Designed for family fun & entertaining!

by Holly Dukeson

The Sea Ray SDX 250 OB is a deckboat (bowrider) with a wide topside flare forward providing social space for up to 14 people. This Mercury outboard-powered sibling to the sterndrive version allows more room and storage for families and friends.

Sea Ray offers the SDX 250 in outboard (OB) or sterndrive models. The standard OB model with a 200-hp Mercury Verado, the test boat with the 300-hp option


A deckboat is exactly what the name implies, a boat with lots of deck space. The SDX 250 OB is roomier than a normal bowrider. The flared hull design in the topsides forward creates this more than usual deck space translating to more room for families, friends, seating, amenities, and stowage.


The Sea Ray SDX 250 OB has more seating space than one might expect in a 7.6 m (25’) boat, due in part to the unusual port side walk-through designed to create flow through the boat.


  • Fore-and-aft facing bow seating.
  • Double helm bench seat with reversible backrest.
  • Sliding cockpit seating w/multiple convertible backrests.
  • Mercury Verado outboard with power tilt and trim.
  • Mercury VesselView®
  • Deep-v hull with 21-degree deadrise 

Reversible seatbacks maximize seating flexibility. The design has married a flared topside to a v-hull, which is becoming more common in bowriders and runabouts seeking more space on deck. Although Sea Ray has adopted this concept for the SDX 250 OB to increase space, it is unusual to see a 7.6 m (25’) deckboat with such well-thought-out flow through the social zones. It has all the social zones owners have come to expect and the intentional traffic flow pattern from the aft swim platform through the cockpit to the spacious bow seating is designed to connect the zones and maximize each zone’s seating. The SDX 250 OB is the smallest of the SDX series, but like the larger 8.2 m (27’) and 8.8 m (29’) models, is available with Merc sterndrives or outboards. The outboard version of the SDX 250 provides more in-deck storage space on board.


Four parallel lifting strakes run the full length of the deep-v hull. A 21-degree deadrise at the transom is on the high end for inshore boats of this type, while the bow has a soft chine dropping to a fairly deep-v that cuts efficiently through the water at non-planing speeds.


Sea Ray claims its manufacturing facility is the most advanced boat-manufacturing plant in the world. That’s a hard claim to verify but Sea Ray is now part of Brunswick Boat Group and automation on the shop floor is evident. One verifiable fact about Sea Ray is worth particular note. The average employee tenure in its plant is 18 years. In addition to state-of-the-art computer design and development, a mock-up of each new Sea Ray model is constructed out of foam and other materials to create the look and feel of the boats that will be built from the design. A plug is carved out of foam using company-owned milling machines and will be used to build a precision mould to create a prototype. Each new prototype model is put through a minimum six-week’s on-water testing to check everything out before proceeding to final design, fabrication, lamination, and assembly.

The Sea Ray plant prides itself on precision, fabricating more than 5,000 parts a day, all cut with computer-guided precision tools. Amazingly, considering the company sells 35 models from 5.8 m to 19.8 m (19’ to 65’), almost everything that goes into a Sea Ray is fabricated or created in-house. Robotic arms evenly apply gel coat, ensuring the same amount of material is consistently applied to all surfaces. This combination of technology, automation and experienced craftsmanship gives the Sea Ray SDX 250 OB a superior fit and finish, sturdy construction and outstanding style.


The deep-v hull sheds water to the side during a WOT (Wide Open Throttle) turn of 41 knots (75 km/hour – 46.9 mph), ensuring a dry, stable, exhilarating ride for everyone aboard.


With an LOA of 8.38m (27’6”), a beam of 2.59 m (8’6″), a draft of 91.44 cm (36”) and an empty weight of 2,521 kg (5,557 lbs) while carrying 203L (53 gallons) – 84% of fuel, and three people onboard, the estimated test weight was 2,939 kg (6,480 lbs) With a single 300-hp Mercury Verado turning a 17P Rev 4 propeller wound up to 6000 rpm, the SDX 250 OB reached a top speed of 75.4 kph (46.9 mph). Optimal cruise came in at 4500 rpm and 52.8 kph (32.8 mph) using 45.1 lph (11.9 gph) or 1.17 kpl (2.8 mpg) giving a range of 251 km (156 miles), while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 238 L (63-gallon) total fuel capacity.


The SDX 250 OB reached planing speed in 4.3 seconds with minimal bowrise, accelerated to 32 kph (20 mph) in 5.7 seconds and 48 kph (30 mph) in 9.2.


Turns have a solid feel with a 17-degree roll and barely a hint of chine walk. This is a nice handling boat that’s very responsive to the helm and shows no pounding or hull slap across moderate waves. If she bleeds speed, with the stern almost falling off a turn, just keep adding power through the hardest turns. There is no problem in normal turns and none of our aggressive manoeuvres caused the prop to cavitate.


The standard Sea Ray SDX 250 OB package comes with a 200-hp Mercury four-stroke outboard engine. Power options include a 250-hp Mercury Verado with the maximum power option being a 300-hp Mercury Verado; both available in black or white.


Boarding over the SeaDek non-skid-covered swim platform, Sea Ray has focused on maintaining space while still providing a mounting point for the outboard and enough buoyancy to prevent a decelerating stern wave washing over. There’s even space for a built-in insulated chilly bin with support struts holding the hatch open. A concealed, under swim platform, reboarding ladder telescopes out from the starboard side of the platform.


