The Sea Ray SLX 350 Outboard is a bowrider that has been designed to appeal to boaters wanting outboard power on a large dayboat that can be used for entertaining and watersports. Equipped to host up to 18 guests and provide a day of fun at anchor or underway, the SLX 350 OB has features to take her a step beyond mere convenience without venturing into extravagance. Sea Ray advertises their boats as making owners “want to spend more time on the water,” and from the layout of the interior to the boat’s handling and controls, that is a succinct way of summing up their mission for the SLX 350 OB.
- • Outboard Propulsion. The SLX 350 OB is powered by outboard engines, thus breaking a long tradition of Sea Ray sterndrive power in bowriders, particularly large ones.
- • Standard Hardtop. The hardtop provides much needed shade as well as becoming an anchor for isinglass below and electronic aids above.
- • Joystick standard. By making a joystick standard, Sea Ray has made docking a triple-engine rig a non-issue.
- • Digital Dash and Vessel View. The SLX 350 OB features two 9” Raymarine touchscreen displays (one upgradeable to 12”) that coordinate vessel data, lighting control, and navigation information into one “dynamic” display at the helm. The SLX 350’s Vessel View comes from Mercury and consolidates the boat’s operation into one intuitive display. Air and water temperature, fuel flow and range, depth, ECO screen, Smart Tow, Troll Control, and system maintenance records -- all in one place.
- • Capacity capability. At 34’6”, the SLX 350 OB is one of the largest bow riders in class. Arguably, its most distinguishing feature is the boat’s capacity and ability to entertain. The SLX 350 OB is rated for 18 passengers with 11 facing forward while seated.
- • 4 Forward on helm “deck.” There are two individual seats at the helm and two more “companion” seats to port, something we rarely see on any size boat.
- • Large Dealer Network. Sea Ray has one of the largest dealer networks in class, something that might be important when boating outside of home waters.
- • Same company builds the engines. All engines offered in the 350 are made by Mercury Marine, which is owned by Brunswick, Sea Ray’s parent. This relationship should reduce issues of warranty in the matters related to the engines.
- • Hardtop Versatility. The hardtop comes standard for the SLX 350 OB, but with it comes a range of options. The standard hardtop can be outfitted with a radar, as well as a retractable sunroof, and a retractable SureShade canvas that provides sun coverage for the entire aft section of the boat.
- • Starboard compartment. While not long in headroom -- 4’6” to be exact -- the small “day room” in the starboard console features a portlight, an overhead light, space to recline, and is enclosed with a fiberglass liner standard. Upgrades include a radio, HD TV, iPod/ iPhone connectivity with weatherproof Rockford Fosgate speakers, and digital cockpit remote control for both the helm and transom.
- • Port Head Compartment. Enclosed with a fiberglass, lockable door in the portside console, the compartment has a solid surface countertop, sink, VacuFlush head, and 27-gallon holding tank. There is a wood storage cabinet: the door is mirrored, and there is a portlight and skylight.
- • Dynamic Running Surface. Weight balance, wake creation, limiting bow rise -- the dynamic running surface optimizes running attitude and trim, which can greatly improve stability and overall performance. The console at the helm also allows for saving presets so that, for example, the “perfect wake” can be achieved and easily replicated in the future. This comes as an option ($3,423).
- • Storage abounds. Rated as comfortably accommodating 18 passengers, the SLX 350 OB would naturally require an abundance of storage, and Sea Ray notes it as one of the boat’s key features. The design is innovative in it’s creation of storage space drawers below seats, storage space for more delicate items -- hanging storage for wardrobe items, for example. There is storage in the cockpit deck, under seating throughout, and dedicated space for food/cooler storage, as well.
- • Digital Throttle Control. Sea Ray has outfitted the 350 SLX OB with Mercury’s digital throttle control. Simply put, digitizing this operation makes the performance more consistent and predictable, with the boat’s capabilities more responsive.
- • Docking Lights ($385)
- • Dynamic Running Surface ($3,423)
- • Electric Grill (for the wet bar) ($2,462)
- • Helm Berth Upgrade (cushions, cup holders, iPod/iPhone connectivity, TV) ($2,077)
- • LED Light Package (exterior and cockpit) ($1,838)
- • Through-Hull Underwater Lighting ($1,000)
- • Macerator with Seacock Interlock System ($915)
- • Premier Audio Stereo Upgrade ($2,538)
- • Hydraulically Actuated Cockpit Table; Fiberglass/Teak ($10,769 - $11,231)
- • Air Conditioning for berth ($3,077)
- Top speed for the Sea Ray SLX 350 OB (2017-) is 59.5 mph (95.8 kph), burning 89.7 gallons per hour (gph) or 339.51 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sea Ray SLX 350 OB (2017-) is 37.3 mph (60 kph), and the boat gets 1.3 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.55 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 182 miles (292.9 kilometers).
