SEA RAY 375 SUNDANCER PRE LOVED

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  • Trade-A-Boat

“No one can deny the driving pleasure of a sporty conveyance, be it a roadster or sportscruiser. Drop the top — if it's a bimini — or scroll-up the clears and smell the salt, feel the wind in your hair, let the eyes water behind those polarised shades, and fang to your favourite bolthole. Such fun … there's only so long you can subdue fun, quell the sense of joie de vivre that rides on the summer sun, and the ease of turn-key escapism that comes from sportscruising” DAVID LOCKWOOD

 Sea Ray 375.jpg

May I start this review with a small personal tribute to the man who wrote those words for a Sea Ray 370 Sports Cruiser review for Trade-a-Boat back in 2010 during his long reign as Editor: David Lockwood. I never knew him well, but I had a long acquaintance with my first introduction to the formidable team of Lockwood/Toyer, around 1995, when they took their lives in their hands testing a little 4.3 metre centre console I was building out in a nasty 15-25 knot Port Phillip screamer! I had the opportunity to work with him as Editor for a number of years and eventually joined him as judge in the first ever Australia’s Greatest Boats Competition in 2010. David was a man I respected immensely and the quality and volume of his work was formidable. He was a gentle family man of great integrity who inspired the entire boating industry. David was taken from us far too young and will be sadly missed by all. However he has left us his library of nautical wisdom to ensure his memory lives on.

This sporty looking helm has dual binnacle controls

SINCE 1959

1959 was a mighty fine year! Cornelius Nathaniel "Connie" Ray III founded Sea Ray boats in Oxford, Michigan, and I was born. Sea Ray quickly expanded to become the world's largest boat company with 40 models from 17 feet to 60 feet. (Whilst I expanded in other ways!)

Connie Ray was a charismatic former WWII pilot who impressed his targeted dealers by flying in with his personal Lear Jet and treating the principles to a ride, lunch or dinner in yet another impressive location, while luring them with the promise of unfound riches, as part of a Sea Ray partnership. And grow it did.

These were the heady days of panache and style, hence Ray modelled his boats in line with fashions introduced through his home town Detroit’s, automotive industry. He was also smart enough to realise that a strong dealership base was essential. Sea Ray thrived throughout the 60s and 70s, opening a large a plant at Merrit Island, Florida,in 1972. It eventually grew to three plants at that location. At that time, it produced about 20 sports yachts weekly, each retailing from $200,000 to $500,000. Sea Ray boomed throughout in the early years of the roaring 1980s where their luxury offerings journeyed to dealers throughout the world, including Australia. They produced a level of sporty luxury not imagined by the Australian boating industry and hence were warmly welcomed with high sales levels.

Sea Ray was bought by Brunswick for $350 million, in 1986. At the same time, Brunswick purchased the Bayliner brand, making Brunswick Corporation the largest pleasure boat producer in the world. In peak production, the company boasted around 4800 employees producing 28,000 boats annually from manufacturing plants in Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona, Ireland and eventually New Zealand. Ray had a successful retirement expanding his second passion for thoroughbred horses, creating even more lifelong success until he lost a battle with cancer in 2009 at 84 years of age.

Sea Ray has continued to develop successfully through economic rises and falls proving year after year that "Power and style can go hand-in-hand." Sea Ray now produce a wide range of models including sports bowriders, runabouts and cruisers, deck boats, cruisers and motor yachts from 19 to 65’, and the strong tradition of premium boat building hasn’t waned.

Plenty of room out on the deck for entertaining

SEA RAY 375 SUNDANCER

The Sea Ray design team was charged to make the "dancers" bigger inside and sleeker outside. They achieved their goal by incorporating the transverse bunk into the Sundancer range; an east/west stateroom in the mid-section of the hull under the helm. They streamlined aesthetics with a European flare but still retained the feeling of the good ol' USA know how.

The 375 evolved from the 350 model with the designation truly reflecting the overall width. It is an ideal size for a sports cruiser, still providing some excellent seagoing capabilities but with sleek sporty lines on a hull that exudes speed. It is the ideal entertainer and serves a family well for extended cruising. She loves to party and boy can she boogie!

