The L650 Fly was designed to be the "best of the best" of what Sea Ray is capable of. She has premium upholstery, woodwork, and hardware that Sea Ray feels is all state-of-the-art and will allow her to compete directly against top-tier boats in class. Make no mistake about it, Sea Ray management is aiming at the top boats in class in terms of styling, quality, performance and market appeal. The L650 Fly is to serve as a sterling representative the company's new L-Class ("L" for Luxury), a fresh series of premium yacht designs.
It Starts With Engineering
The L650 Fly is the first Sea Ray boat to ever be built to a CE Category "A", Ocean, standard. This rating indicates that the vessel should be able to operate in the sea states with wave heights greater than 13’ (4 m +) and winds greater than 8 mph on the Beaufort scale (35-40 kts). We can see evidence of this engineering in places on deck. For example, the side decks are designed to channel any shipped water directly overboard, rather than back into the aft cockpit. The aft deck has grates separating its deck from that of the main salon as required by CE standards, and underneath, while we couldn’t access them to measure, it appeared that the drains leading overboard were at least 6” (15 cm).
SeaKeeper Gyro Stabilizers.
Two SeaKeeper Gyro Stabilizers come standard with the L650. In a test conducted by BoatTEST.com several years ago we found that one SeaKeeper gyro dampened roll about 50% in a 50' motoryacht. Two should be even more powerful. This creates a huge difference in the boat's riding comfort both underway and at rest. These two units are probably the second most expensive items of equipment after the main engines.
Because of the bow draw of the gyros, plus the demands of the 90,000 BTUs of standard air conditioning a larger than normal Onan generator is standard.
NiCad Battery System.
The L650 Fly has just four large NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries which have a high discharge rate delivering more power faster than conventional wet batteries. They are also quite expensive.
Even a cursory look at the L650 Fly makes it clear that this yacht has more than a “wow” factor, it’s simply in a whole new level for Sea Ray.
Bow Social Area.
Behind the sun pad is an oval seating area with an optional side mount pedestal table that is accessible from both sides of the foredeck. The forward seats have seatbacks that elevate from the sun pad. And the whole area can be protected with the addition of an optional shade system. An optional stereo will add even more to the areas relaxing atmosphere.
Bow and Stern Thrusters.
With these two thrusts and the boat's large inboard props, docking, even in a cross-current should be a non-issue.
Washer and Dryer.
Individual washer and dryer units come standard and these are much preferable to the combo units on the market.
Dual Stidd Helm Seats.
Stidd helm chairs are the most expensive on the market, seem to have all the options included, such as arm rests and height adjustments, and are comfortable.
Galley Up and Forward.
The trend lately in virtually every large boat we have seen has been to put the galley up and aft. Sea Ray has gone with a more conventional forward location, but has opened up the galley, putting refrigerator and freezer drawers below the counters. By eliminating any galley bulkheads, Sea Ray has kept the whole inside of the main deck unobstructed and open -- just the way more people like it these days. It also lends the galley as a main part of the social zones in this open layout deck.
Standard Lower Helm.
Quite often when a boat has a flying bridge, the builder uses that as an excuse to eliminate the lower helm in an attempt to squeeze more features into the main deck. Not so with the L650 Fly. Here we have a standard lower helm station. This frees up the flying bridge from being wrapped in isinglass for all weather operations, which in our opinion, completely destroys the sleek looks of a boat.
European-Style Flying Bridge.
Forward of the port-side helm are convertible chaise loungers that can be made into seats or a huge sun pad. This is a departure for an American builder and signals that this boat is also intended for European customers. The aft deck of the flying bridge is used for entertaining, with a wet bar and U-shaped seating. Tender handling has been relegated to the extended stern platform.
Two Tables on Flying Bridge.
We rarely see two dining tables on the flying bridge of any size boat, but here it is on the L650. This certainly makes the bridge cocktail party-friendly. Having a second table in the starboard position next to the helm allows the guest to continue to enjoy the ambiance, and meals, while remaining in close proximity to the captain/host.
