I’m going to give away some sensitive information here, but only because it’s vital to my point: I tested my first Sea Ray in 1973. That entire boat would have fit in the salon of the Sea Ray Fly 400, with space left over.
Space is the right word too, because that’s what this 40-footer is all about. The salon is high, wide and bright, with plenty of room to savor life afloat. The interior is airy, with oversize windows and triple-pane sliding doors that turn the cockpit into an extension of the interior. The Fly 400 is all about flow, because (unlike that itsy 1973 model) the boat is easy to move around. Having one level from the forward helm to the transom means there’s nowhere to stumble.
The entertaining area in the salon has an L-shaped couch with hassock so guests can enjoy ball games on the TV in the corner, while the cockpit has a lounge with table. The galley is to port and has a two-burner stove, Isotherm fridge/freezer combo and undercounter convection oven/microwave.
The skipper sits on a double seat with bolsters for standing, and the two-level dashboard is an ergonomic delight, from the twin Raymarine Axiom monitors on our test boat to the rows of clearly labeled rocker switches and the SmartCraft vessel display. A Cummins throttle, shifters and joystick control are here too.
Up one level, the flybridge has a wraparound lounge that expands by flipping the back of the skipper’s companion seat forward, thereby completing the U shape. There is a wet bar that can be optioned with fridge or ice-maker, and the skipper has a pedestal chair behind a duplicate of the lower dashboard.
The Fly 400 doesn’t scrimp on nighttime comfort either: The window-lined master stateroom forward has an island berth with Visco mattress. An en suite head is optional, but in my opinion, ordering it is a no-brainer because the only thing lost is a locker in the guest stateroom, which has other stowage.
That guest stateroom is larger than usual for a boat this size, with twin berths that slide into a double, and a third berth that works as a couch. The day-head (with shower) is just a step away.
Power is a pair of 480 hp Cummins QSB6.7 V-drive diesels that produce 30 knots, with best economy at about 25 knots. The boat’s 17-degree deadrise sliced easily through the swells during our test. When docking, the standard bow thruster had no trouble overpowering a cross-pier current.
Family cruiser, weekend entertainer, personal yacht: The Fly 400 is all of these and more. That’s what I call progress.