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Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard Review

1 x 300-hp Mercury Verado



Brief Summary

The SLX 260 OB was designed to be a luxury platform for entertaining, watersports and just cruising on the water, as well as extending those days well into the evening.

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
600 3.5 3 0.8 4.6 4 311 270 53
1000 5.2 4.5 1.4 3.8 3.3 258 223.9 62
1500 6.8 5.9 2.2 3.1 2.7 207 180.1 66
2000 8.2 7.1 3.7 2.2 1.9 150 130.1 69
2500 8.9 7.7 5.6 1.6 1.4 107 92.8 73
3000 12.4 10.8 8.2 1.5 1.3 102 88.8 78
3500 17.7 15.3 10.3 1.7 1.5 116 100.6 82
4000 26.8 23.3 11 2.4 2.1 165 143.7 82
4500 35.1 30.5 15.6 2.2 2 152 131.9 83
5000 41.6 36.2 20.3 2 1.8 138 120.3 85
5500 46.7 40.6 23.5 2 1.7 134 116.8 84
6000 48.2 41.9 24.2 2 1.7 134 116.9 85
Sea Ray SLX 260 OB Test Numbers

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.9 seconds
0 to 30 12.3 seconds
Props 14.6 x 19 Rev 4
Load 3 persons; 48 gal. fuel; 50 lbs. gear
Climate 85 deg.; 64 humid.; winds: 15-20; seas <1

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 300-hp Mercury Verado

Captain's Report

Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard

Luxury Sportboat with Upscale Details

Sea Ray SLX 260 OB

The Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard is the latest in the company’s luxury lineup of sportboats. 

Captain’s Report by Capt. Steve

Brief Summary

The SLX lineup is the luxury sportboat segment from Sea Ray and the new SLX 260 is the first in that lineup that has the design language — both in the exterior and interior — that we first saw in the 370 Sundancer. We’re told that this boat was completely designed by women, a first for Sea Ray, and there is clear evidence of that all over the boat. For example, carry-on coolers are smaller; upholstery work and color options are upmarket. The Sea Ray SLX 260 OB is powered by a single 300-hp Mercury outboard.

Mission

The Sea Ray SLX 260 OB was designed to be a luxury platform for entertaining, watersports and just cruising on the water, as well as extending those days well into the evening. Further, its mission is to enter the ranks of the premium bowriders in its size range and to set a new benchmark for Sea Ray.

Major Features

  • Premium captain and companion seats
  • 17 cupholders
  • Stainless steel windshield header
  • Removable storage caddy in the mechanical room
  • Upgraded storage
  • Improved seating throughout
  • Indirect mood lighting
  • Hidden speakers
  • Twin soft-sided coolers
  • Fiberglass liners in all compartments
  • Five-year factory warranty
  • Massive storage under aft sunpad
  • Lengthy portside storage compartment
  • Glass dash 2x
  • Large head doubles as changing room

Sea Ray SLX 260 OB

The Sea Ray SLX 260 OB is a pleasure to drive.  Top speed during our tests was 48.2 MPH.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard Performance

With the 300-hp Verado turning a 14.6 x 19 Revolution 4 propeller and run up to 6000 RPM, our speed topped out at 48.2 MPH.  Best cruise came in at 4000 RPM and 26.8 MPH. At that speed, the 11-GPH fuel burn translated into 2.4 MPG and range of 165 statute miles, all while holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 75-gallon (283.91 L) total fuel capacity.

With the throttle pinned, we reached planing speed in 3.9 seconds, accelerated to 20 MPH in 7.5 and to 30 in 12.3.  Dropping the speed showed her remaining on plane right on down to 17.6 MPH.

Handling

She comes up on plane in an almost level attitude, which means from the seated position there’s no loss of sight of the horizon. Once on plane, she'll have a little bit of a list to the port side probably due to the prop torque, but after a couple of seconds the auto trim takes over and levels it up. She's not aggressive in the turn and remains docile no matter how hard or how fast the turn is entered.   

Engine

The SLX 260 OB is powered by the single 300-hp Mercury Verado.  It’s offered in black or white.

Cockpit seating of the Sea Ray SLX 260

The cockpit seating of the Sea Ray SLX 260 OB has upscale upholstery and storage is underneath.  The optional table is on a side mount pedestal. 

Boat Inspection

Cockpit

The cockpit is the heart of the entertaining onboard and the space is very welcoming on the Sea Ray SLX 260 OB. There's 30” (76.20 cm) between the forward section of the L-seating and the single-seat across. The L-seat occupies the port side and across the stern. There’s storage under all the seats and the single-seat to starboard has storage underneath for two soft-sided coolers.

