Sea Ray, the world’s leading manufacturer of superior quality pleasure boats, is excited to announce a new and innovative technology proven to significantly reduce sound and vibration aboard the models on which it is offered. Called Quiet Ride, the proprietary combination of acoustical forensics, engineering and sound-attenuation materials is the result of more than four years of intense research and development.
“The reduction of noise, vibration and harshness, or NVH, has become a key strategic thrust in the automotive industry,” said Rob Noyes, vice president of marketing for Sea Ray. “At Sea Ray, we think the boating industry should be no different. Noise and vibration have long been an accepted part of boating, from engine rumble to the rattle of components while under way, but consumer expectations have changed, and so have ours.
“Quiet Ride is a method of NVH reduction using an exclusive engineering and applications process designed to reduce onboard sound and vibration and improve the ride of Sea Ray boats. It is not bolt-on equipment or an afterthought. Rather, it is a fundamental change in the build process to reduce sound at the source,” Noyes explained.
In connection with achieving its goal of creating a luxury boating experience with less noise and vibration, Sea Ray collaborated with Omni Products on the application of a patented Tuned Transom that “short circuits” vibrations created by the engine and outdrive. This is an exclusive feature that no other boat manufacturer can offer.
Additionally, Sea Ray scrutinized the laminates, joints, components and fasteners it uses in an effort to reduce NVH. As a result, vibration-deadening materials are laminated into the hull and deck of select models to reduce structural tremors and noise. Bulkheads and acoustical insulation in the engine compartment and key pathways trap and absorb sound. Precise robotic cutting and drilling, which Sea Ray’s advanced production technology allows it to execute during construction, results in extremely accurate angles and proportions for reduced vibration. Hatches, storage areas and access holes are sealed to diminish noise in the cockpit area. Gaskets, bumpers, grommets and compression latches are used to reduce squeaks and rattles.
The results of Quiet Ride are significant. Measuring decibels (dB) in 14 specific areas aboard a Quiet Ride-equipped 250 SLX®, Sea Ray recorded an average 6.8 dB reduction in sound throughout the boat.* This represents an overall noise reduction of 25 to 50 percent. In certain areas of the cockpit, Quiet Ride reduced noise by more than 10 dB. To put these measurements in perspective, a decrease of 10 dB equals a sound being twice as low. Vibration was also greatly decreased, which means a more enjoyable and smoother ride.
“By significantly reducing unnecessary sound and vibration, with very little added weight and no added mass, Quiet Ride is a true innovation with a real, desired consumer impact that makes boating more enjoyable,” said Noyes. “Just imagine being able to hear your cell phone or stereo at cruise speeds, or being able to have a conversation while under way without shouting. That’s what Quiet Ride does.”
An independent test performed by Boating magazine confirmed the substantial achievement of Sea Ray and Quiet Ride. “Running identically-powered 250 SLX bowriders side-by-side, one with Quiet Ride and one without, I recorded a 9 decibel reduction in noise at 4,000 rpm while seated at the aft bench. That’s outstanding,” said Kevin Falvey, editor of the publication. “Additionally, I could feel the difference in vibration. The boat without Quiet Ride produced a three-cycle per second thrum into the soles of my bare feet. Aboard the 250 SLX with Quiet Ride, I could not feel enough vibration to quantify it. Noise and vibration can be inconvenient and create a less enjoyable ride. Sea Ray Quiet Ride proves that it doesn’t have to be part of the boating experience.”
Quiet Ride is now available as standard equipment on board the Sea Ray 250 SLX and 270 SLX, and plans are to expand the technology to other boat models in the near future. “This exclusive technology will create a quantum leap in boating enjoyment,” said Noyes. “Quiet Ride continues Sea Ray’s 52-year focus on superior quality, true innovation and customer satisfaction.”
*Test data arrived at after comparing a model-year 2012 Sea Ray 250 SLX with Quiet Ride and a 2012 Sea Ray 250 SLX without Quiet Ride measured at 3500 rpm, both equipped with the same power. Decibel readings will change with variances in wind strength, wind direction, current, water conditions, and exact location of the decibel meter.