Just under an easily trailerable 20 feet, the 190's sharp bow and wraparound
windshield conform nicely, creating a sleek profile, with the stern sun pad and
72-inch-wide swim platform providing a water-sports-friendly edge.
Seated at the helm, the view to both the waterway and full set of Teleflex gauges
were appropriately unobstructed. Although the test boat did not feature tilt steering,
which is an available option, there is still plenty of knee room for long legs.
Seating in the cockpit and bow area, constructed from injection-molded polypropylene
foam core inserts, covered with tough 32-ounce vinyl, had a thick, cushy feel with
For entertaining, Stingray designers provided seven cupholders for guests along
with a Sony 4-by-35 Watt Digital AM/FM stereo/cassette deck with pop-out chassis
(in the companion side), matched with a pair of 60-watt waterproof speakers. Practical
touches included nonskid surfaces on the platform, stainless hardware and ample
storage throughout including in the coamings (large enough to fit a couple of 6-foot
rods) and a below-deck locker large enough for one pair of skis or a board.
Tested with the base 190-hp MerCruiser 4.3-liter I/O, the 190FX - incorporating
Stingray's "Z-plane" hull design - showed well in most categories of performance.
Loaded hole-shot acceleration to 30 mph fell well under 11 seconds, more than
sufficient for water-skiing purposes. Running three-quarter throttle, turning 3,575
rpm, the 190FX delivered a brisk 38.4-mph ride that was able to handle a few tight
turns, even in a light chop, with no signs of sliding or chine trip.
The switch from ski machine to fishing platform (by removing both the bow
cushions and the aft sun pad to reveal seat mounts for two fishing chairs) takes all
of a few minutes. In place of an anchor locker, Stingray designers fitted the bow
with a molded-in tackle box with two pull-out drawers and AC panel - wired to dual
battery boxes - with placement site for a trolling motor. Other fishing features
included a nicely sized 36-gallon livewell beneath the cockpit's aft bench seat.
There are family runabouts and then there are performance family runabouts for
those who desire to keep their expenditures in check without sacrificing value and
quality. The 190FX delivers the latter.
Boat Buyers Guide 2000
Boating Life Magazine