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Sea Ray SDX 270 (2016-)

1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L

Brief Summary

Sea Ray did a customer feedback study. Not surprisingly, the company discovered that boaters were looking for more… more space, more seating and more luxury in an open bow dayboat. It responded with the SDX 270 (formerly known as the 270 Sundeck).

By narrowing the gunwales, along with a few other design features, it created a spacious boat that can seat 15 people underway in seating that rivals the luxury of the company’s SLX line. Available in both sterndrive and outboard versions, we recently tested the sterndrive version and here’s what we found.

Key Features

  • Abundance of available shade via the standard arch with Bimini or an optional watersports tower with articulating Bimini
  • Full-beam cockpit floorplan
  • Comfortably seats 15 people while underway (yacht certified)
  • Convertible seating, including sun pad/aft-facing transom lounger
  • Stereo with wireless Bluetooth for easy control of audio devices onboard
  • Submersible swim platform option
  • Enclosed head compartment with portable head, vanity and sink
  • Bow with port and starboard loungers with hinged cushions and fold-down armrests

Test Results

600 3.4 2.9 1.05 3.19 2.77 187 162 66
1000 5.5 4.7 1.7 3.21 2.79 188 163 69
1500 7.6 6.6 2.6 2.92 2.54 171 149 71
2000 9 7.8 4 2.24 1.95 131 114 77
2500 13.4 11.7 5.85 2.29 1.99 134 117 81
3000 21.7 18.9 7.3 2.97 2.58 174 151 84
3500 28.3 24.6 8.8 3.21 2.79 188 163 83
4000 34 29.5 11.55 2.94 2.56 172 150 87
4500 39.5 34.3 16 2.47 2.14 144 125 89
5000 44 38.3 20.85 2.11 1.84 123 107 89
5300 44 38.3 23.05 1.91 1.66 112 97 93


Length Overall 27' 2''
8.28 m
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Dry Weight 5,925 lbs.
2,687 kg
Tested Weight 6,540 lbs.
2,966 kg
Draft Up 21''
0.53 m
Draft Down 38''
0.96 m
Deadrise/Transom 21-deg.
Max Headroom open
Person Capacity 15
Fuel Capacity 65 gal.
246 L
Water Capacity 20 gal.
76 L
Total Weight 6,540 lbs.
2,966 kg

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.5 sec.
0 to 30 8.5 sec.
Props 22.5" B3
Load 2 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 59 deg., 84 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L
Std. Power 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo III with DTS
Opt. Power 1 x 350-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo III with DTS
1 x 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2L MPI ECT Bravo III with DTS

Captain's Report

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck running shot

The Sea Ray SDX 270 has an LOA of 27’2” (8.28 m), a beam of 8’6" (2.59 m) and a draft down of 38” (0.96 m).


The Sea Ray SDX 270 has always been an example of Sea Ray’s responsiveness to customer feedback. And basically, the call was for more… more seating, more space, more social areas and more storage. In our opinion, she answers the call for more useable space with seating for 15 people underway. Multiple social zones throughout the boat welcome large gatherings. Storage is seemingly everywhere.

Options allow the customer to either keep lots of seating or sacrifice some of it for a cockpit wet bar with sink and refrigerator. All in a boat that includes upscale features and performs like a Sea Ray was meant to. New color schemes are offered for this model year and the buyer can choose from a standard graphics package, two-toned ($1,538) or three-zone ($2,231) package. Available colors are Onyx, Sea Ray Blue, Mojave Tan, Rally Red, Horizon and Mahogany.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck running shot

Here’s a look at the new Mahogany color scheme. Sea Ray buffs it to a mirror finish.


With the standard 300-hp 6.2L MerCruiser turning the Bravo 3 outdrive, we reached our top speed of 44 mph at 5300 rpm. At that speed, we were burning just a hair over 23 gph, giving us a range of 112 miles. Best economy seemed to come in at 3500 rpm and 28.3 mph. That speed brought the fuel burn down to 8.8 gph and the range up to 188 miles.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck engine access

The engine is accessed from the swim platform for daily checks. Batteries are located under the aft cockpit seat.


