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Sea Ray SPX 230 (2019-)

1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L



Brief Summary

The Sea Ray SPX 230 is an inboard powered sport boat. She has a maximum weight carrying capacity, people and gear 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.

Key Features

  • The intuitive helm is available with an optional 5" or 9" 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

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
600 3.6 3.1 5 0.7 0.6 33 28.5 68
1000 5.9 5.1 1.5 3.9 3.4 176 152.6 73
1500 8.2 7.1 2.7 3.1 2.7 138 120.3 76
2000 10.7 9.3 4.4 2.4 2.1 110 95.8 82
2500 14.2 12.3 5 2.8 2.5 128 111.1 84
3000 22.2 19.3 6 3.7 3.2 167 144.8 85
3500 29.8 25.9 9.4 3.2 2.8 143 124.5 86
4000 34.2 29.7 11.1 3.1 2.7 139 120.9 87
4500 39.3 34.2 16.4 2.4 2.1 108 94.1 90
5000 43 37.4 19.1 2.3 2 101 88.1 91
searay_spx230_chart_19.jpg

Specifications

Length Overall 23' 6'' / 7.16 m
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Dry Weight 4,372 lbs.
1,983 kg
Tested Weight 5,202 lbs.
2,359 kg
Draft 38''
.97 m
Draft Up 21''
0.53 m
Draft Down 38''
.97 m
Deadrise/Transom 19-deg.
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance N/A
Weight Capacity 2,100 lbs.
953 kg
Person Capacity 13
Fuel Capacity 50 gal.
Water Capacity N/A
Total Weight 5,202 lbs.
2,359 kg

Price

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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 4.5 sec.
0 to 30 10.8 sec.
Ratio N/A
Props 22.5p b3
Load 3 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 75 deg., 54 humid; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: 1

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L
Std. Power 1 x 250-hp MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT Alpha I Sterndrive
Opt. Power 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

Captain's Report

By Capt. Peter d'Anjou

Sea Ray SPX 230

Sleek lines and eye-catching color combinations are a stronghold of the Sea Ray brand.

beauty

Nature provides the beauty. Sea Ray provides the style.

Mission

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.

Distinguishing Features

  • Head compartment w/lockable door and storage

Layout

The only significant difference between the two layout options is the extended, port side bench that replaces the companion bucket seat with swivel, slider and flip-up bolster.

Major Features

  • 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

Turning

Operators will find themselves turning for the shear pleasure of the feeling.

Design

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.

Cruising

Four parallel lifting strakes can be seen here running the full length of the hull.

She has a 19-degree dead rise 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.

Performance

The Sea Ray SPX 230 has a length overall of 23’” (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. (1983 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). 

Catching air

The Sea Ray SPX 230 catches a little air.

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) where 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 (48) in 10.8 seconds. 

Table

Handling

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.

Turns

The SPX 230 remained solid going into and out of turns.

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.

Boat Inspection

Power Options

  • 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.

Battery switch

The battery switch is located in a compartment on the port side.

Storage

More storage can be found under the step.

Open a small gate to access the swim platform from the cockpit.

Small gate

The 24” (60.96 cm) swim platform is covered in the optional SeaDek non-skid. There’s a standard under mount swim ladder. A 16” (40.64 cm) wide manual-flip submersible swim step can be ordered as an option. It is held closed with a magnetic catch.

Fordable ladder

The swim platform presents no risk of slipping thanks to the SeaDek non-skid.

Sea step

The standard ladder folds away under the swim platform.

Sea step

The optional sea step folds right out of the swim platform.

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.

Converting sunpad

Converting the sun pad to a rear-facing seat could help the spotter stay focused on people being towed.

Engine hatch

The engine hatch lifts on two support struts.

Engine

The 250 MerCruiser 4.5L MPI ECT* Alpha I Sterndrive (250-hp - 186 kW) was plenty peppy for our tests but buyers planning to fill the boat to her 13-person capacity may want to consider the 300 to maintain performance.

The Cockpit

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.

Swivel seats

Swivel seats allow the skipper and companion to turn toward the action in the cockpit.

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.

Bench

Sprawl out on the bench for an afternoon nap or chat.

Aft cup holders

A grab handle can be found next to the beverage holders.

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.

Cockpit overlook

Cockpit seating in full conversation mode offers lots of space.

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.

Wake board rack

Built-in, wake-board racks are optional.

This boat has the snap-in SeaDek non-skid decking. Options include carpet, Infinity woven vinyl, or no covering at all.

The Head

Head

The relatively compact head may not fit everyone, but most people will find it a welcome comfort.

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).

The Bow

Bow benches

Two people can stretch out comfortably on the bow benches.

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.

Bow back rests

Bolsters and backrests will make the bow seats popular with passengers.

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.

Bow storage

Bow storage could be called a hidden asset.

The Helm

The dash includes analog gauges upgradable to a 5” (12.70 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. 

Helm

Standard, round gauges have a retro look that’s reminiscent of hot rod boats from the past.

The single zone, Fusion stereo is standard and upgradable to the Signature Series with four speakers, a 10” (25.40 cm) subwoofer, and a 5-channel amplifier.

Wheel

The wheel is mounted to a tilt base.

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.

Fire extinguisher storage

A different location for the fire extinguisher would keep it out from under foot.

NMMA

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.

Foam mockup

Engineers and staff examine the foam mockup of a bow seating area.

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.

32. Sea Ray plant

Precision is the name of the game at the Sea Ray plant.

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’ (5.79 m) to 65’ (19.81 m).

Gel coat application

Robotic arms used to apply gel coat ensure the same amount of material is evenly applied to all surfaces.

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

The watersports tower has its integrated Bimini opened.

Optional Equipment 

  • 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)    

Colors

Color options

Hull side colors include Arctic white (standard), onyx, Sea Ray blue, rally red, horizon and quantum blue. The hull bottom is available in Arctic white (standard), onyx and quantum blue. Hull graphics come in champagne or silver. Upholstery, seating and flooring choices include ivory, dune and stone.

Price

The $77,250 price will cover the basic boat with a few extras but with the wide range of options Sea Ray offers to SPX 230 buyers, a fully customized boat could go substantially higher.

Warranty

Sea Ray provides 5 years of bow-to-stern factory warranty on the boat and its components from defects in materials and workmanship. In addition to the 5-year bow-to-stern coverage, 2019 Sea Ray sport boats also have a limited lifetime structural hull/deck warranty to the original owner.

Observations 

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 includes some potent power options. She can satisfy buyers who just want the fun of driving a comfortable, peppy, little 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.


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