Air Conditioning.
Sea Ray provides as standard a 40,000 BTU zone-controlled air conditioning system that should generate more than enough cooling to keep the interior comfortable on the late warmest southern days, even with the greenhouse effect of the huge glass windows taken into account. It’s also a reverse cycle system, so Northern boaters will also be kept comfortable in the shoulder seasons.
The standard arch not only provides for a mounting point for the radar antenna array, but also for the optional Bimini top. With that, the flying bridge has shade when needed and sun when wanted.
Sea Ray has transitioned completely away from the high-heat/high-load Halogen lights and gone completely to LED lighting that provides better lighting without the heat or high demands on the electrical system. They also last significantly longer and are safer.
The MSRP of the boat with twin 600-hp Cummins diesels is about $1.5 million, depending on equipment and location.
The Sea Ray 510 Fly fulfills most motoryacht functions and she is about as small as a true motoryacht can be. She was designed to be competitive with her European competition, where boats of this size and type are basically used as day boats to go from a marina to a beach and back, or take short trips from marina to marina at high speed. Certainly in that she can excel, but she can do much more.
When it comes to handling a crowd of people for a day on the water sight-seeing, sun bathing, or dropping the hook at a friendly beach, the 510 Fly can do as well as any boat in class. When it comes to handling 15 people or so for a cocktail party, her combined salon and aft deck with no galley in between makes her a clear winner in our book.
Options for a Specific Purpose.
With the addition of a few options, the 510 Fly can do much more than be a day boat for entertaining and sun bathing. For example, in the case of shipping a tender to make her a true cruising vessel, the optional hydraulic swim platform will have to be included. Then head south to the tropics. Put some cruising canvas aboard and head north.
But the most important aspect for most consumers on both sides of the Atlantic is styling, and here the European boats may have met their match -- in more ways than one.
schedules for the 510 Fly calls for one being built each week in Sea Ray's Palm Coast factory.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray 510 Fly (2015-) is 32.1 mph (51.7 kph), burning 64.67 gallons per hour (gph) or 244.78 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray 510 Fly (2015-) is 21.0 mph (33.8 kph), and the boat gets 0.44 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.19 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 199 miles (320.26 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 600-hp Cummins QSC 600 with Skyhook Zeus.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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