Stingray's 185LX may be one of the company's smallest models, but it's certainly big on performance
Built to handle a crowd, the 185 is rated to carry seven passengers or 1,070 pounds. In the
cockpit, the LX model sports a pair of bucket seats, a full-width rear bench plus a large sunpad.
The cockpit sole features a carpeted wakeboard/ski locker with a non-skid starboard lid, while
additional storage can be found under the aft bench and under the seats below.
At the helm is sporty Dino steering wheel and a full array of instrumentation neatly mounted
on an elliptical woodgrain-finish panel. The dash on this model features a lower profile, allowing
increased visibility. On the passenger's side, there's a locking glove box and mounted just above
is a Kenwood stereo. The exposed flush-mounted hinges on the glove box lid were certainly functional,
but I think recessed hinges would look much better.
The bow section of the 185 has been designed longer and wider than its predecessor, the 180.
Stainless steel bow rails are mounted on the gunnel for additional safety as well as added security
Located aft is a spacious integrated, non-skid swim platform complete with a ski-tow eye. When
it is time to take a dip, a three-step, telescopic stainless steel ladder provides convenient
The 185LX is built on Stingray's patented Z-plane hull that is designed to provide better prop
bite, agility, fuel efficiency and performance. All Stingray hulls feature notched transoms for an
optimum flow of water to the prop. I set out on the quiet waters of Lake Robinson, near Stingray's
head office in Hartsville, South Carolina, to put these claims to the test.
Power of choice was the standard 135 hp 3.0L MerCruiser, rigged to an Alpha One drive spinning
a 21-inch aluminum prop. Running solo with a half-a-tank of fuel, the hole shot was a respectable
3.2 seconds with minimal bow rise. Cruising speed at 3,500 rpm was 32.3 mph on the GPS, and at WOT,
The 185 is also available in the LS seating configuration, which features a driver's bucket
seat, an adjustable back-to-back lounger and a set of aft jump seats. Whatever configuration you
choose, you'll be set for a fun-filled day on the water.