During a test run in Stingrayís new 220DR deckboat, it came out of the hole in eight seconds.
It didn't take much longer for the boat to top out at 49.8 mph. OK, in a world of sportboats that
can exceed 50 mph and plane in six seconds, those numbers may not seem awe-inspiring. But catch
this: We recorded them on a mirror-flat surface with zero wind—two go-slow factors—and
the iron was a 260-hp MerCruiser sterndrive. This engine is among the lightest of a smorgasbord of
power choices offered for this model ranging up to 320 hp. Therefore, the aforementioned numbers
are not bad. They speak of a dependable design by a builder that is performance-oriented. And, when
it came time to cut doughnuts at full power, the 220 once again proved itself to be right up there
with bigger, badder boats.
The 220 also is stocked with thoughtful details. The folding stainless steel boarding ladder
forward, for instance, is enclosed in a hatch and is flush with the bow; if you make a bad landing,
youíre not going to trash the ladder. The aft boarding ladder can be deployed by a swimmer in the
water. Thatís an important safety factor. Thereís even a transom-mounted, waterproof trim switch,
in case youíre on the beach and want to trim the drive farther up. There also are washdowns located
fore and aft.
Rather than the usual plastic or Lexan windshield, the Stingrayís shield is tempered glass with
swing-out vents. The whole shooting match is rimmed with a heavy, cast-aluminum frame. The angle of
the windscreen is just right; you wonít get your hair ruffled by the slipstream. The skipper gets a
bolstered chair with armrests. At the helm, the Dino wheel is adjustable and the analog Teleflex
instrumentation can be read at a glance.
Most people buy a deckboat with skiing in mind, so thereís a molded-in ski locker in the cockpit
sole. The transom-mounted tow hitch is not the usual post and ring design. Itís an innovative
flush-mounted hook. Thereís no way you can snag anything on it.
Come winter lay-up time, an intelligently located forward cockpit drain (along with the usual aft
scuppers) ensures proper drainage. Stingrayís designers put plenty of thought into maintenance, as
well. The engine hatch lifts manually on two hydraulic rams and thereís enough room for you to work
without scorching your elbows. The wiring is well laid-out and protected; the circuit-breaker panel
is mounted under the dash to protect it from rain and spray.
The Stingray 220DR is designed for up to eight people, and thereís room to stow the whole gangís
gear, thanks to creative stowage throughout the boat. But thatís what a deckboat is supposed to do.
On those terms, the 220DR measures up to its competition. In addition, this deckboat offers creative
features and plenty of oomph for those who enjoy a thrill ride.