- Tested power is 3 x 300-hp Mercury Verado 300 XL.
Bow seating and storage. A U-shaped seating lounge sits in the bow, upholstered in leather-textured surface marine-grade vinyl with UV and mildew protection, with, as described by Sea Ray, “multiple densities of foam.” The attention to detail is there -- the seats have bead welting and bracelet stitching. In addition to the popular seating-to-sunpad conversion in the bow lounge, the SLX 350 OB also offers a side-mount table as an option. The footwell space is roomy -- starting with a width of 4’ before narrowing to 16” as the two seating pads converge at the bow.
A retractable beach-boarding ladder rests under a hatch on the bow with the windlass and anchor just underneath and accessible via a flip-up hatch where the two sides of seating meet one another. Storage rests under the two seating panels on either side, and cup holders and speakers rest in and along the gunwales.
Helm seating and dash. Both the helm and companion positions feature double-stitched leather upholstery on two individual seats on each side. Both sit facing a console, and on the portside the console has a lockable glove box that sits on a fiberglass door leading to the enclosed head.
The companion seats are versatile. They have a sturdy, quality construction, but can also swivel back to face the cockpit seating and convert two spaces (helm/cockpit) into one larger group setting. Each seat has an individual flip-up bolster as well.
The helm seats sit in front of the dash panel and, like the companion’s seat, have individual flip-up bolsters. The SLX 350 OB has power-assisted tilt steering via a faux leather-wrapped stainless steel steering wheel. More importantly are the Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS), the joystick propulsion, and active trim controls. All three increase both accessibility of navigation for the new boat owner, as well as responsive, consistent, and exacting performance for the veteran. Information is gathered efficiently into two 12” and 7” monitors, delivering the boat’s vitals, GPS, chartplotting, and navigation control in an easy-to-read package. iPod/ iPhone connectivity with weatherproof Rockford Fosgate speakers, and digital cockpit remote control for both the helm and transom.
Below the starboard console is a small (4’6” headroom) day cabin, offering relief from the sun or space for a quick nap away from the party. While it is small, it is comfortable as well with a small portlight. An optional flatscreen TV and stereo can be added.
Resting in between the helm and companion seats is in deck storage. Accessed via a latch with gas-assisted struts, the space is covered in a vinyl matting and comes with a convenient light.
Cockpit seating, storage, and amenities. Just abaft the helm seat is a small, angled two-person seat that extends just to the wet bar. The wet bar has a solid-surface countertop, stainless steel sink, faucet, refrigerator (2.3 cu ft.), trash receptacle, and storage below large enough to stow a cooler.
Abaft the wet bar are two steps toward the stern access point; the steps are hinged and have storage underneath with a third, longer storage space under the short “pathway” to the stern swim platform.
Cockpit banquet. A larger, L-shaped seating area extends around from the transom up along the portside. Storage space resides underneath the hinged panels of this seating area. In the crook of this L-shape is a mounting spot for the optional table, which is offered in fiberglass and fiberglass with teak-overlay.
The table can be further upgraded to being hydraulically actuated, rising from the deck from flush-with-the-floor to table height. Like the bow seating, filler cushions are available as an option to turn the L-shaped lounge into a larger sunpad.
All the seating, as in the bow, is upholstered with marine-grade vinyl that has both UV and mildew protection.
Hardtop. The hardtop comes standard on the SLX 350 OB and can be outfitted with a number of options. For shade, Sea Ray offers both bow and aft shading via retractable canvas from the hardtop, as well as a package that outfits the hardtop with canvas curtains for even more sun protection. For more sun, the hardtop also can be upgraded to include a retractable canvas sunroof.
Swim platform and Reboarding. Moving into the stern, the swim platform on the SLX 350 OB is wide -- wider than the footprint created by the three outboard engines, providing a platform on each side free of obstruction for swimming and easy reboarding. Also standard is the submersible swim step, shown in the photo above, as the little girl is sitting on it.
Fold-out aft seating. The SLX 350 OB has a rear-facing fold out lounge seat in the stern, which sits atop storage space (divided into bins). The design of the foldout is aesthetically pleasing -- when not in use, it blends seamlessly with the boat, and does not appear to be a bench waiting to be unfolded. The fiberglass lid completely convertible, flipping up to be the seatback with the bottom folding out for a large, comfortable seat footprint. A useful touch comes with the deployment of the aft-facing seating, where its seatback creates a headrest for the L-shaped cockpit seating butting up against it.