The advantages of four staterooms are obvious for people with large families, or who want to put the boat into the charter trade. But for those customers that plan on having fewer guests, the 4th stateroom can be converted to a pantry or office upon request.
Standard Hydraulic Swim Platform.
Most boats in class have this platform as optional equipment. Since Sea Ray thinks its owners will be using the boat for real cruising, it has made a place for the ship's tender standard equipment with a rated capacity of 1,200 lbs. (544 kgs).
Day Head in Lazerette.
The L650 Fly is the only boat that we know of that has created a standard day head in the boat's lazerette. We think that this is creative design thinking and will certainly be handy for those on the aft deck and for part-time crew.
Set-Up for Owner/Operator.
By making both a bow and a stern thruster standard, the L650 Fly should be as easy to dock as any 65-footer (19.81 m) on the market. A joystick is optional, and with it can come optional docking stations, such as on the aft deck.
The flying bridge for the L650 Fly can seat 13 people for cocktails or lunch, plus five more for sun bathing. There are two sit-down venues -- aft U-shaped seating that wraps around a fiberglass table, and forward is a second dining/gathering area in the form of booth seating. An outdoor galley that includes a sink, icemaker and refrigerator plus an optional electric grill is just ahead. To port is corner seating that faces the aft seats. A pair of contoured forward facing chaise lounges is fully forward, doublewide to starboard, and single to port, just ahead of the helm. All of this can be protected by an optional hardtop with opening sunroof. A retractable sunshade system extending aft of the hardtop is also an option. With so many seating positions up top, the Sea Ray L650 Fly makes an ideal excursion boat or yacht club VIP boat to watch the start of sailboat races.
At the helm Sea Ray has gone heavy on standard electronics. The yacht comes with an autopilot, 12” chartplotter, 4 kW HD open array radar, and a VHF radio, among other things. An optional feature that is unique to Sea Ray is available that uses three cameras around the yacht and sophisticated software to stitch together an overhead view with distance rings similar to a radar display. This gives a better overall orientation as to where the L650 Fly is in relation to her surroundings.
Sea Ray went with a hydraulic swim platform with a 1,200 lb. (544 kg) capacity as standard. Not only can this be used for carrying and launching the ship's tender but it can also be used as a private beach wherever the boat happens to be anchored at the time. Both children and adults will love the "teak beach" features when the platform is partially submerged.
An option is available for crew quarters in the stern. If this is not selected, then the standard arrangement calls for the lazarette with transom, pantograph door access and a day head. A great feature for when the party is centered around the swim platform.
The main deck
is accessible from stairs at the swim platform to both port and starboard. With the salon on the same level as the aft deck, along with a flush entrance, the two areas can really be thought of as one continuous space that spans the inside and the outside.
The cockpit has a four-across aft seat surrounding a solid wood table. Pull up four director's chairs and there will be seating for eight. Sunbrella covering is supplied as standard. Side decks to both sides allow reasonably wide access to the bow. Heavy cleats with rollers and warping winches are to either side.
Big Boat Attributes.
In many ways, the L650 Fly has the aft deck of a much larger megayacht. To starboard she has a wet bar which can be fitted out with a grill, icemaker, fridge, etc. To port there are molded-in stairs to the flying bridge which makes access easy. As always, we advise consumers to put teak treads on all exterior fiberglass stairs for sure footing and safety. Because the flying bridge overhangs the entire aft deck, it is easy to enclose this space with isinglass to create a three-season venue or to brace against a chilly breeze in the summer time. This can become welcome "interior" space and can be had for very little money.
By situating the large salon in the aft section of the house, and by having four-panel glass doors that open up the salon to the aft deck, a very large entertainment space is created. The aft deck and the salon are flush, so an evening cocktail party can seamlessly move from outside in and then outside again as guests mix and mingle.
An L-shaped sofa
to starboard faces a three-across sofa to port. This opposing seating creates a comfortable conversational atmosphere and the quality materials, and soft toned color scheme enhance this living space. Leather stitching can be seen everywhere including the upholstery and drawer handles. Amenities include a Harman/Kardon home theater with a 50” (127 cm) flatscreen TV. Decks are hardwood. Interior bulkheads, paneling and joinery can be made of Dark Walnut or Light or Dark Cherry.
