Red Jacket, blue blood...

If you’re like me, you’re wearing shredded deck shoes and a boat show T-shirt and think you’re all that— and a bag of chips. Well, that’s only if your boat looks good. Stand at the helm of Sea Ray’s new 55 Sundancer, and no one will question your attire. Beneath its arctic white gel coat and vinylester resin, the 55 Sundancer is built and equipped to make even serious wrench-heads smile. Of course, a couple of things earned a frown. The mast light should be hinged, which would let it fold down and decrease bridge clearance by nearly a foot.

Sea Ray 55 Sundancer Performance SpecsAnd Sea Ray needs to work on fairing in the leading edge of the swim platform: At a cruise, some water jets up between it and the transom. Nonetheless, this boat is a wow-inducing cruiser. Imagine pulling in amid the megayachts at some posh resort, kicking back in the rotating helm lounge, flipping on the cockpit air conditioning, and popping open a $6 bottle of water. You’ll feel right at home next to the guy with the blue hull and tan deck in the next slip. Great stuff. And it only gets better.

HEAR NO EVIL. Fire up the twin 800-bhp MAN R6-800 diesels and the noise is barely audible from the helm. Idling out of the harbor at 7.6 mph and 65 decibels, you barely disturb the water. It’s hot, but you’re cool, thanks to 40,000 Btus of external air conditioning and a three-sided hard glass enclosure. Get past the “No Wake” sign and hammer the throttles—the 55 Sundancer surges, its bow rising slightly and the turbos spooling up. Hit the switch and open the skylights. Yeah, baby. Smell the salt but don’t wear any. At 2100 rpm, you’re making 30 mph. You haven’t had to tighten your cap, the Cheetos haven’t blown off the solidwood cockpit table, and it’s quiet enough for conversation.

Much of the hush can be attributed to a robust engine installation, including substantial bearers and heavy-duty mounts that limit the transmission of vibration. Plus, Sea Ray generously applies acoustic insulation. But the MAN R6s also deserve credit. Instead of a separate pump hammering away at each injector, these common-rail mills deliver pre-pressurized fuel to all the injectors. That allows for the same sound levels using a through-hull exhaust as you’d get from an older diesel with underwater exhaust.

The through-hull exhaust also eliminates the rumble that used to emanate from standpipes and does so without blacking your transom or choking your guests when idling downwind, as was common with an underwater exhaust. Commonrail diesels are cleaner, more efficient, and quieter. Now, quiet is as quiet does. And there’s more than one way to make a big cruiser hush. Tiara’s 58 Sovran ($1,542,500), for instance, is equipped with triple 435-bhp Volvo Penta IPS diesel tractor drives.

I haven’t tested that boat yet—no one has—but I have found the IPS system to be quiet by virtue of common-rail injection, integral underwater exhaust, a vibe-absorbing circular drive mount, and loads of clearance between props and hull (eliminating the hammer of water as it pulses off the blade tips). Take a look at this boat if you're considering the 55 Sundancer.

Servicing the 55 Sundancer’s equipment isn’t a problem. There’s 360-degree engine access, thanks in part to the elimination of the underwater exhaust system plumbing. Extra seal kits are affixed to the propshafts. Spare props are secured out of the way. Internal sea strainers allow you to clear a clogged intake without having to haul the boat. Seacocks, batteries, genset, fuel tank senders, and more are all easy to lay your hands on. My only complaint about the 55 Sundancer’s propulsion is the tight clearance for your hands at the helm controls, a glitch Sea Ray says it’s rectifying to comply with ABYC recommendations.

Oh, man! No fix is needed for the accommodations. The helm deck, within the enclosure, is soled in teak. A highgloss, inlaid wood table serves the rotational lounge abaft the helm seating. This lounge is in two sections that can each be slid around on circular tracks. A grill and refrigerator are here, as is a wetbar with a sink and trash bin. A flat-screen TV hangs above. Aft, the cockpit lounge seats 10 in plush, padded style. Cruisers Yachts’ 560 Express ($1,355,460 with twin 775-bhp Volvo Penta D12 V-drive inboards) sports a circular lounge—but it’s aft, outside the hardtop’s shade. It also doesn’t rotate. Instead, hit a switch and it converts to a sunlounge. You’ll find a grill, too, and bow and stern thrusters are standard.

