Click for Mag Bay Click for Walker Click for Ocean Alexander Click for Nordhavn Click for Llebroc

Sea Ray L 650 Fly

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Yacht' started by olderboater, Jun 12, 2015.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I'll preface this by saying I am a Sea Ray fan. The first three boats I owned were Sea Ray, a 17' bowrider, a 22' Pachanga and a 24' bowrider. Also, the opportunity I had today to go out and see what I thought about the L 650 Fly was arranged by a long time friend who owns some Sea Ray dealerships. However, I have no financial relationship with Sea Ray or any of their dealers.

    If I hadn't liked the L 650 Fly, I'd be posting nothing. Sea Ray has talked about "yachts" before but the L series appears to be a serious effort. This is a market segment that I think is terribly short of builders. I think Sunseeker Manhattans are nice, Riva has no flybridge models in that range, Princess, Marlow, Grand Banks have offerings as do some trawler builders. Hatteras has a 60' and 70'. Marquis has a 660 you'd consider the competition to this boat. The ride of this boat I'd put a lot closer to Sunseeker and Riva than I would to Princess or Marquis which I consider lesser rides.

    It seems to me they really researched and listened, rather than just taking a Sundancer and tossing a bridge on top as I perceived the old 68' Sun Sports they had a decade or more ago. While I think most of the optional equipment is absolutely necessary for long range coastal cruising (standard perhaps more than adequate for rivers), the boat can be very well equipped. Four staterooms and optional crew cabin. Some might not like the space sacrificed in the salon for the galley and dining, but with a bridge plus cockpit and bow seating that seemed ok to us. The only other design in this range that has really gotten my attention recently is Neptunus and I've never been out on one.

    I worry whether people will buy Neptunus or Sea Ray. Many think of them as lesser. Neptunus because of volume and location in Canada, Sea Ray because they're a volume production builder. Some people consider Sea Ray to be a step below. In this range, I think they're in the upper group of sport boats with bridges. Definitely not for a trawler person who wants slow and economical, perhaps not for the performance oriented who wants a Pershing that will do 40+ knots. But perhaps for a person who wants to cruise comfortably at 20 to 23 knots but wants the space of a trawler. I think if one refuses to consider a Neptunus or a Sea Ray simply because of the name on the side, they're making a mistake.

    One interesting point. The L590 Fly is powered by three 600 hp Cummins engines with Zeus drives. The 650 by two 1150 hp CAT C18's. The two boats have very similar performance from the numbers I've seen. But Sea Ray just doesn't have a pod option for the 650 and I think they're fighting an uphill battle on the 590 with triples. Volvo IPS would be able to perhaps power this boat with twins but definitely with triples. So Sea Ray's parent company works against them using pods on a boat this size. I'm not sure if having different propulsion systems on the two boats makes them look smart and innovative or makes them look confused and confusing. I picture a salesman pushing a 590 and praising pods and all their advantages over straight inboards and the customer decides they want a larger boat and how he has to explain why everything he said no longer holds true. The 650 does use about 20-25% more fuel than the 590. With basically the same size fuel tank that's a big advantage. The range of the 650 with the standard tank is only 235-240 nm. Even with the optional fuel it's only around 265 nm. Now at hull speed it has many times that.

    When I look at Sea Ray Sundancers I see them as a nice day on the lake type boat. Maybe a weekend. I see the L series as very comfortable for major cruising.

    I just found this boat interesting as a large production builder entering this range and type of boat.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Negatives:

    -Range is important to me and it's range is definitely less than I'd like to see.
    -CATS are noisy. Well they do offer MAN's. I think one would stick to CAT.
    -I figured out the standard equipment list is for lakes and rivers. One must select a lot of options. Now the boat we were on had most.
    -All electronics are Raymarine.
    -Generators are Onan
    -Only Queen bed in Master
    -Galley only has under counter refrigerator and freezer although decent size. I would probably forego crew cabin and put more cold storage in the Lazerette. Also do have options for the cockpit and flybridge.
    -Only place for tender is swim platform.
    -Ugly floors in VIP head.

