The 2015 Sea Ray 265 Sundancer premiered to good reviews that praised its design, accommodations, seakeeping ability and overall quality. The latest Sea Ray offerings, including the 265 Sundancer, have garnered praise from the European market, which Sea Ray is actively courting with the boat’s open architecture that generally eliminates any distinction between the cockpit, upper salon, sunbathing areas and swim platform above decks. Happily, it appears that Sea Ray has resolved any past quality problems by changing the hull coating and upgrading to the Mercury Bravo III stern drive. All in all, the 265 Sundancer appears to be a reasonably priced sport cruiser.

  • 2015 Sea Ray 265 Sundancer
  • Year:
  • Engine:
    MerCruiser 5.0L MPI Bravo III Sterndrive
  • Horsepower @ RPM:


2015 Sea Ray 265 Sundancer Exterior
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The 265 Sundancer, with its arctic white hull and fancy graphics package, carries both the CE “C” and the U.S. National Marine Manufacturers Association certifications. It meets or exceeds all standards of the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Boat and Yacht Council. Its engine installation meets Mercury Marine’s Installation Quality Certification requirements. The 5.0 L, 260-horsepower Mercruiser engine, coupled to a Mercury Marine Bravo III sterndrive, lets you cruise at 42.7 mph while burning 23.5 gph. At its cruising speed, about 31 knots, it used 2.6 mpg, making its cruising range around 175 miles.

The 265 Sundancer’s safety appliances include the usual complement of fire extinguishers, a carbon monoxide monitor, an automatic bilge pump, an engine room blower and an automatic fire suppression system. The engine room is soundproofed and accessed through a hydraulically operated hatch in the cockpit. The hull has stainless steel bow and stern towing eyes, stainless steel bow rail with an open front, and stainless steel, through-bolted cleats. The 265 Sundancer has docking courtesy lights to assist you in disembarking and boarding, as well.

A three-way battery switch controls both the house and starting batteries. The 265 Sundancer’s electrical system boasts a battery charger and a voltage inverter, as well as an 18-foot shore power cord. An assortment of 220V, 50 Hz outlets adorn the cockpit and interior. The head includes a 15-gallon holding tank and the toilet has a macerator. A pressurized water system with a water heater provides water for the shower in the cockpit and the shower in the cabin. The hydraulic trim tabs and prop are stainless steel. The cockpit is equipped with beverage holders and the carpet liner snaps in and out for easy cleaning. It’s finished fiberglass and self-bailing. The handrails in the cockpit are, like the rest of the deck hardware, stainless steel.

From the Captain’s Chair

2015 Sea Ray 265 Sundancer Exterior
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The captain of the 265 Sundancer has power assisted steering and Mercury’s SmartCraft diagnostics system at his disposal. On the SmartCraft panel, a four-in-one gauge presents warnings for low-fuel and oil pressure, improper trim and water temperature. The tachometer provides data on water depth and temperature, fuel consumption, voltage and speed as well as an engine hour meter. The compass and horn are mounted in an instrument panel with aluminum accents along with switches for the engine’s tilt and the boat’s trim. The illuminated switches are of the toggle type and all are marked with the appropriate ISO symbol.

Creature Comforts

2015 Sea Ray 265 Sundancer Interior
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The boat is carpeted throughout. The cabin has large windows, one of which opens and is equipped with a screen. The locking forward-deck hatch is translucent and serves as an escape hatch from the cabin as well as a sunlight. The cabin’s electrical lighting is indirect. The interior has walnut accents and the head has a Shoshi door. The head has a manual flushing toilet, a mirror and a vanity, with storage below and a stainless steel grab-rail. A 6-gallon water heater supplies hot water to the sink in the vanity and the fiberglass shower. The mid-cabin berth includes a double bunk with privacy curtains, an opening window and screen and additional storage. The galley includes a teak table, a refrigerator and ample drawer and cabinet storage. Finally, there’s a Sunbrella bimini top and a cockpit cover as standard equipment. A lounger is located on the cockpit’s port side and the bench seating at the rear of the cockpit converts to a sunbathing pad. The cabin contains a Sony stereo system that’s Mp3 compatible. The swim platform has a stainless steel swim ladder.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

• Overall, the Sea Ray 265 Sundancer appears to be a competent, small luxury boat. At $104,187, it seems a bargain.
• Because of its open design in the cockpit and salon, it appears larger than a 26.5-foot boat.
• Sea Ray, in the USA, has unaccountably acquired a reputation for boats with problems. There were complaints to the Boat Owners Association of the U.S. Blisters developed in the fiberglass in the 1990s. Mismatched stern drives, spun props and broken pinion gears plagued some Sea Ray boats in the late 1980s; in one instance, Mercury Marine recommended replacing the Alpha I stern drive with the Bravo II stern drive – at the owner’s expense. There were problems with the electronic shift module, as well. Some older boats, 30 or 40 years older, had a reputation for problems with their stringers and fiberglass and soft spots in the deck.
• Boat and engine surveys are recommended, even for all new boats, and a sea trial is recommended before taking delivery.


2015 Sea Ray 265 Sundancer Exterior
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Overall, the Sea Ray 265 Sundancer appears to be a lot of boat for the money. It’s quick, large enough to have a small party aboard and small enough to save on docking space. It has the facilities of larger boats. It is, nonetheless, small, and probably not the vessel you’d want to take out on the ocean in rough weather; however, on lakes and rivers, it would be well at home.


Overall Length 26’6" / 8.07 m
Beam 2.56 m / 8’5"
Draft - Stern Drive Down 102 cm / 40"
Draft - Stern Drive Up 61 cm / 25"
Dry Weight 2,900 kg / 6,393 lbs
Fuel Capacity 261 L / 69 gal
Water Capacity 76 L / 20 gal
Holding Tank - Optional 68 L / 18 gal
Deadrise 21°
What do you think?
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