Storage continues under the aft seating that lifts on an electric actuator. Underneath is a large storage caddy that’s removable for access to the mechanical components underneath. The caddy keeps dry goods here away from the batteries and other gear that might be dirty. This is a good idea, one we haven’t seen on other boats in class.

Sea Ray SLX 260 OB

This “storage caddy” in what would otherwise be an engine compartment is a clever idea.  Normally we see only the mechanical space here with little opportunity for storage.  This can be removed to get to those mechanical components. 

Cooler storage in the Sea Ray SLX 260

Under the starboard bench seat, there’s storage for two soft-sided coolers.  They can be accessed from the top or the front. By having two lighter coolers, with a handle on top, they are easier to carry for all members of the family.

Fit and Finish

The Sea Ray SLX 260 OB fit and finish is clearly upmarket, befitting the luxury positioning of the SLX series. The seats have diamond-patterned work, the storage underneath is guttered to channel water away from the interior and there’s open space between the seatbacks and bases, so water does not get trapped. 

Comfort is elevated as well.  The seatbacks have well-padded lumbar supports and the seat bases are slightly angled to facilitate sitting in the seat rather than on them.  In the aft corner, there are four beverage holders and these are the first of 17 on this boat. All are draining, lit and mounted to Corian. 

The portside observer seat on the SLX 260 OB swivels, slides and has a flip-up bolster.  A big improvement is that the seat controls are right along the side so no fumbling underneath for them.   

Upscale finish continues to the side bulwarks. The speakers are hidden, there’s a comfortable armrest and a grab handle just ahead. There’s connectivity and the storage abaft the armrest has been left open with a padded surface making it an ideal place to drop the cellphone.  

Sea Ray SLX 260 OB

The observer’s seat has controls for swivel and slide located on the side of the seat base where they’re much easier to find. 

There’s a lockable glove box just ahead and inside we noticed the optional First Mate wearables.  With these on, if someone should fall overboard it not only points to where they are but it kills the engine, so we don't ride off into the sunset without them. 

The new Sea Ray SLX 260 OB has a huge in-deck storage compartment.  It makes up part of the upgraded storage on this boat, which is 24 cu ft (.68 cu m) increase over its predecessor.  The hatch is finished on the underside, supported by two gas struts, it’s gasketed all the way around and there's a channel going around the perimeter leading to an overboard drain. 

Helm

The helm has twin SIMRAD displays that are fully integrated with the boat’s switching.  They’re also multifunction displays so they provide navigation and bottom graphing.  A flat panel below is recessed and padded. Since it makes an ideal place for the cellphone, Sea Ray included an inductive charger. There’s also a slotted area for holding the phone and tablet. There are physical switches in addition to the digital switches on our multifunction display.  

the helm of the Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard

The Sea Ray SLX 260 OB helm is comprised of two SIMRAD displays.  The cell phone is on an inductive charger.  Slots just ahead also hold a phone and a tablet.

The captain sits in a bucket seat with quality upholstery and a single flip-up bolster.  As with the observer’s seat, this one swivels and slides with controls on the side. This is a major improvement from what we see on many bowriders, but there is something equally as important: both the captain and companion seats are mounted to a raised fiberglass seat base. 

This seat design on the Sea Ray SLX 260 OB eliminates a high aluminum tube mounted on an aluminum base that, invariably with time, becomes wobbly. This arrangement should provide many years of good service. 

Overhead is the second-generation Power Tower with opening T-top sections and it lowers from a control on the starboard bulwark or at the panel at the helm.  With it all the way down, the boat can still be operated making it convenient to get under a low bridge.  Plus, when it’s raining it can be lowered to the top of the windshield to keep everyone dry.  It’s also an ideal feature for boats stored in a rack room. 

An aft shade can be manually slid out from the trailing edge.  Being manually deployed means it’s not going to fail years down the road.  It’s also sturdy so it can be left extended with the boat operating at full speed.  A Mediterranean Sunshade can be installed to the forward edge and that will put the whole boat, bow to stern, under shade. 

The lowered tower on the Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard

With the tower lowered to the windshield, the 260 OB is still operable but now with improved weather protection.

 

The extendable sunshade on the Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard

There’s a manually-extendable sunshade that slides out from the trailing edge of the Power Tower.

Head

Sea Ray SLX 260 OB

The head compartment is large enough to double as a changing room for getting out of those wet bathing suits. 

