With its all-new 510 Fly, which debuted at last November’s (2013) Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, Sea Ray is making a big statement: The company is truly and officially entering the yachting sector. Yes, they will still of course be building the runabouts and express cruisers that have made them a household name even in nonmarine circles, but they’ve expanded their mission. As Ron Berman, Sea Ray’s vice president of development and engineering told me over the phone, “We are inventing our yacht class and the 510 Fly is the first entry. We’ve got a 650 Fly coming in Miami, and then another version coming out later than that which will fit right in between. These are going to be the largest Sea Rays ever built.”
As for the 510 Fly in particular, the concentration there during the build process was all about use of space, and that’s evident once you get a chance to tour the boat, like I did at last November’s Lauderdale show. As Berman explained it, “With the 510, the focus has been on larger bridges, and better accommodations both on the main deck and lower level. There’s a full-beam master with big windows so you feel connected to the sea. There’s three staterooms with two heads and we really focused on the ergonomics. There’s not a lot of level changes, so you’re not going up and down, up and down.”
But the boat is more than just an overgrown party platform, chiefly concerned with her myriad onboard delights. She should be able to handle herself in a sea, and perform quite well. She’ll be available with pods, but for the owner who wants more traditional propulsion without sacrificing maneuverability, she’ll also come with straight shafts matched to a joystick system: Essentially the best of both worlds.
Sea Ray is making some great leaps forward these days, and with the 510 Fly leading the charge, it should be interesting to see what the Knoxville-based marine giant can do.
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This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.