Stingray Boats
Go Boating - April 2004

Stingray 195LR Bowrider Boat

Have you ever watched a Stingray swim through the water? Really watched it. The graceful creatures almost seem to be flying.

There are so many marvels in this world that we take for granted, but sometimes, if you let life slow down for a second, these moments wash over you with the gentle waves of enlightenment. It's incredible.

We were recently mesmerized by a Stingray of another nature — the Stingray 195LR. Stingray Powerboats' new 195LR will have you flying across the water, rather than through it, but it's just as exciting to watch this Stingray "fly."

Before you even step behind the wheel, you have to give the 195LR kudos for its beauty. The boat looks radiant from every angle. Our test boat had a flashy red stripe down the side of its hull, along with matching red accents throughout the cockpit. The boat somehow manages to look both brand-new and timelessly classic at the same time.

The 195LR seems to be the big new deal at Stingray this year. The company has put a lot of faith in the boat, but that faith looks to be well placed. The 195LR is sure to be a hot one.

During our test ride, we had two adults and 1/8 of a tank of fuel on board. The boat was powered by a 225 hp Volvo Penta 4.3 GXi stern drive with an SX single-propeller drive. The 4.3 GXi is the most powerful package available on the 195LR.

We couldn't hold back, so rather than checking for 0 to 30 mph and planing speeds, we threw the throttle forward to see if the boat was as fast as we'd heard—and it was. We were expecting the 195LR to top out at around 50 mph, which we would have been plenty happy with, but we were able to take the boat to 60 mph (well, 59.8 mph to be exact, but we'll give it the extra .2 for the second person on board). Now you know why we described the 195LR as being able to fly.

Stingray excels at designing a bottom that will perform without having to load on the horsepower — with the 195LR they have succeeded once again.

After a few hours of racing around with the boat, we finally took it back down to lower speeds, so we could get the numbers that we had skipped. The boat's time to plane was 4 seconds, and it went from 0 to 30 mph in 9.5 seconds. At those higher speeds, we were getting a reading of around 112 dB on our decibel meter, which is quite acceptable.

The 195LR's hull has a deadrise of 19 degrees. We weren't pitted against too much chop that day, but the boat seemed to do well with the larger chop we did encounter. We thoroughly enjoyed the ride, which was marked by some sharp figure eights and comfortably tight turns. Handling and maneuverability were everything we wanted them to be.

MORE THAN FAST
There's nothing too revolutionary about the 195LR layout, but one could make the argument that there doesn't need to be. As the old saying goes, there's a place for everything, and everything is in its place.

A V-shaped settee takes up the forward section of the boat. We liked the cooler hidden under the foremost tip of the settee. That's sure to come in handy.

Stingray has kindly provided grabrails up front, for those sitting in the settee to grab onto when the boat is ripping along at close to 60 mph. Perhaps they've seen us drive.

A standard walk-through windshield is behind the settee. Windshields seem like a simple thing, but they can have such an effect on the lines of a boat. The 195LR's windshield has a sleek design that blends well with the look of the boat.

Helm and passenger-side consoles sit behind the windshield. Both consoles are served by an adjustable molded seat. The helm console not only has a full set of backlit instrumentation but also woodgrain trim and a Dino Italian steering wheel. Deluxe throttle and trim controls are standard, and the skipper also has a 12v accessory plug and a Kenwood high-power audio system at his or her disposal.

Those accessories are all part of the 195LR's Convenience Package, which includes almost $1,900 worth of features that Stingray has thrown in at no additional cost. That convenience package is further bolstered by an electronic fuel management system, a 500 gph automatic/manual bilge pump, an electronic engine hourmeter, a convertible sun top with boot and several other accessories. Stingray also includes a MyStingray.com personal Web site that gives you a free presence on the World Wide Web, where you can chat with other Stingray owners to your heart's content.

A U-shaped settee wraps around the back of the cockpit. We liked the fact that the settee's corners are shaped in a way that turns the two sides of the unit into sun lounges of a sort. You can swivel the two molded seats to face backward, allowing them to become the end of each lounge.

Stingray 195LR

A sunpad runs athwartship, taking up most of the rest of the boat. The only thing left is an amply sized integrated swim step. Boats look much more finished when the swim step is integrated into the hull, so we're always happy to see that — and no swim step would be complete without a built-in telescopic boarding ladder.

The Stingray 195LR is a no-brainer for boaters who want a great midsize bowrider that offers performance boat speeds along with the family-friendly amenities you won't find on most performance boats. In addition, you're getting all that speed at a very reasonable price. If going fast is important to you, you can't afford to ignore the 195LR.

Duncan McIntosh
Go Boating Magazine


Go Boating April 2004 - Test Results Chart
STOW IT — The Stingray 195LR has a lot of great stowage areas,including a built-in cooler at the bow and built-in compartment on the passenger console. Additional stowage can also be found underneath the bow and aft settees.




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