7 Most Common Problems With Sea Ray Boats (Detailed Owner Guide)

Sea Ray is the largest manufacturer of pleasure boats in the world. They currently have 40 models ranging in sizes from 19 to 65 feet. The Sea Ray’s versatile lines fall into four main categories; sport cruisers, sport boats, sport yachts, and yachts.

So, whether you are looking for a day cruiser, weekend getaway boat, or a larger and more luxurious vessel for extended cruising, no other boat manufacturer offers such a wide variety to meet your boating needs.

Due to their high demand, there is always a wide selection of used Sea Rays on the market. However, just like any other boat, these boats may have some problems. This article 7 Most Common Problems With Sea Ray Boats, will discuss the most common issues with Sea Ray boats so you can keep them in mind as you purchase one.

Most Common Problems With Sea Ray Boats:

  1. Electrical Systems
  2. Engine Issues
  3. Saturated Foam
  4. Cabin Leaks
  5. Broken Drive Belt
  6. Hull To Joint Deck Separation
  7. Vibration From The Engine Prop

What Are The Most Popular Sea Ray Models?

Sea Ray offers a wide range of styles and options for their boats. Knowing which model of Sea Ray is ideal for you can be difficult. You can find Sedan Bridges, Motor yachts, express cruisers, and so on. The popular sizes range from 40 to 65 feet, and these offer a wide variety of amenities you can choose from to suit our style of boating.

To find the right Sea Ray model for you, you must access your primary purpose for the boat. It could be day trips to a nearby anchorage, long-distance traveling, or weekend getaways. Also, the space of the boat is a factor worth considering. In this case, will you be traveling alone, with a partner, or as a family? This way, you are sure to find the boat that will meet all your needs.

What Are The Most Common Problems With Sea Ray Boats?

Unfortunately, Sea Ray boats are also susceptible to some of the problems faced by any other boat. This is particularly true when you shop for a used model. Here are some of the common ones you may experience if you own a Sea Ray boat. Some of these problems may go unnoticed because these boats have so many compartments, systems, and accessories.

7 Most Common Problems With Sea Ray Boats - Owners Guide

And you know what? These things are vitally important but maybe somewhat impossible to see. And the things that are hardly noticeable are those that end up causing significant issues. Solutions are offered for some of the problems.

1. Electrical Systems

Replacing a boat’s wiring is challenging, considering the wires run under the decks, through the tight chases, and into closed compartments. It is crucial to turn on all the electrical items on the boat when you are buying one. That includes the lights to all the electronics, each one by one. Afterward, turn all of them on at once.

Ensure you get a glimpse of the fuse box as well. If you notice an assortment of various fuse brands, this may mean that some of them were replaced. If that is the case, you could inquire and confirm if the problem was fixed. Moreover, take a survey of the general wiring state. They should be straight, supported, and well-loomed so that in case you get any problem in the future, it will be easy to track down the faulty wire.

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2. Engine Issues

One of the most common problems with sea ray boats – engine issues. This issue is too common than we would like it to be. Is your boat engine sputtering and running out of strength? One of the main reasons for such a breakdown is that the boat is out of fuel.

But if that is not the case, the problem may be more significant than you imagined. In this case, the issue is likely fouled plugs or a filter problem. That could explain why the engine is losing power.

To solve this, you can replace the in-line filter if you brought the spare along with you. You could remove the current filter and clear the debris’s element, draining any accumulated water if you did not. Before restarting, ensure the inboard/ outboard owners thoroughly vent the engine box. If you don’t, the clogged filter will be the tip of an iceberg.

Moreover, it may be possible to purchase bad fuel, but it is also possible that the fuel went bad in your boat. Leaving the tank almost empty for a long time could cause condensation and water in the gas. If you need to store the boat long-term, ensure you fill the tank. But if you plan on leaving it for more than three months, you should consider a fuel stabilizer.

