The 2019 Sea Ray Sundancer 320 is a hybrid sport cruiser. She has overnight capability for four adults and a full head, but retains an open air bowrider entertainment style. She is available with either outboard or inboard power; however, we are inspecting and testing the twin MerCruiser inboard version here.
- Deep-v hull
- Twin MerCruiser inboards with Bravo III sterndrives
- Hardtop with optional shade extensions over entire boat
- Triple bow lounger seats
|Length Overall||32’9” / 9.98 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||7.1 sec.|
|0 to 30||17.4 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, 4/9 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. gear|
|Climate||68 deg., 45 humid; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: light|
2 x 350-hp MerCruiser 6.2L B3 Axius
2 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo III with DTS Sterndrives
2 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT SeaCore Bravo III with DTS
2 x 350-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo III with DTS
2 x 350-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT SeaCore Bravo III with DTS
2 x 260-hp Mercury 3.0 TDI Diesel Bravo IIIx with DTS
4 twin MerCruiser with Axius from 300-hp to 350-hp
Captain’s Report by Capt. Peter d’Anjou
Sea Ray looked closely at how people are using their boats and with many customers having busy lives, they found that there is not as much time to get away as before. People still want to have this capability, but are more likely to use the boat for entertaining with occasional weekend cruises. Think of the Sea Ray Sundancer 320’s mission as a big bowrider with overnight/sport-cruiser capability.
- Large swim platform with optional submersible section
- Cockpit refreshment center with fridge, sink, and optional electric grill
- Sleeps four
- Sea Ray’s Quiet Ride technology
The Sea Ray Sundancer 320 has multiple, typically opposing, design traits. These start with a 21-degree deadrise at the transom and an open-air cockpit. The deep-v hull will keep her comfortable anywhere along the coast, and gives her some offshore capabilities while the cockpit is more in keeping with inshore-style boating entertainment. Otherwise, we might have expected her to exhibit an enclosed coupe windshield.
Builders love to hit these sweet spots that appeal to the many - in this case, people who want to boat with friends out of doors, and overnight… sometimes. One question in this hybrid design is the fuel capacity, which has a relatively short cruising range endurance of 4.6 hours – something always has to be sacrificed in a hybrid and we see that Sea Ray has chosen to balance her more, in this regard, toward a dayboat than a cruiser.
Sea Ray employs multiple ways to reduce sound and vibration aboard its vessels during construction that they collectively call their Quiet Ride technology.
Quiet Ride technology begins when composite panels are laminated right into the hull. The panels convert vibration energy to heat which is whisked away by the water. Windshields are engineered with softened edges which limit the amount of wind noise. Transoms with drive units, like musical instruments, can act as sound boards to transmit sound and vibration throughout a boat, which is why Sea Ray partnered with Omni products on a patented way to “tune” a transom so that engine noise and vibration are dampened. Voids in liners are foam filled to isolate noise. One-inch thick acoustic foam is used on engine room bulkheads. Rubber gaskets and neoprene isolators are used on hatches and when installing tankage to brackets. The list is quite extensive, as a 10 decibel drop in noise is akin to a 50% drop noise reduction, according to Sea Ray.
BoatTEST tests noise levels at the helm of boats, some of which is wind noise on a speeding boat, so look for the decibel (dBa) levels of this boat in the performance section to see how effective Sea Ray is in reducing sound and vibration and making a day on the water more enjoyable.
Sea Ray attributes the high-level fit and finish to the lack of vibration and noise. They clearly take the whole build quality aspect of quietRIDE technology seriously.
The cockpit of the Sundancer 320 is shown here with white upholstery and optional grey woven vinyl flooring that snaps in.
We’ll start with the main gathering area, the cockpit. Air conditioning is available for this space that includes L-shaped seating that runs across the stern and up the port side with grab rails underneath and beverage holders behind the corner. Upscale treatments are in the upholstery trim, the custom embroidery and the multiple densities of dri-fast foam.
A pedestal base accommodates the teak cockpit table to add even more functionality to the area. Storage is under all seats and includes dedicated space for a 36-quart (34.07L) carry-on cooler.
The observer’s seat has a flip seatback to convert from forward facing to aft. Opposing seating is to starboard. The stereo amps and DC circuit breakers are underneath, as well as storage space.
A refreshment center is aft of the starboard cockpit seat. It includes a covered single basin stainless-steel sink and an optional electric grill. Below is a padded bolster with a grab handle, and just below that are a dual voltage cockpit refrigerator and a tip out trash receptacle.
The Corian countertop of the refreshment center opens to reveal the optional electric grill.
The padded bolster around the refreshment center is an elegant touch.
Flooring includes this snap-in SeaDek matting. Carpet, infinity woven vinyl or teak are flooring options.
Overhead, is a fiberglass hardtop, 6’9” (2.06m) off the deck with speakers, a canvas sunshade and extendable awning at the trailing edge that extends well past the cockpit seating. Courtesy lights are under the hardtop and underwater, and it has a hook center-mounted underneath. It’s for holding the cockpit cover without need for setting up poles on the underside anymore.
