2005-06-17 23:49:28 UTC
Sea Ray 200 Select
(Go fast, look good, have fun!)
Some of the most successful boats are vessels with a clear purpose. A
commercial tug has a specific task to perform, just as surely as a
fireboat, a purse seiner, an America's Cup racer, or a ferry boat.
Some recreational vessels have easily identified missions, with most
people thinking of a trawler for long range cruising, a sportfisherman
for offshore angling, a cabin cruiser for vacation gunkholing, etc. One
class of boat, the runabout, is strictly intended to go fast, look
good, and create opportunities for fun on the water. Sea Ray is one of
the premiere, benchmark, brand names in the runabout category. (Easily
verified by strolling through a boat show and overhearing competing
salespeople assure prospects that "Brand X is just as good as a Sea
Seas Ray offers four series in its Sport Boat division. The "Sport"
series boats are nominally 18-20 feet in length, offering a basic, high
quality, but relatively affordable choice. The "Select" boats are
nominally 20-29 feet long, and include several upgrades in standard
equipment that would be optional or not available on the "Sport"
series. The "Sundeck" series, (20-27 feet) are well-equipped boats
with enclosed heads, while the "Weekender" series (22-25 feet)
offers a V-berth as well as a head.
The 200 Select is actually 21' LOA, with an 8'5" beam. Draft with
the drive unit down is 37", but that drops to just 20" with the
drive unit up to facilitate easier loading and unloading at a boat
ramp. Sea Ray lists the "dry weight" of the 200 Select at 3,550
pounds, so it won't require a Kenworth to haul it around. Fuel
capacity is 37-gallons, which should be sufficient for a long, active,
afternoon of waterski or wakeboard runs or up to an entire weekend of
slowpoke exploring and fishing.
We got an up-close look at a brand new Sea Ray 200 Select at Lake Union
Sea Ray's Seattle showroom on Westlake Avenue. Sales Manager Bob
Walker hosted us during our visit there. (Thanks, Bob).
The 200 Select hull features a 20-degree deadrise to provide some of
the seakeeping characteristics of a "deep-V" bottom. There is a
sequence of flat strakes between the keel and the chines. The strakes
provide some additional lifting surface to get the 200 Select more
quickly up on plane, and also provide some specific support points that
increase lateral stability and decrease the likelihood of chine walk.
Seating is available in the open bow section, in pilot and port watch
seats, and on a seat immediately forward of the engine compartment. The
200 Select is rated for up to 8 persons weighing a total of no more
than 1100 pounds, or a 1200-pound maximum load with gear.
Sea Ray boats are built by one of the most highly automated processes
in the industry. Gelcoats are applied to molds by specialized robots,
the hull structure created by a computer controlled application process
known as RIMFIRE (Robotic In-Mold Fiber Reinforcement) and molded
fiberglass components produced by Sea Ray's ZIP (Zero Injection
Pressure) process. Workmanship can be the most radical variable in
manufacturing, and the computerized robotics assure that workmanship is
extremely consistent from one boat to the next. With the addition of
premium materials and a thoroughly proven design, a high quality
product is easily achieved.
If runabouts are all about "go fast, look good, have fun" the Sea
Ray 200 Select is well designed and equipped for the task. The boat at
Lake Union Sea Ray was equipped with the optional 5.0 liter (305 cid)
multi-port injected Mercruiser and an Alpha I outdrive. Sea Ray reports
that with this propulsion combination, a clean bottom, and a stainless
steel prop, the 200 Select will reach 50 mph at WOT, 4950 RPM. Nobody
wants to run an engine that hard for more than brief periods, but
speeds should still be in the 35 mph range with the boat backed down to
2/3 throttle. Wakeboarding, recreational water skiing, or just zipping
across the lake or down the sound fast enough to be exciting is all
within easy reach for owners of a Sea Ray 200 Select. Go fast? Check.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but one would need to be
legally blind not to appreciate that the Sea Ray 200 Select meets some
extremely high standards in the "looking good" category. The lines
are snappy, imparting a confident and slightly aggressive demeanor to
the profile. The high-quality stainless hardware, almost totally
perfect and mirror-smooth robot applied gelcoat, and high quality
interior surfaces are blended together with bold hull graphics and
upholstery inserts that make the 200 Select look like a fast boat when
it's standing still. Pearl is the standard hull color for the Select
series, accented with silver graphics. The boat we inspected at Lake
Union Sea Ray was finished with in a sporty red and white two-tone,
with red gelcoat between the waterline and the stylishly curved rub
rail. (Very nice). Additional gel coat color options include green,
blue, yellow, black, and a bronze called "pewter". A 200 Select
will draw appreciative glances from nearly all, and envious admiration
from a group of boaters who will be making a series of mental
comparisons between the 200 Select and the boats they currently own.