    Positives (talking about the boat with all the options)

    -
    Nice performance.
    -Space, space and more space. 4 stateroom and they're nice staterooms. Regular Queen beds in master and VIP. They should have King in master but don't. Now a crew cabin is optional. But it's a tough choice. The standard version has a head in the lazerette area. with the crew bed added obviously the lazerette area would be much smaller. I think the cabin is really designed by someone who wants to take a deck hand with them, not a Captain.
    -Gyro Stabilizers, Bow and Stern Thrusters, joysticks, multiple stations.
    -Both helms are good to operate from
    -Incredible living space, especially outdoors with salon, dining area, nice covered cockpit, an incredible bow seating area for a boat that size, and a nice flybridge.
    -First class quality interior. Helm seats stand out as very nice.
    -Second auxiliary generator as option.
    -Watermaker as option
    -Air conditioning 99,000 BTU with upgrade (90,000 standard).
    -CE A rating
    -Other than Raymarine not being my preference a great group of electronics for operating and for relaxation. Even night vision. And positioning of 50" tv in the corner of the salon makes it very viewable from so many seats.
    -Windless systems very nice, including two stern windless's.
    -Cleats, handrails, shorepower cable, all well thought out.
    -Engine room decent. Better than one might expect. Height of just under 5'.
    -As option, hardtop with sunroof plus electric retractable awning.
    -Things like oil changing system as options.
    -Side helm door.
    -Nice looking with teak options.
    -Crew quarters available.
    -Real stairs with teak from cockpit to bridge. Not some slippery dangerous steps.
  3. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    Why is the Onan a negative in your opinion?
  4. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,323
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    Today's Onan is a top tier generator. They are not to be confused with the 3000 RPM "Oh No's" of old.

    However "The L590 Fly is powered by three 600 hp Cummins engines with Zeus drives." I wouldn't touch with a ten foot poll.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    It's not my personal first choice. I know many like Onan. I prefer Northern Lights and my second preference for smaller generators is Kohler. Now, some of that might just be because I have more experience with those.

    In fairness I would definitely choose Onan over some other generator brands out there, so I'm not saying I think it's awful, just to me it's somewhat middle of the pack.

    Now, if I had the same experience with Onan I do with others, I might feel differently, better or worse toward it.

    Same thing on Raymarine. Not my first choice. I don't think of them, however, as bad or unacceptable. Again, I've also had more experience with other brands.

    None of my negatives on the boat are matters I consider serious or that if I was a potential buyer would chase me away. Nor is there equipment that I'd switch out before trying. The only thing I know we'd change at delivery would be the floor in the VIP head and that's obviously very minor.

    I do have one problem with their approach. While I think it's logical to have a low end and a high end build for different purposes, I think it could get very confusing for an inexperienced buyer. They would read of all these great things and perhaps not realize fully, even if told, that they were not coming on their boat. There is a huge difference between the standard offering and typical. In fact at the extreme the MSRP at base is $3.26 and select all the options and you're over $4 million or add another $130,000 if you want the MAN's.

    Some of the things not included in their standard package that annoy me most are things like these. Standard fuel tank is 1030 gallons. Option is 1150. The upgrade price is only $3,667. Why in the world isn't the 1150 just made standard? Dishwasher isn't standard. Only $2,500 upgrade. Why not make it standard? Now one item I think should be standard but is costly is the helm door. $32,500. Air conditioning system, standard is 90,000 BTU. Upgrade to 99,000 is $5,750. Why not make 99,000 standard. Now things like Teak as an upgrade make a lot of sense. Those I fully understand. Upgrading to teak throughout is about $87,000. Many people don't want to spend that for teak and quite a few don't want teak regardless of price. There are 77 options. I think that could be greatly simplified and I know they're not manufacturing it with that many variations. Include the minor dollar items as standard and then make the costly ones options.

    If I could make one change on the boat, I'd put a garage for the tender and get it off the swim platform. Again though that's simply a personal preference that I don't like tenders on the swim platform.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    And why wouldn't you? The Cummins? The Zeus? or both?

    I personally prefer straight drives and CAT's. My reason is that the big advantages they argue on Zeus in this type application are all covered in other ways. Joysticks aren't a novelty of pods. I'd feel a lot better if doing the loop or traveling out of the country in finding mechanics for CAT's and straight drives.
  7. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,323
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    I don't have a problem with the Cummins other than there's one too many in the L590.

    It's the pod drives for the reasons you posted. While my exposure is limited, I can't recall a circumstance where they functioned at an acceptable level of reliability in a production pleasure boat. I've had Cummins techs tell me they're just not there yet.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,460
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I haven't seen it in the flesh som my comments are based on what I ve found on line and the above...