Now, head through the 55 Sundancer’s sliding companionway and down the teak-treaded steps into the maple-soled salon. Directly ahead is the U-shaped galley, with its acre of bull-nosed, faux-stone countertop. A bigscreen TV rises at the touch of a switch from this counter, and beneath it are separate undercounter stainless-steel Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer units. Cabinetry and stateroom doors are available as light or dark raisedpanel cherry. To starboard is the salon with a plush convertible/ sleeper lounge and table.

Head aft into the master stateroom. Soft light gleams through opaque panels, and miniblinds striate the sunlight as it pours through the huge, 5'-by-2' hullside windows. I measured 6'4" of headroom here and walked all around the home-height, queen-size berth. Full beam, there’s space here for a pair of upholstered chairs with a booth-style table. I’d return to this spot with the day’s paper and a coffee each morning to enjoy the view. The master also boasts a private head with a wood sole and a tiled shower stall. Your guests enjoy an island berth in the forward stateroom. Four portholes and more miniblinds regulate natural light. Guests will be pleased to find the walk-in hanging locker, as well as private access to the day head. As in the master, there’s a tiled shower. Add a potpourri dish and some designer soaps and your friends will never want to leave. And neither will you.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL SEA RAY BOATS CURRENTLY FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA

  • 55' SEA RAY 55 SUNDANCER
    Available

    55' SEA RAY 55 SUNDANCER (2008) "VALKYRIE" *LLC*

    *LLC, SALES TAX INCENTIVES* It has it all - power, speed, and a revolutionary configuration. [displayForm id=9] Listed by Silver Seas Yachts THIS BOAT IS SUBJECT TO AN EXCLUSIVE LISTING AGREEMENT WITH THE BROKER LISTED ABOVE AND IS NOT OFFERED FOR SALE BY DICK SIMON YACHTS. Dick Simon Yachts is merely providing this information in an effort to represent you as a buyer in the purchase of this vessel. Photos and description courtesy: Sea Ray...

    *LLC, SALES TAX INCENTIVES* It has it all - power, speed, and a revolutionary...

    *LLC, SALES TAX INCENTIVES* It has it all - power, speed, and a revolutionary configuration. [displayForm id=9] Listed by Silver Seas Yachts THIS BOAT IS SUBJECT TO AN...

    $689,000.00
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  • 51' SEA RAY 510 SUNDANCER (2015) *LLC* "RUNNIN' UTE"
    Available

    51' SEA RAY 510 SUNDANCER (2015) *LLC*...

    Wow did Sea Ray get it right with the 510 Sundancer, a world-class Sportcruiser designed for cruising and entertaining in unsurpassed luxury. With distinctive hull windows and a enclosed salon, the 510 is a big styling step forward from the earlier Sea Ray express yachts with their open main decks and fiberglass arches. The Sundancers oversized salon windows, big windshield, and large sunroof flood the main deck living area with tons of...

    Wow did Sea Ray get it right with the 510 Sundancer, a world-class Sportcruiser...

    Wow did Sea Ray get it right with the 510 Sundancer, a world-class Sportcruiser designed for cruising and entertaining in unsurpassed luxury. With distinctive hull windows and a...

    $719,900.00
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  • 51' SEA RAY 510 FLY (2015)
    Available

    51' SEA RAY 510 FLY (2015) *LLC*

    *LLC, SALES TAX INCENTIVES* *SEAKEEPER GYRO STABILIZATION, JOYSTICK CONTROL* Think of consummate hosts you've met. They support social interaction with beautiful settings and all the right amenities and offerings to bring life to the party, keeping the mood bright, lively and happy. You've just imagined the 510 Fly, with its highly functional social zones and crowd-pleasing features to keep you and your guests at full-smile. SkyFlow Design...

