June 5, 2023


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This New 26-Foot Sport Boat Was Designed by Yachting’s First All-Women Design Team

6 min read

“We experienced to sweat in excess of the large things—the proportions, line weights and volumes,” says Carrie Fodor, senior supervisor of layout at Sea Ray Boats, when describing Sea Ray’s new SLX 260. “But I think it is the women who will recognize the added detailing that make the SLX 260 a action over what Sea Ray has performed just before.”

The new 26-footer, introduced past week, was the most current addition to the US brand’s SLX line and included Sea Ray’s new “design language,” which was developed in partnership with BMW Structure Will work. Initial applied on the Sundancer 370 Outboard cruiser, the intent was to give the brand name a sexier, sportscar styling, with a additional athletic glance. “The new design language contains the flowing S-shaped sheerline, a horizontal hull strikethrough, the tablet emblem anchored on the strikethrough, and the reduced jawline,” claims Kristin McGinnis, the senior industrial designer at Brunswick Boat Team and lead co-designer of the new bowrider. “You can see all of all those qualities on each the SLX 260 and the Sundancer 370.”

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But a more attention-grabbing backstory to the SLX 260 is that the style team was led by two younger women of all ages. Fodor and McGinnis labored beside Sea Ray engineers and naval architects, but in the long run had been liable for the ultimate item, down to the smallest detail. “I see the huge photo whilst Kristen has a keen eye for depth,” Fodor told Robb Report. “Together we brought the boat to existence.”

Kristin McGinnis and Carrie Fodor could be the boating industry’s first all-female design team to oversee the launch of a new model. - Credit: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Kristin McGinnis and Carrie Fodor could be the boating industry’s 1st all-feminine design workforce to oversee the start of a new design. – Credit rating: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

The SLX 260 may perhaps be a 1st for the boating field, which has traditionally had all-male design and style groups who were making boats for mainly male consumers. It was often claimed that the spouse in the domestic chose a boat, but the wife experienced veto ability.

So, Fodor and McGinnis, conscious of that simple fact, experienced to attempt to smash via the boating industry’s fiberglass ceiling with a breakthrough design that would charm to every person. They couldn’t create a products that was also much out there for a classic Sea Ray buyer, and experienced to include the brand’s DNA into the design. But they also experienced to move the line forward. That balancing act came down to specifics that the regular boater could not even observe. Massive photograph and devil in the details could sound like cliches, but were both significant to a design and style that would serve as the template for the new SLX line, even though getting a significant vendor in the hugely aggressive 23- to 27-foot bowrider segment.

“The major challenge for me was separating my individual style from what the boat needed to be,” states McGinnis. “It’s always tempting to ‘design for yourself,’ specially a seriously great product or service like SLX, but in the end it’s not about you, it’s about the buyer.”

Devil in the details: The team tweaked the design like adding five inches to the transom sunpad or increasing storage by 24 cubic feet to enhance functionality. - Credit: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Devil in the specifics: The team tweaked the style like including five inches to the transom sunpad or increasing storage by 24 cubic toes to increase performance. – Credit history: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

“This was the brand’s first sport boat to illustrate the reinvention of Sea Ray by way of the new design and style language, and it was also the very first Sea Ray activity boat to come out of the Brunswick Boat Team Technologies Middle,” adds Fodor. “It was an exciting challenge speaking the vision for the manufacturer and the boat and making certain that the conclude products fulfilled the expectations of the customer that our vital exploration approach discovered.

Sporting Sea Ray’s vintage S-shaped sheer line with a horizontal crease that runs through the center, the SLX 260 now contains a jaw line that sweeps aft for an athletic stance. “We took the features and features from Sea Ray’s new style and design language and turned the quantity up on innovation,” claims Fodor. “To reach good layout, you need universal perspectives. Acquiring that variety as you go via a venture is a major contributing element to results.”

Women are described to make up just two % of the marine field, but failing to consider the woman standpoint is a slip-up, states Fodor: “Even when it’s not the female acquiring the boat, she is typically the best final decision maker or at the quite least the major influencer. And much more gals are acquiring boats, which can make the feminine point of view a
n critical facet to include.”

Beyond small details, the team incorporated a new design language, developed in partnership with BMW Design Works, into the boat. That includes a more aggressive profile and subtle curves on the transom. - Credit: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Past modest facts, the staff incorporated a new design and style language, made in partnership with BMW Design and style Functions, into the boat. That includes a a lot more aggressive profile and refined curves on the transom. – Credit: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

The “female perspective” arrives via in modern useful aspects these types of as an further 24 cubic feet of room and storage, together with a committed portside transom storage for inflatables, and an built-in cooler or storage area less than the enlarged transom sunpad. A 26-foot bowrider has quite constrained place to perform with, so these details were being significant to differentiating it from competitors’ versions.

“Making the sunpad 4 or 5 inches even larger implies it is now massive adequate to essentially lie down on to sunbathe,” McGinnis claims. “It’s complemented by the boat’s retractable shade and exemplifies the sorts of details that take into consideration a woman audience.”

The staff also relied on ergonomic reports to locate the optimum seat depth for all end users, somewhat than depend on the standard proportions that have been utilised for decades. The consequence is further seats, with L-shaped bench seating, as well as a swivel and slide helm seat and companion seats with bolsters.

Subtle designs make a difference on the boat. - Credit: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Subtle types make a variation on the boat. – Credit rating: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

“The bones of the existing SLX were being seriously very good, so the problem for us was how to make loads of minor enhancements with out ramping up costs,” says Fodor.

They managed to insert a luxury glimpse by supplying the boat the best trim vinyls found on an SLX, the most upholstery stitching and acrylic, and thicker foam seating. Concealed or integrated mechanics, this sort of as the phone induction charger on the helm also illustrates how features was blended with large style. Among the the new technologies is a Dual Digital with 9-inch Simrad touchscreen displays. The boat also has what Sea Ray phone calls a “Dynamic Functioning Surface” for steadiness and functionality.

There’s also an optional “power tower” that extends sunshade via zipped T-tops. It raises and lowers with the thrust of a button. It can be upgraded with Fusion speakers and color-shifting lighting.

The 26-foot bowrider class is one of the most competitive niches in boating, so the designers had to create a boat that would stand out. The SLX 260 pictured here in in outboard and sterndrive versions. - Credit: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

The 26-foot bowrider class is 1 of the most competitive niches in boating, so the designers experienced to make a boat that would stand out. The SLX 260 pictured listed here in in outboard and sterndrive versions. – Credit rating: Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

Courtesy Sea Ray Boats

“The electric power tower is just one of my favorite existing details—I really like the way it folds down to the windshield,” states McGinnis. “But when folded it essential a four-bar framework on the tower leg to get it to fold flat. We labored tricky with engineering to have that deleted, so now it’s a tremendous straightforward, tasteful two-leg tower form.”

Equally gals entered the environment of style with automotive passions in mind and ended up in marine. That gave them a up to date viewpoint that prolonged outside of boating, anything that is normally lacking in yacht design and style. The excellent news is that McGinnis and Fodor are at the moment performing on other Sea Ray jobs, so their influences will carry on to be felt in the new Sea Ray style language.

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