With luxurious seating for up to 15, the Sea Ray SLX 280 has lots of room to party. Upscale options include a hydraulically-actuated swim platform and an articulating Bimini/watersports tower and the Dynamic Display "glass cockpit" on the dash, among many others. Leather-wrapped grab-rails are standard, as is plush, diamond-stitched and embroidered upholstery. Scissor-style hinges keep all larger seat pads in place and provide hands-free access to the large storage compartments below.
- Standard with MerCruiser's new 6.2-liter V-8 350-hp Bravo III engine with Digital Throttle & Shift
- Comfortably seats 15 people while underway
- Expansive cockpit space with optional wet bar
- Iconic styling with elegant hull sculpting, available in multiple color configurations
- Luxurious and plush seating, with abundant storage beneath
- Spacious head compartment
- Transom seating with transformable backrest
- Optional equipment such as a submersible hydraulic swim platform and electric tower with articulating Bimini system
- Proprietary Quiet Ride technology featuring Tuned Transom
|Length Overall||28' 6'' / 8.69 m|
|Draft||37" / 94 cm|
Currently no test numbers
1 x 350-hp MerCruiser 6.2L ECT Bravo III with DTS
1 x 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT Bravo IIIx with DTS
1 x 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO ECT Bravo IIIx with DTS
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Sea Ray developed the SLX 280 to provide families looking for a big luxurious bowrider and a do-everything boat in a single-engine package. She comes well equipped for watersports or cruising, she is yacht certified and and can handle up to 15 people and all their carry-on gear. Options such as a submersible hydraulic swim platform and an award-winning power tower that folds down with the push of a button further enhance the SLX 280’s versatility. She can be powered by up to 430-hp.
Since the SLX 280 is a big bowrider, let’s start in her bow. The seating area measures 6’2” (1.88 m) across the backrests on the consoles and 3’10” (1.17 m) across forward. The side lounges have 4’2” (1.27 m) of cushion fore to aft so passengers can stretch out. Outboard gunwale trays contain speakers and have 12-volt power plugs. There’s a bracket to mount a table forward and a filler cushion is an available option.
The SLX 280’s bow has good storage capacity starting with the anchor locker beneath a hatch in the foredeck. There’s a large locker in the sole that opens on a gas strut. The forward seat bottom cushions can be pulled aside to access small compartments. The side lounge bottom cushions lift up on scissor-style hinges that hold them up so crewmembers can use two hands to deal with gear being stowed or retrieved. The locker in the starboard console is big enough for an adult to crawl inside and there are removable panels that provide access to helm rigging.
The opening center section of the windshield opens to make it easy to move aft into the cockpit. Close the windshield and the passageway beneath it with a bi-fold door that extends across from the starboard console to protect the cockpit from on rushing winds during early or late-season cruises. Behind the passageway, door is a locker that’s home to the optional electrical system switch panel.
To starboard in the cockpit, the helm is available with an optional digital Dynamic Display that looks like it belongs in a private jet. It provides all engine, audio and navigation information on a 12.3” (31.2 cm) touchscreen. The steering wheel is on a tilt helm and just ahead, Sea Ray hides the battery switch, which is a good idea for easy access and security. Just to the left is the control for the Rockford Fosgate stereo. To the right are the accessory switches, the digital throttle/shift control and the buttons for the electronic trim tabs.
Bring a Friend.
The 250 SLX’s helm seat is a doublewide model with fold-up bolsters for the driver and a companion so either can travel in a seated or standing position. It adjusts fore and aft on a slider and there’s an angled footrest on the helm console.
Comforts of Home.
Across from the helm to port, the console opens to provide entry into the SLX 280’s private head compartment. The hatch locks for privacy and inside is a sink with a pull-up faucet and shower clip and a portable toilet. The head is a finished fiberglass liner that will make it easy to keep clean. Outboard of the head entry hatch is a stainless-steel bottle rack and a glovebox lined with soft rubber mat and equipped with a 12-volt plug.