This Sundancer will put the wind in your hair with its top speed of around 30 knots from twin 6.2 lt Mercruiser EFI 320 hp engines with closed cooling systems, but this one with the added benefits of shaft drive. She will love to run and enjoy the sweetwater but won’t cost you the earth in service and maintenance. The shaft drives make for effortless maneuverability in confined spaces, and this is enhanced by bow thrusters to make docking easy for all.

high end interior built for comfort and style

The external and internal aesthetics and ergonomics are simply beautiful. This is a comfortable, high end package with every conceivable and sensible component from its lavish rear deck, helm and lounge to the inviting and accommodating interior. The long inventory of features includes the sensible inclusion of a Kohler 5 KVA genset extending the comfort and cruising capability immensely. Then there’s the added comfort of reverse cycle air-conditioning, Waeco refrigeration, a Magma gas BBQ, Clarion entertainment system with 6 speakers and LCD TV to extend the appeal of boating in all environments! Out back is a well-proportioned faux teak lined boarding platform that is the perfect stage for water sports.

Plenty of deck and cabin room for entertaining

Out on deck we find a beautifully molded targa arch which provides an attractive support for the bimini and camping covers, plus there’s cockpit and full tonneau covers for storage. She features convertible lounge seating for the party, sink/galley with BBQ, lush, thickly upholstered dual drivers and passenger seating, plus a really sporty helm with dual binnacle controls and a full array of Smartcraft gauges and accessories all set in a gorgeous walnut base.

The master island bed plus lounge berths can sleep up to two couples

MASTER DESIGN

The interior is simply superb, reflecting Sea Rays commitment to premium design and trim. It features the Sundancer layout providing a large area under the cockpit floor with a convertible lounge that also becomes a full double berth. There’s a master island bed in the bow and the longitudinal lounge also converts to berths providing comfortable sleeping for a large family of two couples. As David once quoted, "the Sundancer has a Euro-inspired finish with high-gloss cherrywood joinery, white liners and bone-coloured upholstery, while retaining its American-dimensions that ensure plenty of head, shoulder and girth room. Opposite the lounge and dinette is a spread of good galley gear, including two-burner electric cooktop, decent microwave oven, fridge with freezer tray, lots of lockers and a deep sink. The counters are generous and upmarket, and I found good locker space for weekend victuals, skylights and opening portlights for natural light and ventilation." The bathroom includes a hot/cold shower over the Vacuflush toilet and there’s a separate deck shower outback.

This luxurious high-end interior is built for comfort and style

The engines are accessed remotely via an electric hatch lift in the cockpit floor where there’s plenty of room for servicing and access, including the generator mount. Shaft drive sports cruisers in this size and price range are hard to find, and this one is aptly named "Legless". The Dealer, Tony at Webster Marine in Paynesville Vic quotes that, "She is a much loved and very well maintained example of this category, and from the stables of the premium Sea Ray marque". She was an Australian 2005 delivery, is loaded with sensible options and accessories, and presents in excellent condition. She is well serviced and maintained with low engine hours (486 + 509) and has just been slipped (April 2018).

Replacement price for a modern 37’ sports cruiser with this level of fit out would be starting at quadruple the asking price, making this lovely presentation terrific value at $139,000.

For more information: tradeboats.com.au/detail/sea-ray-375-sundancer-593999

QUICK SPECS

PRICE THEN: APPROX $400,000
PRICE NOW: $139,000

GENERAL

  • MATERIAL GRP
  • TYPE Monohull Sports cruiser
  • LENGTH 11.44m w/ platform
  • BEAM  3.8m

CAPACITIES

  • PEOPLE (NIGHT) 6
  • FUEL 850 lt
  • WATER 170 lt

SUPPLIED BY

WEBSTER MARINE

19 Newlands Dr, Paynesville VIC 3880

PHONE 0427 566 700

WEB webstermarine.com.au

Check out the full review in issue #504 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.  

 


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