How can a $450,000 boat be a bargain? It’s a bargain in pleasure…
While the bigger boats seem to get all the press these days, the more manageable but still big 37’ 6” Sea Ray 370 Sundancer will surprise you with great performance and practical accommodations. For the young professional couple, the 370 Sundancer is a romantic getaway boat, with space to host another couple and speed to get from marina to paradise in record time. Have a great weekend, stay till the last minute, then fly back to home port.
Of course, your lives will change over time and the 370 Sundancer will easily accommodate a child or two, or three if you fold out the salon sofa. You could get an easy 10 to 20 years of family boating and cruising aboard the 370 – and that becomes a real bargain in pleasure over the years.
The 370’s long, low express cruiser design is a signature Sea Ray style and will still look good years from now. The boat has timeless features as well. At the transom, you get a generous swim platform with fold-down boarding ladder, remote stereo system controls and a clever foldout stern seat concealed in the transom where you can tan and watch people swimming.
There is a storage locker for lines and fenders, and a transom gate that leads into the cockpit. Comfortable seating for a gang of friends hides generous storage bins under all of the cushions. Snap-out carpeting adds to the barefoot comfort, and there’s overhead lighting for evenings – very elegant.
The refreshment area has an available Kenyon electric barbecue grill, refrigerator or icemaker, and a sink along with a trash locker, storage and food prep space, too. This space is designed for all-day living.
The stylish hardtop protects much of the cockpit from direct sun yet still leaves “tanning room.” You can open it all up for a perfect outdoor boating experience, or zip up the canvas if your weather is less than perfect.
Our test boat had a swivel companion seat plus a double-wide helm seat. This adjusts forward and backward, has flip bolsters for a higher vantage point and a fold-down foot rest for added comfort. But the best feature is that the whole seat can rotate to face back into the cockpit. This makes the cockpit a far more functional space, accommodating more people in significantly greater comfort.
At the helm, Sea Ray has stayed with full analog instruments for the twin 8.2 L MAG ECT big-block engines while including the digital SmartCraft Vessel View system with daylight-viewable LCD screen. This duplicates some instrument information but adds a wealth of other vessel metrics. It’s an impressive helm and at night that array of gauges will look great lit up!
This style of boat general offers great sightlines in all directions. The elegant wood-rimmed steering wheel tilts for standing or seated driving, and the SmartCraft controls fall easily to hand for enthusiastic running.
Our test boat was equipped with the Axius joystick docking system, including the Skyhook feature. It is intuitive and easy to use. A single button press activates the Axius system, integrates with your GPS and then uses short bursts of engine thrust to hold your position while you wait to enter a narrow channel or get to the fuel dock, even in current or wind. Dockside, the Axius joystick system will literally enable the Sundancer to maneuver in any direction, turning, pivoting and even moving sideways to help you into your slip, making docking effortless, even in windy conditions.
While we think Sea Ray’s 370 Sundancer can be your bargain-priced home on the water, it’s also well suited to those looking for an exhilarating rush of wind and spray. The MerCruiser 8.2 L engines really have love to run, delivering a massive acceleration force to get your whole gang up on the plane and, with the tabs down, stay planing down to slow speeds for the nicest possible ride in rough water.
Cruising at around 3,500 to 4,000 RPM is the most economical rate to travel from A to B but the MerCruiser 8.2 L engines always seem to want to go faster! The test boat ran an impressive 44 MPH out in the bay in Florida, and the waves from passing boats didn’t upset the 370 at all. Handling was sports car precise and turning was very tight; overall the boat delivers a very satisfying level of performance.
In the cabin, the boat’s many strengths continue. The salon feels open and spacious; added space is liberated by the electric retractable forward island berth. At night in the extended position, you have a shaped queen-sized berth, but by pressing a button, this retracts by about two feet opening up much more floor space, especially in the galley area. It becomes a great lounge seat for TV viewing or reading. Very clever! A big-screen TV is located by the salon settee.
The galley is well equipped, with a good sized Dometic refrigerator plus a separate crisper drawer, a two-burner stove with a cover, microwave, an excellent locker for bottles, boxes and spices plus plenty of storage.
The area below the helm is a great conversation space that converts into a queen-size sleeping area with a privacy curtain – great for guests or kids.
To port of the floating wooden stairs is a fully enclosed head with a separate shower stall. There is a stainless steel sink in a handsome vanity offering space to store toilet tissue, towels and such, while the medicine cabinet has cosmetic space and mirrors well placed for shaving or makeup.
Overall, this is a sport cruiser that will deliver decades of pleasure. And when you’re finally ready to move on, it’s still a Sea Ray when you trade it in!
Test Boat Engines: Twin MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT with Bravo Three X drives, stainless steel props. Engines are 8.2-litre displacement, 380 hp each with multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection and digital throttle and shift.
ENGINE RPM SPEED MPH
CRUISING SPEED RPM/MPH
4,000 / 35.4
LENGTH: 37’ 6” / 11.43 m
BEAM: 12’ 0” / 3.66 m
WEIGHT: 18,064 lbs / 8,194 kg
FUEL CAPACITY: 225 gal / 851.7 L
WATER CAPACITY: 50 gal / 189.3 L
WASTE CAPACITY: 28 gal / 106 L
PRICE: (Axius model base in USD) $443,384
Test boat provided by and price quoted by: Sea Ray boats, www.searay.com
Performance data by: Mercury Marine Boat House Bulletin
By Andy Adams