    *LLC, SALES TAX INCENTIVES* *SEAKEEPER GYRO STABILIZATION, JOYSTICK CONTROL* Think of...

    *LLC, SALES TAX INCENTIVES* *SEAKEEPER GYRO STABILIZATION, JOYSTICK CONTROL* Think of consummate hosts you've met. They support social interaction with beautiful settings and...

    $950,000.00
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  • 50' SEA RAY 500 SUNDANCER (1997)
    Available

    50' SEA RAY 500 SUNDANCER (1996) "GOLDEN EAGLE"

    *TWIN 8V92 DETROIT DIESELS* The distinctive Sea Ray 500 Sundancer mid-cabin combines impeccable lines, luxurious comfort, and unconditional seaworthiness. The 500 Sundancer is designed for serious cruising in uncompromised comfort. At the helm station, an adjustable captain's chair faces a wrap-around instrument console. Adjacent to the swivel helm seat is a large padded bench. The large, open cockpit provides a wet bar for refreshments,...

    *TWIN 8V92 DETROIT DIESELS* The distinctive Sea Ray 500 Sundancer mid-cabin combines...

    *TWIN 8V92 DETROIT DIESELS* The distinctive Sea Ray 500 Sundancer mid-cabin combines impeccable lines, luxurious comfort, and unconditional seaworthiness. The 500 Sundancer is...

    $129,995.00
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  • 47' SEA RAY 470 SUNDANCER (2012)
    Available

    47' SEA RAY 470 SUNDANCER (2012) "RANGO"

    The 470 Sundancer is an instant classic, packed stem to stern with winning design features and innovations, including standard Zeus® pod drives with an intuitive helm joystick for stress-free docking. Plus, there’s an enclosed bridge with two independently retractable sunroofs, offering the ultimate in weather protection and climate control. This luxurious Sundancer will change the way its owners boat forever, guaranteed. [displayForm id=7]...

    The 470 Sundancer is an instant classic, packed stem to stern with winning design...

    The 470 Sundancer is an instant classic, packed stem to stern with winning design features and innovations, including standard Zeus® pod drives with an intuitive helm joystick...

    $439,000.00
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  • 42' SEA RAY 420 SUNDANCER (2003)
    Available

    42' SEA RAY 420 SUNDANCER (2003)

    Sleek styling, a large, comfortable cockpit and a luxurious interior that sleeps plenty are just the right formula for endless fun in the new 420 Sundancer. A wealth of instrumentation and information is at the captain's fingertips, and twin 450hp Cummins Diesel V-drives will get you to most any destination with ease. The beautiful, yet efficient, galley includes a host of conveniences that will make each on-the-water excursion thoroughly...

    Sleek styling, a large, comfortable cockpit and a luxurious interior that sleeps plenty...

    Sleek styling, a large, comfortable cockpit and a luxurious interior that sleeps plenty are just the right formula for endless fun in the new 420 Sundancer. A wealth of...

    $183,000.00
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  • 41' SEA RAY 410 SUNDANCER (2015)
    Available

    41' SEA RAY 410 SUNDANCER (2015)

    Sea Ray understands the significant difference between "escape from" and "escape to." The 410 Sundancer will pull you like a freight train, filling your weekends and your daydreams. This stylish sport yacht makes its presence known with Sea Ray's iconic lines and sleek style. An optional sport spoiler and two-stateroom option make this Sea Ray configurable to your specific leisure cruising needs. Named a Boating magazine "Best Boat of 2012,"...

    Sea Ray understands the significant difference between "escape from" and "escape to."...

    Sea Ray understands the significant difference between "escape from" and "escape to." The 410 Sundancer will pull you like a freight train, filling your weekends and your...

