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Sea Ray SLX 280 (2023-)

1 x 350-hp Mercury MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo Three w/ DTS

Brief Summary

The Sea Ray SLX 280 is the latest addition to the SLX lineup and it brings with it a new level of luxury and performance. Our test boat was powered by the standard 350-hp Mercury Mercruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo III sterndrive with DTS, providing smooth and effortless handling. The SLX 280 also features a spacious layout with plenty of seating and storage space, making it a perfect choice for a day on the water with friends and family.

Test Results

650 4.6 4 1.5 3.1 2.7 323 280.8 65
1000 6.4 5.6 2.4 2.7 2.3 281 244.2 71
1500 8.5 7.4 4 2.1 1.8 224 194.6 71
2000 10.3 9 6.8 1.5 1.3 159 138.7 73
2500 15.6 13.6 10.4 1.5 1.3 158 137.3 81
3000 25.4 22.1 12.7 2 1.7 211 183.1 79
3500 32.7 28.4 15.7 2.1 1.8 219 190.7 86
4000 38.8 33.7 20.6 1.9 1.6 198 172.5 83
4500 44.6 38.8 27.2 1.6 1.4 173 150.1 89
5000 49.7 43.2 34.9 1.4 1.2 150 130.4 91
SeaRay SLX280 performance chart


Length Overall 28' 8"
8.74 m
Beam 9'
2.74 m
Dry Weight 8,378 lb
3,800 kg
Draft Up 25"
64 cm
Draft Down 41"
104 cm
Deadrise/Transom 21 deg
Fuel Capacity 117 gal
443 L
Water Capacity 20 gal
76 L

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 13.0 seconds
0 to 30 20.6 seconds

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 350-hp Mercury MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo Three w/ DTS
Std. Power 1 x 350-hp Mercury MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo Three with DTS
Opt. Power 1 x 350-hp Mercury MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo Three SeaCore
1 x 380-hp Mercury MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT Bravo Three X with DTS
1 x 430-hp Mercury MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO ECT Bravo Three X with DTS

Captain's Report

Sea Ray SLX 280 (Sterndrive): The newest of the SLX line of luxury boats from Sea Ray.

Captain's Report by Capt. Shelley Morton


Brief Summary

The SLX 280 delivers a higher level of excellence that you'll see and feel. Upscale styling and a gorgeously sculpted hull make an instant impression while slicing through the water. Craftsmanship is apparent down to the last stitch. Cutting-edge technology makes a statement at every turn, thanks to innovations like Quiet Ride™. The captain and passengers are treated to smooth, responsive performance and ample amenities like the optional wet bar to extend the day into the evening. After all, luxury loves company.


The Sea Ray SLX series is known for its luxurious amenities and innovative features and the SLX 280 is no exception. This boat is bigger and better than ever before, with a sleek hull and redesigned lines making it eye-catching and functional.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive floorplan

The deck design of the SLX 280 is safe and easy to transit back and forth from bow to stern. Each area is laid out for maximum comfort.

Major Features

  • Upmarket upholstery and stitchwork
  • Extra wide captain’s chair
  • Swiveling captains and companion seats
  • Deployable swim ladder
  • Upgraded storage
  • Indirect mood lighting
  • Hidden speakers
  • Dedicated soft-sided cooler storage
  • Five-year factory warranty
  • Ample storage under the aft sun pad
  • Dual multi-function displays
  • Large changing room or an optional head


Sea Ray is calling the SLX 280 the "next generation of sport boats." It features a new modern and athletic hull-side sculpting that looks crisp and clean on the water. The hull is also designed to be more efficient, which means better fuel economy and a smoother ride.

sea ray slx 280 running

The new design language is seen in the SLX 280 as it lends a striking profile to her exterior.  


sea ray slx 260 docked

Flirting with almost 50 mph, our SLX 280 test boat delivered an exhilarating ride.

