Rae Line's - Rae Line - Outboard, Cabin Cruiser, Hardtop and Bowrider Boats
NZ Boat Builders
NZ Company "Rae Line" - Information/Models
Company established in 1992 by Peter Rae in the New Zealand.
NZ company showed the capacity to maintain is status as a leading gel coat and fibreglass repairer,products and services.
Rae Line continues to innovate in terms of technology and interior and exterior and will be known
as an boat industry leader as it moves forward.
Designed and Built to a higher standard Our Hardtop models, cabin
cruisers and bow riders are manufactured
to not only the toughest American standards, but also to the very rigourous UK and CE standards, and
alsoavailable for export.
10'and 13' outboard models - Super Dinghy - Our twin hull dinghy's provide the ulitmate
Bowrider Models: 180 EX Series, 180 Sport and 185 EX Outboard high performance Series
Cabin Cruiser:186 C Series - Designed for comfortable cruising, super
stylish and functional if tou looking more style and more comfort.
Hardtop Model: 235 H Series(Sterndrive) is feature-packed to ensure comfort and fun
Phone Number: +64 3 312 6523
620 South Eyre Road
RD Z Kaiapoi 7692
235 H Hardtop
Destined to be a very social boat, really serious about your fishing,water or
diving and yet like the style
Sea Ray 180
By Barry Thompson
Let's cut right to the chase, the Sea Ray 180 bowrider is hard to fault, so it's no wonder that it is one of the biggest selling production bowriders of its size in the world and certainly Sea Ray's single most prolific model. While there's no doubt the majority of kiwi boat buyers demand more than just good looks and a stylish layout, take my word for it, this boat has the performance and handling to match. Plus the big difference between this Sea Ray and all others is it is kiwi made! Built by the Christchurch firm of Rae Line Boats, under licence to Sea Ray in the USA, the 180 Bow Rider, is the first and only Sea Ray built anywhere in the world outside one of its own plants.
A deal masterminded by New Zealand Sea Ray agent, Ian Williamson of Sports Marine, the 180 Bow Rider is being built for both the local and Australian market and currently production is running at around 1.5 boats per week. The locally built models are identical in every aspect to their American counterparts, apart from a few items such as the battery which are purchased locally.
Rae Line staff spent time at the Knoxville, Tennessee based Sea Ray factory to understand more about how the boats are assembled, so they could duplicate every aspect back in New Zealand. According to Williamson, there has been very few prob- lems and the boats are now so alike, that the only real way to spot the difference is to check out the moulded serial number on the transom.
Now I can here you anti-bowrider guys saying it will never handle rough water and the fishos saying you can't fish from a boat with so much carpet and seating. Well lets be fair, this isn't a fishing boat, it's a fun sports boat that is ideal for those with a bent toward family boating and water sports. And as for its rough water aspects, it's better than I expect- ed and I had the right water to test it in. The 19 deg hull is very unique with a central gullwing running surface complete with wide flat sections on the outer edge. Out from this, either side, are two wide stakes that carry well for- ward. The result is a boat that is quick to plane, fast to reach maximum rpm and a pleasure to drive, especially with the hydraulic steering. It responds nicely to trim and even with a couple of kids in the forward section, there's no problem achieving loads of bow lift resulting in a dry ride for all aboard.
For our test we had 15 to 20 knots of wind stirring up a messy Auckland Harbour chop. Ideal conditions to test a bow rider. My first impression was the soft ride and the quietness of the hull in both the following and head sea and I found myself pushing the throttle down more as I came to believe in the boat's handling. Forty mile per hour across such a choppy sea was impressive and even the kids felt quite safe and comfortable in the open bow. It also has a nice even wake for wakeboarding and the optional stainless ski pole is firmly braced for those aggressive boarders and skiers. Our test boat, N 4 from the Christchurch factory, was powered by a Mercury 135. the mid-range of the options. You can also buy the boat as a package deal with a Mercury 115hp or 125hp or in fact up to 200 hp. With a full fuel tank and five aboard (two small children), we had the Eagle GPS hovering around 52 mph@ 5500 rpm, with the Mercury 135 swinging a 21" laser. At 4000 rpm, we recorded 40 mph and 4500 rpm a touch better at 43 mph.