    $499,000.00
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  • 40' SEA RAY 400 SUNDANCER (1999) WITH HYD. LIFT
    Available

    40' SEA RAY 400 SUNDANCER (1998) "THIN AIR"

    The Sea Ray 400 Sundancer is an express cruiser that is sporty, fast and has all the comforts of home. As a sport yacht the 400 is well equipped to handle two couples or a family for week-long cruises, and is a classic Sundancer design. One thing you’ll notice right away is the U-shaped lounge that can seat up to nine quests in the cockpit. It quickly converts into a sunpad, and there is a removable table for dining. A wet bar with sink and...

    The Sea Ray 400 Sundancer is an express cruiser that is sporty, fast and has all the...

    The Sea Ray 400 Sundancer is an express cruiser that is sporty, fast and has all the comforts of home. As a sport yacht the 400 is well equipped to handle two couples or a...

    $87,000.00
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  • 40' SEA RAY 400 SEDAN BRIDGE (2003)

    40' SEA RAY 400 SEDAN BRIDGE (1998) OFF MARKET

    The 400 Sedan Bridge could just be the most flexible 40-foot bridge boat on the water. She gives you so many options for things to do, places to go, people to see. With an interior plan that suits any lifestyle, plus all the luxury and convenience inherent in a Sea Ray, you're pretty much set. However you choose to cruise, you'll do so in glorious comfort.  [displayForm id=5] Photos and Description Courtesy: Sea Ray Boats

    The 400 Sedan Bridge could just be the most flexible 40-foot bridge boat on the water....

    The 400 Sedan Bridge could just be the most flexible 40-foot bridge boat on the water. She gives you so many options for things to do, places to go, people to see. With an...

  • 39' SEA RAY 390 SUNDANCER (2004)
    Available

    39' SEA RAY 390 SUNDANCER (2004) "ANEJO"

    Designed to get noticed, this 390 Sundancer® features elegance at every turn. A sleek, low-profile helm plus glove-soft cockpit seating makes this newest member of the Sundancer® family an ideal place to spend a weekend of fun. Below, the gorgeously appointed salon includes a fully equipped entertainment center, beautiful wood crafted galley and separate conversation area that converts to a bed for overnight guests. [displayForm id=6] Listed...

    Designed to get noticed, this 390 Sundancer® features elegance at every turn. A sleek,...

    Designed to get noticed, this 390 Sundancer® features elegance at every turn. A sleek, low-profile helm plus glove-soft cockpit seating makes this newest member of the...

    $164,500.00
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  • 39' SEA RAY 390 MOTOR YACHT (2004)
    Available

    39' SEA RAY 390 MOTOR YACHT (2005)

    This majestic 390 Motor Yacht is a timeless classic, built with the legendary Sea Ray commitment to quality and style. Powered by twin 6CTA8.3-M Cummins Diesels with SmartCraft Diagnostics, this fully equipped craft features custom thru-bolted stainless steel cleats, satin nickel-finish knobs and switch plates and standard Raymarine electronics. Optional features include DSS satellite TV system, cockpit air conditioning and compact...

    This majestic 390 Motor Yacht is a timeless classic, built with the legendary Sea Ray...

    This majestic 390 Motor Yacht is a timeless classic, built with the legendary Sea Ray commitment to quality and style. Powered by twin 6CTA8.3-M Cummins Diesels with SmartCraft...

    $259,900.00
    View
  • 38' SEA RAY 380 SUNDANCER (2003) "THE OFFICE"
    Available

    38' SEA RAY 380 SUNDANCER (2003)

    The 380 Sundancer is destined to attract attention wherever she goes. She's a grand example of the latest Sea Ray innovations. With a deep-V hull and the smooth power of twin 8.1 S Horizon MerCruiser V-drive engines, her superb seaworthiness is sure to please the most demanding owner. Her spacious cabin with sleeping accomodations for many makes the 380 Sundancer perfect for extended pleasure cruises with family and friends. [displayForm...

    The 380 Sundancer is destined to attract attention wherever she goes. She's a grand...

