Author: Alan Jones
Always on the cutting edge of technology, Sea Ray adds another achievement to its list of firsts with the Active Trim Control (ATC) system, which helps turn the 230 SLX into a better ski boat as well as an improved cruiser. Triangular-shaped trim tabs set into hull pockets have the effect of changing the boat’s deadrise to create an improved launch ramp for wakeboarding and reduce the wake for slaloming. Controlled by Lenco’s Auto Glide Boat Control System, a computer automatically deploys tabs during launch to reduce time to plane. Powered by a 260 hp MerCruiser 5.0L V-8, our test boat was on plane in 4.3 seconds and went from 0 to 30 in 10.6 seconds. On another run, the ATC system knocked 0.9 second off the time to plane and 1.4 seconds off our time to 30 mph. One of the system’s major benefits is that the tabs are automatically deployed in corners to keep the 230 SLX on plane at slow wakeboarding speeds.
In the cockpit, Sea Ray’s upscale approach to interior appointments is evident with features such as the wood steering wheel, a double-stitched leather automotive dash and great wrap-around crew buckets that feature flip-up bolsters. A flip-up backrest converts the stern sunpad to a rearward-facing bench seat for hanging out at rest and exposes a wet locker for jackets, ropes and soggy swimsuits. The cockpit features an L-lounge with a flip-down dual cupholder built into the backrest. Perhaps a little surprising is the lack of a head compartment for the gotta-go contingent, but if this is a deal-breaker, bumping up to the 250 SLX will take care of business. Up front, Sea Ray shows off bowrider seats that have the perfect amount of recline.
The 230 SLX loads up the standard equipment list with items that are usually options, such as a dual-axle trailer, a Bravo III dual-prop outdrive and a jammin’ six-speaker Sony stereo with a subwoofer for some added thump. If you get the ATC system, you would be remiss in not adding the optional Darth Vader-black watersports tower. While our test boat has the 260 hp 5.0L MerCruiser, which pushed it to a respectable top speed of 48.6 mph, the optional 300 hp MerCruiser 5.7L engine might be a better fit for a 23-footer that has a wet weight approaching 5,000 pounds.