Stingray Powerboats
Stingray 190FX - Boat Test

Lakeland Boating - April 2000

Whether you're skiing, fishing or just speeding around, this is one versatile rocket.

Stingray 190FX

Boating is all about choices. There are many things you can do on the water, and having the right boat to do them adds to the enjoyment. Two of the most popular activities are fishing and skiing, and with Stingray's new 190FX, they are not mutually exclusive. This is a boat that lets you have the best of both worlds, as well as a third option: speed. The 190FX is a sprightly little rocket, indeed.

Measuring an even 19 feet in length overall, the 190FX sports a 7'7" beam. An easily trailerable 2,590 pounds of dry weight (with the base engine) means you can take it to where the action is. There's plenty of cockpit space for people and gear. Five people can sit comfortably amidships and two more can stretch their legs at the bow. The main cockpit, which measures 6'1" wide by 8'7" long, has two swivel captain's chairs and a bench seat. The helm features full engine instrumentation and switches that control lights, horn and accessories. A Humminbird depth gauge is an option, as is a tilt steering wheel. On the passenger side, a lockable, carpeted glovebox keeps valuables safe, and an optional high-power Sony AM/FM stereo cassette deck drives four speakers to fill the boat with sound. Oh, and of course, there are lots of cupholders.

190FX cockpit

Open the walk-through windshield to enter the forward seating area. Pop in a removable support panel and filler cushions and the bowrider area converts to a large sun pad. Take away the cushions and you have a casting platform with a chair. When the 190FX is in its fishing mode, you can keep your lures organized in the two-drawer tackle locker at the peak of the bow. Just to port is an electrical control panel with accessory switches and and a power plug for a trolling motor. The mounting position for the trolling motor is within easy reach of the casting seat. There's also an ample anchor locker amidships, along with storage compartments under each seat cushion.

The 190FX has a 36-quart livewell under the center section of the cockpit bench seat, complete with a standard recirculating pump. On either side of it are additional storage compartments. There's a large, removable hatch in the cockpit sole that opens to a carpeted storage compartment for skis, boards or fishing rods. A shelf runs in the cockpit coaming along the full length of each side for more space to hold your stuff.

190FX tackle locker

A second sun pad is attached to the engine hatch with snaps; it's a great spot for catching rays. Take it off and you convert the aft portion of the 190FX to its fishing configuration, including a second chair and casting platform. For in-water activities, the molded swim platform has a recessed, two-step swim ladder.

A pair of gas-assisted shock absorbers keep the engine hatch open. When not in use, the fishing chairs fold and stow inside the engine compartment. You can also fold up the convertible top and store it there. Everything on the engine is easily accessible for fluid checks and fills. The power trim pump is located to port and aft, and the battery is in the same spot on the starboard side.

Our test boat was equipped with a Mercury 4.3L V-6 engine with EFI. It's one of two Merc engine options available for the 190FX. The other is a carbureted version of the same block. The 4.3L V-6 EFI is rated at 210 php and will top out at 56 mph, while the carbureted version turns 190 horses and comes in 2 mph slower. Both engines are mated with an Alpha One drive and a 23-inch aluminum prop. Your 190FX can also be Volvo Penta powered—a 4.3GL or 4.3GI EFI engine mated with an SX drive. Top speeds for the Volvo 4.3s are the same as the Mercs.

190FX bow

Regardless of whether you choose a Merc or a Volvo, I'd recommend the EFI option if you're doing a lot of skiing. You'll be able to pull a skier out of the hole quicker. However, for just plain cruising or getting to your favorite fishing spot, it's your choice among the power options.

Regardless of which engine you choose, the 190FX comes on plane quickly and has tight steering response in turns at cruising speed. Stingray's patented, fuel-efficient Z-Plane Hull is rated as one of the most slippery in the water for boats this size; as a result the 190FX is a smooth-running and well-mannered boat.

To top off the 190FX, you can take the standard Sunbrella convertible top that comes with the boat or upgrade to a full canvas set and add side curtains. There's also a mooring cover available, along with a canvas cover for the bow.

Lakeland Boating April 2000 Cover

The 190FX is a true value for a boat its size. Compare to others in its class, it delivers performance, features and versatility at an affordable price. What's more, it has a five-year owner protection plan. Depending on how it's rigged, the 190FX sells, complete with trailer, for about $20,000. You could pay more, but why? Take a ride in one. See if you're not impressed.

Tom Thompson
Lakeland Boating


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