Sea Ray set out to make the 290 Sundeck a luxury day boat and not speedster since most enthusiasts are not driven by velocity. Her single engine, 300 horsepower propulsion reveals that, but there is an optional 380-hp big block available should the need arise. Standard power is from the honored MerCruiser 350 cu.in. small block V8 with emission control technology (ECT) that meets the latest EPA clean air standards. The 8.2 L big block also has the ECT technology and may be the better choice for high altitude applications. Both engines include digital throttle and shift, and share a common Bravo 3 sterndrive with counter-rotating propellers. Hydraulic trim tabs are standard issue for the 290 Sundeck and when used with the SmartCraft auto trim mode, make for smooth and effortless piloting.
We have not yet tested Sea Ray’s new 290 Sundeck.
The squarish bow
design provides generous U-shaped seating for nearly a half dozen folks. Here, the group can enjoy lunch, cocktails or a card game while not being interrupted by the party at the back. This convertible seating area has a pair of wide chaise lounges for cruising or for sun tan work. Each seat bottom features a hinged cushion for the storage compartments below, and there is a handy integrated beverage cooler as well. Beach access is simplified via a concealed boarding ladder nestled under the forward hatch that is assisted by gas struts.
The 290 Sundeck’s stern
lounge is the benchmark of what relaxing is all about. A pair of aft-facing recliners cradle the occupants with day-spa styled luxury and keeps beverages at hand with a centerline cooler. The seats’ arm and footrests really make the space, as does the optional SeaDek flooring fitted to the swim platform and transom walkthrough.
A very large swim platform is the recreational key to this boat. It is deep and wide, and provides a massive, recessed boarding step designed for heavy usage and safety. Several wet lockers can also be found in the area, all with quality hardware and latches. A nice upgrade offered by Sea Ray is an optional hot water system for the transom shower.
is sleek and modern with a sophisticated minimalist flair. A center pod displays a SmartCraft monitor for navigation and vessel management, flanked by a pair of analog styled, multi-function gauges. A side mount digital throttle and shift (DTS) lever is standard with either of the two engine packages from MerCruiser. This is paired with a power assisted sport steering wheel and a deep console foot well for increased captain comfort. What I really like is the wide, flip-flop helm and companion seats. These units are generously upholstered for maximum comfort and feature a backrest that can recline to convert the cockpit seats into another pair of oversized loungers.The companion side console provides a fully lined head compartment with portable toilet and vanity with sink. There is also a small porthole to give the space a little ventilation. Several useful upgrades for the compartment exist including a pump-out VacuFlush toilet, shower unit and a grey water tank for restricted waterways.Numerous canvas options allow customizing the central entertainment space for four-season fun.
The cockpit lounge
starts with a roomy L-shaped settee to port and a wedge shaped wet-bar to starboard. Below all the seats are storage compartments, and the bar console offers a solid surface counter top with storage space below in the locker. Shading this space can be performed with the standard top arch or with the aluminum sports tower, both including an integral Bimini top.
The 380 horsepower engine upgrade is certainly worth considering, especially when it comes to time to resale the 290 Sundeck. Sea Ray also offers several trailer choices but the boat’s wide beam may require special permitting in some areas, so it’s a good idea to check before one buys. For entertaining purposes, the wet bar grill and refrigerator seem to make good sense, as does the stereo and shore power/battery upgrades.
The Sundeck line from Sea Ray has always been about maximizing play space without compromising ride quality. From my perspective, there is nothing worse than jostling one’s guest about when trying to enjoy the greatness of boating. Fortunately, the 290 Sundeck has the stability and size to provide a soft, dry ride. As far as looks go, the jury is still out; the retro flat-panel windshield goes well with the interior styling but it seems to date the boat’s exterior profile. Fortunately, there are a handful of hull colors and graphic packages available to jazz up the big runabout.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard AM/FM/Bluetooth Stereo|
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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