The galley is slightly elevated on the main deck, portside and forward, opposite the helm and dinette. It’s clearly an example of a stylish interior but beyond that, Sea Ray also exemplifies the functionality in the design. One of the most unique features of this particular galley is the electrically-actuated china cabinet that rises from the counter. Under the sink is a cabinet with a clever storage unit that utilizes what would otherwise be dead space that is out of reach. Sea Ray provided a well-equipped galley with an under counter freezer with icemaker, under counter refrigerator, three-burner ceramic stove and a microwave/convection oven. A dishwasher and wine chiller are optional. The aft counter has bar stools that allow this to be used as an eating space for light lunches or snacks. A beautiful back-lit art piece is in-laid into the aft side of the cabinetry adding to the stunning looks of the area.
The lower helm is non-glare and laid out with a pair of 12" (30.5 cm) displays to either side of a digital depth gauge. Above is a pair of CAT engine displays to either side of a center-mounted compass. Sea Ray includes a set of Raymarine E125 displays showing radar and chartplotter. Bow and stern thrusters are also standard.
The helm itself is over to starboard and dual Stidd seats are individually adjustable. The observer has easy access to one of the displays to aid in the navigation, in addition to the control for the remote spotlight and the dash-mounted VHF. Visibility is excellent through large windows with relatively narrow mullions. As an option, a watertight pantograph door can be installed by the captain's seat that leads to the starboard side deck.
Options for both the lower and upper helms include a GS 165 upgrade for the displays, a widescreen choice, a fishfinder module, and network interface cameras. We would also consider a weather module, and perhaps the T300 thermal night vision camera.
The bow isn’t without its unique characteristics. Rather than just plop a sun pad at the bow and call it a day, Sea Ray instead added curved seating accessed from both side decks. These forward-facing seats can also be augmented with a pedestal table to create a unique dining experience, or to just enjoy cocktails. As a social area, the space is enhanced by the sun pad forward, which of course couldn’t be left out of the equation, with seatbacks that lift from the pads to form opposing seating and a warm conversational area.
The accommodations deck consists of four staterooms, all with 55-oz. 100% Stainmaster carpeting. Wood doors provide privacy. Sea Ray went with LED lighting throughout. Outlets are chrome plated. A standard central vacuum system has a dual inlet. A full-size washer and dryer are standard.
The mid-ship master stateroom is full beam and well appointed. The berth is queen-sized with an innerspring mattress, and pillows, sheets and coordinated spreads are all included. Natural light streams in from hull-side windows to port and starboard. Optional seating is available such as dinette seating for face-to-face time or a lounger providing a place to relax and contemplate the surroundings out the hull side windows. Entertainment is standard and consists of a Harmon/Kardon receiver, Bose module and cube speakers and a 40” (102 cm) TV.
The master head
is strategically located behind the berth providing a secondary level of noise reduction from the engine room on the other side of the aft bulkhead. (FYI -- The engine room is insulated with 2” of noise reduction and a loaded vinyl barrier.) The head has twin vessel sinks on top of the counter, and just beneath, the drawer has compartments that flank the sides of the sink drain.
The walk-in shower has a rain forest showerhead. A bidet is offered as optional.The head is accessed through the walk-in closet to port. This is one of the most space-efficient and practical master head design that we have ever seen.
The VIP is equally well appointed and also includes an ensuite head. As with the master, the berth is queen-sized with an innerspring mattress. The same bedding is offered as standard as is the entertainment system including a TV. Here the 50” (127 cm) is replaced with a 32” (81 cm).
Twin guest staterooms mirror each other and flank the entry companionway to the accommodations deck. Both have twin berths and the starboard stateroom twin berths are convertible to a queen.