The powered sunshade shown here extending over the cockpit comes in a choice of canvas colors.
An optional bow shade that connects to the front of the hardtop and is supported by carbon fiber bows can provide shade relief forward.
For use when moored at a fixed dock, Sea Ray has provided these molded-in steps replete with courtesy light for boarding.
Steps to the side aid in boarding. An angled, starboard side walkthrough takes us to the swim platform and a hot/cold shower is recessed into the bulwarks just outside the stainless framed acrylic gate.
The SeaDek-covered swim platform is 58” (147.32 cm) fore and aft. The trailing edge consists of an optional 17” (43.18 cm) hydraulic submersible extension and yes, the ignition needs to be off for it to work. A grab handle is just over the undermount reboarding ladder on the starboard side of the platform. A stereo remote is in a bit of an out of reach location. A transom hatch opens to reveal trunk-like storage.
The trunk space on the Sundancer 320 is spacious. Note the grab handle on the upper right of the swim platform for the reboarding ladder which is tucked right below.
A separate shore connection locker houses dual 30 amp shore power plugs, a washvdown spigot, city water inlet, TV connection, and breakers. Note the notch in the bottom of the opening for the shore cords to run through when the hatch is closed.
Externally, the bow has the typical look of a Sundancer with high rails starting at midships and continuing ahead to the ground tackle. But internally, she’s more bowrider. Bulwark storage and two 6” (15.24 cm) steps transition us through the 16” (40.64 cm) wide portside walkthrough to the bow.
Additional storage is to port. And forward, three-across forward facing seats have the upscale treatments to the upholstery, padded headrests and flip down armrests, NOT flip up that need to be latched and released. The lounge comes out 49” (124.46 cm) from the seatbacks. To starboard are a stereo remote, connectivity under the armrest, a beverage holder just forward, and a speaker. A cockpit table has dedicated storage in the walk through bulwarks.
The bow table is a $1,348 option.
A unique bow rail adds safety, while providing an opening for the windlass access, as well as allowing for having a chain replace the forward section for bow in docking Euro style.
The stainless steel plow anchor is an upgrade over the standard galvanized version.
The ground tackle is concealed under a hatch with a lift and lock latch. Underneath is the backup handle. Below is the optional windlass leading to a stainless-steel anchor roller supporting a polished plow-style anchor. The windlass remote plugs in to the aft wall and an 8” (20.32 cm) cleat secures the rode, taking the standing load off the windlass. Fender storage is to the port side of the anchor locker.
Eight 10” (25.40 cm) cleats, including midship cleats are through-bolted and logo’d.
The Sundancer 320 has a cabin that features a convertible dinette, head and mid cabin with berths. The typical V seating offers 3’7” (1.09m) of headroom and flanks the dinette table. An optional 24” (60.96 cm) TV is on the forward bulkhead. A fridge and microwave are aft and to port of the seating.
Capt. Steve slides the hatch to the cabin open. This type of pocket door hatch saves room on a boat.
The cabin woodwork comes in a choice of driftwood or cherry.
Hull side windows add natural light while opening ports add ventilation to the cabin.
The Fusion Apollo RA770 stereo has speakers down below. The 4-zone capable stereo can be set up with the cabin as a separate audio zone, which means it can be customized for loudness or bass, play its own playlist, and be configured as a closed space for acoustical quality.
Converted to a berth, the seating measures 77” (195.58 cm) wide, tapering to 21” (53.34 cm), as we move ahead the full 60” (152.40 cm) length. Storage and a 24” (60.96 cm) flatscreen are on the forward bulkhead.
Aft are two berths 30” (76.20 cm) wide by 72” (182.88 cm) long that can be converted to a single larger berth. Optional air conditioning/heat can be dedicated to this cabin area or upgraded for two zones to include the cockpit.
Two berths amidships can convert to a large single berth with the addition of a filler section. This space has its own optional flatscreen, upper left. The privacy curtain is on the right.
The head includes a mirrored cabinet, window with opening port, vessel sink on a solid surface counter, and storage under the vanity. The VacuFlush toilet is plumbed to a 28-gal (106L) holding tank. A separate shower wand just to the left of the sink creates a wet head. A curtain track on the overhead for the shower curtain helps keep the toilet and vanity dry.
A diamond pattern step makes handy access to service points on the twin 350-hp MerCruisers. The sea strainers and thru hulls are just at hand.
Standard engines for the Sea Ray Sundancer 320 are twin 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPIs with Bravo III sterndrives. Our test boat came with upgrades to 350-hp 6.2L engines and included the SeaCore anti-corrosion package, the Axius Control Joystick, SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift and a SmartCraft VesselView Display. Twin 260-hp TDI diesel engines are an option. There’s easy access to the daily checkpoints at the front of the engines. The front of the engine space had an optional 5 kW Westerbeke gas generator. Again, a diesel genset is available if that engine package is preferred.
Back in the cockpit, lift the port seatback to reveal the house and engine battery switches.
One can see the SeaCore branding under the 6.2 tag. It means this engine has an intercooler, so raw saltwater is segregated from the internals. It also means special anodized outdrives and freshwater flush system are included along with an extended 4-year warranty against corrosion.
