The SPX line from Sea Ray focuses on a new level of affordability, but ensures that the build doesn’t lose sight of the Sea Ray heritage. The 19 SPX is the smallest in this new lineup and the “Select” version we tested had the optional package that added luxury to the mix. Now, those just starting out, or restricted in size by lake limits or towing weight, don’t have to compromise on. Entry-level no longer means bare bones, and this boat proves it. But to us, the real attraction is in the ability to customize to the heart’s content, starting with choosing between outboard or sterndrive power.
- 4 optional functional and convenience packages: Captain's, All Sport, Elevation and Select
- Edgier, sporty style with molded hullside accents
- Standard single-axle painted trailer with disc brakes and swing-away tongue with LED lighting
- Expanded cockpit design
- Stereo, 12V AM/FM with Wireless Bluetooth and 2 weatherproof speakers
- Sun pad with port transom walkthrough
- Stainless steel ski tow eye
- Aft Bench Seat with sun pad and insulated cooler
- Bow seats with cushions and storage below
|Length Overall||19' 6'' / 5.94 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||3.7 sec.|
|0 to 30||8.7 sec.|
|Props||19" Black Max|
|Load||2 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of fuel|
|Climate||52 deg., 82 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm|
1 x 200-hp MerCruiser 4.5L
1 x 135-hp MerCruiser 3.0L ECT Alpha I sterndrive
1 x 180-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI ECT Alpha I sterndrive
1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI ECT Alpha I sterndrive
1 x 200-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT Alpha I sterndrive
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The SPX 190 is the smallest player in Sea Ray’s new line of family affordable runabouts, offering good looks, a relatively high freeboard, and a large swim platform. This sporty bowrider was designed for a wide range of customers with her many levels of customization, from power to luxury, and even her layout offers a host of versatility features to please everyone. The base package is powered with a cost-conscious four-cylinder sterndrive propulsion set-up from MerCruiser.
Lots of Options
Because the SPX line is intended to be affordable, it comes standard with all the basics for a good time. However, it can be optioned out to meet the needs and desires of practically anyone. It starts with hull color. We’re big fans of anything but white on any boat and with the SPX 190, color can be added for only $1,226. Considering that most often, the boat will be financed, this ends up being short money in the long run. For that matter, it’s short money even without the financing.
Next comes power. We can decide between outboard and sterndrive but since our test boat was sterndrive, we’ll focus on that. Base engine is the 3.0L 135-hp MerCruiser. This should provide enough power for simple joyrides around the base dock, or to the cove for beaching. But loading her up and/or adding watersports will take more. Choose from a 4.3L 180-hp ($2,667), a 4.5L 200-hp ($3,933) that we tested with, or a 4.3L 220-hp ($5,000) engine, all from MerCruiser.
The SPX 190 is also smartly optioned to include four packages available from the factory, two of which will really increase the boats usability. The ‘Elevation Package’ ($4,400) is geared for wake and ski sport enthusiasts with a wakeboard tower with built-in racks, and a rearview mirror. Another good choice is the ‘All Sport package’ ($2,593) that turns the SPX into a weekend fishing rig with casting chairs for the bow and cockpit, some rod storage, a livewell system and of course a trolling motor.
Upgrade the Looks
Then we come to the ability to add to the looks and trim level of the SPX 190. The “Captain’s Package” ($780) is a no-brainer. It adds some essentials such as a battery switch, depth finder and premium-level helm seat. The stainless package ($333) adds trim to the rubrail insert, drink holders and all latches and grab handles. Then we come to the focus of our test boat... The “Select Package” ($4,267). This is the meat and potatoes of adding luxury to the build with LED lighting, a premium-level dash at the helm, and upgraded upholstery. This package also comes with the stainless steel upgrade and the upholstery is available in two colors, Sahara or Cognac.
The upgraded upholstery is most noticeable. It consists of multiple tones, multiple materials and custom embroidery. One of the materials, Ultravinyl, has the soft touch and feel of Ultraleather but it’s much more resistant to the elements.
