Stingray Boats
Boat Test - Stingray 220DR

Power Boating Canada - February 2003

Stingray 220DR Brand new for 2003, the Stingray 220DR marks the builder's debut venture into the growing deckboat market. Based in Hartsville, South Carolina, the company is a family-owned business that has been building boats since 1979.

Over the years, Stingray has earned a very reputable name in the industry. Not only are they environmentally responsible by using fuel surge protectors and low VOC gelcoats and resins, they are also a founding member of the American Boat Builders Association and certified by the NMMA. With this impressive background, the 220DR should strike a major chord among family boaters.

I tested the boat on the relatively calm waters of Lake Robinson just off the Stingray lake house in Hartsville. The 220 has an almost rectangular footprint with a very blunt bow and broad beam, yet her profile is surprisingly sleek. Like a pontoon boat, there's plenty of room for eleven people and more space to feature an optional cooler, insulated ice box, ample storage, a built-in sink, fore and aft tables plus an enclosed head compartment.

Like a performance-oriented boat, the 220 rides on Stingray's patented Z-plane hull which incorporates a notched transom. This combination provides a higher top end speed, exceptional cornering and improves fuel efficiency by 30 percent, says the company.

At the bow there's an anchor locker and one feature that'll come in particularly handy, a boarding ladder with a shower/washdown. This will allow easy boarding when she is "bows up" on a beach. You'll find another ladder and washdown built into the aft integrated swim platform. For added convenience, there are filler cushions for the seats in the bow and cockpit.

The helm seat adjusts fore and aft and the instruments are well-organized to read at a quick glance. All the toggle switches are to the portside of the wheel and, to starboard, there's space for electronics.

Our test boat had a few nice options which included bow and cockpit covers with support poles, the two-tone hull colour stripe, a digital depth finder with alarm and a remote trim and tilt switch on the transom.

The 220 was powered with a Mercury 5.0L MPI with an Alpha One drive and a 19-inch aluminum prop. When it came time for a sea trial, I headed out on the lake by myself with a half-tank of fuel. Her planing was very respectable at 3.8 seconds with little bow rise. From a standing start, she accelerated to 45 mph in just over 14 seconds. As I took the boat through a series of high-speed slalom turns at that speed, the 220 felt very secure and sure-footed without the slightest feeling of the hull breaking free. At wide open throttle I hit a top speed of 51.6 mph.

Throttling back, the 220 held on plane right down to 19.2 mph at 2900 rpm. I found a comfortable, and quiet, cruising speed of 27.5 mph at 3000 rpm.

If you'd like to find out more about their lineup, Stingray has a very impressive website you can check out at www.stingrayboats.com. Not only is it very interactive for dealers, individuals can log on to their own private Stingray account. Stingray owners can access articles, reviews, manuals and even utilize a performance calculator. You'll find a lot of other information there too. I really enjoyed the performance calculator feature.

Overall, Stingray's 220DR is a well-built boat which offers good value for the money. The high freeboard and easy handling characteristics make this an ideal model for family boating. She is safe and sure-footed. There are a lot of amenities for a boat of this size and other boaters will certainly find her attractive.

While performing the sea trial, I was flagged down by another vessel I initially thought might have been in some sort of distress. As it turned out, the 220DR had really caught their eye and they just wanted to find out a bit more about it!

Mike Burns
Power Boating Magazine




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