MIAMI 2019: Sea Ray meets Blade Runner

Author:
Publish date:
LEAD-SeaRayPress2

MIAMI — The launch of Sea Ray’s 350 SLX-R yesterday at the Miami International Boat Show was described by the builder as an “immersive experience,” but the press event was more akin to being on a sci-fi set than a typical boat launch.

Housed in a dark, air-conditioned tent, the tricked-out outboard-powered 350 SLX-R was tied to a dock. But the environment wasn’t anything like the sun-drenched launches of other builders that day, which included long speeches with specific details about their new boats.

Instead, the 350 SLX-R was bathed in eerie lighting, with an occasional spotlight flashing on specific features. Sea Ray president Brad Anderson presented the boat — not standing on the transom, as is typical with boat launches, but from a video projected to four areas of the ceiling. Anderson went through the boat’s features — twin Mercury 400R outboards, joystick piloting, red LED underwater lights and 12-inch touchscreen displays — but the message was somewhat lost in the show. Anderson looked like a character on a huge screen in the movie Blade Runner.

The press event was definitely a first for the marine industry and likely represents how the new Sea Ray, in the process of reinventing itself, is looking to the future.

Brunswick CEO David Foulkes spoke briefly — in person and not beamed to the ceiling — about the “transition process” with Sea Ray. “When I joined the Boat Group a year ago, I worked very closely with Brad and the entire Sea Ray team on the new lineup,” Foulkes said. “We’ve really just started with Sea Ray, and you’ll see a lot more going forward.”

The 350 SLX-R is impressive, a 35-foot dayboat with space for 18 people. The limited-edition package has the upgraded 400-hp Verados, a Mastervolt NMEA 2000 charging system, carbon fiber accents on the hardtop, an upgraded Fusion Marine audio system and red underwater lighting.

“The SLX-R signals Sea Ray’s emphasis on design and performance, and the feeling of adrenaline,” Anderson said in a statement.

Related

NMMA Confirms Industry Growth

NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer said the boating business grew 12 percent last year during yesterday’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address.

Newport Show Dates Announced

Organizers are planning for an in-person Golden Anniversary edition of the show Sept. 16-19.

Quick Hits: March 5, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers names Brunswick Corp. CFO Ryan Gwillim to its Board of Directors.

Caught Red-Handed

Two commercial fishermen were jailed for possessing an illegal haul that included 100 undersized lobster tails, which is a felony. Also, fisheries management gets new funding.

Bennington Expands Operations

The pontoon builder plans to add jobs at its new facility in Elkhart County, Ind., and increase manufacturing output.

KVH Industries Names CFO

Longtime telecom financial executive Roger A. Kuebel assumes the position that COO Brent Bruun had held in an interim capacity.