Now let’s get her on the water and see how she does. The Sea Ray SPX 190 has an LOA of 19’6” (5.94 m), a beam of 8’4” (2.54 m) and a draft of 34” (.86 m). With an empty weight of 2,728 lbs. (1,237 kg, three-quarter fuel and two people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 3,283 lbs. (1,489 kg). With the optional 200-hp 4.5L MerCruiser turning a 19” (48.3 cm) black max prop, we topped out at 47.5 mph. Best economy, however, we measured at 2500 rpm and 24.2 mph. That speed produced a 4.6 gph fuel burn, allowing us to keep going for nearly 6 hours and 142 miles, all while holding back a 10% reserve.
We reached planing speed in 3.7 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 5.8 seconds and continued through to 30 mph in 8.7 seconds.
The SPX 190’s 19-degree deadrise running surface and 2,728 lb. (1,237 kg) dry weight gave a confident and stable ride with good handling response from the sterndrive propulsion set-up. Like all Sea Rays, the boat is NMMA certified. We weren’t surprised to find excellent handling qualities. She takes aggressive handing with no adverse effects such as chine walk. In fact, she’s remained quite comfortable, rolling 19-degrees into the turns and not having so much grip that one can’t stay in their seat. She’s got nice control authority and responds quickly to inputs, both steering and throttle. If we crossed the wake of the camera boat at full speed we could get her to hit hard, but dialed back to more normal operations, she sliced cleanly through the waves with minimal spray.
The freeboard runs from 29” (73.7 cm) at the bow to 33” (84 cm) aft. Basically, not only a classy boat but a safe and fun boat to be on.
At the stern, a port-side transom walkthrough makes getting to the water much easier. The full-beam width swim platform comes out 1’10” (.56 m) from the transom and offers room for hanging-out and for getting in and out of the water. There is a recessed four-rung, boarding ladder molded into the platform’s deck and the sole in the stern area can be fitted with plush SeaDek flooring as an option ($487). Next to the 1’5” (.43 m) wide walkthrough is a padded engine box with enough room to enjoy as a sun pad for one person or an aft-facing, water-front bench seat for three.
The cockpit seating offers a 4’11” (1.5 m) wide bench for three at the stern and a convertible bench to port. This portside arrangement has a removable seat bottom cushion and seat back to transform it into a companion seat or mini lounger. A wraparound bolster adds to the comfort level and allows the seat to be used in just about any configuration. With the forward seat bottom removed, storage is just under the seat behind. This means no searching for where to stow the cushion and it doesn’t take up space that could be used for other items. That’s a big theme for Sea Ray nowadays. It doesn’t allow its items to impede on the customers’ storage needs.
Just forward, the console houses the stereo unit and a large locking glove box. Upgrade to the premium-level stereo ($1,233) that includes a transom remote, Amp and subwoofer, and a second pair of speakers. The aft seat provides a removable beverage cooler below one of its cushions, as well as an L-shaped bolster pad for guests to recline on.
In order to maximize seating, Sea Ray angled the entry to the cockpit just a bit to prevent that entry from impeding on the seating. It’s a clever idea and certainly adds to the roominess of the cockpit. There’s been no sacrificing storage, but even still there is a large centerline board locker measuring 47” (119 cm) x 17” (43.2 cm) x 9” (22.86 cm) in the deck for toys and the bow seating is removable to provide added space for items.
At the front of the bowrider is room for two to enjoy the ride and get some sun or up to three with the aft-facing center section seat and padded bolster cushions for the seatbacks. We measured 18” (45.7 cm) between the consoles.
Our test boat had the upgraded premium level seat that swivels, slides and includes a flip-up bolster. It also had the upgraded upholstery that was evident at first glance. A flat panel, the tinted-glass windshield provides wind protection for pilot and companion and includes a folding center walkthrough. Sea Ray went with a more angular windshield reminiscent of the old days and to our eye, it looks much better than the blasé, rounded windshield.
The dash has an analog gauge pod with all the needed engine instrumentation and is accompanied by a power-assisted tilt steering wheel and easy-to-use side mount engine controls.
Certainly, there are less costly boats to be had in the entry-level category, but in our opinion, the SPX line bridges the gap between affordable and luxury and that puts it into a category of its own. It’s better than the “Sport” category but not as pricey as the SLX models. It’s right in-between and that’s where the SPX was meant to be.