This boat has the feel of the large boat that she is. While she’s neither the heaviest nor the lightest in class she does feel like a heavy boat, providing a solid ride with none of the bounce of a lighter classed vessel. Customers in this class are more interested in comfort and less about top-end speed. Her base 300-hp engine, also our test engine, is a testament to that. That said, she accelerates with a mild bow rise and docile feel that will have no one forced back into their seat or tossed to the aft section of the boat. Of course for those that need the comfort and speed to boot, there are options for a 350 ($7,154) or 380-hp ($13,308) upgrade.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck running shot

The SDX 270 slices cleanly through our self-generated waves while spray was minimized.

Turns were equally comfortable with no prop ventilation, but instead, she maintained her bite throughout the turns. She does lose speed during the turns so if towing, be prepared to add a touch of throttle. Then back off when returning to straight and level. Maximum bank angle was 18 degrees, which we did not find to be uncomfortable at all.

Trim does not seem to be a concern unless top speed is needed. We played around with it at different speeds and barely noticed a difference. Of course, when on our test runs we did fiddle with it to get to the peak speed. Other than that, even an uneven distribution of weight didn’t seem to generate the need to reach for even the tab controls.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck turns

Maximum bank angle during turns was a comfortable 18 degrees and she will lose little speed, so advance the throttle if need be.


The earth tones at the helm, which are now part of the new color choices from Sea Ray, continue in this case, with mocha. A darker visor is just above the panel with a compass alongside. Below, two SmartCraft gauges are to either side of open space accommodates the Raymarine chartplotter ($1,538). An upgraded version is available that also integrates with the engine systems and Fusion stereo for full touchscreen functionality for the gauge readouts and entertainment ($2,538). Below, toggle switches control the electrical system. The leather-wrapped wheel is mounted to a tilt base. To the side, the DTS controller includes a single press engine start/stop button.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck helm

The helm is attractive in a minimalist sort of way, seen here with the optional touchscreen display.

Features Inspection

There are really three main themes of this boat… hosting a lot of people, holding all the items they tend to bring aboard, and keeping them in upscale comfort. Let’s touch on these points one at a time.

Plenty of Seats


The bow is always the most popular area anytime a boat is underway and this one is made exceptionally comfortable. The seats are wide at the aft ends making for an open feeling area. As the seats move forward, the layout elongates to allow occupants facing each other to not have to be concerned with knocking knees together. Both aft seats have armrests that flip down, and we prefer this method over flip-up types as they don’t have to be released from a latched position to stow. Add a bow table ($500) to increase the functionality.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck bow area

The bow area is roomy, and notice how the seats are wide at the back and narrow as they move forward. This prevents those facing each other from knocking knees together.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck beam

The beam carries fully forward to the bow rather than coming to a point. This allows for more room at the seating area.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck bow table

Having a bow table means we can have a completely separate gathering area. Lock the kids away up here, or keep them at the stern and save this area for the grown-ups.

Fully forward there is a concealed beach-reboarding ladder and a freshwater shower is just alongside for rinsing off the sand before coming aboard. The forward most cushion lifts to expose a non-skid step to the bow ladder.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck bow ladder

A beach reboarding ladder at the bow makes for a cleaner boat when pulling into the bow up onto the sand.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck shower

A bow shower encourages rinsing sand off the feet when boarding.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck floor plane arrows

We measured 6’2” (1.88 m) of width at the rear of the bow (red), narrowing to only 4’9” (1.45 m) at the front (green). There’s plenty of room to relax with 4’6” (1.37 m) long lounges (blue), and no worry about knocking knees when facing each other as the seats are 2’3” (.69 m) apart (yellow).

Cockpit Seating

The cockpit is sure to be the main social area as it’s just so roomy and can easily accommodate a large number of people. An offset entry from the swim platform is angled to allow the seats to be placed in an opposing fashion, which we’ve shown time and again provides a welcome conversational atmosphere.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck cockpit

The cockpit area features opposing seating and an offset entry from the swim platform.