Plenty of large board storage (wakeboards and skis) is found below the port swim lounger going all the way to the front of the port cockpit seating 2.29 m forward and which is fitted with a track alongside that allows the sun pad to shift 43 cm back whenever more flexible and versatile seating for a large group in the cockpit is required while underway. The aft lounge even has USB connectivity and an accessory plug.


Access to the cockpit is via the 38.1 cm wide starboard side walkway, where you will also find a hinged cover hiding the battery switch. A handy location whenever boarding or leaving requires powering up or down. Additional seating along the starboard side makes the cockpit into a conversation pit.


A removable pedestal table, easily mounted in the bow and cockpit, is secured to a side mount, adding greatly to the area’s functionality, especially when the seatback, padded and upholstered on both sides, can be flipped and used for either a swim lounger sunpad or when the cockpit seating seatbacks from the helm seats are flipped to provide more cockpit room. When the party transitions into the cockpit, simply slide the unique swim sun pad seat base aft, 43 cm and flip the backrest. This is a great space utilization as neither the swim platform nor aft lounger should be used while the boat is underway. Upholstery details add to the quality feel of the SDX, with beverage holders tucked into the face of the seat bases. The companion and helm seats also have seatbacks that flip, which easily allows these seats to be utilized in the cockpit grouping or to face forward when underway.


In-deck storage space, recaptured from the inboard model, provides more storage in the outboard model. Under the port seat, there’s dedicated space for the table pedestal, fire extinguisher and a removable chilly bin with a second 23.66L removable chilly bin located below the starboard cockpit seat. Forward in the cockpit is another in-deck compartment that includes dedicated storage for the sun pad conversion bow fillers.


An optional Bimini adds overhead protection with an optional wake tower also available.


The helm console, with a centre head compartment door alongside, has a soft touch dash 17.78 cm below the windshield frame providing a simple uncluttered appearance. Optional 22.86 – 30.48 cm Simrad displays can be configured to the helmsman’s personal choice. Both come with Mercury’s VesselView® link displaying full engine readouts and diagnostics. All the information needed to make life easier on the water. Our test boat was upgraded with the Simrad multi-function display that features a preloaded chart plotter, sonar with transducer and media connectivity, while the standard panel has analogue gauges. The kill switch safety cable dangles from the shift/throttle control where it’s least likely to get accidentally tangled during operation and when it’s time to get underway, the helm seatback reverses from cockpit to helm configuration, with an adjustable flip-up bolster for added comfort. Soft-touch horizontal helm surfaces add a tempering texture in an area that’s usually all about technology while faux marble panels on either side of the MFD add additional style to the helm station. Another soft-touch panel with beverage holders on either side creates a narrow shelf with a convenient cubby cut into the centre of the panel. The power-assisted wheel is mounted to a tilt base.


Display options are clearly labelled with high-contrast lettering to make them visible in heavy glare and ‘Smart Tow’ includes towing modes for pre-programmed tow speeds and ramp settings. The drag and drop features enable users to create their own combination screens. Rounding out the package are the award-winning Apollo series Fusion stereo, horn button and three electrical switches mounted to the left of the wheel with USB connections and the ignition to starboard.


Adding a large head to a 7.62 m deck boat won’t make it an overnighter but adds a level of comfort not often seen in boats of this class. The head door, with an integrated glove box to port of the helm gives access to an expanded and cushioned head compartment that runs from just short of the port side, under the helm console to the starboard bulkhead and forward under the bow seating. A ‘mini cabin’ at best but is a space one can get out of the sun for a short time. The toilet has a hinged cover cushion that drops over it as a filler. Also shown is the head compartment devoid of cushions. Note the additional storage under the step and the moulded platforms. A pump-out toilet system is optional.


The bow is accessed from a 38.1 cm offset walkthrough to port with a door that can act as an air dam when the windshield is closed. When open, the windshield latches into position. The latching hatch and opening windshield allow the bow to be isolated or opened according to the needs of those onboard. This offset access allows expanded forward seating with a three-across rear seat and a full-width forward seat with a 12.7 cm full wrap around bolster. Beverage holders, speakers and upscale fit and finish are all present, as is connectivity and charging. For safety, the bow area’s depth is 78.74 cm to the cap rail with the stainless grab rail mounted 7.62 cm above, conforming to ABYC standards. Filler cushions can convert the entire area into a sun pad. Behind a black net under the forward seat is another 23.65L chilly bin with additional storage under the bow seat side cushions.


Another hatch on the foredeck has a turn and lock latch concealing a forward swim ladder above the anchor locker. No need to swim to the stern when diving from the bow area.


The Sea Ray SDX 250 OB is a day boat with a larger head compartment than is normally found on this size boat. She has substantial power and performance, especially with the 300-hp option. This vessel should satisfy buyers who enjoy driving a comfortable boat and want to spend their days on the water socializing, enjoying towed water sports or simply swimming off the boat. Big enough for 14 people, makes it the right size for family fun and entertaining.


  • Length overall 8.38 m
  • Beam 2.59 m
  • Dry weight 2,521 kg
  • Tested weight 2,939 kg
  • Draft 0.91 m
  • Deadrise/transom 21-deg
  • Weight capacity 1,043 kg
  • Person capacity 14
  • Fuel capacity 238 l
  • Water capacity 38 l
  • Total weight 2,939 kg
  • Tested engine 1 x 300-hp Mercury Verado



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