The challenge is tough for the Sea Ray 320 Sundancer as there has rarely been a time when there is so much choice for those on the hunt for a 30ft sportscruiser and such a variety of designs.

Sealine, Jeanneau and Bavaria’s 30-footers alone have countless variations with a mix of body styles, deck arrangements and engine options, so there truly is something out there for everyone. Article continues below…

Sea Ray L550

VIDEO: Sea Ray L550 review

The Sea Ray L550 looks to set new standards for refinement and quality in this fiercely competitive sector

But Sea Ray has gone its own way with the 320 and targeted those who want to prioritise living on deck. It’s an enormously clever design that pushes the boundaries of what you can do with the deck spaces of a boat that is 10.31m (33ft 10in) long.

Key to this is the integration of the foredeck and its connection to the cockpit. A teak-laid passageway leads down the port side, past the helm and forward to the squared-off bow furnished with three luxurious recliners fitted with arm rests, cupholders and adjustable head rests. In the sunshine it’s a glorious area, devoid of shadow and open to the cooling breeze, perfect for a post-lunch snooze.

A small cocktail table stows in a dedicated cupboard and can be installed forward of the sunloungers to take care of drinks and nibbles.

If a little more shelter is required for dining or indeed sunbathing, then the cockpit offers this alongside impressive versatility. The double sunpad at the transom disguises a pair of easily accessed storage bins, perfect for lines and fenders, and its swivelling backrest means that you can extend the available sunbathing space in an instant.

If that’s still not enough, then the dinette table drops down to support a pair of cushions that effectively transform the cockpit seating into yet another sunbathing spot. The forward raked hardtop leaves the aft section of the cockpit free of shade but an optional canopy provides some protection if needed during meals.

The sliding sunroof set within the hardtop is also an option but it’s one that is well worth having if you want to be able to open the helm up to the sun on warm days.

Read the full report in the September 2017 issue of MBY.