Sea Ray continues to explore new ways to pack more luxury and usable space into its boats, and the SLX 230 Select is the poster boy for this mission. Outboard-powered boats are growing in popularity, but a glance at the stern of this boat illustrates why sterndrives are still the king of back porch lounging. The huge swim platform is free of any toe-stubbing obstructions and features optional SeaDek padding ($713) for extra comfort. An available flip-down Manual Submersible Swim Step ($2,077) allows people to reboard easily or sit semi-submerged on a hot day. The sunpad has a reversible backrest for reclining and a flip-up backrest for sitting with one’s feet on the swim platform. The cockpit is ringed with seating to help expand its payload to a lucky 13 people.
Sea Ray SLX 230 Boat Test Video
Our test boat was rigged for watersports with the optional electric tower with an integrated Bimini top ($9,000). To maximize its skiing attitude, add the premium stereo system with a subwoofer and a transom remote ($3,038), twin coffee can stereo speakers ($1,506) and board racks ($1,149) to the mix. During our sea trial, we dialed the optional Smart Tow digital speed control ($872) to stop at 21 mph and then gave the trim a bump up. Without ballast or a group of people on board to weigh it down, the SLX 230 plowed up a decent-size wake for wakeboarding. Spectator viewing of the skiers is excellent from a portside doublewide companion seat that has a backrest that flips to face rearward; in the bowrider section, there’s room for three passengers to face aft.
To help get the starting price down to $76,832, Sea Ray’s standard engine for this 23-footer is a modest 4.5L V-6 that puts out 250 hp. Considering this is a 4,840-pound boat with a healthy 21 degrees of deadrise, I didn’t know if that would be enough power, but because it’s MerCruiser’s new-gen ECT MPI sterndrive, it had enough push to move it along really well. The standard twin-prop Bravo 3 helped launch this boat as it got on plane in 4.5 seconds and reached 30 mph in 9.8 seconds. Top speed was 44.6 mph and the addition of Active Trim ($768) automatically kept the SLX 230 at a proper running attitude from launch to WOT.