    I ll second preferring Northern Lights over Onans but most importantly on a boat that size I think two gensets for reliability is a must especially with th seakeeper. Having two gensets gives your more flexibility. When you don't run the gyro and/or on cooler days why run a 27 KW Genset when an 18 or 20 will do th job with a better load

    I don't care for tenders block ing the swim platform. It s an acceptable compromise on a smaller boat but at 60 and up I want it upstairs. I d like to see how you squeeze in the lazarette with a tender... It also makes for issues handling lines, etc...

    I know the up side is a bigger flybridge with a large seating area act. It s probably a matter or preference but being close to the water with a larger aft deck is a big plus to me. Yes the view is nice up there for dining but it s a long way uo .from the galley. Lots of stairs climbing with dishes compared to having a big aft deck with plenty of seating and space. Also, on days where you may get a passing evening shower, dining on th aft deck offers more protection

    5' headroom in th ER on a boat that size is, well, not surprising from SR. From the pics I ve seen overall access seems decent though but pictures can be misleading.

    Personal preference again but queen beds are big enough... I like that close feeling :). As to under counter refrigeration, I ve come to like drawers versus a big tall deep unit. I find them practical and also allow for a more open interior.

    Minor gripes I guss although the single Genset is probably close to a deal killer in my view. I know gensets are very reliable but you loose the genny and it s game over. Having the option of simply switching over and then dealing with issue at a later time is nice, especially if owner operated. Not fun to have to go down replace and impeller to finish cooking dinner or in th middle of the night.
  9. Cruz

    Cruz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    East Coast
    I do know that there is a YF member who recently took delivery of an L650 Fly - hopefully some real world feedback is soon to follow. He has mentioned that he was thoroughly pleased with the buy/build experience, something Sea Ray has touted as being "elevated" with the L Class.

    I spent quite a bit of time on each the L590 (more in the range of where I'm shopping) and the L650 at FLIBS and my thoughts fall squarely in line with much of what OB posted in both the plus and minus columns. I think they have done a wonderful job of transcending what we know of and expect from the brand, particularly with the L650 (like so many, I too started out on smaller Sea Rays). But the L590 with triples is a non-starter for me and I'm coming out of a very satisfying ownership experience (different brand) with a twin Cummins/Zeus package. It's simply more than I would want to manage.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    It does have a 9.0 KVA auxiliary genset. It's an option, but like you, I can't imagine it without it.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,733
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    On a 65' I would rather have the tender on the swim platform, even though it gets soot and some salt spray. Between the weight of the tender, davit, chaulks and everything else you're talking about an extra 1200-1500lbs on the flybridge that really effects stability. It also takes up a lot of real estate that can be used for lounge chairs, chairs and table near the grill or anything else. The hydraulic swim platform can also be lowered 2'+ underwater which is nice to sit on or swim off and on or retrieve divers from if a tender isn't on it.

    I'd rather have two equally sized generators as well where 1 handles the entire boats needs. I've never run a yacht on generator where all of the a/c's weren't running, numerous freezers/refrigerators, hot water and a lot of times watermaker or electric grill or whathaveyou and have found they stay loaded enough and sooting is usually not an issue on a 20-25kw generator on a boat this size. I like Onans, they're reliable, smooth, and quiet and run clean. I also like how having the same generators enables carrying the same spares, and I like to rotate which one I'm using each day. Instead of an 8kw that's near useless that you'll never run, and when you need it, it might not even run. About 65' is the breaking point on MY where you have the room for 2 generators. I would want 2 as well. Although I've been running a 62' Sunseeker with a single kohler for the last 4 years and we haven't had 1 single issue with the generator on any trip, but we maintain it properly. I haven't even had to add 1 drop of oil to it between oil changes in all that time, touch a belt between servicing or anything. But, a failure could happen.

    I don't see why so many different things are an option. Like the a/c, just build the boat with the larger units, why even make it an option. Same with the extra fuel. I can see teak decks as an option or a watermaker, but not all this nickle and dime stuff.

    I wouldn't want to deal with maintaining triples either. Cummins engines are holding back the Zues from making more power. They don't have an engine that is larger to mate to a pod. 2 IPS 900s would probably be perfect for that boat. Cabo put 500 hours on Cabo Uno before they sold it and didn't have 1 issue with the zues package. But the pods are a lot more complicated. They are very smooth, little to no vibration and quieter and nobody can gripe about the maneuvering and features like skyhook which is extremely nice in so many situations- getting lines and fenders ready outside of the marina, waiting on locks or bridges, etc.

