By Steven Bull
Sea Ray made a bold leap with the introduction of the L-Class line in 2014 and the yacht world took notice. When one of the granddaddies of sport yachts, with roots dating back to 1959, gets into a whole new segment of the market they’re not messing about. And the L650 and L650 Fly were instant hits when debuted at the Miami International Boat Show. A few months later, the L590 and L590 Fly were unveiled at Fort Lauderdale.
More than just splashy industry-interest-only events, these marked genuine splashes in the market. So much so that just one year later Sea Ray announced it was expanding L-Class production and hiring nearly 100 people. To sum that all up in three words: It’s a hit.
Brand new for 2017, a third option joins the line-up. It’s the smallest, but still a roomy yacht: the triple-stateroom L550/Fly.
As with all Sea Rays the L550 benefits from their “Next Wave Initiative” which, in a nutshell means quieter rides, more natural light everywhere in the boat and better, smoother running.
The master is full-beam midship with an angled queen-size bed, corner settee, 40-inch TV and cedar-lined lockers including a full-length mirror. The master head features a quartz-surfaced countertop, basin sink and shower with rain shower faucet. The VIP stateroom at the bow has a queen-size bed, dual hanging lockers and a cheater door to the port side guest head. The third stateroom along the starboard side features twin berths but is every bit as lavishly appointed as the others.
The salon is a galley-aft design, which in my mind is the best option for a myriad of reasons. The seating midship surrounds the helm. It features dual captain’s chairs and the electronics are highlighted by a Raymarine eS12 Widescreen 12.1″ colour LCD radar/GPS/chartplotter with integrated 4-kW HD open array scanner. The galley itself has a V-shaped counter to keep the salon open and roomy while having dining (or cocktail) space for the two permanent stools.
The flybridge has a port side helm station, which is as equally well equipped as it’s main-level counterpart. Sea Ray’s belief is that the captain should never have to sacrifice anything by changing stations.
There are sunpad-style loungers in front of the helm and a massive, wrap-around bench with a teak table that can happily host 10 people for dinner. And at the bow is a resort-style cabana seating area.
Unveiled in the fall, it made an immediate splash and at Sea Ray’s annual and exclusive Yacht Expo in Captiva, Florida in December, the L550 Fly was definitely the head-turner and the most popular kid on the block. No small feat with L590s, all-new 460 Sundancers and some impressive sport boat advancements.
TEST BOAT ENGINE
Twin Caterpillar 850 hp, 12.9L inline six-cylinder, four-stroke, tier 3 diesel engines
Length: 56 ft 3 in / 17.14 m
Beam: 15 ft 7 in / 4.75 m
Weight: 59,500 lbs / 26,989 kg
Fuel Capacity: 580 gal / 2,195 L
Waste Capacity: 68 gal / 257 L
Water Capacity: 150 gal / 568 L
Price: See your local dealer