And if that is the case, ensure the boat has run long enough to get the engine’s treated gas. Older tanks may contain some debris settled at the bottom that gets stirred up when the fuel drops. Increased filtration is advised, and you should consider the addition of a larger aftermarket fuel filter.

3. Saturated Foam

This is one of the most common problems with sea ray boats that may go unnoticed, but can easily be detected. One way to detect it is by paying closer attention to how the boat is floating. And if possible, you could ask the owner to empty the boat of any heavy gear on board, and then you observe how it sits on the water.

Check whether the boat is even, whether it sits nearly level with the bow slightly, and whether the scuppers are well above the waterline. If a boat is in perfect condition, then the answer to all the questions is yes.

However, if there is a no to any of them, then there must be a problem. You can check the moisture meter if you have any, or the cored areas of the boat. Also, tap the saturated areas you suspect using a mallet, and you will hear a different tone from the one you heard on the boat’s dry regions.

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4. Cabin Leaks

More often than not, you can identify cabin leaks by spotting watermarks. But this may not be the case always, especially if the seller or the previous owner has thoroughly cleaned the boat.

To check for any hatches, seams, leaks, or ports, take your hose and spray it full-blast to the potential or suspected leak spots and then go below to check for any unsuspected moisture.

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5. Broken Drive Belt

It is almost impossible to hear the sound of your drive belt breaking considering all the engine noises. But you will something has gone wrong as the overheat warning light will come on, or the voltage meter will show that the alternator is not charging.

A broken belt is a rare scenario to I/Os and inboards, but can shut you down in a hurry. If the belt is not intact, it means you have no water pump or alternator. You can improvise a temporary belt by jury-rigging using a pantyhose or fishing line or such a tool if this happens. This may work, but it would be best if you would carry around a spare belt.

To prevent such a scenario from happening, you are required to inspect, tighten, and dress your drive belt. Ensure that you check the condition of the contact surfaces of the pulleys. Sometimes, due to corrosion, the pulleys could have rough spots, which could eat a new belt in a short time. Always carry onboard a marine tool kit. This kit includes the drive belt and all other necessary tools for basic repair.

6. Hull To Joint Deck Separation

The hull to the deck joint is one of the most vital parts of a boat. And just like the other essential parts, you do not usually see it on the boat. But it would be best if you tried to take a peek at it, especially when you experience abnormalities with the rub rail. If the rub rail is twisted or bent, it could indicate a spot where the boat may have come in contact with something hard such as a piling that could stress the joint.

Also, it is advisable to thoroughly soak the rub rail with a hose all the way around. Afterward, check for spots where the water may have come through, or check for water in the bilge, which indicates that the joint seal is not complete.

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7. Vibration From The Engine Prop

You will notice that the faster you try to go, the louder and worse the vibration becomes. Also, the engine may be racing even when the boat loses speed. If that is what you are facing, then something is wrong with the prop. A gouged blade or a nick may cause imbalance and vibration.

Other possibilities include a fishing line, or a towrope that could snarl the shaft, or a direct hit on an object is likely to misshape or remove enough metal to make the prop ineffective. Sometimes, an outwardly good prop could have enough unseen damage or distortion to cause vibration and cavitation.

The best thing to do in such a scenario is to slow down and get to the nearest shore. Changing to a spare prop is not always advisable or even possible when in water.

You are required to trim the motor to remove the prop and clean it out. It would also be best to consider carrying with you a spare prop and the necessary tools to make the swap. You could practice changing the props so that you can do it easily when far from home. Ensure you carry a brand-specific prop wrench and gloves to protect your hands from the prop blades.


There are so many parts and pieces to a boat it is often impossible to check all of them before buying a boat. And that is why a major purchase requires a survey. Therefore, the next time you are looking for a boat to buy, ensure you check for these 7 Most Common Problems With Sea Ray Boats. A sea trial could also help to spot some problems on your boat. You never know what you will learn about a boat while running it.


Hi, I’m John who owns multiple different boats and i love all kinds of water activities. From boating to fishing, from scuba diving to windsurfing, from water tubing to snow tubing.

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