Fit and Finish
Decking. The decks in the bow and cockpit come standard as fiberglass with the snap-in carpet. Teak decking is an option. The 350 SLX OB has overboard drainage throughout.
Hull construction. The QuietRide system proprietary to Sea Ray’s boats speaks to a great attention to detail in construction. The through-hull fittings are all stainless steel, and the gel coat finish in a choice of color gives the SLX 350 OB a clean, polished look to match its interiors. Sea Ray cuts and gel coats their hulls robotically, which leads to a consistency and reliability in performance.
Stainless steel throughout. Between cup holders, grab-rails, cleats, navigation lights, all the way to the windshield panes, Sea Ray has outfitted the SLX 350 OB with stainless steel hardware that speaks to an overall quality in construction that extends to the upholstery, deck materials, and electronics.
Engine options. The SLX 350 OB comes with triple Mercury 300-hp Verado 4-Stroke outboard engines (painted black) with the joystick piloting as standard propulsion. White engines are an option.
As we get underway, the Sea Ray SLX 350 OB has a sleek and contemporary look with the gracefully sloping rub rail and forward slanted hardtop supports. She has a LOA of 36’11” (11.25 m), a beam of 10’6” (3.20 m), and a draft of 39” (99 cm). With an empty weight of 10,335 lbs. (4,688 kg), 81% fuel and two people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 11,607 lbs. (5,265 kg).
With the triple 300 Mercury Verados powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of just under 60 mph at 6100 rpm. Best economic cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 31.1 mph. At that speed, the 24.2 gph fuel burn translated into 1.3 mpg and a range of 185 sm, while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boats total fuel capacity.
In acceleration tests, the bow came up 10-degrees upon hitting the throttle, we reached planing speed in 4.4 seconds, at which point the bow settled into a 5-degree bow high cruise attitude. We accelerated to 20 mph in 6.4 seconds, 30 mph came and went in 8.4 seconds and we continued through 40 mph in 11.4 seconds.
We had mild chop on our test day that showed the 350 running through with no hull slap or adverse effects. In turn testing, she held her track nicely, throwing a wall of water to testify to her ability to hold onto the turn. With the turn held, she rolls comfortably into the turn and only showed chine walk when putting her beam to the chop, otherwise she stayed solid and showed no sign of ventilation. She’ll also come around in roughly two boat lengths when cranking from lock-to-lock.
When it came time to return to the dock, the Axius joystick functionality made it a non-issue and we were able to effortlessly maneuver with just small pulses of the joystick. Easy as you please.
Options to Consider
The SLX 350 OB isn’t presented as a boat with appeal predicated on the ability to customize -- the standard design makes its case, and, instead, the options are more geared toward upgrading a feature that may be important to a given buyer. Here are some of the key options Sea Ray offers:
Note as well the Canvas Package for the hardtop ($2,308), which includes an aft curtain with bungee straps, front and side curtains, and a bag for storage of the canvas. The larger scale canvas upgrades for the hardtop include the retractable extended aft sunshade ($7,692), the forward bow shading system ($762), and the retractable canvas insert for the hardtop ($4,462).
The hull design can be upgraded as well to two-tone ($2,154) or three-tone ($3,077) that both require choosing from a number of color options.
Finally, Sea Ray offers a trailer for the SLX 350 OB as an option with choice of aluminum with bunks or rollers.
Sea Ray offers a five-year factory warranty, which it calls “Sea Ray SURPA5S.” All 2017 gas-powered Sea Ray sport boats (which includes both sterndrive and, like the SLX 350 OB, outboards) feature a five-year, bow-to-stern factory warranty on the boat and its components from defects in materials and workmanship. The engine is covered for the same five-year period, using a warranty backed by Mercury and Brunswick Product Protection. The SLX 350 OB also has a Limited Lifetime Structural Hull Warranty.
This warranty only covers 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sea Ray sportboats purchased in the U.S. and Canada.
Sea Ray lists the MSRP (from the base model with the standard engine and destination charges) as $365,628.
For those in the bowrider/sportboat market, a big decision regarding the SLX 350 OB will be its size. The ability to accommodate 18 guests is a big selling point relative to the competition, and the 34’6” length sets it apart as well. The details are all in place -- this is a well-made boat that will provide entertainment, convenience, and a huge platform for watersports.
We think it is a lot of boat and has a lot of functionality for the money.
Test Result Highlights
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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