Sea Ray Amberjack 290 December 2000 Boat News, Review & Advice

20 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Sea Ray 250

Sea Ray Amberjack 290 (December 2000)

The Sea Ray 290 Amberjack carries a predominant theme: entertainment. It’s primarily designed for the party animal and social butterfly — those with a penchant for the finer things in life

Small flybridge boats can give off an antisocial air. Immediately the wind starts blowing and the sea begins to rise, the crew seeks sanctuary downstairs in the cabin and abandons the skipper.

Flybridges on boats nine metres and under tend to be rather small, allowing just enough room for one or two people plus the skipper up top (so your crew rarely enjoys a chinwag).

The complete antipathy to this is the Sea Ray 290 Amberjack; in fact, this modern sportscruiser is a real party boat. (Party poopers have to crawl into the bow double bunk and draw the privacy curtain across.)

Sea Ray is renown for building options into its boats. Thus the Amberjack is a variation on a theme, in that it combines fishability, livableness and partying into the one package — a package that’s based on a bespoke hull, not the standard factory 29-footer.

As such, though, it’s a compromise. Fishability is not the boat’s major attraction — it’s for people who like boats, cruising and entertaining, and might wet a line now and again.

The testboat, driven by twin 5.0lt MerCruiser EFI motors via Bravo II legs and 21-inch alloy props, handled well in a low Port Phillip Bay chop. Top speed was in the 35kt bracket at 4800rpm. Serious enough for most boaties.

Although this is no skiboat, the Amberjack does get out of the hole quickly enough to ski behind. The idea of waterskiing behind a 30-footer probably won’t appeal to many, but watertoys and wakeboarding could be fun.

It’s also very stable, a feature it shares with its slightly narrower sistership, the Sundancer 290.


Sea Ray doesn’t do things by halves. Appointments and fitout are superb. Indeed, most boaties would love their homes to look this good and to comprise such quality furnishings.

Starting with the cabin, the V-berth in the bow is backed by an oval mirror which cleverly makes things more spacious. That said, the V-berth is on the smallish side in length, particularly on the portside where it’s foreshortened quite a bit by an intruding galley.

Sea Ray soft furnishings are a very tasteful combination of bone and cream, and in this boat the bed cushion and parcel shelves are a navy-blue quilted fabric with gold stars and matching scatter cushions.

Oval portholes and three smoked-glass deck hatches provide plenty of light. Twin speakers and reading lights are built into the forward bulkhead. A curtain can be pulled across for privacy from the galley/dinette/saloon area.

The fully-moulded galley is on the portside and has a spacious bench around the sink and cutting board, with hot and cold water, cupboards (top and bottom) and three spotlights over the work area. A small dual-voltage fridge is under the bench, and a microwave above.

The moulded easy-clean head is a little on the squeezy side but you’d soon get used to it. It has a shower, door, curtain, sink, mirror and spotlights, power vent, Vacuflush head and holding tank as well as a frosted-glass porthole which opens.

The starboard side beyond the V-berth has a waist-high clothing cupboard and benchtop which services the dinette, a table top (which folds down to serve as an additional berth), more cupboards here and there, and spotlights overhead and adjacent to the curtained porthole.

Moving beneath the helmstation is another crawl-in double berth which is longer than the V-berth but narrower and a little too claustrophobic for my liking. Headroom is limited, although lighting is adequate.


Action stations are up three steps through a wide, sliding door equipped with a stainless handrail.

The adjustable skipper’s helm is a swing-up bolster seat wide enough for two and the three-spoke stainless helm is height adjustable. Twin throttles are at the right hand, while twin gears are to the left and both were light and easy to use.

Combined with the beautifully balanced steering, the boat was a pleasure to drive — although I was annoyed by the windscreen height with the seat bolster in the upright position because I found myself trying to look through the top rail, a fault common to many boats with steeply-raked screens and one of my pet hates.

Actually the stylish wraparound tinted-glass screen is enormous and seems to be a mile in front of you. When seated, vision is excellent through either of the five panels, the smallest being a central pane with an electrically-operated panel which opens for air flow.

The skipper has full instrumentation in front with switch panels, compass, electronics, anchor windlass and stereo controls, radios and trim-tab controls all mounted on a double-tiered dashboard. There are cupholders, speakers — you name it, it’s there!


On the mate’s side the back-to-back seats fold flat for shut-eye time. There is a grab handle in front and cupholders abound. Comfort plus.

Behind the skipper’s helm is an entertainment unit with wet bar and cooker storage. It has a plumbed sink, tank and pull-out showerhead.

A removable bench seat stretches across the stern and behind that is an enormous rectangular livebait tank. Behind that again is a large ‘boot’ for storing wet gear.

Sea Ray 270 Amberjack

Featuring clip-on carpets, the cockpit is very roomy for a boat with so many fancy features and while there were storage slots for four (short) fishing rods, there were no rodholders fitted to the testboat. Certainly four snapper seekers wouldn’t be falling over one another and if there was another who wanted to dangle a line, open the stern door and step out onto the wide swim platform.

Stern and other cleats were heavy-duty, as was all other deck hardware including the anchor-carrying bowsprit.

Standard canvas includes an aft cover, bimini front curtains and clears, side curtains and storage bag.

Aside from the standard Amberjack, there is also a fishing package (which changes the entertainment unit into a bait-prep station, and a targa top has a rocket launcher attached for rod carrying).

Oh yes, it’s nice all right. Fishing boat? Well, maybe with the optional package fitted. In the meantime enjoy. But please don’t spill the cab sav.


Quality. You keep saying, ah, that’s nice, as you go from one feature to another.

Wide beam, with plenty of room to fish, frolic and socialise.

Great to drive, easy to ‘park’.

Easy-clean everything.


Price. Obviously at 50-odd cents to the greenback, say no more!

Odd-sized bunks.

V-berth too short; secondary berth too narrow.

Vision blocked by windscreen top while driving from bolster.

Sea Ray 270 Amberjack
Sea Ray 340 Amberjack

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