    I think Searay did a great job on use of space both on the flybridge and 4 very usable staterooms. All of the black on the interior turned me off on the one I saw at FLIBS.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    In addition to the Generator issue, their battery approach is worth noting too. They just use four large NiCad batteries.
  13. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    CT
    I'm thoroughly enjoying this thread as I sit at anchor on L650 Fly hull #9. We took delivery less than a month ago, but have been living with her, and visiting often since hull layup in January.

    Lots of good opinions on this topic as always. Also lots of good information, but some bad info too. Of course I have drunk the Sea Ray Coolaide so my opinions may be less valid than others. I will say that I spent years looking for a boat in the 65-75 foot range and years talking with SR about my wants and needs. It took me a while to accept some of their design features but when it came time to plunk down my hard earned money on a new vessel, The L650 Fly was far and away the best choice for us. I cannot comment much on the L590, since it was not in our size range.

    As said, SR really stepped it up with the L class, both in build quality and service/support. They are a fabulous company to deal with from the men and women on the shop floor to Tim Sheik, the company president, who I have come to know and like Over the last several years.

    Just randomly: I like Onan. 2 gensets are an option, but not with gyros. Crew quarters are tight, but we anticipate a deck hand some day; for now it's storage and an extra head. Dinghy on platform is not the best except that launch and retrieve is a one man job. Easy access to crew quarters even with a 13' tender on the platform. No MAN option that I was made aware of (maybe its news) and I'd prefer CATs anyway. Jury is still out on Raymarine. The grass bridge is nice but other brands may be more reliable. Helm door a must. We opted for no dishwasher for more pantry space. Batteries are not NiCad as was reported in the press, just AGMs with a small footprint.

    my thoughts on options. Some may think that lots of what SR offers as options should be included, but I like having options. Extra BTUs in the AC is nice for us, but a Northern customer has no need. Dishwasher is nice for some, but we are happy to hand wash and have extra galley storage. We ended up with the crew quarters, but explored setting this space up as a workshop. We also explored using the 4th stateroom as an office where other owners have added extra refrigeration, storage, etc. we opted for teak cockpit, but not teak swim platform, or decks, etc. I'm happy to have had this option.
  14. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    I think the option issue fits a nationwide - global sales approach, it allows for the Dealer to configure his boat for his market. There can be a big swing of requirements from a Florida / Bahamas boat to a Pacific Northwest / Vancouver one. Well stated by Sea Gull, everyone has their preference and there is a lot of flexibility in setting up this production boat for each customers own needs.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I don't argue some options. I do argue the small difference in A/C as an option as one example. The teak I do feel should be optional in each respect as it's a buy/don't buy choice plus costly. The helm door, I have a hard time with selling a boat this size without one so think that should be standard. The boat we were on, I believe did have NiCad. I now will double check that. Small footprint AGM's wouldn't detract to me. Have you found your battery setup adequate? MAN 1200's is an option, although I'm not aware of anyone choosing it and the dealer I was talking to had not sold any with it. I think perhaps it's there for the European market where some might prefer MAN.

    Guess the reason I couldn't imagine no dishwasher is I can't imagine washing dishes by hand, since I never have not had one. However, with larger groups on a boat, the dishes seldom fit into the dishwasher.

    I didn't mention the Concierge service as having not used it, I didn't feel I could comment. Could you elaborate further on that, Sea Gull? I also notice you're in CT. I do believe the service reputation of the Sea Ray dealer there is a bit better than in South Florida from what I've heard on Sea Ray and other boats they sell. So any comments you have on service would be appreciated. Also, how was the boat on delivery? My guess would be very few issues based on history and it's nature as a production boat.

    You say dinghy on the platform is not the best. What about it do you not like? Have you had any issues with it? One of my best friends thinks I'm crazy because I don't like it there, although he thinks I'm crazy because I don't want to tow one either. What type dinghy do you have on the platform and what type setup? If we were interested our choice would probably be a Williams Jet 445 with a weight of 957 lbs, length of 14'1" and beam of 6'4", so roughly takes the space of a 13' with outboard since nothing off the back.

