Sea Ray SLX 26: Future Perfect

Sea Ray has a new bowrider for the 2023 model year, the SLX 260. There’s an SLX 260 Outboard version, too, with a few subtle differences in addition to the powerplant. What’s really important to note, however, is the slew of cool new tech — and new luxury — Sea Ray has built into the SLX 260.

sea ray slx 260
The Sea Ray SLX 260 is the latest – and maybe the greatest – bowrider to hit the water for the new year. Photo via MarineMax.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Tech

One of the great things about the latest model boats is that they’ve become easier to captain and easier to use in just about every way, and this is certainly evident on the SLX 260. The helm is outfitted with dual 9” Simrad touchscreen displays which serve not only as chartplotter (preloaded with North American charts) and depth sounder but also as an interface with the entire boat. Built with CZone digital switching, systems can be accessed and activated with a swipe at the screen. Engine and performance data, meanwhile, is digitally displayed via Mercury VesselView.

Included in the tech package is also Mercury Smartcraft digital throttle and shift with Active Trim automatic GPS-based trimming, plus a Fusion Bluetooth stereo system with digital signal processing, WiFi audio streaming, and two pairs of 6.5” speakers. Optional features you can add in include an inductive charging station, a 1st Mate security system, and Fusion tower speakers.

sea ray slx 260 running
A healthy dose of tech makes running the SLX 260 easier than ever. Photo via MarineMax.

What all of this adds up to is a modern car-like experience when you’re at the helm. You’ll no longer have to hunt to find the right switch, but instead glance at a boat icon with the systems highlighted and visible at a glance. As many systems as possible are automated so you have less to worry about. And with a look at the helm you know the boat’s performing as expected. In fact, thanks to VesselView Mobile, your boat can detect if something goes wrong with the powerplant and alert you before you’ve even noticed.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Versus SLX 260 Outboard

Performance is one trait that’s affected by whether you choose to go with the stern drive or outboard version of the boat. With the standard MerCruiser 6.2L MPI ECT powerplant spinning a Bravo III drive, cruising speed for the stern drive SLX is in the mid to upper 20s with a top-end of just under 50 mph. Go with the Mercury 300 Verado, and those numbers get a bit of a boost. Cruise jumps into the low 30s, and top-end breaks the 50-mph mark.

sea ray slx 260 outboard
Opting for the outboard version gets you a bit more speed, but changes the swim platform arrangement. Photo via MarineMax.

On top of the enhanced performance, the SLX 260 Outboard also gets you additional stowage space under the sunpad. On the flip side of the coin, you lose some swim platform territory to the outboard, can’t get the centered swing-down swim step, and if you enjoy watersports, will want to opt for the tower since you lose the transom ski tow-eye.

Sea Ray SLX Family Features

Like most modern bowriders the SLX 260 is designed with an eye on family boating. As many will be hoping, this means it has an integrated head compartment, in this case in the port-side console. Kids will love riding around in the bow cockpit, which is padded not only at the seatbacks but also the sides and front with cushy coaming bolsters. There are also fold-down arm rests, and a filler cushion can be dropped in to turn the bow into a “playpen.”

slx 260 bowrider
The bow cockpit is padded all around, and yes, there is a head compartment inside that console. Photo via MarineMax.

Some notable options the kids will love include a built-in air compressor for the inflatable water-toys, and the Apple Airplay 2 Wifi audio streaming that comes with the Fusion audio upgrade. If they’re into serious watersports, you’ll also want to get a set of board racks for the Power Tower.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Luxury

While we may all enjoy riding around in the bow and cockpit, once you’ve reached your destination for the day the stern of the boat is where a lot of action takes place. And Sea Ray has redesigned the entire aft section of this boat with an eye on maximizing the relaxation potential. As expected, there’s a large sunpad capping off the transom. What you won’t expect is to grab the back of the sunpad, flip it up, and discover an integrated cooler with a gasketed hatch that rises up on a gas-assist strut. That means that whether you’re stretching out for a tan or lounging around on the swim platform, there will always be chilly drinks within reach. Added bonus: you can enjoy it all in the shade, too, since the optional Power Tower includes an extended sunshade.

sea ray slx 260 stern
Ready to chillax with a chilly beverage? Not a problem, on the SLX 260. Photo via MarineMax.

Another cool perk at the transom is the way it connects you with the water. When you’re ready to take a dip, you can pull out the four-step telescopic swim ladder. Or, if you’d prefer to just lounge in the aquatic environment you can opt for the swing-down swim step integrated into the swim platform (available on the stern drive SLX, only).

sea ray relaxing
Can you pick a better spot to kick back and relax? We didn’t think so. Photo via MarineMax.

Bottom Line on the Sea Ray SLX 260

There are a lot of reasons why Sea Ray has been an industry-leading builder for decades, but on the new SLX 260 and SLX 260 outboard, one comes through clearer than ever: they deliver a huge dose of luxury along with the latest available tech. Take one for a sea trial, then let the cards fall where they may — there’s a good chance you’ll find these traits irresistible.

Sea Ray SLX 260 Specifications:

  • Length (LOA): 25’5”
  • Beam: 8’6”
  • Weight: 6,068 pounds
  • Draft (minimum): 2’0”
  • Deadrise (at transom): 21 degrees
  • Max HP: 350
  • Fuel Capacity: 75 gallons

See Sea Ray SLX 260 boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Written by: Lenny Rudow

With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.

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