Popular as they are in the general powerboating world, Sea Ray products rarely appear on speedonthwater.com. We’ve reported on exactly one product in 13 years—the aggressively styled Sundancer 370 Outboard sport cruiser released in 2021—from the Knoxville, Tenn., Brunswick Boat Group-owned company.
A pair of talented of women, Carrie Fodor (left) and Kristin McGinnis designed the new SLX 260, marking the first time a Sea Ray offering has been designed entirely by women.
But a recent press release on the new Sea Ray SLX 260, which is offered in outboard and stern-drive versions, caught our attention. That’s because it is the company’s first model designed by an all-woman team. Carrie Fodor, Sea Ray’s senior design manager and Kristin McGinnis, a senior industrial designer with Brunswick Boat Group, are the women behind the designer of the stylish 25-footer.
“This launch not only sets a new benchmark for design, but further celebrates the advantages that a diverse workforce brings to the marine industry,” said Aine Denari, the president of Brunswick Boat Group, in the release. “Carrie and Kristin are rising stars in our industry, and I am thrilled to see their success and the success of this fantastic launch. We strongly value the significant benefits that our diverse senior leadership team brings.”
Born in Holland, Mich., Fodor grew up on the Great Lakes in a boating family and joined the company in 2008. Throughout her early education, she “gravitated to creative pursuits developing a passion for drawing and art.” While exploring career paths as a student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, she determined that boat design offered her the ability to use her talents to create products for the marine industry.
“This SLX 260 project has been a long time in the making and I’m so excited to finally be able to share this new boat with the world,” said Fodor. “It’s equally exciting to be able to tell the story behind the boat. It’s an incredible opportunity to work for an industry leading company that has created a recognized culture, where an individual’s work is truly valued.
“For any woman or minority that didn’t realize a career in the marine industry or the ability to design a boat was an option, this is proof that you can do something great,” she added.
The Sea Ray 260 SLX.
Inspired by famous women designers that came before her and embracing her love for cars and drawing, according to the release, McGinnis earned design degree from the University of Cincinnati. An internship with Brunswick Boat Group brands Sea Ray and Boston Whaler led to her joining the company’s design-engineering team.
“I was surprised to learn that a career in boat design existed and how closely connected it is to the automotive industry,” said McGinnis. “Designing a boat is an amazing career where you can make a huge impact in a short amount of time. I always thought Sea Ray was one of the best-looking boats on the water, and the SLX line was always one of my favorites.”