Brunswick and Sea Ray debut a boat loaded with futuristic features at CES


Darrell Etherington@etherington / 7:46 pm CET January 9, 2020.

The automobile industry has experienced considerable change when it comes to powertrain and cabin technology features in the past decade, but what about boats? They’re also getting some cutting-edge upgrades made possible by the same technologies that are improving the power and performance of smartphones, and Sea Ray debuted a new top-end outboard boat at CES 2020 that puts a lot of that on display in one big, beautiful package. The Sea Ray SLX-R 400e has one feature in particular that’s brand new and could easily trickle down to other pleasure craft, should it catch on with boaters: The Fathom e-Power system developed by partner Brunswick, which helped Sea Ray put together the innovative SLX-R 400e. This is an electrified part of the seacraft’s powertrain, featuring a lithium-ion battery pack with a high enough storage capacity that it can handle powering all the accessory systems on board the boat, including its entertainment features. The SLX-R 400e’s main engines are still powered by traditional fuel — and there are three 450 hp V8 Mercury outboard engines to drive the 40-foot boat. But the Fathom e-Power system means that when you’re just sitting on the water entertaining up to 21 of your closest friends, you’re not burning fuel, making it “more eco-friendly” and providing more power longer than traditional alternators. In addition to the e-Power system, the Sea Ray SLX-R 400e also features joystick piloting, giving you more precise control over orientation of the outboards while being user-friendly for people who don’t necessarily have a lot of experience piloting boats. This isn’t just a concept: Sea Ray is actually going to be selling this to consumers, with availability set for sometime later this year.

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