Sea Ray has created a new group of entry level, family priced runabouts called the SPX Series. The SPX 210 is a watersports focused bowrider with flexible seating in the cockpit, a generous swim platform and a dedicated transom walkthrough. Value priced with V6 sterndrive power from MerCruiser, the SPX helps to keep running cost low, while still providing all the tools for a good time.
- Available with a sterndrive or outboard engine
- Custom Sea Ray instrumentation with glass lenses
- Standard power-assisted steering and tilt wheel
- 4 optional functional and convenience packages
- True Sea Ray design for optimal performance and handling
- Standard tandem axle painted trailer with disc brakes and swing-away tongue
- 12V AM/FM stereo with wireless Bluetooth and 4 weatherproof speakers
- Convertible sun pad with port transom walkthrough
- Stainless steel ski tow eye
- Starboard/aft L-shaped bench seat with insulated cooler and storage tub below
|Length Overall||21' 6'' / 6.55 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||3.7 sec.|
|0 to 30||10.4 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, full fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||75 deg., 62 humid.; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: light chop|
1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke
1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3L ECT Alpha I
1 x 220-hp Mercury XL Verado LS four-stroke
1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT Alpha I
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Sea Ray has created a new group of entry-level, affordably-priced runabouts called the SPX Series. The SPX 210 and SPX OB are watersports-focused bowriders with flexible seating in the cockpit and with either outboard or sterndrive power. Value-priced either way, the new 210 SPXs should appeal to a wide audience who go boating on a budget and want to keep operating costs low, while at the same time have good performance.
Goal Oriented Design
There are basically three goals to the SPX boats that Sea Ray wanted to embody…
1. Highly Customizable.
What typically happens in competing boats in this class is a manufacturer will add features such as a watersports tower, or a fishing package, and then call the boat an entirely new model. That’s not the case here. Buyers of the SPX will choose their model, either 19 or, in this case, 21.
Then choose propulsion….sterndrive or outboard. And then choose a package that supports what they want to do. There’s an Elevation Package ($4,633) that leans towards watersports, an All Sports package ($3,467) that embraces fishing and skiing. There is also a brand new select package that transforms the SPX 210 into a Luxury Sport Boat. The package ($5,267) includes an upholstery upgrade (with two color choices), premium finishings, a helm upgrade, LED lights and stainless steel upgrades, and SeaDek platform matting.
And for what it’s worth, Sea Ray also offers numerous hullside and pattern color combinations for the SPX boats! So clearly there’s a lot of customization involved in the purchase of the SPX. But Sea Ray has made the purchase process easier by creating an automotive style configurator, which is an entirely new concept to this particular market segment. And we think it’s a pretty good idea.
2. Totally Affordable.
The goal is to offer the Sea Ray hallmarks to an entirely new audience. These new boats have, by far, the most aggressive pricing throughout the company’s entire lineup. Certainly these boats can be had for less money than the “Sport” lineup, which previously served as Sea Ray’s entry-level boats.
3. Thoroughly Sea Ray.
No corners were cut in the build process, and all materials remain consistent with the Sea Ray brand. This is a boat that will not only appeal to first time boaters, but the level of attention to detail, along with the fit and finish, will ensure brand loyalty.
So What Does SPX Stand For Anyway?
We’re glad we asked. When creating a new lineup, Sea Ray wanted to not so much abandon its old models, but build on them. It already had its entry-level boats, the “Sport” lineup. Plus, it had the luxury lineup, the “SLX” Series. What needed to happen is to create a new and affordable Sport line but keep some (but not all of course) of the luxury, fit-and-finish of the SLX boats. The combination of the two is what became the SPX line, sporty but luxurious at the same time.
Ready to Play
The well-styled SPX 210 comes standard with the basics for water fun, but sport aficionados will want to upgrade either model with the ‘Elevation Package’. This factory-installed set-up includes items such as an aluminum tube wake tower with board racks, an integral Bimini top and a ski mirror.
In addition, there is an option for the very handy Perfect Pass control system that allows the pilot to set tow speeds for each individual. This takes the guesswork out of pulling skiers and ensures they get the same pull each time. No matter the sport, a large locker in the sole of the cockpit provides storage for skis, boards and other toys.
The outboard version we tested had the standard Mercury 150 FourStroke mounted to the stern. As an option, a 200-hp Mercury Verado can be used.
The sterndrive version of the SPX 210 comes equipped with MerCruiser’s 4.3 liter, multi-port fuel injected V6 with Emission Control Technology (ECT). This engine produces 220-hp while meeting the latest EPA clean air standards, and is coupled to an Alpha 1 sterndrive with aluminum prop.
An optional engine upgrade
is MerCruiser’s new 4.5 L V6 that cranks out 250 horses with ECT, has an Alpha 1 drive and a stainless steel prop. Although there is only a 30-hp difference between the two, the 4.5 is the latest in propulsion technology and will work better in high altitude or hot environments, and it comes with an stainless steel prop which should mean slightly better performance.
Consumers can also downgrade to a 4.3 L 190-hp engine and receive a $1,400 credit. This might be an appropriate option for someone who just wants to leisurely cruise around the lake or up and down a river and doesn't need a lot of power for towing sports.
We tested the outboard version of the SPX 210 with the standard Mercury 150 FourStroke. She had excellent performance reaching a top speed of 46.5 mph and did so with a 14.5 gph fuel burn.
Her most economical performance came in at 3500 rpm and 27.4 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 5.5 gph and the SPX 210 OB could keep it up for over 6 ½ hours and 181 miles.
The boat’s 3,400 lb. (1,542 kg) dry weight and a 19-degree V-bottom hull was designed to provide a smooth, dry ride even when the water gets lumpy, yet not be so deep-V that top speed and fuel economy are drastically affected. Indeed, we were impressed with her handling on our choppy test day.
