The Sea Ray SPX 230 is an inboard-powered sportboat. She has a maximum weight carrying capacity of 2,300 lbs. (1,043 kg) or 13 people. The SPX Series has two other boats, both smaller at 19’ (5.79 m) and 21’ (6.40 m). All three models come in an inboard/sterndrive or outboard version. This largest boat in the series includes a head compartment, optional seating and power choices from 250 to 300 hp.
- The intuitive helm is available with an optional 5" (12.7 cm) or 9" (22.86 cm) Simrad® touchscreen display to enhance the command experience
- Premium Fusion® audio system with Bluetooth® & Wi-Fi™ streaming
- Spacious open bow
- Transom seat with backrest converts to form a roomy sun pad
- Sea Ray design for optimal performance and handling
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.5 sec.|
|0 to 30||10.8 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||75 deg., 54 humid; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: 1|
1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L
1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT Alpha I Sterndrive
1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT Bravo III Sterndrive
1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo III with DTS Sterndrive
1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT SeaCore Bravo III with DTS Sterndrive
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By Capt. Peter d'Anjou
The Sea Ray SPX 230 delivers easy operations, head-turning style, ample seating and a large amount of space. All in a nimble, sporty package and all at an accessible price point.
- Head compartment w/lockable door and storage
- Three-step swim platform w/stainless steel under-mount ladder
- Custom five-piece windshield w/matte black frame
- Tempered, tinted glass and walk-through
- Finished, fiberglass cockpit floor
- Convertible, aft-facing sun pad w/backrest
- Port transom walk-through
- Custom Sea Ray backlit instrumentation w/glass lenses and low-glare night lighting
- Power-assisted, tilt wheel steering
- Isotta Fiume custom wheel
With 8’6” (2.6 m) of beam and just 23’6” (7.16 m) length overall, the Sea Ray SPX 230 is a beamy bowrider. That enhanced width and the thoughtful seating design create a day boat that can comfortably accommodate 13 people.
A spacious sun pad directly above the swim platform makes the stern the spot for sun and fun. Two additional conversation areas in the cockpit and bow offer something for everyone.
The boat’s exterior design is equally innovative. High gunwales and a foredeck that overhangs the hull keep occupants dry even at speed. The gentle wave-like lines that enclose the hull accent color have become something of a design trademark of the Sea Ray brand.
She has a 19-degree deadrise at the transom. The bow has a soft chine, dropping to a fairly deep V that cuts efficiently through the water at non-planing speeds.
The Sea Ray SPX 230 has a length overall of 23'6" (7.16 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a draft of 38” (96.52 cm). With an empty weight of 4,372 lbs. (1,983 kg), 75-percent fuel (37.5 gal./142 L) and three people aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 5,202 lbs. (2,360 kg).
The Numbers. The single 250-hp 4.5L MerCruiser was upgraded from an Alpha 1 to a Bravo III outdrive. With 22.5” (57.15 cm) pitch propsets and wound up to 5000 rpm, we reached a top speed of 43 mph (69.2 kph).
Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 22.2 mph (35.7 kph). The 6 gph (22.7 lph) fuel burn translated into 3.7 mpg (1.57 kpl) and a range of 167 miles (268 km), all while still holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat's 50-gallon (189 L) total fuel capacity.
We reached planing speed in 4.5 seconds with an 8-degree bowrise, accelerated to 20 mph (32 kph) in 7 seconds and continued through 30 in 10.8 seconds.
With fingertip steering and great responsiveness to the helm, this is a fun boat to drive. With few waves on the lake during our tests, we were left with crossing wakes to show a good transition through the waves with no pounding or hull slap, and catching just a bit of air.
She exhibits a 17-degree roll into turns and if we keep the turn on or get heavy-handed she shows none of the bad characteristics of chine walk or prop ventilation. But she will grab hard into the turn so go easy on your passengers and lighten up.
- MerCruiser® 4.5L MPI ECT* Alpha® I Sterndrive (250-hp - 186 kW) and aluminum propeller come standard.
- MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT* Bravo® III Sterndrive (250-hp - 186 kW)
- MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT* Bravo III with DTS** Sterndrive (300-hp - 224 kW)
- MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT* SeaCore Bravo III with DTS** Sterndrive (300-hp - 224 kW).
The Swim Platform
The walkthrough aft includes a battery switch, right at the entrance where it belongs. Convenient storage is located under the forward step while the battery is under the aft section. A small gate is also included.
Open a small gate to access the swim platform from the cockpit.
Moving forward, a large sun pad is mounted above the engine hatch. For added functionality, Sea Ray added a flip seatback to create a two-across, aft-facing seat with a sun pad alongside.
The cockpit represents the main gathering area of this boat and includes L-shaped seating across the back and starboard sides. The cockpit depth of 35” (88.9 cm) is created by high gunwales.
Port seating comes standard with a bench and a swivel bucket seat, but an optional bench seat with flip seatback is also available. There are beverage holders, connectivity and a latch to release the engine hatch on the inboard side of the L-seating.
