Stingray's latest entry into the bowrider market is the 195LR. At just under 20 feet, this newcomer
has enough room for a small crowd plus all the performance and pizzazz to keep new boaters and
seasoned salts entertained all day long.
Based in Hartsville, South Carolina, Stingray is a family-owned business that has been launching
models since 1979. Its line consists of more than 18 boats ranging from 18 to 23 feet, offering a
variety of available packages for cruising, fishing and family boating. The company also offers
environmentally-friendly models that use fuel surge protectors and incorporate low VOC gel coats and
resins into the construction process. Stingray is a founding member of the American Boat Builders
Association and certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). With this
background emphasized on the 195LR, they have produced a model that should strike a chord among many
At the dock, the sporty red and white gel coat finish exhibited a brilliant shine. Smooth flowing
lines were complemented by a flush-mounted horn and pop-up cleats, located amidships and at the bow.
A set of aft cleats were mounted inboard at approximately 45 degrees to the deck for a clean yet
functional look. Stingray also utilized stainless steel for the deck and thru-hull fittings.
Located aft is a generous swim platform featuring a tow eye, recessed three-step telescopic ladder
and stainless steel grab rail. Sun worshipers will appreciate the sun pad over the engine compartment.
It is large, with an attractive red and grey laid design that adheres to the color scheme of the hull
with a flip of a latch, two gas rams raise it smoothly to reveal the engine compartment. A thoughtful
idea here is the set of removable dividers on either side of the engine. This allows excess space in
the compartment for storage, without the risk of items being caught in moving parts of the engine.
The bimini top is also conveniently stowed here. However, I was a little concerned by its close
proximity to the engine risers.
In the cockpit, there's seating for three or more thanks to the large wrap-around rear bench with
storage. Underneath are three divided, carpet-lined storage compartments while plenty more space
awaits in the large wakeboard/ski locker in the cockpit sole. This locker is also carpet-lined, and
has a reinforced non-skid starboard lid that flush-fits into the opening. While it is functional, I
would prefer to see the lid hinged and fitted with a gas-assisted ram.
The driver and forward passenger ride in style on swivel bucket seats. A thoughtful idea is the
mesh netting on the seat back, providing a great place to keep spare charts close at hand. Helm
highlights include a sport Dino steering wheel, plus a full array of instrumentation neatly mounted
on an elliptical wood-grain finish panel. The dash has a lower profile for increased visibility.
The passenger console features a locking glove box with a Kenwood stereo mounted above, oversized
drink holders a stainless steel grab handle. For smaller items, like sunglasses or keys, a shelf
with mesh netting in the side panel keeps them secure.
Entering past the walk-through windshield, the bow has cushioned seating with rounded bases for
easier access and more space. Some other appointments include stainless steel bow rails, over-sized
drink holders and a 32-quart cooler.
Stingray is very proud of its patented Z-plane hull, which is a major innovation developed on a
Computer Aided Design (CAD) system. There are no extraneous surfaces or strakes. Z-planes act as
horizontal planning 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 little or no
turbulence being formed by the hull shape. The smooth flow of water generated by this design
improves prop bite, whether during straight-line speeds or hard cornering.
In addition to the Z-planes, the 195's hull incorporates a transom notch allowing the outdrive
to be mounted higher, thus creating less drag, which helps increase performance.
Power of choice was the Volvo 4.3L MPI with a 21-inch aluminum prop. Running solo with a
half-tank of fuel, I set out on Lake Robinson in Hartsville to put some of the company's claims to
the test. Time on plane was very respectable at 3.4 seconds with a fair amount of bow rise.
Mid-range acceleration was extremely solid, running from 23 mph to 48 mph in 8.6 seconds. I put the
boat through a series of high-speed maneuvers and a variety of speeds and the handling was
phenomenal. Even while performing an aggressive series of high speed turns, I could not break the
hull free. It was a very sure-footed and comfortable ride. At wide open throttle, the 195LR hit a
respectable top speed of 60.4 mph at 5,900 rpm.
Overall, Stingray's 195LR is an exciting boat that offers good value for the money. With a
generous amount of room on board and exhilarating performance, you'll be sure to keep a crowd
entertained on the water all day long.