There is no way we’re going to make this turn. This thought ran on a loop through my mind while I watched Sea Ray’s professional captain crank the wheel hard to port to turn us around in the tight running space of our test waters. In the split second this all went down, I noticed too that he didn’t ease back on the throttle. He arced the Sea Ray 450 Sedan Bridge through a turn not much wider than its length. As the boat came about and settled into a comfortable run in the opposite direction, I thought the headline for this review should read like the disclaimers in so many car commercials: “Professional stunt driver — do not attempt at home.”
Then the captain ceded me the helm. After putting my own spin on the sea trial, I can say with confidence: Try this at home. The twin Zeus drives that propel the 450 Sedan Bridge change the way a boat like this will behave. They lead to the easy conclusion that pod-drives make it necessary to reevaluate the way we see cruisers (see our complete photo gallery here).
A boat with such a high profile would, in the past, instill trepidation in even the most inveterate captains if a high wind kicked up during docking maneuvers. The independently rotating pods work in concert to negate those effects, helping the person at the helm slide into a slip with surgical precision. A boat like this would also cause the driver’s blood pressure to elevate in another tightly confined situation — idling near a bridge waiting for the draw to open. Press the Skyhook button and the pods rotate to hold the boat in place regardless of wind or tide. Little features like this help boaters get where they want to be in the first place: enjoying time on the water.