For boaters on a budget, Sea Ray might seem to be a brand that’s out of reach, but that could change with models such as the new 19 SPX Select. The two boats in the SPX series, which also includes the 21 SPX, are available in sterndrive or outboard configurations and start at the very un-Sea Ray–like StreetSmart price of less than $28K — trailer and destination charges included.
The 19 SPX we tested replaced the 190 Sport, but it’s more than just a name change. The hull is more than a foot wider for more interior space, and the 19 SPX is more upscale, especially clad in its Select livery, which includes upgraded upholstery, a premium dash, LED lighting and stainless steel components throughout ($4,267). Our test boat came with the Premium sound system ($1,233), which adds a Rockford Fosgate stereo, speakers and a subwoofer. If fishing is your passion, Sea Ray offers the All-Sport Package, which includes a livewell, a trolling motor and fishing seats. The Elevation Package options up a wakeboard tower with board racks and a premium ski mirror. If skiing is your thing, the Perfect Pass speed control option (available with the larger engine options) is a must.
The 19 SPX has a passenger capacity of 11 people — three more than the 190 Sport. In addition to a stern bench seat, there is a port-side transformable seat that changes from a rear- or forward-facing recliner to a feet-on-the-deck companion seat across from the helm seat. You don’t see a stern walkthrough on many sub-20-footers, but the one on the 19 SPX provides easy access to the beam-wide swim platform. Though not labeled as a deckboat, it’s extra-wide up front for more passenger space, including enough stretching-out space on the bowrider seats for a six-footer.
The standard boat comes with a 3.0L four-cylinder MerCruiser, but pumping up the ponies to the max 4.3L 220 hp V-6 sterndrive our test had seems to be the way to go — especially if watersports are in the picture — but it does add $5,000 to the bottom line. It pushed this Sea Ray to plane in 3.8 seconds and to 30 mph in 7.7 seconds. Top speed peaked out at 48.5 mph. Its hull features 19 degrees of deadrise, so it handled the chop better than more flat-bottomed boats.