Boat Review: Sea Ray 370

Not everyone wants a mean, lean fish-fighting machine. Believe it or not, there are some capable anglers who do other things with their boats besides fish

Not everyone wants a mean, lean fish-fighting machine. Believe it or not, there are some capable anglers who do other things with their boats besides fish. Yeah, I know - go figure. But for those who enjoy sybaritic luxury and refinement but still want fishability, the Sea Ray 370 Express Cruiser warrants some investigation.

No matter what your application, you'll find the Sea Ray 370 to be a fast boat, even with the tower. I found 36 mph running at 2,550 rpm to be a very comfortable cruising speed. If you want longer range, 2,100 rpm translates into a more efficient 27.5 mph. And few inboard boats will keep up with you and your 3116 Cat diesels on your way back from the fishing grounds at the 370's top speed of 39 mph. The only downside of this fine turn of speed is the turbo whistle, which I found fairly pronounced at higher speeds.

Just so you don't think this boat was designed for dilettante fishermen, I beat it up as much as I could in the 3-foot seas we encountered on test day and it passed with flying colors. It turns quite tightly without throwing anyone across the cockpit. On every point of sea, it ran smoothly and comfortably. That tells me that it could handle considerably more without a problem.

You might expect fishing appointments to be lackadaisical when the focus is elsewhere. But this 370 leaves nothing wanting. Two live wells assure fresh baits and easy access to them at all times. The two large fish boxes lift out for access to rudders, etc. A tackle and rigging center with a sink allows typical cockpit work to proceed as on any dedicated fishing machine. About the only problem I encountered while fishing the Sea Ray 370 was with the switch for lifting the engine hatch. The engineers (in all their fishing wisdom) placed it on the transom gunwale next to the coaming pad. Three different people leaned against it while pumping on a fish and couldn't figure out why the bridge deck was rising by itself.
Those who drift-fish will certainly appreciate that when you shut down the power, the 370 ends up drifting beam-to. However, if you troll live baits, you'll probably want to run on one engine, bumping it in and out of gear. A 7-knot trolling speed (with both engines) shows a remarkably clean wake with nothing but surface turbulence extending back only to the second wave.

As you'd expect from a boat of this ilk, the interior is a nautical Versailles. A beautiful big head with shower, a full galley, a dinette and settee area you'd be pleased to have in your home and even a round bed on centerline forward.
Sea Ray doesn't sell as many boats as it does by building ones that fall apart. The company does a tremendous amount of stress testing on its fiberglass laminates. Decks get end-grain balsa coring, but all hulls are solid. Construction consists of vinylester resins, heavy fiberglass woven roving throughout and Armorcoat gel-coats on decks and bottoms to resist osmotic blistering and retard chalking and fading in sunlight.