Our test boat was equipped with the optional 430-hp Mercury Mercruiser 8.2L MPI ECT Bravo III sterndrive with DTS and during our tests, we achieved a top speed of 49.7 mph.  The best cruise came in at 3500 RPM and 32.7 mph. At that speed, the 15.7-GPH fuel burn translated into 2.1 MPG and a range of 219 statute miles, all while holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 117-gallon (442.9 L) total fuel capacity.

With a wide-open throttle, we reached full plane speed in 13 seconds, accelerated to 30 mph in 20.6 and 40 in 29.1 mph.  


The 280's deep-V hull design and sterndrive propulsion provide quick acceleration and precise turning. Even at high speeds, the boat handles smoothly and steadily. The 43-inch (109.22 cm) freeboard gives a sense of security and safety — and it also helps to keep the boat stable and balanced in choppy waters. This results in a smooth ride for passengers, even in rough conditions.

The boat's high freeboard does not impede visibility from either standing or seated operating positions. This makes it easy for the captain to see ahead and around the boat, which is important for safety and maneuvering.

Overall, the Sea Ray SLX 280 is a pleasure to handle. It's a responsive and stable boat that's sure to provide a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Boat Inspection


SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive cockpit

Captain and companion chairs swivel to join the cockpit benches. 

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive cockpit

All cockpit benches feature a sloped design to funnel water off the seats and to allow airflow in the small of your back.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive cockpit

The bow and cockpit tables are part of the Comfort Bundle, which also includes a bow filler cushion.

Sea Ray SLX models are known for their luxurious finishes. The intricate diamond stitching in the upholstery is rich and durable and the complementary accents add a touch of style. The cockpit seating is deeper than on other boats and it has been ergonomically designed for comfort.

A 12v refrigerator is located below the captain's seat and an optional end table can be added aft. A two-person bench seat doubles as storage and the optional SeaDek decking provides a comfortable and non-slip surface.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive fridge

The fridge has a drawer to keep things organized.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive coolers

Lugging large coolers is a thing of the past. Smaller soft-sided coolers have dedicated storage.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive port storage

The port storage locker extends from the sun pad to under the cockpit bench — deep enough for a small Lilly pad. 

Throughout the cockpit, there are smartly-placed grab handles and with a maximum cockpit depth of 39" (99 cm), everyone is going to feel secure in this area.

Port Console

The port console has a storage compartment that is secured to the helm console with a strong magnet. The compartment can be upgraded to include a head, vanity with a sink and a trash can.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive sole locker

In between the port and starboard consoles is a large locker in the sole.  There is a notch so that longer items like skis can be stored in this area, which as you can see fits a full-sized Captain Shelley.


SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive helm

The helm layout is functional and attractive with the bonus of a footrest and two spaces to place your phone.

The dual 9-inch (22.86 cm) multi-function displays on our demo vessel showed digital switching Mercury engine data, active trim control and monitoring, a chartplotter, a depth finder and other onboard systems. There were illuminated stainless toggle switches by the steering wheel for redundancy. You can upgrade to dual 12-inch (30.48 cm) displays.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive helm

Active trim controls and digital throttle controls are within easy reach.

The main Apollo controller for the high-end entertainment system made by Fusion, a Garmin-owned product, is located inboard of the steering wheel. Sea Ray told us that the SLX designers worked with Fusion to determine the optimal placement of all nine Signature Series Speakers and a Subwoofer. Their efforts resulted in the best possible sound from the boat and virtually eliminated the distortion often heard on lesser systems.

The captain's chair has a flip-up bolster and measures 39" (99 cm) wide, making it wide enough for two people. There is an option for an inductive charger hidden within the bulwarks on both port and starboard so that your phone stays out of the sun while charging.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive window

With the window and air dam closed, the ride will be more comfortable if there is a chill in the air. 

Power Tower

Stainless steel toggle buttons control the tower and there are additional options to add port and starboard-mounted Fusion Signature Series tower speakers and swiveling wakeboard racks.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive pt buttons

Stainless steel toggle buttons for the Power Tower are just aft of the captain’s chair.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive pt shade

The manually-extendable shady locks into place and can remain deployed while running.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive pt down

If the weather turns, lower the tower to keep out the wind and rain.


SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive bow

With both forward-facing longers and rear-facing seating, the bow is sure to be a well-used social area.

The bow is accessible through a hinged windshield with a locking air dam and when you pass by the helm console, there is a concealed trash can plus remote key switches within.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive bow sole storage

There is even more storage in the sole of the bow

Both loungers in the bow have storage underneath. The starboard lounger has a larger storage space that has dedicated storage for the Comforts Bundle’s bow filler cushion as well as the bow and cockpit tables.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive bow storage port

The large starboard side storage compartment has an added touch of SeaDek decking within.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive bow shade

There is an optional manually-deployable sun shade that can be raised to create a cool and shady space to relax in the bow.

At the very front of the boat, there are several options available. You can choose to install a bow boarding ladder or you can opt for the anchor bundle, which includes a stainless steel delta-style anchor

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive anchor

A freshwater washdown hose is available with the water bundle


For those sunset cruises, add the lighting bundle that includes illumination for all cupholders as well as ambient lighting throughout the bow and cockpit.  With the touch of a button, you can adjust the RBGW LED lights above and below the water line. The Sea Ray logo shines on the cockpit floor from the power tower and on the exterior of the boat, there are docking lights and an illuminated Sea Ray badge on the hull.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive lights

The lights are controlled through the Simrad displays.

Engine Compartment

A section of the aft bench seat raises on two gas-assisted struts to provide access to the engine and to the fuel tank just ahead.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive engine

The artfully organized engine room is fully finished and easy to access.


SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive transom

The transom is sure to be a favorite hang-out when at the dock or at anchor.

Moving aft there is a single 10" (25.4 cm) step-up where a solid wood boarding step is mounted to the starboard bulwarks to aid in boarding from a fixed dock. Opposite the bulwarks are a swinging transom gate that locks into place, a stern shower and a smartly placed shore power port.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive stern

The stern shower is part of the water bundle.

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive ladder

The large integrated swim platform features a concealed stainless steel four-step ladder 

SeaRay SLX 280 sterndrive swim step

The swim step descends 18" (45.72 cm) into the water and is topped with nonskid to make reboarding easier.

The large sun pad is another social zone and measures 68" x 42" (172.72 cm x 106.68 cm) and there are cup holders on both sides of the pad. Under the pad on the port side is that large storage compartment, which is easy to access with a gas-assisted strut. 

Optional Equipment

  • Anchor Bundle — Stainless steel anchor, windlass with rope and chain
  • Comfort Bundle — Bow filler cushion, bow table and cockpit table
  • Entertainment Bundle — Fusion head unit and remote on sun pad, 9 Signature series speakers, Subwoofer, 2 inductive chargers
  • Essentials Bundle — Quick connect fender clips, flag pole with flag, SeaDek Flooring on platform
  • Lighting Bundle — LED RGB-W color-changing & white accent lighting package Lighting for bow & cockpit.  Lighting for cup holders Underwater thru-hull (3 lights), docking lights, Sea Ray badge, illuminated (hull), Sea Ray logo light projected onto cockpit floor 
  • Water System Bundle — Bow washdown, Freshwater pressure system with 12v pump and filtration, Pullout transom sprayer
  • Power Tower — electrically actuated with deployable shade


Pricing of Sea Ray boats is typically competitive with other boats in class. But at our release time, the builder had not yet released the for-sale price of the Sea Ray SLX 280.


The SLX 280 is designed to maximize space and functionality, so you can focus on enjoying the water. This vessel is geared toward boaters who want upscale amenities, powerful propulsion and innovative features. With a variety of bundles available to customize the boat to your needs, the SLX 280 can easily complement many boating lifestyles. Like most Sea Rays, the SLX 280 comes with a five-year factory warranty "bow to stern." This is a testament to Brunswick Corporation's commitment to its products.

sea ray slx 280 sterndrive stern