They say sunshine increases vitamin D absorption and creates greater transparency in government, but those are prosaic benefits. At its poetic best, truly, sunshine is good for the soul. Accordingly, Sea Ray’s new 510 Sundancer is one soul-stirring boat.
Nowhere onboard is this more the case than in the enclosed cockpit sunroom. With its tall side windows, expansive windscreen and two massive retractable sunroofs, this solarium is where your family and guests will gather to enjoy each other as the splendor of the great outdoors comes streaming in.
“It’s really a magical space,” says Janet Ritchie, Sea Ray’s director of portfolio planning. “We wanted this to be the very heart of the boat, where people would stop and interact with each other. Our goal was to provide the comfort of an enclosed sunroom while maintaining continuity between the outdoor cockpit and the indoor living space. The lower accommodations are filled with gracious touches and innovative design elements, as well, but this is where consumers tell us they will spend most of their time, and we made sure it was worthy of that.”
Janet’s point about the rest of the boat is well taken. In fact, at the recent Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show, the AIM Media Group granted the new 510 Sundancer its Editor’s Choice Award as the best domestic motoryacht between 50 and 60 feet. The AIM Media Group publishes Power & Motoryacht, Soundings, and numerous other marine magazines and web properties, so their editors are well informed about what it takes to rise above the offerings out there.
Before we tour the rest of the 510, let’s take a deeper look at the sunroom. It deserves the attention. Flooring comes in wide-plank hardwood in one of three colors and feels great against bare feet. Tempered-glass sliding doors separate the room from the rear cockpit so it is climate controlled to maximize comfort and extend your season no matter your boating region. A long wet bar with solid-surface counter, sink and drawer-style fridge ensures your party stays well-fueled. And you won’t miss a minute of it at the two-person helm, which pivots and telescopes to give you just the perch you need.
Simply put a hull beneath the sunroom and you’ve already got a spectacular boat, but the 510 is a hundred-trick pony that will wow you from multiple viewpoints. Head forward from the sunroom to the galley and salon, and the sunlight precedes you. The atrium design here reaches across much of this space like another huge skylight, and the rich wood surfaces follow you down the stairs from above, making the two spaces feel connected, like adjoining greatrooms, matching the feel of today’s best home designs.
The galley has all the usual amenities, plus a stand-up stainless fridge/freezer. The solid-surface counters and exquisite cabinetry evince a clean but warm character. And don’t forget the cutting-edge entertainment center opposite the galley, plus the L-shaped Ultraleather sofa with a comfortable pull-out bed, so you can handle overflow capacity at night.
From the salon you can access the forward stateroom and its full-sized island berth (with an electrically actuated backrest for reading or watching TV), brightly lit by four side portholes plus one overhead. The guest head is nice sized with cut-tile flooring, and doubles as the day head.
Heading aft from the salon you find the master stateroom with a walkaround queen-sized bed. The master head is oversized and luxe, making this space as homey as, well, home. “This boat is made for entertaining, but clearly the master needs to be a retreat,” says Janet Ritchie, Sea Ray’s director of portfolio planning. “We’ve accomplished that with a midship full-beam master, and I expect owners will feel they are very well taken care of by this suite.”
Retracing our steps to the outside cockpit, we arrive at the location where express-style yachts earn their bona fides. Sundancers unvaryingly deliver leek style and performance combined with awesome outdoor living. The 510 does not break with tradition on either front. The cockpit’s U-shaped furniture is as comfortable and supple as that throughout the boat. Indirect lighting has a nighttime ambiance covered, and if the sun gets to be a bit much during the day, and optional electrically deployed sunshade extends over the whole area.
Wrapping the whole present up like a bow is a sleek next-generation Sundancer profile, with aggressive rake and chasing the horizon-attitude. All those windows flooding the interior with sunlight are masked by strong hull window graphics that evoke forward thrust, whether the throttles are pegged or the engines are shut down. With the 510 Sundancer, even when the sun isn’t shining, there’s more than one way to stir the soul.