Head

The head compartment door is held open by a magnetic catch.  Inside there's a Vacu-flush toilet, which is one of the best and most reliable available.  We’d like to see a mirror and possibly even a shelf on the inside of the door.  The decking comes in standard nonskid, but our test boat had the optional SeaDek that comes in brown or gray. 

Headroom is 4’2” (1.27 m), which leaves 2’9” (.84 m) of sitting headroom.  

Bow

The walkthrough to the bow is 19” (48.26 cm) wide. Under the starboard console, there's a door leading to a trash receptacle.  Unlike previous models with a bi-fold air dam, this one is a single piece.  When used in conjunction with the walkthrough windshield, we can create a comfortable interior for operating on those chilly mornings. 

In the bow, the comfort and premium treatments of the Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard continue.  There’s 25” (63.5 cm) from one side to the other in the footwell.  Safety is enhanced with 15” (38.10 cm) high upholstered bulwarks with hidden speakers and plenty of beverage holders.  There’s a flip-out armrest to both port and starboard.  Upholstery choices include Stone, Ivory and Dune.  

The port and starboard handholds are wrapped to give the boat — when combined with the diamond stitching and available wood tables — an upscale look.

The bow seating of the Sea Ray SLX 260 outboard

The bow of the Sea Ray SLX 260 OB has padded bolsters all the way around.  Speakers are hidden in the bulwarks.  The table can be lowered to form a sunpad.

Swim Platform

At the walkthrough to the swim platform, there’s in-deck storage and a flip-up step to help us disembark.  The walkthrough measures 18” (45.72 cm) wide with a 9” (22.86 cm) step.  To the starboard side, there's a four-step reboarding ladder with a grab handle to ease the reboarding process.  There’s a 40” (101.60 cm) by 63” (160.02 cm) sunpad.  To the side, we find an integrated cubby with connectivity alongside.

the walkthrough to the stern of the Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard

The walkthrough to the swim platform has a flip-up step in the bulwarks and in-deck wet storage. The flip-up wooded step is something we see all too seldom.

The Sea Ray SLX 260 aft sundae

The aft sunpad makes a comfortable place to relax.  The ski tow pylon is removable.  Notice the optional SeaDek and the shower to port. 

Underneath there's insulated storage that's self-draining so go ahead and fill that up with ice.  To port, there’s a deep storage compartment that runs all the way under the cockpit seating, so it’s ideal for longer items like skis and wakeboards.  

Sea Ray SLX 260 OB

This storage compartment runs all the way under the portside cockpit seating. 

Options to Consider

  • The Comfort Bundle has a table for the cockpit, a table for the bow and a filler cushion for conversion to a sunpad.  
  • The Entertainment Bundle includes a Fusion stereo upgrade and an inductive charging station at the helm.  
  • The Essentials Bundle includes cockpit and tonneau covers, fender clips, a flagpole plus SeaDek on the swim platform and head decking.  
  • The Lighting Bundle includes LED RGBW color-changing light packages in the cockpit and underwater lights, docking lights and the Sea Ray topside badge is illuminated.  
  • There's an Anchor Bundle that includes a Quick windlass, anchor, and a rope and chain road. All boats will need this unless outfitted in the aftermarket.
  • And lastly, there's also a Water System Bundle with the bow wash down, a pull-out sprayer that transom and a water pressure system.  
  • There’s also a Power Tower upgrade that includes the Sea Ray logo projected right on the cockpit deck.  

For Sale Price

At press time, the builder had not yet released the for-sale price of the Sea Ray SLX 260 OB. However, pricing of Sea Ray boats is typically competitive with other boats in class.

The anchor compartment of the Sea Ray SLX outboard

The Anchor Bundle includes the Quick windlass and the rope and chain rode. 

Observations on the Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard

Twenty-six feet is a popular size because it’s “Yacht Rated” so it does not have a maximum passenger capacity, but we hope common sense will prevail. It’s also just about as big as a bowrider can be without needing twin engines. While this boat will also come in a sterndrive version, our guess is that the outboard model will be much more popular, even though it’s a little more expensive. 

Obviously, boaters opting for all of the optional bundles will drive the cost up, but the only ones that are really necessary are the Anchor Bundle and the power tower for sun and rain protection. We think the 300-hp outboard is a good choice. We recommend it.

The Sea Ray SLX 260 OB has a five-year factory warranty “bow-to-stern” that's something to consider. This is made even stronger because one company — Brunswick Corp., not only owns Sea Ray and Mercury but also Simrad, Lemco and others.