The two forward seats can swivel around to join the gathering. Storage is found under the fixed seating. It includes a 36-quart (40 L) carry-on cooler under the aft seating.
The elevation package includes a forward facing and folding water sports tower with Bimini top that rises to 6’ (1.91 m) off the deck and an elevated tow point and wake-board racks.
This boat has the snap-in SeaDek non-skid decking. Options include carpet, Infinity woven vinyl or no covering at all.
This 230 is the only model in the SPX lineup that includes a port side compartment that can accommodate a head. Choose from either a Porta Potti or pump-out head, otherwise the compartment can be left to storage. Overhead clearance is 3’8” (1.12 m) with sitting headroom of 2’4” (0.71 m).
Bow seating is in the usual configuration with twin forward facing V-shaped seats and an aft facing seat in the center and 31” (78.74 cm) from deck to cap rail. Drink holders and courtesy lights are in the 16” (40.64 cm) wide footwell.
Padded bolsters wrap around the bow and drop down to the level of the seat up front to form a seat-back. Upholstered bulwarks include stainless steel grab handles and speakers on each side. Storage is concealed under all seats. Outboard are two of the boat’s four 6” (15.24 cm) cleats.
The dash includes analog gauges upgradable to a 5” (12.7 cm) Simrad display with gauges to either side or a 9” (22.86 cm) Simrad for a full glass dash that includes a VesselView link for instrumentation.
The single zone, Fusion stereo is standard and upgradable to the Signature Series with four speakers, a 10” (25.4 cm) subwoofer and a 5-channel amplifier.
The ignition, bilge pump and blower are to the right of the wheel. The swivel bucket, helm seat includes a flip-up bolster. A beverage holder is located to the lower right forward of connectivity/charging ports. Below is an angled footrest and courtesy light.
Sea Ray SPX 230: Construction
Sea Ray claims its manufacturing facility is the most advanced boat-manufacturing plant in the world. That’s a hard claim to verify but one verifiable fact about Sea Ray is worth particular note. The average employee tenure in its plant is 18 years.
In addition to state-of-the-art computer design and development, a mock-up of each new Sea Ray model is constructed out of foam and other materials to create the look and feel of the boats that will be built from the design.
Then a plug is carved out of foam using one of two company-owned milling machines. The plug will be used to build a precision mold and the mold will be used to create a prototype.
Each new model is put through a minimum six-week on-water testing. Once everything checks out and there’s a final design, it’s time for fabrication, lamination, and assembly.
The company fabricates more than 5,000 parts a day, all cut with precision, computer-guided tools. Nearly everything that goes into a Sea Ray is fabricated from raw materials and created in-house. That’s noteworthy considering the company sells 35 models from 19’ to 65’ (5.79 m to 19.81 m).
The combination of technology, automation, and craftsmanship is what gives the Sea Ray SPX 230 superior fit-and-finish as well as sturdy construction and outstanding style.
- Bimini top and boot with stainless steel ball and socket hardware ($1,189)
- Cockpit cover w/ tonneau cover (1,109)
- Mooring cover ($792)
- Digital dash with Mercury VesselView link ($3,615)
- Bow and cockpit tables with dedicated storage ($951)
- Bow walk-thru door ($654)
- Automatic fire suppression system (FM200) ($555)
- High altitude propeller
- LED lighting package — blue or white ($654)
- On board battery charger 120v/60 or 220v/50 to 12v ($346)
- Premium ski mirror ($238)
- Tandem axle trailer with disc brakes, galvanized or painted ($5,477 to $5,989)
- MerCruiser 4.5 L MPI ECT Bravo III Sterndrive (250 hp - 186 kW) ($2,308)
- MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo III w/DTS Sterndrive (300 hp - 224 kW) ($8,462)
- MerCruiser 6.2L MPI SeaCore Bravo III w/DTS Sterndrive (300 hp - 224 kW) ($10,000)
- MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT SeaCore Bravo III w/DTS Sterndrive (300 hp - 224 kW) ($11,538)
The $77,250 price will cover the basic boat with a few extras. With the wide range of options Sea Ray offers to SPX 230 buyers, a fully customized boat could go substantially higher.
Sea Ray provides five years of bow-to-stern factory warranty on the boat and its components from defects in materials and workmanship. In addition to the five-year bow-to-stern coverage, 2019 Sea Ray sport boats also have a limited lifetime structural hull/deck warranty to the original owner.
Sea Ray’s design priorities go beyond mere aesthetics. Sixty years in the business has given the company a rich understanding of consumer needs and an anticipation of their desires. The Sea Ray SPX 230 is a day boat with an optional head that will extend the day’s enjoyment and she includes some potent power options. She can satisfy buyers who just want the fun of driving a comfortable bowrider or those who want to spend their days on the water enjoying tow sports or swimming off the boat. The boat is big enough for 13 people and easily trailered, making it a good fit for family fun and entertaining.