Sea Ray has moved to fill a gap between its affordable “sport” lineup and the luxury SLX models and created a somewhat cost-conscious line that still embraces an upscale look. The result is the SPX Series. Affordable, but depending on how she gets optioned out, still embraces many of the amenities that the brand is well known for. Perhaps most importantly, the hulls are the same as her more expensive siblings, and for that reason we expect the ride and the handling to be on a par with them.
- 4 optional packages: Captain's, All Sport, Elevation and Select
- Standard dual-axle painted trailer with disc brakes and swing-away tongue with LED lighting
- Edgier, sporty style with molded hullside accents
- Expanded cockpit design
- Standard power-assisted steering and tilt wheel
- 12V AM/FM stereo with wireless Bluetooth and 4 weatherproof speakers
- Convertible sun pad with aft facing backrest with port transom walkthrough
- Stainless steel ski tow eye
- Starboard/aft L-shaped bench seat with insulated cooler and storage tub below
- Helm bucket seat with swivel and slider
|Length Overall||21' 6'' / 6.55 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.3 sec.|
|0 to 30||7.9 sec.|
|Props||17 Vengeance SS|
|Load||2 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of fuel|
|Climate||55 deg., 84 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm|
1 x 200-hp MerCruiser 4.5
1 x 200-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT Alpha I sterndrive
1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI ECT Alpha I sterndrive
1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT Alpha I sterndrive
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Sea Ray has created four new entry-level, affordably-priced runabouts called the SPX Series. The 210 SPX includes flexible seating in the cockpit with either outboard or sterndrive power. Value-priced either way, the new 210 SPXs appeal to a wide audience who go boating on a budget and want to keep operating costs low.
There are basically three goals to the SPX boats that Sea Ray wanted to embody…
1. Highly Customizable
Choose propulsion: Sterndrive or outboard. And then dial it in with a group of optional packages, each designed to customize the boat according to how it will be used.
- There's an Elevation Package ($4,400) that leans towards watersports... or...
- An All-Sports package ($3,593) that embraces fishing and skiing.
- There is a "Select Package" that was on our test boat that transforms the 210 SPX into a luxury sportboat ($4,600 that includes an upholstery upgrade (with two color choices), premium finishing, a helm upgrade, LED lights and stainless steel upgrades, and SeaDek platform matting.
- Additional “trim” packages include the Captain’s Package, adding a battery switch, depth finder and a premium helm seat ($780).
- And a Stainless Steel Upgrade package targeting rub rail inserts, drink holders and all latches/grab handles ($333).
Hull Graphics Options.
Sea Ray also offers numerous hullside and pattern color combinations for the SPX boats! So clearly there’s a lot of customization involved in the purchase of the SPX. But Sea Ray has made the purchase process easier by creating an automotive style configurator. And we think it’s a pretty good idea.
The goal is to offer the Sea Ray hallmarks to an entirely new audience. These new boats have, by far, the most aggressive pricing throughout the company’s entire lineup. Certainly they can be had for less money than the “Sport” lineup, which previously served as Sea Ray’s entry-level boats.
3. Thoroughly Sea Ray
No corners were cut in the build process, and all materials remain consistent with the Sea Ray brand. This is a boat that will not only appeal to first time boaters, but the important aspects of hull and deck design and general layout are the same as her more expensive siblings, or nearly so.
So What Does SPX Stand for Anyway?
When creating this new lineup, Sea Ray wanted to not so much abandon its old models, but build on them. It already had its entry-level boats, the “Sport” lineup. Plus, it had the luxury lineup, the “SLX” Series. What needed to happen is to create a new and affordable Sport line but keep some (but not all, of course) of the luxury, fit-and-finish of the SLX boats. The combination of the two is what became the SPX line.
Ready to Play
The well-styled 210 SPX comes standard with the basics for water fun, but sport aficionados will want to upgrade either model with the ‘Elevation Package’. This factory-installed set-up includes items such as an aluminum tube wake tower with board racks, an integral Bimini top and a ski mirror.
In addition, there is an option for the very handy Perfect Pass control system ($1,367) that allows the pilot to set tow speeds for each individual and recall them at the press of a button. This takes the guesswork out of pulling skiers and ensures that they get the same pull each time. No matter the sport, a large locker in the sole of the cockpit provides storage for skis, boards and other toys.
The “Select” version of the SPX adds a host of treatments that bring affordable up to the premium level. The upholstery comes in two color choices and we can see custom embroidery along with softer materials throughout.
The sterndrive version comes standard with the 200-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT.
An optional engine upgrade is the 4.3L MerCruiser V6 220-hp ($1,067) offering mid-level performance, or bounce right on up to the 4.5L V6 ($2,667) that cranks out 250 horses with ECT, has an Alpha 1 drive and a stainless steel prop. Although there is only a 30-hp difference between the two optional engines, the 4.5 is the latest in propulsion technology and will work better in high altitude or hot environments.
With the base 200-hp 4.5L MerCruiser engine turning a 17” (43.2 cm) ss prop and Alpha drive, our speed topped out at 45.7 mph. But more importantly, we measured our best economy at 3000 rpm and 26.9 mph. That more comfortable speed brought with it a fuel burn of 5.8 gph and we could maintain that speed for 6 hours and 12 minutes and 167 miles, all while holding back a 10% reserve for emergencies.
The boat’s 3,400 lb. (1,542 kg) dry weight and a 19-degree V-bottom hull was designed to provide a smooth, dry ride even when the water gets lumpy, yet not be so deep-V that top speed and fuel economy are drastically affected. Indeed, we were impressed with her handling on our test day. Naturally at top speed we could generate some pounding, but when pulled back to a reasonable cruise speed she showed a surprisingly cool ride up and over the swells while staying dry. With the light chop she would skip from one wave to the next with a smooth re-entry, producing yet another enjoyable ride.
