The mission of the Sea Ray 470 Sundancer is generally to provide an indoor/outdoor entertainment platform that has three separate venues for hanging out on the main deck. By creating a glass bulkhead with sliding door the boat has been transformed into an all-weather vessel with a 12,000 BTU AC/Heating system to make the main cabin as comfortable as possible in any condition. Below, the builder has moved space from the settee and galley into the mid stateroom, enlarging it to a point where the 470 Sundancer now has what can only be considered two master staterooms. Further, her new exterior styling makes her look fast and modern which should appear to the new generation of nautical fashionistas.
The Sea Ray 470 Sundancer has a LOA of 47’3” (14.4 m), a beam of 14’ (4.27 m) and a draft of 48” (122 cm) with pod drives. With a pair of 480-hp Cummins diesels turning those pods we reached a top speed of 28.7 kt at 3100 rpm. At that speed we were burning 41.3 gph for a range of 219.2 nm. Her most economical cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 27.3 kt. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 38 gph and increased the range to 226 nm. But the simple fact is that this best economy is marginally changed as we increase the throttles on up to full power. In fact, from 2750 rpm up she’ll travel at a consistent .7 nmpg, so this is really a boat that allows one to set the throttle based on the prevailing conditions rather than a concern over economy.
The 470 Sundancer is a great boat to handle. She has good wave penetration and while she throws water low and wide, the prevailing winds still managed to pick some of that up and send it back into the windshield, as expected. But the real beauty of being able to test in windy conditions was to experience for ourselves that comfort level, and we were impressed. There was no pounding, none, and this made the ride self-evident that guests onboard would be right at home on a long cruise with this boat.
Even more impressive was how stable she was in these conditions. Yes, we’ve been around boats a lot so the fact that our sea legs were accustomed to an uneven running platform had some sway, but the simple fact is that we were able to negotiate our way around the boat at all times without having to apply a death grip to rails and furniture to steady ourselves. That also bodes well for having guests aboard that may have little experience with being on the water.
Sea Ray completely redesigned the layout of the main deck to feature a theme of openness and light. It calls this design SkyFlow and not only does it serve to blur the line between inside and outside, but it carries the open feel of light deep into the lower decks.
Main Deck Interior
It’s hard not to be impressed at the first glance of the main deck. With no structures, such as a flying bridge, above the overhead, Sea Ray was able to take full advantage of the minimal support required for the hardtop and virtually surrounds the deck with wide windows. Of course privacy may become a concern with all this glass. Opt for the wood blinds ($1,250) in Light Cherry, Dark Cherry or Walnut. We’d also add the high gloss finish to the wood cabinetry ($10,000).There’s also an emphasis on creating a seamless transition from the forward end of the cockpit to the forward windshield by having all the decking being on a single level. There does however, seem to be a focus on gathering and entertaining with a distinct move away from a more formal dining area. This change is no-doubt the result of owner feedback.
To the rear of the main deck, Sea Ray created a multi-use cockpit that can be used for dining, sunning or entertaining. Inside the salon dual sofas serve to create a cozy conversational atmosphere and the light colored upholstery serves as an excellent counterpart to the contrasting dark tones of the deck and bulkheads. Wood flooring ($5,000) is an added option.
The aft doors
are powder coated, aluminum framed with tinted glass. The overhead has a fiberglass hardtop with an electric retractable sunroof. A stainless steel refrigerator is included as standard equipment. Forward is a 32” (81 cm) flatscreen TV with Blu-Ray player.
The helm station features a doublewide seat with individual flip up bolsters to allow operations from the standing position if desired. (FYI – There is ample standing headroom without having to open the sun roof, unlike some European designs.) The seats are mounted to a heady duty pedestal with a pneumatic vertical adjustment, something rarely seen on any size boat.
The faux wood-grain dash panel has open space for optional electronics. Sea Ray offers a Raymarine e165 widescreen color LCD with radar/GPS/chartplotter as the primary display ($5,750). A second aux display ($13,333) can mount right next to that. With the Zeus pod drive system ($78,333), autopilot integration is included, otherwise for the V-drives, an autopilot can be ordered separately ($6,250).
Maneuverability for the Timid Boat Handler
While on the subject of pod systems, let’s address the many ways this boat can be maneuvered and how it can be enhanced. For starters, the 470 Sundancer is delivered as standard with V-drive inboards. Some boaters, and certainly the long time captains, will find this perfectly acceptable and will do just fine with this system. Others… not so much. For the more faint of heart there are solutions.
First there’s the ever-popular Zeus pod drives
with joystick functionality ($78,333). This is a pricey, but extremely functional solution. Generally-speaking in this size and type boat pod drives are more fuel efficient than conventional inboards. But that is a fuel savings over inboards that will rarely make up for the pod-drive up charge.
A simpler, and more cost-effective solution
is to add a bow thruster ($13,417). This will increase the maneuverability of the 470 Sundancer, and the capability of its captain tenfold at only 1/6th the cost. With a practiced hand there’s virtually no docking situation that can’t be managed with this system, but the operative word here is “practiced”. It still takes a skill set. And in some circumstances such as strong cross current perpendicular to a tight slip, the bow thrust alone may not be enough.
