Full disclosure: I’ve loved Sea Ray Sundancers since the mid-’70s, when my friend, Sea Ray founder Connie Ray, tucked a cabin under the bridge deck of an express cruiser, thus giving the family-friendly vessel motoryachtish accommodations.
But the Sea Ray Sundancer 460 isn’t one of my nostalgic reminiscences. It’s better than that. Start in the salon, which Sea Ray has now dubbed a “sunroom.”And for good reason: This inside living space is surrounded by windows, has sliding doors aft that fully open to the cockpit and is topped with a sunroof.
If you’re looking for a 46-footer that sleeps a dozen, including Aunt Edna, move on. This is a yacht intended for a family (with the convertible settee, it sleeps six) or as a getaway vehicle for two couples.
There are two staterooms: a queen-berth master aft and a VIP forward with a double berth. Each has an en suite head with stall shower.
The galley is aft; sensible, since the cockpit is arranged for entertaining with an L-shaped settee, table and facing couch.
Standard power is a pair of 526 hp V-drive Cummins QSB6.7 diesels for a top hop of 30-plus knots. Optional (same hp) Zeus QSB 550 HO (high output) diesels with pod drives should up the ante to 33.5 knots.
At anchor, cockpits are never big enough, right? Touch a button on the 460 and the cockpit seat glides aft, taking the table with it, adding an extra 16 inches of space. That means more elbow room for guests, plus easy access to the engine hatch.
And you know how the back window of your SUV stays dirty, even in a rainstorm? That’s because the car is boring a hole through the air and no wind reaches the back. It’s the same with a boat: Underway, the cockpit is airless. That’s why the 460 has a vent integrated into the electronics arch. A gentle, redirected breeze means no more hot cockpit.
What about your gourmet eats? The transom barbecue grill is in a pod with sink and counter space. It’s optional, but why wouldn’t you order it? It’s not for boeuf bourguignon, but it’s perfect for steaks and burgers, adds cockpit space and keeps smoke away from guests.
My love affair with Sundancers continues unabated with the 460. This Sea Ray carries on the tradition.