    You're like us in having drunk the Sea Ray Kool-Aid. However, you've done it on the basis of experience as have we. Frankly, my answer to whether we might buy one before getting on it was a definite "no." Just in that size range they weren't who we thought of buying. Now, they're definitely in the picture. Although we had to venture out a ways to find rough conditions, it handled them much better than we anticipated. It is definitely not a larger version of a Sundancer with a bridge added, but a completely different boat designed and built as a small "yacht." Sounds like your build experience was more yacht like too including factory visits. One difference, efficiency and organization so that hull layup to delivery for you was less than 4 months.

    Have you found anything you'd do differently if doing it over? What were you comparing to in making your decision? How do you intend to use yours? Is there anything you would change if doing it over or if it was an option?
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,733
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Wouldn't you need just as many BTU's of heat in Vancouver as you would air conditioning in Florida?

    I understand the no dishwasher on a boat that size, as I ran a 62' Predator for the last 3 years, including some long Bahamas trips and we NEVER once used the dishwasher, because we never cooked one meal on the boat, always ate out. The dishwasher did make excellent storage space with all of it's racks and stuff.....Most owners below 70' never cook and if they do, they just grill and use paper plates. If you're in the Bahamas the price of water or electricity(or diesel) to make water are far greater than throw away plates.

    The major gripe I had with it, was the interior colors. The exterior of the one I looked at had all teak, and nice color of beige cushions.....to you have tan and beige outside. I opened the salon door and everything inside was BLACK, or dark grey or grey......who wants black on a boat interior, you had all these windows giving you light, but then felt like you were in a morgue. The one I looked at was at the FLIBS.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,460
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Paper plates are so.... Sailboatish :)

    I guess it all depends, I know many owners who enjoy cooking on board instead of eating out. Personally I much prefer eating on board than at most restaurants. On my own boat, I am starting work to build a new galley (up and aft) and it will see a lot of use!

    Dishwasher is nice with a larger group but usually for just the two of us it s quicker to do the dishes by end.

    I find that having the tender on the platform makes it much harder to enjoy the platform which is an Extention to the aft deck when cruising. Often when anchoring out we may not launch the tender but enjoy using the platform which you can't with the tender in the way.

    I also find tricky to hold the tender in place in a chop so it s centered in the chocks. Not a one person task and difficult to do without getting your feet wet which can be unpleasant in colder weather. On the plus side a partially submerged platform can be a pleasant spot in hot weather.

    Personal preference I guess
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,958
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    When you're moving between locations some meals are by necessity on board. When in a port, we probably cook dinner on board 60-65% of the time.
  19. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    CT
    Concierge service from Sea Ray and CAT are both awesome. By the way, both come included with the boat, no up charge.

    I like the dinghy on the platform, did not mean to give any other impression. We put a 13' Mercury 400 with 50 HP 4 Stoke and are quite happy with performance. I'm sure the Williams jet would fit as well. If I had crew I might tow a bigger tender, but with just me and the wife, it makes docking a bigger issue.

    We cruise New England and Mid Atlantic in the summer Maine to the Chesapeake and then migrate to SE Florida for the winter. We anticipate short Bahamas cruises in the spring as well. On our last boat we were aboard about 1/3 of the year (I still have to work to pay for diesel) and we expect to spend even more time on the 65.

    Right now I would not change a thing, except for maybe rethink the master stateroom closets. Still trying to figure out best places to store personal items. My wife is happy, today she found a drawer that she didn't know existed.

    We eat breakfast and lunch aboard and mostly eat out for dinner, so not too many dirty dishes.

    As for the comment about color scheme: each L650 is built to the owners spec. My wife spent time with the Sea Ray decorators and used her own land based decorator as a sounding board. There was a can-do attitude throughout and we are very happy with the cabinetry, floors, fabrics, colors, etc. that WE picked.
  20. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    I personally have not seen a 1 to 1 ratio on Florida cooling requirements vs. Pacific Northwest heating requirements. The Heat Cycle for the HVAC systems on these size yachts is certainly not as efficient, especially given the colder sea temps in Vancouver and north. So you have to choose between in-line boosters which require larger genset / dosckside kWs or go to an alternate heat source that is more aligned with the requirements to get nice dry and hot air for the northern climes.

    I agree that many cruiser's can use a drawer style dishwasher and use the space inside to store the dishes in the washer without giving up storage and having the luxury of a dishwasher onboard.