2016 Sea Ray 280 SLX

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Richard Crowder

sea ray 280 slx

The new for 2016 280 SLX slots neatly in the middle of this five model upscale SLX series ranging from 23 to 35 feet. With its long list of standard equipment, the base boat is commendably well equipped and yet it may be optioned with an extensive assortment to satisfy the most discerning of tastes and desires.

At 28-feet, 6-inches length overall including the integrated swim platform and on a 9-foot beam the 280 SLX is a big, roomy bowrider and in fact is rated to comfortably seat fifteen persons. It has a relatively deep-vee deadrise of 21-degrees and features SeaRay’s newest in hull technology including its proprietary Quiet Ride™ Technology with Tuned Transom®.

In SeaRay’s words, this technology, “reduces Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) by up to 50%” by extensive use of sound-deadening acoustical insulation around the engine compartment, special vibration dampening lamination material in the hull and deck liner, plus reduces the “sounding board” effect of the transom by reducing structural vibration from the engine and outdrive.

On board, a starboard side walk-thru leads from the integrated swim platform with concealed 4-step boarding ladder to the cockpit. An oversized transom sunpad features a built-in, flip-up ratcheting backrest to allow rear-facing seating above the platform. In the cockpit, an L-shaped lounge stretches across the stern and along the port side right to the companion adjustable pedestal bucket seat with flip-up bolster.

A facing starboard bench seat extends from the transom walk-thru ahead to the double-wide adjustable helm seat fitted with separate driver and passenger flip-up bolsters. Finished storage is found beneath all bench seat cushions plus within the sunpad, in cockpit side panels, plus in the cockpit floor with its large watersports accessory locker.

Acrylic bow doors lead to the large fully surrounding bow lounge seating with backrests plus flip-up armrests, plus finished storage below plus access to the lit storage compartment within the helm console. A foredeck anchor locker is standard as is cockpit snap-in carpet, two carry-on portable coolers with designated storage, plus a cockpit table with fore and aft mounting bases.

Within the companion helm console is an enclosed head compartment with portlight, vanity, storage, sink, and porta-potti. The driver’s helm is uncluttered yet elegant with its “Soft Touch Dash Instrument Panel” with visor and custom stitching and features a tilt steering wheel with wood accents and Custom SeaRay SmartCraft® diagnostic instrumentation with all normal sterndrive engine readouts plus depth/water temperature, hour meter, fuel consumption/usage, trim level, and troll control.

Standard power for the 280 SLX is provided by a 350 horsepower MerCruiser® 6.2L ECT with Bravo® III outdrive and SmartCraft® Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS). Other notable standard features includes an all-new Rockford Fosgate® AM/FM stereo system, featuring wireless Bluetooth™ connectivity, multiple media inputs, dual-zone volume control, amplifier and six speakers. Trim tabs are also standard as are an electric engine hatch, three 12-volt outlets, two USB ports, transom shower, plus canvas cockpit covers in two colour choices.

If having the latest in technology is desirable, then choose SeaRay’s optional Dynamic Display™ with an in-dash 12.3-inch Medallian touchscreen which provides connectivity plus control of multiple onboard functions such as lighting, audio, navigation, digital speed control, etc. And if watersports are a high priority, then also select SeaRay’s optional Dynamic Running Surface™ which utilizes triangular planes in the hull to automatically optimize running attitude and trim and allows skiers and wakeboarders to define presets for wake shape and height.

Other notable options include a cockpit wet bar with stainless steel sink. Complement this with an underseat cockpit drawer refrigerator plus an additional table with dedicated storage. With these you may want the battery charger option and/or the shorepower package which includes a charger. Another desirable option could be the manual or electric watersports tower with articulated bimini to which wakeboard racks may be added. You may then want the Smart Tow® Digital Speed Control.

Another option which really stands out is the hydraulic, submersible swim platform. Choose also a bow ladder, anchor windlass, bow washdown, VacuFlush® head, underwater lighting, docking lights, bow filler cushion, Infinity Woven snap-in carpet upgrade, teak or SeaDek® swim platform covering, hot water, stereo upgrade, transom stereo remote, automatic fire suppression system, air compressor, windshield wiper, plus several cosmetic upgrades and several hull colour choices and combinations. You may also upgrade your MerCruiser® power to 380 or 430 horsepower and add a galvanized or painted, tandem axle bunk or roller trailer.

SeaRay’s new 280 SLX certainly hits all the right buttons for luxurious cruising and watersports.

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Length: 28' 6" 8.69 m
Beam: 9' 2.74 m
Dry weight: 7,018 lbs 3,183 kg
Draft: 3' 1" 94 cm
Fuel Capacity: 90 US gals 341 L
Base Engine / Drive: MerCruiser/Bravo III Sterndrive
Engine HP: 350-430
Fuel Type: Gas
Deadrise: 21
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