L-shaped seating to port leads forward to a doublewide observer’s seat that includes a seat back to convert from forward facing to aft. The helm seat also converts in the same manner by greatly expanding the capacity of the seating as a whole. Behind the helm is an additional bench seat. Drink holders are conveniently located, a snap-in carpet is standard and a standard cockpit table makes the area even more enjoyable.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck seats

The forward seats have convertible seatbacks so that they can be used either forward facing…

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck seats aft

… or facing aft. In this position, the social area of the SDX 270 is really opened up.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck cockpit seats

With the seatbacks flipped forward there’s an even larger social area in the cockpit.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck table

It’s easy to see how adding a table enhances the gathering area of the cockpit.

Having the ability to hold more people means that they all have to have a seat. Sea Ray couldn’t just make the seats smaller and add more of them, it had to create more space for actual seats. What Sea Ray has done is to keep the beam a friendly 8’6" (2.59 m) but narrow the gunwales to provide more interior space. Now we not only have increased seating capacity, but with the seats being 42” (106.68 cm) apart, the occupants are not knocking knees when sitting across from one another.

Now Boarding

Boarding is normally done by stepping onto this one platform and through the starboard-side walkthrough. This works fine when tied to a floating slip, but when tied to a fixed pier then it would be better to remove the port side corner seat cushion to reveal a nonskid step up to the caprail. To the starboard side, a flip-down step serves the same purpose.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck step

A step to the starboard side of the cockpit entry makes a convenient transition to the caprail and then to a fixed pier.

Aft Seating

The aft seating is really the key feature to enjoying the SDX 270 at any time that it isn’t underway. This three-across seating provides a comfortable place to relax while watching the kids in the water, or the sun dipping below the horizon. It’s not only comfortable but can be made more so by lifting the center of the leg supports to form a contoured chaise. Certainly, neither we, nor Sea Ray, recommend ever using this area while underway, but while coving or at anchor it’s an ideal area to relax.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck aft chaise

The stern forms a comfortable area to sit and relax at any time that the SDX 270 isn’t underway.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck support

The seat bases lift under the legs to add contoured support to the seats. They can be utilized for a single-seat, a double seat, or for all three across.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck stern shower

A second shower is at the stern, right next to the remote for the stereo.

Swim Platform

Behind the aft seating is the swim platform, coming out 2’8” (.81 m) from the transom, so it has plenty of room for playtime. On our test boat it was covered in SeaDek non-skid matting ($654). There are two grab handles to the aft edge and the usual swim ladder is to starboard. However, we love the new manual swim step ($1,846) that flips out from the center of the platform. It provides a stair into the water that is both people and pet friendly.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck swim platform

The platform on our test boat was covered in SeaDek matting with a teak look to it.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck manuel step

A manual reboarding step has positive buoyancy so it’s easier to close from the topside position.


Storage is a theme we really need to touch on because any boat that’s designed to hold as many people as this one is will surely need the storage room to accommodate their stuff. On the SDX 270 it starts at the bow. Under all three sections of seating is roomy storage with the side compartments being accessed from cushions secured to articulating hinges. These compartments are both insulated and self-draining so go ahead and fill them with ice and drinks.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck bow storage

The bow seats are hinged to allow easier access to the storage underneath.

As we move back to the walkthrough, there’s the usual storage inside the helm console, plus this is where the stereo is located. Under the stereo there’s an MP3 port and accessory plug, and then a shelf for resting the player, or phone in while charging, all in a protected environment. At the side of the helm is a compartment with a leather flap held closed by a magnetic catch. This is a surprisingly convenient spot and it too has an accessory plug inside.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck saddle bag

A saddlebag gets a home right next to the helm. This is a great spot for the keys, wallets and cell phones.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck stereo

The phone or MP3 player can both connect and store inside the shelf in the helm console.


