NOTE: the 200CS/CX were previously the 609zp
Stingray's latest entry into the small cruiser market is the 609zp. At just
over 20 feet it has all the performance and pizzazz you'd expect in a sportboat
and yet has the amenities to qualify for second-home tax status.
Stingray Boat Co. was founded by South Carolinian Al Fink, who began his
boat-building quest 12 years ago. Al is one of those interesting entrepreneurs
who is intense, knows a lot about a lot of things, and has an enthusiasm that
is well-placed and catching. He has surrounded himself with good people and has
more than a passing interest in what the computer can do as a design tool.
Stingray has used CAD/CAM extensively in creating its products. Using
three-dimensional drafting, the designers can best utilize space and maximize
every available inch.
Stingray is very proud of its patented z-plane hull, which is a major
innovation in bottom design that was developed on the CAD system. There are no
extraneous surfaces or strakes. Z-planes act as horizontal planing faces when
submerged, and when very near the water's surface the outside edge of the z-plane
acts as a spray release. This design passes through the water with no bubbles or
vertices formed by the hull shape.
The use of planar lines enables the hull to be dip-free from whatever angle
it is viewed. The smooth flow of water generated by this design allows the
propeller better bite during both straight-line speed and hard cornering. The
609zp also has a notched transom, sometimes called a step, which is used on
offshore racing boats. It allows the drive to be mounted higher to reduce drag.
The overall effect of all this is that because there are no bubbles generated by
the bottom when the boat is under way, a vacuum forms and holds the craft to the
water. The same thing happens in a turn. The boat clings to the water and you do
not experience the side-to-side unstable motion that you do with some other hulls.
The cabin on this mini-cruiser is entered through two sets of bi-fold doors
that open independently. When these doors are both open there is plenty of room
to negotiate, even for my 200-plus-pound frame. As you enter the cabin you come
upon two facing seats that are cantilevered to provide maximum headroom and can
be placed flat to become part of the V-berth for additional sleeping room. The
galley consists of a single-burner alcohol stove with cutting board, which is
hidden from view by the berth cushions when not in use. There is a three-gallon
freshwater supply with overboard drain.
The cabin has plenty of light, both natural and electric. There is a large
Bomar hatch and two ports. Electric lighting is provided by two 12-volt fixtures
mounted on the starboard bulkhead. Storage is generous, with a bin under the
forward bow cushion and two smaller areas behind the facing seats' headrests.
Above deck, cockpit seating is an adjustable bucket seat at the helm, a
back-to-back recliner on the port side, and two jump seats next to the motor box.
The jump seats can be raised to the height of the motor box to make a sun lounge,
and the boat's bimini top stores behind the compartment.
The instrument panel glows with Teleflex gauges, including fuel, trim,
speedometer, tachometer, hour meter, voltmeter, temperature, and oil pressure.
Also at the helm is a Maxxima marine cassette stereo with two speakers mounted in
the dash bulkhead. There is a large 46-quart insulated cooler in the sole of the
boat that drains into the bilge.
A Stingray boat is an extremely well-built boat, and the 609zp lives up to the
company's reputation. They use high-quality laminates in construction as well as
aluminum backing plates to ensure solid installation of the boat's hardware (which,
by the way, is through-bolted rather than screwed in).
Performance is a feature Stingray is noted for, owing in large part to the
aforementioned z-plane hull. It offers a very solid ride and corners as if held in
place by crazy glue. And powered by the standard MerCruiser 4.3LX you won't lack
for thrills. With a 23-inch Lazer II prop, the 609zp will top 56 mph turning 4,900
If you are looking for a family boat that will give you the performance and
speed of a sportboat yet with amenities enough for a weekend for two, you owe it to
yourself to take a look at the 609zp.
Lakeland Boating Magazine