The big news at Stingray this year is the introduction of the third-generation Z-plane hull, which instead of contacting the water on only one place, now contacts three for greater stability. After testing the 225LR powered by Volvo Penta's 300 hp 5.7 Gi, we were impressed with not only the speed of the hull - reaching the 61 mph mark - but also its ease of handling. It will turn hard without ventilation and we didn't detect any porpoising, which many sterndrives of this size will do at select speeds. The 22-foot, 11-inch next-generation hull also helps the 225 get out of the hole quickly with an impressive time of 2.6 seconds to plane and a 0-30 mph time of 4.8 seconds.

Although Stingray boats are very competitively priced, there are a number of really nice standard features including the 2-inch fuel fill, rotomolded hatch interiors and an upgraded standard MB Quart stereo that now boasts twice as much power. Four speakers are recessed in the seatbacks for better sound with two speakers up front - a first for this class of Stingray. Also tucked away is the three-step boarding ladder that is covered by a hatch, and adding to the upscale look are five pull-up cleats. For versatility, the standard rectangular pedestal cockpit table mounts fore or aft and has dedicated storage under the rear sundeck.

Several new elements take the 225LR to the next level, like the integrated swim platform and an updated graphics package that really pops. There's a new Faria four-way gauge that gives you a lot of information in a very small space. The U-lounge uses every bit of space for maximum seating capacity, but there's still a centerline walkthrough that reverts to seating and sunning via removable cushion inserts. The walk-through is a family-friendly way to handle boarding without having a wide-open alcove. Another safety factor is the amount of interior depth that gives guests a more secure feeling.

Boating World
January 2009

3 FAVORITE STANDARDS
MB Quart DC MP3 high-power stereo, cockpit table, tilt power steering
3 FAVORITE OPTIONS
Electric or hydraulic trim tabs, Captain's Call exhaust, bow filler cushions
To see video of our boat test, go to boatingworld.com and click on Buyer's Guide.




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