Many boaters who own a Stingray knew they wanted a Stingray first, and then decided which one to buy later—that's
what it means to have a solid reputation. Stingray has spent 25 years earning a reputation for innovation, quality, and
durability one boat a time, and its reputation has earned the company a loyal following.
The Stingray 220DR is for those of you who want this reputation bundled up in a deckboat. We've had a chance to test this
boat in the past and we were looking forward to getting a look at the redesigned 2006 220DR, which offers a smarter, more
contemporary interior than older models.
Before going into detail on the new-and-improved 220DR, it's important to mention Stingray's patented Z-plane hull, which
is found on every Stingray boat and is one of the reasons Stingray has enjoyed a fair share of success.
One of the ideas behind the Z-plane hull is to eliminate the vortices associated with conventional lifting strakes, which
can increase prop blowout while turning. According to Stingray owner Al Fink, the Z-plane lifting strakes (which are slanted
rather than perpendicular to the water) provide the needed lift while eliminating these vortices, which gives the prop a
clean, undisturbed flow of water to bite into. This allows Stingray to mount its outdrives 3/4 to 1 inch higher than normal,
which reduces drag.
Another selling point of the Z-plane hull is that the lifting strakes don't have a hard edge perpendicular to the water
like conventional strakes. Strakes with a hard edge perpendicular to the water can cause the hull to hook while taking hard
turns in rough water, which can give passengers the rattling of a lifetime. The outside edges of the Z-plane lifting strakes
are angled so they won't catch the water like conventional strakes do.
In terms of handling, Stingray's Z-plane hull needs very little trim to air it out for top speed. And it only takes a
slight touch of trim to push the nose down for aggressive cornering.
The 220DR is Stingray's only deckboat model, and designers decided to boost the social aspect of the interior for 2006.
Instead of an L-shaped lounge and a single bucket seat for the driver in the cockpit, Stingray decided to include a pair of
bucket seats for the driver and passenger and then convert the remainder of the cockpit into a U-shaped seating areas. This
allows the driver to be a part of the conversation while also balancing out the sporty look of the interior.
Stingray freshened up the enclosed head in the port console as part of the redesign. A new curved door replaces the straight,
boxy-looking one, and the inside of the door is outfitted with a magazine rack, a towel holder and a toilet paper holder. The
head also comes standard with a Porta Potti with a holding tank and a dockside pumpout. This is one of the most robust enclosed
heads you'll find on this size of boat.
Another note about Stingray boats is the quality of construction. Al Fink is an innovator, and the moment he figures out
a way to do something better, he's quick to take action. In the build of the 220DR we found routed corners in the under-seat
storage areas as well as rain catches to divert water away from the storage areas. In the integrated bow cooler we found a
rotomolded compartment that can take the abuse of stuff in there banging around. You're not just going to find any surfaces
that aren't finished or rough edges anywhere on this boat.
Our test took place on a calm lake near Stingray's headquarters in Hartsville, South Carolina; we had one person aboard and
a half tank of fuel (31 gallons or about 194 pounds). For power we had a 320 hp 5.7GXi Volvo Penta dual prop drive spinning an
F6 three-blade stainless steel prop set.
Acceleration was peppy with 3.2 seconds to plane and a 0-to-30-mph time of 6.1 seconds. At wide-open throttle we registered
55.1 mph on our GPS with 5,000 rpm showing on the tachometer (55 mph is fast for a 22-foot deckboat)—and there's another
200 rpm on the top-end to experiment with. You can expect a top-speed range of about 124 miles. Our most efficient cruising
speed was 29.8 mph at 3,000 rpm, which will yield a cruising range of about 210 miles. Sound levels were also impressive with
94 dBa at top speed and only 84 dBa at cruising speed.
In terms of handling we found the 220DR very nimble—close to what we're used to with a traditional sportboat. It only
took slight adjustments in the trim to air it out for top speed or to push the nose down for aggressive cornering—we
usually have to use a lot more trim to do this on other boats.
The ergonomics are where they need to be. The bucket seat will hug your body in the turns, and the bolsters will get you
and your passenger 7 inches higher in your seats—plenty enough to get your eyes over the windshield.
Equipped with the 320 hp Volvo, the base price is $42,145, which is very fairly priced. And thanks to the Z-plane hull, you
can drop down in horsepower (and price) and still expect big-engine performance.
There's another platform at the transom along with a large draining storage area—it wasn't designed to be used as
a cooler, but many owners like using it for that purpose. The rear swim step will be nice for watersports, and we recommend
going with the optional extended swim platform if you're serious about watersports. Either way you'll have plenty of room for
skis, wakeboards, and other gear in the in-sole ski locker.
Going from the stern platform to the cockpit is simplified thanks to a step-through transom, which allows easy access
without interrupting the integrity of the transom or the rear U-shaped seating.
There's another integrated cooler behind the driver's bucket seat as well as a small sink with a countertop lid behind the
port bucket seat. The freshwater sink shares a 17-gallon tank and the pullout transom shower.
The full windshield gives you added comfort, protection and style, and we really liked the little side vent windows similar
to the ones you used to find on old trucks. These allow you to keep cool on hot days without having to sit up on the bolster
or stand. A Sunbrella Bimini top with a boot comes standard for when your crew needs some shade.