Another option to increase that maneuverability
is to add both a bow and stern thruster ($16,667). Now all the maneuvers that pod driven boats enjoy are accessible with this system, still at a fraction of the cost. But of course we still don’t get that all too cool joystick addition to our panel. Not to fret.
Joystick coupling to provide ease of handling
and connectivity between the V-drives and the thrusters is offered for either the bow only, or the bow and stern thruster combination. A joystick for the bow-only setup adds $25,917 for a total of $39,334. A joystick connecting both thrusters with the V-drives adds $29,167 for a total of $45,834. Still a far cry from the $78,333 for the pod drives and there’s still all the maneuverability, yes including sideways maneuvers, to make everyone at the dock ooh and ahh at the boater’s mastery of the helm.
Main Deck Exterior
As the party moves outside, the cockpit becomes the main gathering area and this is as much a social location as the rest of the boat. L-shaped seating across the stern lies opposite an outdoor galley minimizing the travel needed for topping off the drinks and serving food. A cockpit grill ($3,058) is sure to be a popular option. Standard items include the sink with faucet, solid surface countertop, a trash receptacle and storage. Teak decking can be added ($7,500) as an option.An optional extendable shade ($12,500) deploys from the aft end of the hardtop above. Not that we would ever expect this boat to be used for a fishing trip but there are two rod holders in the side caprails, one to each side.Forward, on the foredeck, there’s a pair of chaise lounges with protecting side rails for safety and this makes a second external gathering area.
There are two ways to access the engine room. Simple daily checks can be done via a hatch in the salon. More intensive inspections can be done by electrically actuating the cockpit deck, exposing a much more expansive section of the engine room. Sea Ray uses a pair of Cummins QSB 6.7 480 HO engines with V-drive inboard propulsion as standard.
The engine room is insulated for sound attenuation with 2” (5.1 cm) of loaded vinyl barrier. Racor filters are provided for the mains and fuel lines are all type A-1. Fuel tanks are aluminum with electric shutoff valves and ultrasonic sending units. We’d add the oil change system ($1,500) with which to service the mains, generator and transmissions.Standard generator is a 13.5 kW diesel with sound shield, remote start, muffler, freshwater cooling, fuel filter with crossover, seacock and seawater strainer.
With V-drives the 2” (5.1 cm) stainless steel shafts run through dripless shaft logs and are connected to 4-blade Nibral propellers. Rudders are Manganese-Bronze. With Zeus, the aft-facing propellers are stainless steel with integrated trim tabs.
Heading below is now via an atrium that draws its light from above with an open companionway and larger hullside windows. This all allows for an interior that is more brightly lit and transitions between each of the boats areas is seamless. The lower deck is climate controlled from a 24,000 BTU reverse cycle system. A central vacuum system is offered ($1,000) as a major convenience consideration.
A small sofa lies to starboard
and it’s much more. It includes a full entertainment center with a gaming system port, iPod interface docking station, an MP3 port, a stereo with wireless Bluetooth, Sirius satellite receiver, amplifier, speakers, a 32” (81 cm) LED Smart TV with Blu-Ray player and DVD storage.
The galley is to port
and features include a solid surface countertop with a stainless steel sink, faucet and sink cover to add to the useable counter space. All lighting is 12V. Appliances include a microwave, a dual voltage refrigerator/freezer, and a two-burner stove with a black glass top.
The aft stateroom is full beam
and a queen-sized berth is mounted at an angle providing more room. It includes an innerspring mattress and standard bedding. The privacy door features a full-length mirror.As for the head, this has the toilet and shower separate from the sink and vanity. Both arrangements allow for a more efficient use of space.
The forward stateroom
features a full-size berth with an innerspring mattress with included bedding. Decking is carpeted wall-to-wall. Gunwale cabinets are above to port and starboard with additional storage in the deck, in two hanging lockers and two drawers under the bed.This stateroom includes a “split” head with the water closet to port and the enclosed shower to starboard. Flooring is tile and a VacuFlush head is standard. The vanity includes a solid surface countertop with a single basin sink and storage below. The shower door has a full length mirror and allows access from the forward stateroom. Flooring is also tile here. The shower includes a seat with an adjustable wand faucet.
As we would expect, there are a myriad of options available for the 470 Sundancer. Base pricing starts at $1,064,653 and builds from there. Checking off some of the more popular options available, and mentioned throughout this report, brought the MSRP up to $1,259,694.
It’s always nice to see when a company doesn’t sit on its laurels and maintain the status quo. Here, not only is Sea Ray constantly improving the breed but it does so with a keen eye towards customer feedback and out-of-the-box thinking.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sea Ray 470 Sundancer (2015-) is 36.9 mph (59.4 kph), burning 48.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 184.71 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray 470 Sundancer (2015-) is 31.4 mph (50.5 kph), and the boat gets 0.8 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.34 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 260 miles (418.43 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 480-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 480 HO Zeus.
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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