What's New: Modern Boating Technology
Published on January 13, 2022
Sea Ray’s innovations make boating better, safer and easier
Boating has changed and technology has made that possible. Today’s boats are easy to drive with joystick control, they’re a snap to navigate with powerful GPS-enabled multifunction displays, (MFDs) they’re steadier due to gyro-stabilization and they run smoother with innovative hull designs. Sea Ray is a brand that’s dedicated to continuous technological advances, so let’s look at some of the features of their models to get an appreciation for the kind of advances that make today’s boating so exceptional.
The starting point for all boats is the design of the hull. Sea Ray’s Dynamic Running Surface (DRS) optimizes the angle where the bow meets the water – or what’s delightfully known as the running “attitude.” This makes the boat more stable in turns, allows for faster acceleration from a stop (hole shot), reduces bow rise so you can see where you’re going when the throttle’s pushed down, and makes the hull run more efficiently, increasing speed and decreasing fuel consumption.
Engines and Driving
Start with a great hull and add a powerful engine package. Sea Ray boats are available with your choice of inboard or outboard engines. A great package on some of the models includes Mercury Verado engines and joystick assisted docking that lets you dock like a pro. Multiple outboards work together with joystick piloting to let you put the boat precisely where you want it and the Skyhook feature enables dynamic positioning that keeps the boat in position regardless of wind or current. That’s great when you need to stand by waiting for a bridge to open or a space at a fuel dock to become available.
Many Sea Ray models have an option to add a Seakeeper stabilizer and the difference is stunning. Reduce the motion of boat at rest (not running) with a gyro and you reduce the risk of sea sickness and fatigue which is great when fishing all day. Once you’ve experienced a boat with stabilization, nothing else will do.
Advanced Electrical Systems
Sea Ray uses advanced electrics that work behind the scenes to power all the systems aboard. The Fathom e-Power for example, is an integrated electrical system that uses Mastervolt lithium-ion batteries to drive all onboard electrical needs – without a generator. Fathom supplies 22,000 watts of energy which is enough to run the boat for a day without a recharge. No genset means less initial cost, no additional fuel costs, less noise and reduced emissions.
Digital switching platforms from C-Zone and engine data integration Naviop, both of which centralize control of all things electrical aboard, deliver information via the Simrad MFD so the operator is always aware of what is happening and how to manage the situation.
Safety and Comfort
Mercury Marine’s 1st Mate system provides safety and security as it integrates with the propulsion system and works with wearable fobs. If someone goes overboard and a fob signal is lost, the system sends out an alert and marks the GPS location to mobile devices like your phone so you can return quickly to pick the person up. If the driver goes overboard, 1st Mate shuts down the engines. It also acts as a security system; in case someone attempts to use the boat and start the engines without permission.
Many of the systems above are critical but nearly invisible to the user. The more obvious technological advances come in the form of comfort features like great audio systems from Fusion and lots of LED lighting both above and below he waterline that set the mood and create one heck of an atmosphere.
Sea Ray has nearly two dozen models offered in four different series and you can spec much of the above modern boat technology on most of their boats. Technology governs most of the rest of your life. Why not have it work for you with the latest boating innovations too?