The L650 Fly is powered by a pair of Cat C-18A 1150-hp engines. Seakeeper gyrostabilizers are standard. Glendinning joystick controls are offered to ease the transition to a larger class for operators that may feel they aren’t up to handling something such as the L650 Fly in close quarters. The engines themselves are fresh water cooled, lighting is 24V and a fire suppression system is installed. Bilge pumps are all 24V and high-water alarms are included.
This may be one of the most interesting decisions of all that the Sea Ray engineers made when designing the L650 Fly. Why not pod drives? There are some very good reasons why not. First, straight inboard drives are simple, very low maintenance, systems. What they may lack in some cruising speed efficiency they make up for in initial cost and elimination of annual service needs.
When it comes to boat handling and docking, the large pitch and diameter props are quite responsive just pulsing them into and out of gear. Add to that the standard bow and stern thrusters, and docking should be no more difficult than with any other system. For those of little faith, Sea Ray offers an optional software system that coordinates the main engines and the thrusters for joystick control.
Does it work?
It works remarkably well. We were able to maneuver around the dock with exacting precision. And when we did it, we decided that almost anyone can use a joystick so we didn’t touch it. We used the push buttons that activated the thrusters, and gentle nudges of the control sticks to do all of our maneuvers at the dock and it worked flawlessly. We gently laid against the dock, pulled away, rotated, backed the stern to, and then rotated again to lay gently against the dock again on the other side, all with the just the thrusters and pulsing the engine controls.
The fuel tanks total 1,030-gallons (3,899 L) total and electric transfer pumps balance the load. There is an option for an additional 120 gallons (456 L) of fuel and we would go for this in any case. There are three Racor filters provided, two for the mains and one for the generator.
Sea Ray includes a Onan genset inside a sound shield with a remote start, muffler, closed cooling, and a separate seawater strainer.
10 stainless steel cleats provide easy secure points for dock lines. All handrails are 316 stainless steel. Storage for fenders and lines, plus the optional foredeck shade system is in large compartments flanking the bow storage. Additional fender and line storage is in the transom.
We're happy to see that Sea Ray has installed as standard a remote-control Glendinning Cablemaster system with 85' (25.9 m) of 50 Amp cord.
The Sea Ray L650 Fly has a LOA of 65’1” (19.9m), a beam of 17’2” (5.2 m), and a draft of 61” (155 cm). With an empty weight of 80,500 lbs (36,514 kg), full fuel and 5 people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 86,075 lbs. (39,043 kg). With the twin 1150-hp CAT C18 ACERTs turning 34x75 5-bladed Veem props, we reached a top speed of 30.7 kts at 2300 rpm. At that speed fuel burn was measured at 118 gph. Best cruise came in at the recommended CAT high cruise setting of 80% load and 1960 rpm. That setting had us running at 23 kts with a 90 gph fuel burn.
Upon arrival to the test boat, Sea Ray’s delivery captain was quick to tell us of the virtues of the L650 Fly and how it “was the best boat he’s been on”…. blah blah blah. Sorry, Captain, but we’ve heard that song before and we’ll make our own determination, thank you. But the thing is, as it turns out, he was speaking the truth. This is among the best handling boats we’ve tested in class. It had a solid feel, but also had a marked measure of "sprightly" responsiveness. It handled sea conditions well too, cutting through waves instead of launching over them. She did throw water but all boats do, so no points taken away. But as good as she was handling for us she had more to give. As it turns out, Sea Ray equips this boat with a pair of SeaKeeper gyro-stabilizers as standard equipment. Since they’re on every L650, we saw no need to leave them turned off. Once on, the already stable ride became even more so. That’s when we were convinced that their captain knew what he was talking about and it’s also when we agreed with his assessment. Any prospective customers need only to take a test ride to be convinced that this is the boat for them.
Just the Facts
Ok so enough high praise. Suffice it to say we were duly impressed. She has automatic trim tabs so there was minimal bow rise on acceleration. At cruise she has a natural 6-degree bow high attitude.
In turns she leans 10-degrees until her weight takes over from the momentum of the turn and she’ll settle in at 8-degrees. She does tend to “drop her shoulder” a bit in hard turns but that seems to enhance the visibility in the turn and allow a clear view of the water that much closer to the bow. She’ll come around a full circle in 50 seconds and take up roughly 2 to 3 boats lengths to do it while at cruise speed.
