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You can have your cake and eat it too, aboard Sea Ray's 260 Sundeck. This deck delivers space and utility by subtle tweaks of line, rather than hanging a stern-drive on a floating rectangle. The bow is fuller than that of a bowrider's, the chine is lower, and the freeboard is higher. Yet the 260 boasts a sport-boat stance. Why? It has an aggressive stem rake flowing into a deep-V hull form that terminates in 21 degrees of transom deadrise, and a reversed sheer line that drops precipitously toward the waterline aft.
Evolution and refinement manifest themselves aboard the boat in more ways than just its trompe l'oeil aesthetics. The head is fiberglass-lined, drains and includes an opening port, a vanity and 4-foot-6-inch headroom. The folding armrests in the bow lounge provide great comfort, and a cooler is built in for convenience. The transom lounge is contoured to provide thigh and calf support. This opens on a locking strut, providing great access to the engine. Two big — I'm talking folding bikes and beach chairs — stowage lockers are in the sole. More subtly, the windshield walk-through latch automatically locks in the open position, the wet bar top is nonskid and rung with a fiddle rail, and access to wakeboard stowage is via a large hatch on the standard extended swim platform. Every hatch lid stands up without having to be held, and a pocket in the helm recesses the steering wheel's shaft bezel, providing six more inches of belly room for the skipper.
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Grip that wheel and throttle up. The 260 Sundeck is quick to plane, and though it doesn't lean as aggressively as a sport boat, it proved nimble through a battery of maneuvers including hard-over turns at 46 mph. Sweet cake, indeed.
• Rugged fish-boatstyle tuna door latch automatically secures the walk-through windshield in the open position.
• Transitions to plane subtly and smoothly, an especially nice attribute aboard a boat with a layout that encourages the crew to mill about.
• Water system includes bow and stern showers as well as a spray head at the wet bar.
• Tan, nonskid matting graces the swim platform, providing a chic look and excellent footing.
Test Drive * Test Engine: MerCruiser 350 MAG Bravo Three; 2.2:1 ratio * Test Prop: Bravo Three 24-pitch SS propset * Test Load: People (390 LB.) Fuel (40 GAL.) * Top Speed: 46.5 MPH @ 5,050 RPM * Time to Plane: 4.2 Sec. * Most Economical Cruise Speed: 25.5 MPH @ 3,000 RPM, 8.6 GPH Vital Stats * Length Overall: 26'4" * Beam: 8'6" * Dry Weight: 5,168 LB. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/2,100 LB. * Fuel Capacity: 65 GAL. * Max HP: 320 * MSRP: $64,526 (as tested, including freight) * NMMA Certified: Yes
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