Get hitched with this trailerable bowrider.
Nothin' could be finer than to be in Hartsville, South Carolina on a nice spring mornin'. I was
there visiting Al Fink, founder and owner of Stingray Powerboats, and one of the more fascinating
people in the boating industry.
On the morning of my visit and boat test, I was ushered into Al's office, where I found him
working on his computer. He was seated at the head of a conference table, alone, with his eyes fixed
on a movie screen directly ahead. He asked me to sit down as he demonstrated how he utilizes the
Internet as a management tool.
Immediately, Ian Fleming's Goldfinger began flashing through my mind. Al can run all
facets of his business from anywhere—provided he has access to an Internet connection.
He manipulates a database that is automatically triggered and updated on the hour. The system
tracks all things Stingray, including personnel and manufacturing. The creation of a serial number
tracks each boat through the building process, its sale to a dealer and the rest of its life.
The Stingray line consists of bowrider models ranging in size from 18 to 25 feet, cuddy/cruiser
models from 19 to 25 feet, and sportboats of 22 and 23 feet.
Stingray is certified by both the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Consultants
Europe and was the first boatbuilder to be certified by Mercury.
The model I came to test was a bowrider, the 220DR. Stingray describes this boat as comparable
to your favorite B&B—a peaceful setting with all the amenities. When I consider using the 220DR
in our neck of the woods, I immediately think of the smaller lakes and what a great day boat this
It would work well for more distant adventures, too. For example, if you were to leave Chicago on
a larger boat for a cruise to the North Channel, about 360 miles away, the trip could take anywhere
from a couple of days to more than a week, depending on weather. Most of your cruising time would be
spent coming and going.
On the other hand, if you were to trailer the 220DR, you could be up there in a day and in the
water by the evening. Your first night, you could have dinner in Little Current, and in the morning
run over to Baie Fine. Tie the bow off a tree, drop the anchor off the stern, and you're all set.
||Merc 4.3L Carb Alpha 1 (190 hp)
|Power as Tested
||Merc 5.7L MPI Bravo 1 (300 hp)
|Price as Tested
There's an integrated, insulated cooler behind the helm seat. For meals, tables set up in the
forward or aft cockpit, depending on your preference. This bowrider will sleep two forward and two
aft—just bring along blankets and pillows. If it rains, raise the canvas. The enclosed head is
a step-in compartment and has a shelf in the door for toiletries. There's a freshwater sink just aft
of the passenger-side seat. To bathe, jump overboard. If you'd like another bathing option, use the
bow or transom showers, which will rinse you—or the boat—off.
For day use, an optional swim platform and filler seating turn the bow and stern into sunpads.
The 220DR has high gunnels, which allow for more than generous amounts of storage. Plus, there
are forward and aft boarding ladders, and easy access to the engine compartment.
With the Mercury 5.7 MPI with Bravo 1 drive on our test boat, we reached 54.6 mph downwind, with
For liveaboard mode, all you need to bring are clothes, food, maybe a charcoal grill, bedding, and,
of course, the water toys.