Moving back into the cockpit, all of the seat cushions are hinged, allowing access to the storage underneath. To port, there is dedicated storage for the two removable pedestal tables (standard cockpit/optional bow). To starboard is additional storage, and instead of having this compartment accommodating a carry-on cooler, on our test boat, the compartment itself is the cooler. This insulated compartment is fitted with an optional cockpit cool box ($1,177) that brings the temperature of the contents down and keeps it down even on the hottest of days. This is literally a cool feature that we are happy to see.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck cockpit storage

The cockpit storage is also accessed from hinged seat cushions, and here we even have dedicated storage for the pedestal tables to port and a cockpit cool box to starboard.

Even More Entertaining

Sea Ray offers an option to increase the entertaining capability of the SDX 270. A cockpit wet bar ($769) can be positioned in the aft port corner of the cockpit that includes an integral sink and faucet. It takes up a little bit of one seat, but for some, it’s a fair trade.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck sink

This is offered as an option and having a sink on a boat solves a multitude of problems, from washing off hands to rinsing fruits.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck seating

Without the wet bar, there’s a little more room to the seat, seen here as the triangular area to the right.

Sea Ray also added three in-deck storage compartments, one in the bow, one at the cockpit and one at the transom walkthrough. The bow and cockpit compartments are the largest measuring 36” (91 cm) long x 11” (27.94 cm) wide and 9” (22.86 cm) deep for the bow, 11” (27.94 cm) deep for the cockpit. Both are lockable, so go ahead and leave the expensive board inside.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck in deck

There are also two in-deck storage areas along the centerline of the boat.

At the walkthrough, this wet storage compartment makes a great place for throwing the mask, fins and snorkels in addition to the wet bathing suits. All of these compartments prevent water from entering by having recessed channels surrounding the perimeter, leading to a single drain directing water overboard.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck wet storage

A wet storage locker is under the deck at the cockpit entry.


We stated that this is a premium-level deck boat and we meant it. There are several carry-overs from Sea Ray’s upscale SLX line that can be seen here. At first glance, there’s the fact that all the vinyl is color-matched with fields that bring out the color choices of the boat itself. Then there are the diamond-stitched patterns that Sea Ray became so proud of in the SLXs. Additionally, we’re seeing multiple tones of vinyl as well as varying materials. Recessed into some of the bulwarks is a new material that was recently introduced by Sea Ray, Ultravinyl. This has the soft field of Ultraleather but is much more resilient to the elements. And of course, there’s the sheer volume of stainless steel everywhere we look.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck stitching

Diamond-stitching, contrasting threads, custom embroidery, multi-toned vinyls and custom embroidery all speak of a boat that sits proudly in the premium class.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck ultravinyl

Ultravinyl has the soft feel of Ultraleather but is much more resilient to the elements.


Of course, no premium-level boat would be complete without an enclosed head compartment. On the SDX 270, it’s large enough to serve as a changing room. The Porta-Potti is standard. Upgrades include a pump-out head ($231), a VacuFlush head with a 10-gallon (38 L) holding tank ($2,077), and an upgraded faucet and countertop ($538). Overhead clearance in this compartment was 4’2” (1.27 m) off the deck, with 2’9” (.84 m) above the seat.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck head

An enclosed head is another must-have feature.


Certainly watersports will come into play at any time the SDX 270 is away from the dock. An optional watersports tower is available ($4,615) that provides an elevated towpoint for wakeboarding and an interesting note about this tower is that the bimini top is fixed to a frame that resides above the tower. Optional wakeboard racks can be placed in a space above the tower, yet still below the Bimini top. The attach point for the towline is 7'2" (2.19 m) above the deck, but we would also like to see this located below the Bimini top so that attaching the towline will be easier.

The tower is collapsible for lowering the profile of the SDX 270 for improved storage. However, for those who are truly interested in keeping a lower profile we would also opt for the tower with a pivoting Bimini top frame ($5,385) that will allow the Bimini to rotate to a flat position just above the collapsed tower.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck tower

The optional tower not only adds to the functionality of the SDX 270, it enhances her good looks.

Sea Ray 270 Sundeck tower collapsed

With the tower collapsed, the pivoting Bimini will lie flat as well.