Ray 410 Sundancer — By Brad Dunn — April 2000
The Sundance Kid
|Part 2: Our boat sliced through the water like a Bowie knife.|
A sudden thunderstorm interrupted the morning with gray skies and rain. As the wind whipped up a two-foot chop, the Sundancer turned rain dancer. With her modified-V bottom, 19-degree deadrise, and four running strakes, our boat sliced through the water like a Bowie knife. We ran a second round of speed trials, and she outmatched her earlier performance.
After giving our test boat a long, healthy workout, we re-turned to the docks, where I spent a few hours getting to know her better. I stretched out on the double island berth in the forward master stateroom, where the five-inch-thick, dual-density mattress (egg crate on top for comfort, stiff foam be-neath for support) could have encouraged some serious shut-eye. With two sealed ports and a wide hatch overhead, the room gets plenty of light and air. Two hanging lockers and a Panasonic TV/VCR complete the comfortable assemblage. There’s a door from the master to the port-side head, where Corian countertops and copious cabinetry let you stow every possible toiletry. The enclosed shower has its own opening hatch overhead for ventilation and light.
The saloon stretches full beam and has a maximum headroom of six and a half feet. An overhead hatch, a skylight, and three opening ports give the space the gift of light. You can cook up breakfast at the port-side galley, where a Kenyon three-burner electric stove and Panasonic 1,100-watt microwave will keep your second plate warm. Though the sink drain had a P-trap, I’d feel better if the hose was looped (some builders even use a seacock to keep the drain secure). The midcabin sleeps two more and has a solid sliding door (a rare find in boats of this class) and an en suite head with standing headroom, shower wand, and window–pretty good treatment for those extra faces that show up sometimes for a free ride.
Up top, a quick look around the Sundancer shows that Sea Ray designers are into comfort and easy above-deck movement. The cockpit is large and, if filled to the gills, could seat eight. On the hook, your crew can break out optional sunpads and bathe on the foredeck like lizards. Omnipresent nonskid makes getting around safe, a benefit that paid off on test day when the rain threatened to make things slippery.
At the end of the day, as I was taking a final look at the engine compartment, something big bumped the boat from below. Then it happened again. I looked over the side and saw about a dozen manatees frolicking in the marina waters. The one-ton creatures were scratching their backs on the hull and surfacing every so often for air. And they certainly had an affection for the Sundancer—like only sea cows could have for a sea cowboy.
Who knows what happened to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid after their last gunfight? Perhaps the manatees knew. After all, it’s possible that one of them—the strong, silent one—came back as a boat.
Sea Ray Boats Phone: (800) 772-6287. Fax: (800) 648-7702. www.searay.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.