2022 Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard


The SLX 260 outboard offers a sporty and comfortable ride.
Courtesy of Sea Ray Boats


Sea Ray’s SLX 260 debuts to considerable buzz. The first sport boat to mirror the new Sea Ray design language introduced on the Sundancer 370 Outboard, it shares the transparent S-shaped line, prominent center crease (with pill-shaped logo) and front jaw line aggressiveness of the latter. It is the first Sea Ray model ever created by an all female led design team. It is also the first SLX model to be offered in outboard power in this size range. (Sea Ray also offers an SLX 260 with sterndrive.) Clearly, Sea Ray considers the SLX 260 to be fashion-ready.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard Helm
The digital instrument panel includes two 9-inch Simrad touchscreens.
Courtesy of Sea Ray Boats


The advantages of a speedboat over a sportboat are numerous. Increased cockpit space and storage immediately come to mind, as does corrosion resistance, power-to-weight ratio and ease of maintenance. Speedboats also have the advantage of being able to get completely out of the water. The fact that the outboard and sterndrive versions debuted in a single power configuration – a Mercury Verado 300 V-8 for the outboard and a MerCruiser 350 6.2-liter V-8 for the sterndrive – does not reflect not just what Sea Ray thinks is the sweet spot for this model, but also the reality of supply constraints and the relatively late launch of the boat. I would definitely expect additional power options in 2023.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard Front Seats
Seating wraps the bow cockpit.
Courtesy of Sea Ray Boats

Interior and accessories

The 260 replaces the SLX 250 in Sea Ray’s most luxurious sport boat category. Although the interior may look familiar at first glance, a closer inspection reveals plenty of upgrades. A 5-foot-2 by 3-foot-4 aft sundeck stays the accent on a creek or sandbar; quite simply, there is more room for things. A USB charger, phone nook and audio controls are now more easily within reach, an aft locker adds an insulated cooler and line storage within quick reach of the deck, and the port side of the cushion lifts up for revealing a huge longitudinal locker continuing below the cockpit seats, perfect for larger items like lily pads, modern inflatables or multiple skis and boards. Lift the sundeck module to expose what would be the sterndrive engine bay and find a full-size cart perfect for bulky items like covers. That this storage is conveniently at ground level rather than tucked under the cockpit floor is not lost on this aging boat tester. Remove the caddy to reveal a meticulously laid out hold, with easy access to pumps, water tank, steering pump, batteries and a pre-assembled digital switch module.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard Cockpit
The cockpit accommodations include an L-shaped bench.
Courtesy of Sea Ray Boats

Cockpit amenities include an L-shaped bench seat, companion and helm seats forward and a bench seat aft of the helm seat. Seating wraps around the forward cockpit, and storage sits below nearly all of it, part of the boat’s 24 cubic foot capacity gain over its predecessor. Highlights include another large compartment that extends below the helm, with dedicated storage for side tables and bow filler cushions.

As the saying goes, the genius is in the details. Rather than tight seat cushions and backs, as is often the norm, the gaps allow air to reach that common dampness point and make cleaning easier. Rather than banging against the helm console and inevitably marring the finish, a magnet holds the port main console door open. The recesses in the inwales by the captain and passenger are supported so that small objects usually hidden there do not slide backwards into the abyss. In addition to convenient in-dash inductive charging, a virtually invisible set of slots allows phones and even tablets to be wedged horizontally or vertically.

Sea Ray SLX 260 outboard stern sundeck
A 5ft 2in x 3ft 4in aft sundeck provides additional lounging space.
Courtesy of Sea Ray Boats

And then there are the little touches that tick off a boat tester’s checklist. Hatches and seats rise effortlessly on gas struts, undersides and interiors are finished, perimeter lips keep water out of compartments, and gaskets seal and dampen vibrations. Grab handles and stainless steel cup holders are also seemingly ubiquitous.

Comparative purchases? Cobalt will always be a standard bearer in the high-end bowrider market. The 25-foot-5 R6 outboard (starting at $144,677 with an identical Mercury 300 Verado in Cold Fusion White) weighs about 300 pounds less than the SLX and includes an 80-gallon fuel tank. It is also available with Yamaha outboards, which are not offered on the Sea Ray SLX 260.

Speaking of power, I was impressed with how the SLX got to the plane, avoiding the bow rise typical of a sport boat of this size while still heading for a fair top speed below 50 mph. My lasting impression, however, might be how smooth the boat ride is. Spinning the wheel hard in a stretch of the Indian River in Florida, the hull tilted without the slightest sign of losing bite or bogging down. When it hit the wakes of passing cruisers, it produced neither thrill nor rattle – impressive details of a well-thought-out, well-built boat.

Sea Ray SLX 260 outboard running at sunset
The Power Tower incorporates an extendable manual sun visor.
Courtesy of Sea Ray Boats

How we tested

  • Engine: Mercury 300 Verado V-8
  • Drive/Propeller: Outboard/Mercury Rev 4 14.6″ x 19″ 4-Blade Stainless Steel
  • Gear ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel load: 57 gal. Crew weight: 385 pounds.

Strong points

  • The digital instrument panel includes two 9-inch Simrad touchscreens, Mercury VesselView, CZone digital switching and Active Trim.
  • Electronics include SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift, speed-based Active Trim, Fusion Bluetooth audio with DSP, Wi-Fi audio streaming with Apple AirPlay and four 6.5-inch XS Series speakers.
  • Power Tower incorporates a manual extendable sunshade which, unlike competing models, can remain deployed at high speeds.

Weak points

  • No ventilation in the port head compartment; a shielded port would be a welcome addition.
  • No option, at least for now, for higher power.

Prices and specifications

Price: $169,900 (with 300 hp Mercury Verado V-8)
LOA: 28’7″
Shine: 8’6″
Draft (max): 2’10”
Shift: 5,564 pounds
Deadrise transom: 21 degrees
Deck Clearance: 5’3″ (8’5″ with tower)
Maximum cabin height: 4’1.5″
Fuel capacity: 75 gal.
Water capacity: 14 gal.
Maximum power : 300
Power available: Mercury 300 Verado V-8

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Sea Ray SLX 260 Outboard Performance Data
Sea Ray SLX 260 outboard certified test results
Nautical Magazine

Sea Ray Boats –Knoxville, Tennessee; searay.com


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