Wake and Fun
- L.O.A : 23’10” / 7,26 m
- Beam 8′6” / 2,59 m
- Maximum Horsepower : 370 hp
Sports boats are definitely in fashion and more again with the new generation conceived for the wake board and the wake surf since all the constructors proposed one after the other their vision of water sports like Sea Ray with the very sporty SLX W-230.
While some types of boats suffer from a form of disavowal, it seems that the boats for the wake board, the wake surf and all the forms of sledding interest more and more people.
However, the historical players such as Malibu, Correct Craft or Mastercraft keep very high level, specialized customers. The new category falls between the traditional sport’s boat and the real sledding machine, the goal is to propose a boat technically adapted to the amateurs of sledding while offering it at a much lower price than that of the sector references. Moreover, the manufacturers are well supported in this approach by engine manufacturers who also propose a solution specially adapted to the practice of sledding sports. After the Volvo’s Forward Drive, it was Mercury who drew his V-Drive, a technology that equips this new Sea Ray.
Esthetically, without the nice folding wake tower, the manufacturer relies on the classic SLX 230 using the same hull and esthetic identity. Especially its lateral ventilation or its low and profiled windscreen. It also includes the main measurements of the 230 but with a new rear. Indeed, to transform an elegant sports boat into a sledding machine, the American shipyard used several ways. The traditional rear platform is replaced by a new, narrower, while the rear part of the hull has been modified to accommodate Mercury’s V-Drive system that propels the propeller forward to improve handling and responsiveness. The Sea Ray also takes advantage of the Wake Tech system, which includes swiveling plates that extend from the rear corners of the hull and allow to orientate the flow of water and to shape the wave as desired. These plates are associated with central flaps which also help to mold the wave. Finally, the boat has ballast accepting up to 1 920 lbs, enough to push the ship in water and to increase the volume of the wave.
A Screen to Manage the Entire System
The whole system is controlled by the SLX-W’s Dynamic Display, a touch screen that allows for adjusting the boat according to the kind of activity (wake board, wake surf…), the kind of rider and his training level or its favorite side. The adjustments are made and change quickly and the boat is very reactive.
Once on the water, it is clear that all these words are not just marketing promises. It is well known that the 230’s hull supports the new V-Drive very well. In a normal situation, without filling the ballasts and without using the sledding systems, we can appreciate sports boat, easy to drive, dynamic and well balanced. If it stays a bit noisy, the W-230 is, on the other hand, very reactive and allows to chain the curves at high speed. It’s also a fast boat able to reach 20 MPH in little more than 7 seconds. However, the Sea Ray is not designed to race and it favors above all the torque even if at full speed, we reach 36 knots, which still very good. For now, the boat is offered with a 6.2L Mercruiser developing 370 hp and the manufacturer has not yet communicated on any other engines.
Once the ballasts are filled and the system is activated, we start another game. Fast to plane, the boat quickly forms a beautiful back wave, full of volume. It is, of course, possible to choose the side of the wave and its size according to the discipline sought. Anyway, it seems that our riders of the day really appreciate this wave, regular, clean and more than enough for a good wake board or wake surf session. According to them the wave is quite close to what one can find with a much more expensive specialized boat. The bet seems to be won.
Two Sunbaths and Lots of Friendliness
Once on board, the W-230 differs from the original model by adopting a deck plan directly inherited from the wake board boats with an L-shaped bench surrounding the cockpit, a modular part on the port side including a folding backrest, and a large bow rider. This section is also convertible into a sunbath with the addition of a central cushion while another tanning area (2.05 x 0.60 m) is located above the engine hold. All these seats conceal storage spaces and there is also a chest for boards under the rear sunbath. The central cushion of this sun bath can also be removed to form a path between the rear platform and the cockpit. Good point again for the cooler location, for the huge volume of storage in the console or even for the real mooring tub, unusual for this type of boat. As always, the finish is fairly flattering, the building is serious and the equipment is complete.
On the other hand, to have a table, you will have to buy it (option) and likewise, the boat is sport dedicated, the presentation still very sober and we would love to see a little more imagination in the exterior graphics. A deliberate choice that allows the manufacturer to touch a larger target.
With the W-230, Sea Ray proposes a real sledding boat able to satisfy wake boarders, wake surfers or simply towed tub lovers. It also keeps a fairly wise appearance to attract families. In short, it is an attractive concept that can also be replicated in other sizes…
- Very good wave
- Well made
- Table not standard
- Just one powertrain
- Graphics too sober
- Test location : Captiva Island – Florida (USA)
- Engine : 370 Hp Mercruiser V-Drive,
- Passagers : 4
- Conditions : calm sea, slight wind
|1 000 rpm||4,3||4,9|
|1 500 rpm||5,6||6,4|
|2 000 rpm||6,8||7,8|
|2 500 rpm||7,4||8,5|
|3 000 rpm||10,9||12,5|
|3 500 rpm||21,2||24,4|
|4 000 rpm||26,1||30|
|4 500 rpm||30||34,5|
|5 000 rpm||32,9||37,8|
|5 400 rpm||36||41,4|
|Time to Plane||4 secondes|
|0 - 20 knots||7,6 secondes|
|Cockpit depth||36''||0,91 m|
|Weight (Dry)||5,525 Lbs||2 506 kg|
|Building material||Fiberglass||Fibre de verre|
|Fuel capacity||53 Gallons||201 Litres|
|Ballast capacity||1,920 Lbs||871 kg|
|Maximal Horsepower||370 Hp||370 ch|
|Recommended Horsepower||370 Hp||370 ch|
Starting at $113,157
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