Options to Consider
Each owner will use the L650 Fly differently, so options will be different as well. For long distance cruising (which is how we'd use the boat), in addition to the extra fuel tankage, we'd add a few more things that would increase the utility of the L650 Fly. Here is what we would consider--•
Electrical Retracting Awning.
This extends from the hardtop on the flying bridge over to the aft settee. This will keep guests out of the sun. Likewise, we would go for the optional fiberglass hardtop with opening electric sunroof. This is the most expensive of the options, but undoubtedly will look the best.•
While we like the L650 Fly as a easy-to-handle owner/operator boat, we do not look forward to washing her down in the evening, to say nothing about compounding her hull a couple of times a year. We would have a young person on as a mate to clean the boat and facilitate yard work, as well as to toss lines and fenders when docking. The crew cabin on the L650 Fly works well for a mate or even a captain. •
Dishwasher and Watermaker.
Every boat this size whether used for family cruising or entertaining needs a dishwasher. Trouble is that it along with a washing machine and a couple of teenagers will go through the ship's 280 gallons (1,060 L) of fresh water quickly. While water is available most anywhere these days, we'd want a watermaker for times anchored in places like the Bahamas or in the far north away from marinas.•
Side Helm Door.
We like the fact that Sea Ray is offering an optional pantograph side door just behind the lower helm. Most boats in class don't offer this option. •
Teak Cockpit and Steps.
People and a boat only get one chance to make a good first impression and we think teak is the best way to do it. Plus teak treads need to be on all fiberglass stairs for sure footing. •
Either the one for the aft deck or the one for the flying bridge. •
Oil Changing System.
We are for anything that makes work easier or faster, and an oil changing system for the three or four engines on the boats is a must as far as we're concerned. •
With overnight parcel services being what they are these days, spare props can always be mailed in most anywhere in one or two days -- if they are available. Trouble is, with boats this size, typically a set of props that are exactly what is needed are not sitting on a parts shelf, or to find that shelf will take time. •
The standard tables supplied are durable, low-maintenance fiberglass. But we like the feel and look of wood. It properly reflects the character of the rest of the boat much more than fiberglass.
Sea Ray has been quite pointed about stressing the fact that its new L650 Fly will not only be luxurious, but also practical. Indeed, by making the hydraulic stern platform standard for the ship's tender, putting two Stidd chairs at the lower helm for the owner and companion, by putting the salon and aft deck adjacent for a large party, and by powering the boat with inboard drives with bow and stern thrusters, Sea Ray has designed a boat that is immensely practical. When we compare the L650 Fly with the premier yachts in class we see that being Johnny-come-lately has its advantages. The Sea Ray designers were able to survey all of the other boats in class, pick and choose among the best attributes and then come up with some of its own to produce a very competitive vessel. Things we like about the boat other than those details mentioned above--•
The Master Head.
A superb use of space in our opinion, combined with the walk-in closet. •
Day Head in the Lazerette.
This is exceedingly practical and rarely seen. •
Bow Table and Seating.
While this idea has been around awhile, it is usually seen on larger boats. We are glad Sea Ray could incorporate it in 65' (19.81 m). •
Inboard Engines and Thrusters.
For those who have never had the joy of commanding a large inboard yacht, let us say there is something to be said for the large pitch and diameter props that by just putting them in gear can move the boat easily. Add to that bow and stern thrusters and docking is a piece of cake. •
This is a small, inexpensive thing, but the fact that they are added as standard equipment indicates to us the mind-set of Sea Ray engineers when they created the boat. She is intended to be used, and not just be an expensive ferry to get from marina to marina.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray L650 Fly (2016-) is 35.4 mph (57 kph), burning 118.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 446.63 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray L650 Fly (2016-) is 26.5 mph (42.6 kph), and the boat gets 0.3 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.13 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 273 miles (439.35 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 1150-hp CAT C18 ACERT.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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