The battery bank, all properly strapped down, and the optional genset sit below the Nautic-On remote vessel monitoring system.
The dash panel has been given a lot of attention with analog gauges that can be upgraded to dual 9” (20.32 cm) or dual 12” (30.48 cm) Simrad displays. Drink holders are to both sides and a spotlight remote is to starboard above the cupholder.
To the port side is connectivity and a padded tray for quick drop items. The stereo is the Fusion Apollo series with some cool connectivity features… WiFi, dsp, capacity for handling up to seven remotes, and a boatload of SiriusXM features.
The switch panel is well-grouped and organized. The wrapped steering wheel is mounted to a tilt base.
Switches light up when on and the trim tab controls are to the right. Note the NMMA Yacht Certification sticker (green arrow) that says this boat meets ABYC standards for vessels over 26' (7.92 m) in length.
The DTS controls include its usual host of features, the Axius joystick is just behind the throttles.
Below the wheel is an angled footrest, and when up on the bolster, there’s toe space below. Note the connectivity and charge ports on the left side.
The seats are double wide with individual 19” (48.26 cm) flip bolsters, upscale upholstery treatments and custom embroidery.
A single piece ¾ windshield leads to the opening walkthrough, all framed in black.
The Sea Ray Sundancer 320 has a LOA of 32’9” (9.98 m), a beam of 10’7” (3.22 m), and a draft of 41” (104.14 cm) with the drives down. With an empty weight of 13,305 lbs. (6,035 kg), 46-percent fuel and three people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 14,384 lbs. (6,524 kg).
With the twin 350-hp 6.2L MerCruisers turning Bravo III outdrives with 24” pitch propsets and wound up to 5400 rpm, our speed topped out at 44.7 mph. Dialed back to 4000 rpm and 34.2 mph, we measured our best economic cruise with a 33 gph fuel burn that translated into 1 mpg and a range of 159 miles, while still holding back a 10 percent reserve of the boat’s 170-gallon (644 L) total fuel capacity.
Noise levels at the helm ranged from a low of 66.4 dBa at idle (750 rpm) and rose to 82.3 dBa at cruise speed of 4000 rpm, then on up to 87.9 dBa at WOT of 5400 rpm.
The boat got up on plane in 7.1 seconds, reached 20 mph in 10.2 seconds, and passed 30 mph in 17.4 seconds.
Time-to-Plane: 7.1 seconds
Zero to 20 mph: 10.2 seconds
Zero to 30 mph: 17.4 seconds
The Sundancer 320 is quick to respond to the helm. We got up on plane in 7.1 seconds with a bowrise that comes down once she reaches about 25 mph when the dynamic running surface tabs kick in.
She is a nice boat to drive and has the forgiving handling characteristics of a cruising boat with a solid feel. Crossing wakes showed no hull slap or pounding, there was no reverberation of the water sounding through the hull, and she had a gentle feel to her maneuvers.
The Sundancer 320 exhibits a 16-degree roll as she shoulders into turns with the auto trim tab system on. In fact to test it, we turned the auto function off and moved the trim way left and forward, then reset the auto and it stabilized us perfectly.
The Dynamic Running Surface option automatically adjusts the trim tabs so the boat’s running attitude and trim are optimized for a smooth level ride.
Captain Steve is pointing to the Dynamic Running Surface trim tab control, which he tested by shutting off and manually changing the trim tabs.
For close-quarters maneuvering, twin-screwing her shows a pivot point right at about the aft seating in the cockpit. When transitioning to the joystick, that pivot point moves ahead to the helm area allowing for more precision when things get tight.
On the transom next to the ski tow is an LED light (red arrow) that comes on as a safety indicator anytime the engines are running.
Twin 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPIs with Bravo III sterndrives is $296,030.
Sea Ray highly options their boats to keep the base price down and give the buyer specific choices. Of course, most people are going to select the majority of the bells and whistles so the realistic expectation for this boat is in the 400K range.
Optional Equipment to Consider
- Cockpit grill ($2,535)
- Cockpit fridge ($2,140)
- Split bowrail ($1,665)
- Teak flooring cockpit and bow ($4,615)
- Teak flooring swim platform ($3,169)
- Cockpit table ($1,189)
- Hardtop with sunroof and motorized extension ($27,242)
- Bow shade ($1,231)
- Cabin A/C and heat ($5,071)
- Cabin and cockpit A/C and heat ($8,715)
- Dynamic Running Surface ($3,566)
- Submersible swim shelf ($7,923)
- Genset – gas 5000 kW ($18,077)
- Windlass ($3,538)
- Stainless anchor ($951)
- Opening ports ($714)
- Inverter ($1,308)
The Sundancer 320 is at once a comfortable and fun boat to drive, a welcoming entertainment platform with multiple social zones for guests, and a capable overnighter for weekend excursions away from the home dock. The Sundancers have always been a popular lineup for Sea Ray, but adding another gathering area to the bow while not sacrificing lower deck functionality makes this version even better.