Out on the water she really shows off her edgy looks with the sport graphics along with the molded contour lines of the topsides. Also notice how Sea Ray installed a more angular windshield frame instead of the traditional curved type. To our eye, this enhances the sporty looks. In turns we’re met with just enough slide to eliminate any concern for having a death grip on the grab handles, even with our heavy handed test maneuvers. Frankly, everything about this ride showed a boat that’s all about comfort and upscale features.
Sea Ray took full advantage of the boat’s beam and carried it well forward to a more rounded bow area. Not coming to a sharp V adds more space and therefore more comfort. The bow area offers seating for three in the form of lounge space for two facing forward, and one facing aft. In this manner, a comfortable social area is created. That aft-facing seat also makes a comfy observer’s station when towing as it has the added benefit of being directly in the line of sight of the captain.
The removable seat cushions reveal storage compartments below, while a pair of rubberized grab handles provide security while underway. Both consoles have backrest cushions for facing forward and there is another in the bow for a person facing aft.
Step Right Up…
Under the aft facing bow seat is a set of steps leading to the non-skid wrapping around the bow. In this manner, the 210 SPX can be easily boarded, or disembarked, from the bow. It’s also another way to enter the water…just launch right off the bow.
The stern features a good-sized, beam-width swim platform with room for gearing up for the water. Set high above the waterline, the platform has a recessed, four-rung boarding ladder and optional SeaDek padding is available.
Sun Pad and Chaise Seating
Sea Ray took the traditional aft sun pad and added in a convertible seat. The forward section of the pad can be raised to create a reclining seat back, and it makes a good spot to relax at any time the 210 SPX isn’t underway.
A port side transom walkthrough eases the access into the cockpit. This walkthrough then takes a slight turn to the diagonal before entering the cockpit. This is an unusual design feature that we’re seeing more and more as it does a surprisingly good job of adding space to the seating. Thanks to this design, regardless of where one sits, there are no knees knocking and while the space remains social, there’s no crowded feel to the seating.
Another hidden gem is that Sea Ray narrowed down the gunwales a bit and this, along with what is the widest beam in class, adds to the spacious feel of the cockpit.
In the cockpit, we find some creative solutions to the age-old problem facing sportboat designers; namely, should the seating be set up for running, partying or towing? Sea Ray's design team has come up with a surprisingly simple solution that allows the cockpit to fulfill all three requirements. This plays well into one of the original themes, which is configurability.
A long bench seat to port offers room for sitting three-across. With three people sitting here, three aft and one in the swiveling captain's seat, seven people can be accommodated in the cockpit for drinks, a picnic or just conversation. And all this without any feeling of being shoe-horned into place and everyone having plenty of “elbow” room.
Removing the filler cushion, stowing it under the aft seat and then moving the seatback ahead creates a forward facing companion seat. That seat back serves double-duty by also becoming a seat back for a spotter when towing.
Yet, a third variation on the portside seating is to have the removable vertical seat back at the aft end of the bench making a chaise lounge facing forward. A padded backrest forward on the port console allows a companion to do the same facing aft.
At the back of the cockpit is a very large L-shaped seating arrangement. Two people can face forward in the aft seat bench seat and two more can sit athwartships facing to port. Storage bins and a designated beverage cooler nook (to starboard) can be found below the cushions. Virtually no space has gone to waste in the 210 SPX. All told, in entertainment mode, eight people can comfortably sit in this cockpit.
The helm offers the captain a swivel bucket seat that adjusts fore and aft. Nestled behind a tinted glass, flat panel windshield, the driver has good views of the instrumentation that includes multifunction gauges, a power-assisted sport steering wheel and conventional side-mount engine controls.
The base price of the Sea Ray 210 SPX powered by the 200-hp 4.5L Mercury engine is $43,886, including destination charges and trailer.
Options to Consider
Every boat owner has their own slightly different needs and desires, so by carefully looking over the option list and selecting only options that are necessary the price of the 210 SPX can be kept at around $50,000. We are often asked by readers what we recommend for options, so here is how we would option out the boat for general sportboat use-
4.5L 250-hp MerCruiser Engine. We have tested this engine. We like it and think that it’s well worth the up charge over the 220-hp 4.3L model - ($2,667)
Canvas Package. Sea Ray's pricing on canvas is one of the best in class. Every boat needs some canvas, but this package has it all -- Bimini with front, side and aft curtains (this greatly increases the utility of the boat), cockpit cover, Tonneau cover and bag - ($2,300)
Captain’s Package. This package includes a battery on/off switch (a necessity in our book), depth sounder and a premium level helm seat with bolster (also something we think is necessary) - ($780)
Elevation package, leaning towards watersports including a sports tower, ski mirror and tower racks - ($4,400)
Select package, offering luxury on the water with two interior color options, upgraded upholstery, premium helm, LED lights and stainless steel upgrades - ($4,600)
Automatic Engine Room Fire Suppression System. We are very careful about daily engine checks and being Boy Scout when re-fueling, nevertheless, this system in our option is just good, cheap, one-time insurance policy - ($333)
Stainless Steel Component Upgrade. We hate to see weeping rust stains on hardware - ($333)
Total bill for having the Sea Ray 210 SPX "our way": $50,867
We are big supporters of small boats that combine functionality, usability, and good aesthetic styling and safety -- and it looks like the Sea Ray 210 SPX very much fits that description. Further, her options are reasonably priced.