Stingray Boats, based in Hartsville, South Carolina, was an early proponent
of computerization and automation in boatbuilding. It has continued that
commitment to technology and the result is a line of sport boats with top
performance and high construction quality.
That become apparent once again last fall when Boats & Places tested the
Stingray 240LS bowrider on Lake Ontario. While computer-controlled
manufacturing and widespread use of CAD-CAM technology helps a builder keep
costs down through efficiency, those same efficiencies benefit the final
boat buyer. Just being able to build boats within strict weight
specification tolerances consistently means that those boats should also
have predictable performance attributes.
With the 240LS, equipped with Stingray's patented Z plane hull, we were
predicting good performance. On the water, we weren't disappointed, possibly
because Stingray is a high-tech player with a firm foundation of over 20
years of experience.
The Z in the Z-plane hull refers to the slightly reserved chines and strakes
(with a Z shape) in the hull, plus keel and transom configurations that
contribute to improved planing, lower fuel consumption and better handling.
The hull bites in the water when it's needed (in the corners) yet allows a
higher-aspect ride to reduce drag at speed.
A day on the water is made more comfortable with a cockpit table, enclosed
locking head compartment (located in the port-side helm console, complete
with porthole) high-power CD player, fresh water sink (in a console behind
the companion seat), curved windshield and integrated swim platform.
Boater comfort has been enhanced through the use of ergonomic engineering
and design (with Stingray's design department utilizing a computerized human
model). The result is a roomy bow area (with useful flat step to allow
boarding from the bow) with comfortable backrests and lots of storage. In
the cockpit, there are swiveling buckets forward and a U-shaped bench aft
that can convert to a huge sunpad or be set up with a table. There are two
moulded-in compartments aft of the forward seats, with the sink to port and
storage to starboard. Thanks to careful use of ergonomics, there's always
adequate legroom and headroom, correct helm position, convenient control
location and overall comfort.
On the water, the boat also comes through in the performance department.
Equipped with a 5.7 L EFI Mercury MerCruiser and a 21-inch prop, the 240LS
reaches a top speed of 47.2 mph at 4,700 rpm. Cruising speeds are fine -- 29
mph at 3,000 rpm and 34.2 mph at 3,500 rpm. In acceleration trials, the boat
reaches 30 mph in 6.7 seconds, also good for such a big bowrider. Waves and
rough water? No problem. Handling is also steady through hard "S" turns and
other test manoeuvres.
The test boat was equipped with power steering and also included a remote
oil change system.
A family or group of friends could spend an entire day on the water, aboard
the 240LS. As a practical crowd-friendly day-cruiser, it's a winner.
Boats and Places Magazine