Naturally at top speed we could generate some pounding, but pulled back to a reasonable cruise speed showed a surprisingly cool ride up and over the swells while staying dry. With the light chop she would skip from one wave to the next with a smooth re-entry producing yet another enjoyable ride.
The bow area offers comfortable seating for three in the form of lounge space for two facing forward, and one facing aft. In this manner a comfortable social area is created. That aft seat also makes a comfy observer’s station when towing as it has the added benefit of being directly in the line of sight of the captain.
The removable seat cushions
reveal storage compartments below, while a pair of rubberized grab handles provide security while underway. Both consoles have backrest cushions for facing forward and there is another in the bow for a person facing aft.
Step Right Up…
Under the aft facing bow seat is a set of steps leading to the non-skid wrapping around the bow. In this manner, the SPX 210 OB can be easily boarded, or disembarked, from the bow. It’s also another way to enter the water…just launch right off the bow.
The stern features a good-sized, beam-width swim platform with room for gearing up for the water. Set high above the waterline, the platform has a recessed, four-rung boarding ladder and optional SeaDek padding is available.
Sun Pad and Chaise Seating.
Sea Ray took the traditional aft sun pad and added in a convertible transom seat. The forward section of the pad can be raised to create a reclining seat back, and it makes a good spot to relax and watch the kids play.
A port side transom walkthrough
eases the access into the cockpit. This walk-through then takes a slight turn to the diagonal before entering the cockpit. This is an unusual design feature as it does a surprisingly good job of adding space to the seating. Now, regardless of where one sits, there are no knees knocking and while the space remains social, there’s no crowded feel to the seating.
Another hidden gem is that Sea Ray narrowed down the gunwales a bit and this, along with what is the widest beam in class, adds to the spacious feel of the cockpit.
In the cockpit we find some creative solutions to the age-old problem facing sportboat designers; namely, should the seating be set up for running, partying or towing? Sea Ray's design team has come up with a surprisingly simple solution that allows the cockpit to fulfill all three requirements. This plays well into one of the original themes, which is configurability.
A long bench seat to port
offers room for sitting three-across. With three people sitting here, three aft and one in the swiveling captain's seat, 7 people can be accommodated in the cockpit for drinks, a picnic or just conversation. And all this without any feeling of being shoe-horned into place and everyone having plenty of “elbow” room.
Removing the filler cushion, stowing it under the aft seat and then moving the seatback ahead creates a forward facing companion seat. That seat back serves double duty also becoming a seat back for a spotter when towing.
Yet a third variation
on the portside seating is to have the removable vertical seat back at the aft end of the bench making a chaise lounge facing forward. A padded back rest forward on the port console allows a companion to do the same facing aft.
At the back of the cockpit is a very large L-shaped seating arrangement. Two people can face forward in the aft seat bench seat and two more can sit athwartships facing to port.
Storage bins and a designated beverage cooler nook (to starboard) can be found below the cushions. Virtually no space has gone to waste in the SPX 210 OB.
All told, in entertainment mode, 8 people can comfortably sit in this cockpit.
offers the captain a swivel bucket seat that adjusts fore and aft. Nestled behind a tinted glass, flat panel windshield, the driver has good views of the instrumentation that includes multifunction gauges, a power-assisted sport steering wheel and conventional side-mount engine controls.
The base price of the Sea Ray SPX 210 OB powered by optional the 200-hp Mercury Verado engine is $50,190. Downgrading to the smaller SPX 190 OB saves around $1,400, bring what would normally be the "base price" for most builders to $33,460.
Options to Consider
Every boat owner has their own slightly different needs and desire, so by carefully looking over the option list and selecting only options that are necessary the price of the SPX 210 OB can be kept under $50,000.
We are often asked by readers what we recommend for options, so here is how we would option out the boat for general sportboat use--
4.5 L 250-hp MerCruiser Engine.
We have tested this engine and we like it and think that it’s well worth the up charge over the 220-hp 4.3 L model.
Sea Ray's pricing on canvas is one of the best in class. Every boat needs some canvas, but this package has it all -- Bimini with front, side and aft curtains (this greatly increases the utility of the boat), cockpit cover, Tonneau cover and bag.
Hull Side Color.
Regular readers know that we think the hull color is worth whatever it costs to make the boat look its best and enhance pride of ownership. In this case, the price isn't bad for just colored hull sides.
. This package includes a battery on/off switch (a necessity in our book), depth sounder, helm seat bolster (also something we think is necessary) and a snap-in carpet.
, for the avid fisherman, including casting chairs, livewell, trolling motor, rod storage, battery charger.
, leaning towards watersports including a sports tower, ski mirror and tower racks.
, offering luxury on the water with two interior color options, upgraded upholstery, premium helm, LED lights and stainless steel upgrades.
Automatic Engine Room Fire Suppression System.
We are very careful about daily engine checks and being Boy Scout when re-fueling, nevertheless, this system in our option is just good, cheap, one-time insurance.
Stainless Steel Component Upgrade.
We hate to see weeping rust stains on hardware.
Painted Tandem Axle Trailer with Dual Disc Brakes.
We have to admit that this comes mostly under the heading of looking cool, the safety of the dual-axle disc breaks notwithstanding. Oh, there is nothing quite so good-looking as a boat with a colored hull on a tandem axle trailer with a matching paint job -- and why not at these prices?
for having the Sea Ray 21 SPX "our way":
We are big supporters of small boats that combine functionality, usability, and good aesthetic styling and safety -- and it looks like the Sea Ray SPX 210 very much fits that description. Further, her options couldn't be more reasonably priced.