Look good? Absolutely
Like any boat, the Sea Ray 200 Select won't score well in the "have
fun" category until there are some people aboard. The skipper and his
or her passengers will have a blast aboard a 200 Select, as Sea Ray has
incorporated a number of premium features in an ergonomically excellent
environment. The seating forward of the windshield is accessed through
a hinged section of the stainless steel frame and a central
When the forward seats are not in use, a folding door can be secured
across the companionway to prevent wind from blowing under the
windshield and onto the helm seats. Sea Ray built an anchor locker into
the bow of the 200 Select, included large storage areas below the
forward seats, added grab rails just exactly where they will be most
helpful, provided courtesy lighting for sure footing after dark, and
used some nicely upholstered, comfortable cushions. There are no
"cheap seats" on a Sea Ray 200 Select.
Aft of the windshield in the cockpit, the helm is to starboard. A
deluxe helm seat with a flip up bolster will allow the skipper to sit a
bit higher, or even stand at the helm with some support. SmartCraft
(tm) instruments and indicators include fuel level, oil pressure,
coolant temperature, voltmeter, speedometer, tachometer, overheat or
low oil pressure alarms, depth sounder, fuel consumption meter, trim
level, and a trolling control. The wood grain tilt wheel is power
assisted, with a tilt function. Sea Ray has demonstrated an
appreciation for the importance of a comfortable, well organized helm.
At the port watch seat, there is a locker designed to hold a bag of ice
as well as several cans or bottles or refreshing beverages. Cupholders
on the 200 Select are stainless steel.
Listening to music can be an important element when having fun on the
water, and the 200 Select is equipped with an AM/FM/CD stereo system,
protected from the elements in a compartment above the ice locker. The
stereo system is Sirius (tm) satellite capable, and includes a remote
control at the helm.
Additional cockpit seating includes a curved settee just forward of the
engine compartment, and the engine compartment is covered with a thick,
comfortable cushion for ideal for sunbathing. In the standard layout,
(on display at Lake Union Sea Ray), a single seat with a removable
cushion is situated in the aft port quarter of the cockpit. Passengers
stepping aboard the 200 Select can remove the cushion and step on a
non-skid deck surface below, thereby eliminating the need to step
directly on upholstered surfaces when boarding or disembarking.
Fun? You betcha!
Sea Ray offers many additional, useful options for the Sea Ray 200
Select. Boaters particularly passionate about wakeboarding might want
to ad a jaunty-looking stainless wakeboard tower. Family boaters hoping
to extend the season beyond the warm, sunny months might consider the
"camper canvas" option to convert the open cockpit into an enclosed
The Sea Ray 200 Select will paint smiles across the faces of any
boaters primarily interested in looking good, going fast, and having
fun. Boats like this are the "sports cars" of the water. Even
though Sea Ray is one of the elite trademarks, it's possible to own a
very, very nice boat for no more than what an increasing number of
families are spending for to acquire a new car. According to Bob Walker
at Lake Union Sea Ray, a brand new Sea Ray 200 Select, with trailer,
will sell "in the mid-30's".
Go fast, look good, have fun? Runabout enthusiasts should consider
making a fast trip to the nearest Sea Ray dealer, taking a good look at
the 200 Select, and preparing to have one heck of a lot of fun.