Sea Ray cancels entrance to jet boat market

By Christopher Gerber
September 5, 2013
Filed under News

In a letter to media Thursday, Sea Ray announced that it would not be entering the jet boat market, claiming the "propulsion system of the prototype jet boats did not meet the quality, durability and reliability necessary" for the requirements of the Sea Ray Brand.

The decision was announced after an in-depth study of the jet boat market and its growth potential, the company said.

Sea Ray will instead continue to use the MerCruiser and Mercury outboard propulsion systems, which the company said would provide a much better approach for its small sport boats.

"Sea Ray has concluded that the brand promise can be better met by putting resources into developing exceptional small sport boats, both in sterndrive and outboard configurations," the company said.

Sea Ray added that it will continue to invest in the development of new boats and new boating technologies, and is on pace to launch new models in 2014, including extending the product line to 65 feet.


9 Responses to “Sea Ray cancels entrance to jet boat market”

  1. Doug Armstrong on September 6th, 2013 1:05 pm

    Sounds like a opportunity to for Brunswick to re enter the sportjet market with its four stroke poweheads..that is unless the market simply does not have the potential for growth.


  2. Jerry on September 6th, 2013 1:13 pm

    Searay has made jet powered power plants for years . I wonder what the real reason is .


  3. Robert Nelems on September 6th, 2013 1:41 pm

    Reminds me of Mercury's planned entry into the PWC market in the mid 90's.they were signing up dealers,built about 200 units,and pulled the plug with little explanation,took a very large $ write off. I was going to replace my Yamahas with the new Mercs,good thing I didn't! Anyone remember the Merc PWC?


    Craig Leonard Reply:



  4. Mike Fahnestock on September 6th, 2013 1:49 pm

    I feel the same as Brunswick. The Jet boat market isn't as solid in long term as is the V drive business. Why doesn't someone develope a sport boat 19 to 21 with a high output V6, V drive and use the sterndrive layout and hull / deck. Could it also produce it in the retail range of 40 to 45k.
    It would fill the bill for shallower water, open rear lounge, the weight and ballast of the engine for wake sports, Appearance and deeper v bow for for average owner. Needs to be a liner boat with the option of lay in carpet. Maxum had a nice V drive 2100 in the 90's for two years and it wasn't the right timing.
    The boat performed well for skiing and wakeboarding . Wakesurfing wasn't in view back then.

    Mike Fahnestock


  5. alex on September 6th, 2013 7:30 pm

    I accept their comment....durability and reliabilty of the system they were considering would not meet Mercury standards;The Mercury Sport Jet is a brilliant piece of engineering (I am an aluminum jet boat builder) and if they put a 4 stroke power head on it none of the PWC derived units could compare.(We have build aluminum boats using PWC units)


  6. Kevin Seeber on September 14th, 2013 2:12 pm

    Sea Ray was planning on using the Weber 850 CC engine to power their new jet boat series. It is no surprise it didn't work, it was a nightmare in the little Sugar Sand jet boat as well as the Polaris personal watercraft all of which are now defunct.


  7. Bill on September 30th, 2013 1:12 am

    Sugar Sand went out of business while shipping boats with Merc Sport Jets. Did they dabble with Weber at the end?


  8. james braselton on August 10th, 2015 9:22 pm

    hi there jet boat market did not go away the new jet boat market sizes are now 24 foot tooo 32 foot cabin crusers soo sea ray can save the jet boat market with the 240 sundancer jet 260 sundancer jet 280 sundancer jet and the 310 sundancer jet boats there are about 10,000 too 100,000 new costermers wanting cabin crusers useing jet drives


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