    The 380 Sundancer is destined to attract attention wherever she goes. She's a grand example of the latest Sea Ray innovations. With a deep-V hull and the smooth power of twin...

    $119,000.00
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  • 38' SEA RAY 380 SUNDANCER (2000)
    Available

    38' SEA RAY 380 SUNDANCER (2000) "POGGI BONS"

    The 380 Sundancer is destined to attract attention wherever she goes. She’s a grand example of the latest Sea Ray innovations. With a deep-V hull and powerful engines, her superb seaworthiness is sure to please the most demanding owner. Her spacious cabin with sleeping accommodations for many makes the 380 Sundancer perfect for extended pleasure cruises with family and friends. [displayForm id=11] Listed by Executive Yacht & Ship Brokers,...

    The 380 Sundancer is destined to attract attention wherever she goes. She’s a grand...

    The 380 Sundancer is destined to attract attention wherever she goes. She’s a grand example of the latest Sea Ray innovations. With a deep-V hull and powerful engines, her...

    $69,000.00
    View
  • 38' SEA RAY 38 SUNDANCER (2007)
    Available

    38' SEA RAY 38 SUNDANCER (2008)

    *DINGHY INCLUDED* This exciting 38 Sundancer features a stylish new fiberglass hardtop with aft sunshade, overhead lighting and stainless-steel grab rails. An innovative center door in the transom provides easy access to the luxuriously appointed cockpit, complete with solid-surface table top, wet bar and icemaker. Powered by twin 8.1 S Horizon MerCruiser V-drives, this robust Sport yacht offers a four-year limited engine warranty, underwater...

    *DINGHY INCLUDED* This exciting 38 Sundancer features a stylish new fiberglass hardtop...

    *DINGHY INCLUDED* This exciting 38 Sundancer features a stylish new fiberglass hardtop with aft sunshade, overhead lighting and stainless-steel grab rails. An innovative center...

    $169,900.00
    View
  • 36' SEA RAY 360 SUNDANCER (2002)
    Available

    36' SEA RAY 360 SUNDANCER (2003) "PAU HANA"

    For boaters who have dreamed of owning a Sea Ray Sport Yacht but just haven’t been able to swing it, the new 360 Sundancer makes it possible to move up to a Sport Yacht six feet earlier than ever before. And she’s a Sundancer to boot. She easily seats 10 topsides. Her cabin sleeps six. She has a full galley, two VCR/radio combos, a wet bar and a quiet step-down conversation area. Twin VD 8.1 S Horizon MerCruiser® gasoline V-drives (665 hours)...

    For boaters who have dreamed of owning a Sea Ray Sport Yacht but just haven’t been able...

    For boaters who have dreamed of owning a Sea Ray Sport Yacht but just haven’t been able to swing it, the new 360 Sundancer makes it possible to move up to a Sport Yacht six feet...

    $114,900.00
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  • 36' SEA RAY 36 SEDAN BRIDGE (2007)
    Available

    36' SEA RAY 36 SEDAN BRIDGE (2007)

    Everything about this beauty is designed with extended voyages in mind, including its outstanding ride and sea-keeping abilities, open and airy cabin, and two well-appointed staterooms. While the captain takes command at the helm, guests will enjoy breathtaking views from the generous bridge seating. In comfort as well as style, the 36 Sedan Bridge will transport you to distant harbors and back again. [displayForm id=6] Listed by Ballast...

    Everything about this beauty is designed with extended voyages in mind, including its...

    Everything about this beauty is designed with extended voyages in mind, including its outstanding ride and sea-keeping abilities, open and airy cabin, and two well-appointed...

    $199,900.00
    View

This review/article originally appeared in Boating Magazine, August 2007 and is written by Kelvin Falvey. For more great boat reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: https://www.boatingmag.com/subscribe-to-boating-magazine

If you're looking for general boating parts, head to West Marine Online and check out their specials. If you are in search of model-specific parts, search your local CAT dealer.