Across from the helm, there’s a single swiveling bucket seat just abaft the port console. Outboard in the gunwale are a grab rail and one of the 10 stainless cup holders aboard the SLX 280. Behind the bucket seat, a large lounge wraps all the way aft to the passageway to the stern. To starboard, abaft the helm seat, is a lounge with a dedicated spot for one of the boat’s two carry-on coolers underneath the cushion. Owners can add the optional drawer-style refrigerator under the forward half of this seat; the optional battery charger would need to be ordered as well.
Sea Ray uses the same scissor-style hinges we found on the bow seats to raise the cushion on the port lounge. Skis and boards can be stashed in the in-sole locker between the helm and companion’s seats. It has dual locking latches and opens on twin gas struts.
Front and Center.
With the push of a button, the aft section of the cockpit lounge raises on a power ram to provide good access to the SLX 280’s engine and the fuel tank, which is just ahead. Pull out the bottom cushion in the corner of the lounge and the twin batteries are secured in plastic trays in their own compartment.
Passengers can make their way to the SLX 280’s stern recreation area via a passageway to starboard. There is a storage compartment beneath a hatch in the sole and we’d like to see Sea Ray install a gate to close off the area. Our test model had the switches for the optional watersports tower and hydraulic swim platform in a small cabinet in the passageway.
The swim platform has plenty of space to sit and strap on a board and to keep the topsides uncluttered, the four-step ladder secures underneath. If the boat is equipped with the hydraulic swim platform, the drive trims down when the platform is lowered into the water. The stern seat measures 5’9” (1.75 m) across and have ratcheting backrests that let users customize their position.
We haven’t tested the Sea Ray SLX 280 so we don’t have numbers yet. For the base price of $139,655, the standard boat comes with a 350-hp (261 kW) MerCruiser 6.2L ECT Bravo 3 with digital throttle and shift. For an extra $6,154, an owner can upgrade to the 380-hp (283 kW) MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT or for $14,154, the 430-hp (321 kW) 8.2 MAG HO ECT engine. Both come with the twin-prop Bravo 3 drive with digital throttle and shift
Sea Ray’s Quiet Ride and its Tuned Transom are part of a system that the manufacturer designed to reduce noise and vibration in all its boats. A boat without the system averages 86.2 decibels, while a boat equipped with Quiet Ride averages 79.4, according to Sea Ray. We have visited the Sea Ray factory and – in fact – the builder goes to some amount of trouble to reduce noise.
- Limited lifetime structural hull/deck warranty to the original owner
- Limited 10-year structural hull/deck warranty to the second owner
- Limited five-year pro-rated laminate hull blister warranty
- Limited five-year cosmetic exterior gelcoat warranty
- Painted tandem-axle bunk trailer with dual-axle brakes ($7,923)
- Painted tandem-axle roller trailer with dual-axle brakes ($8,308)
- Galvanized tandem-axle bunk trailer with dual-axle brakes ($8,538)
- Galvanized tandem-axle roller trailer with dual-axle brakes ($9,231)
Options to Consider and Pricing
- Electric watersports tower with manual Bimini ($13,077)
- Submersible automated swim platform ($5,769)
- Bow and cockpit covers ($1,154)
- Air compressor for water toys ($231)
- Battery charger ($385)
- Dynamic display with 12.3” touchscreen display for all onboard functions ($7,462)
- Bow filler cushion ($692)
- SeaDek swim platform pad ($846)
- VacuFlush toilet with 10-gallon (37-L) holding tank ($2,077)
- Beach ladder on bow with hatch ($300)
- 12-volt refrigerator (must order battery charger) ($2,308)
- Windlass, rope/chain with remote control and stainless-steel anchor ($4,385)
The Sea Ray SLX 280 is a big luxurious bowrider that should appeal to families that want the passenger space of a deckboat or pontoon boat but with the ride and performance that comes with a V-bottom. She comes at a luxury price and with a pretty comprehensive list of standard equipment. At a dry weight of 7,018 lbs. (3,183 kg) and a beam of 9’ (2.74 m), she’s 4” (10.2 cm) wider than standard, but this should not present a problem in most states when trailering. Most half-ton vehicles are rated for 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kg) or a little less and the combined weight of the boat and trailer should come in under that weight.