Seating for Seven
With the full bodied forward hull sections the bowrider area has the capability of handling reasonable weight whilst underway, although is probably more suited to a couple of small children, than two 90 kg adults. Handles are mounted in moulded recesses and curved back cushioning adds some comfort for the passengers. Although the 180 bowrider Isn't designed with a dedicated anchor locker, there is space in cither of the side lockers under the cushions. The forepeak locker is only large enough for a few ropes or small fender. Sports Marine offer a fairiead and bollard as an option on the 180 8owrider, although due to delivery problems only the bollard was fitted for our test.
The Sea Ray 180 Bowrider is a boat designed on ergonomics, from the shape and position of the handles to the seating style and screen angle. Nothing has been left to guesswork and every aspect of the design, layout and construction has been painstakingly scrutinised. This is the type of boat you would normally drive seated, with the Taylor glass screen offering excellent protection and I found it to be at a correct height so as not to inhibit forward visibility. My legs were just long enough to reach the moulded footrest (the passenger side has the same) and the well equipped fascia was easy to read. A moulded eyebrow above keeps the glare off the instruments and there are even a couple of blank spots to allow the addition of extra gauges. The back lit instrumentation also has low-glare for night lighting. Rocker switches look after the horn, bilge pump and navigation lights.
There is also the option of a single helm swivelling bucket seat which is popular with those requiring more open cockpit space and with the triple rear bench seat, you still have seating for six.
I found when I was driving in the rough water I sat on the top of the seat backs, with one hand on the wheel, the other on either the throttle or the extruded top section of the screen. Not that the seats weren't comfortable enough, it's just that I personally like to be up as high as possible, looking ahead and reading the changing water pat- terns.
The twin back to back scats fold down to sunloungers and there is limited storage in the bases. Further seating is provided with a moulded aft bench seat that incorporates space beneath for the battery and oil tank, a large central locker (ideal for lifejacket storage) and a self draining insulated chilly bin. I liked the fact that with the rear cushion removed, the oil tank was fully exposed, so filling from inside the boat was hassle free. A clip-on curtain hides access to even more storage under the portofino stern, where the canopy is tucked away when not in use. There's also access to the moulded 83 litre fuel tank, which is interestingly mounted right in the stern under the engine well. The seating layout of the 180 bowrider is custom made for family boating or for those who enjoy taking a few extra people out for a day on the water. With six moulded drink holders conveniently placed throughout, it's obvious this is destined to be a very social boat.
Good utilisation of storage areas is important in a small boat and the Sea Ray 180 uses most of it. A big plus is the central moulded locker under the cockpit sole, big enough for wet suits, wakeboards. dive gear, water skis, fishing tackle, or what ever else you plan to carry aboard. It also doubles up as a serious fish-bin and is the place to toss all the wet gear after a days boating before you cruise home. There is also a lockable forward glovebox in the port console for your mobile phone, keys and sunnies, plus it's where you'll find the AM/FM stereo. Full length side trays are long enough for small fishing rods and the sun umbrella, plus a handy place for items such as the flare pack or fenders. The cockpit is part of an integral fibreglass floor system and comes complete with marine grade carpet, although there is the option of vinyl. If you are really serious about your fishing and diving and yet like the style and handling abilities of the 180 Bowrider. then Sea Ray offer the 180 Dual Console as another option. This is an all out fishing/diving version of the 180 bowrider, featuring the same hull, but with an all fibreglass interior and plenty of features to suit even the serious angler. Sea Ray has designed and introduced more new boats than any other boat builder in the past three consecutive years and now have 50 models from 16 to 63 feet. Although the 180 Bowrider being built in New Zealand is following traditional boat building methods, the same can not be said for the highly technical Sea Ray operation in the US. The design of any boat starts with the help of a three dimensional software package that helps design the boats on screen and using inverse kinetics can even re-create the movements of a person walking through or seated in a boat to ensure correct height, legroom etc.
Then after a full model is made, the plug is formed from a foam block and cut with a router to ensure the mould itself is uniformly, precise symmetrical and correct. During construction the gel-coat is all sprayed using computerised robotic arms and all components, including the fabrics are formed with CMC cutters. The Sea Ray 180 bowrider which was formed using the same highly efficient and precise construction techniques isn't a new boat, in fact it's been around for many years, although the current model didn't start life until 1998. The New Zealand built model is a superb example of global co-operation and if everything goes according to plan, could soon be followed by other models for the Christchurch builders. The 'Kiwi* Sea Ray may be a clone of the American version, but considering the high level of detail demonstrated in their initial boats, they certainly deserve to carry the Sea Ray Boat Brand name with pride.