If you’ve been a cruising boater for a while you may have considered moving up to a larger boat for a host of different reasons. It could be that you have an expanding family or a desire to cruise longer distances, possibly in bigger waters with more creature comforts. Whatever the reasoning behind your choice to upgrade, a Sea Ray Sedan Bridge may be a viable option for you. The models were built from 1996 through the 2003 model year, so there are a quite a few to choose from on the used market.
The design of the 400 Sedan Bridge was both an evolution of Sea Ray’s existing convertible models and an adaptation of Mediterranean design trends of the 1990s. The Sea Ray signature features are present in the window treatments, side vents, bolsters, flowing lines, the extended bridge and reverse sheer.
The cockpit is sheltered by the bridge overhang and features a transom bench seat with storage and snap-in carpets. This 1999 model has an icemaker and indirect lighting – both features that were introduced in the ‘99 model year. A hatch in the deck provides access to the lazarette and generator. More storage and service connections are located in the transom trunk.
Moulded steps, solid railings and a grab rail on the bridge ensure safety moving forward. The foredeck has sun pads for three with handrails and a flat well forward, ideal for anchoring or handling lines.
Extra wide steps lead to the bridge that features a large seating area and cockpit table aft that converts to a sun lounge. The helm position in this Sea Ray was designed to be to starboard or centered with twin seats like in this model. The forward position has great sight lines to the bow but is restricted aft.
When considering a used boat, pay close attention to the electronics. The owner of this boat has added several upgrades including entertainment systems, extended Wi-Fi and a bow thruster. All features that add value and will save you improvement costs in the future.
A screened sliding door opens to the salon with large facing settees and a small removable table. To expand overnight guest capacity, this 400 has an electric actuator that coverts the settee to a berth. Relaxing in the salon is enhanced by a new state of the art entertainment system tied into a Fusion sound system.
When you are looking for a 400 SB, you will have to make a choice in layouts. Sea Ray offered both a galley down two-stateroom layout as well as a galley up three-stateroom option. The galley is well equipped, with a Panasonic microwave, three-quarter refrigerator/freezer, electric cooktop, appliance storage, ample cabinet space and even more storage in the sole.
The raised dinette is comfortable, has great sightlines and incorporates more storage in the seat bases. All trim and cabinetry throughout is finished with the Vitricor light maple wood package.
Accommodations on this model start with a mid cabin to port with twin berths. A mirrored door conceals the locker and guests will appreciate the port side opening. The nicely finished guest head manages to fit in a separate shower stall.
In the master cabin, a full-size pedestal bed dominates the room. Generous storage is located under the berth and in the mirrored hanging lockers. The master private head incorporates a shower with moulded seat, glass doors, moulded medicine cabinet and vanity.
My last stop before our sea trial was the engine room under the salon. A pair of Caterpillar 3116 TAs rated at 340 hp provide power to this boat, an upgrade from twin 370 hp gas engines.
Test conditions were ideal with moderate winds and a light chop. Cruise was a very respectable 22 knots at 2,200 rpm. Just mind your wake. The Sea Ray 400 has a dead rise of 18.5 degrees, LOA of 44 feet, a beam of 14 feet and weighs in at 22,000 lbs dry.
During its production run, Sea Ray produced a large number of 400 Sedan Bridges so finding a boat for you should not pose a problem. You will have to decide, however, on the layout you desire and whether the increased cost of a model with Cat or Cummins diesel power is worth the upcharge. With models spanning seven years of production, you’ll be to find your next cruiser at a range of price points to match your budget.
This boat is featured in the Fall 2015 issue of Boats&Places.