Stingray’s new 205 CX may be the most spirited cuddy you’ll
ever enjoy — something we discovered during our test on a calm fall day on South Carolina’s Lake Robinson. Our rig was
powered by a 225 hp Volvo Penta 4.3L GXi, and we also got to run a 270 hp Volvo V-8 in the open-bow version of this hull
(see sidebar). One of the hallmarks of Stingray boats is speed, as this company is able to wring more out of a given
engine than nearly any other boatbuilder. As proof, the 205 cuddy topped out at 55.6 mph — quite an accomplishment for a
21-footer with a V-6.
Stingray’s Z-plane hull design features lifting strakes specially designed to avoid aerating water that flows to the
prop, but this is not the only reason for the 205’s good turn of speed and easy handling. As is the case with many boat
companies, Stingray uses a notched transom that allows the sterndrive to be set higher in the hull than does a
conventional transom. This means less drag and more speed.
Definitely a performance-oriented hull, the 205 CX planes quickly, tracks true and corners precisely. Featuring 19
degrees of transom deadrise, it provides a firm ride that is free of most bumps and thumps. Stingray’s new cuddy is not
prone to excessive bow steer when running with the bow down and, when trimmed up, rides free, easy and fast.
LAYING IT OUT
The 205 CX’s cabin has a V-berth and two facing seats adjacent to the bulkhead. The seats offer adequate sitting headroom,
but not much more. A portable head tucks under the V-berth, and a net-type package holder provides a handy place to store
those small items that always seem to get wet or lost on a boat.
Twin bucket seats at the helm are comfortable and offer good visibility of the gauges and surroundings. In the corner,
on the mate’s side, are a small sink and stereo. The 205 cuddy’s extensive list of standards includes a butane stove. The
berth, coupled with the stove, potty and sink, allows this model to qualify for the second home tax deduction — always a
good thing. A storage compartment located in the sole is suitable for icing down drinks.
Recognizing that bowriders are America’s favorite trailerable boats, we have to admit having a soft spot for cuddies. They
don’t seat as many passengers, but few people like to spend a lot of time in the bowrider area, children excepted. The
cabin lets you get out of the weather if it rains, is a great place to store snacks and gear, and provides a place for kids
to nap or hide from the sun. Although this boat’s small cuddy is not really suitable for extended cruising, it works well
Ultimately, the Stingray 205 CX is a free spirit wrapped in a family-friendly package, at a reasonable price. The
smallest available engine — a 190 hp V-6 — in this hull will provide a level of performance that will satisfy most owners.
The 225 hp engine that we tested — or if even more is needed, an available 270 hp V-8 — will push the performance envelope
even further. Either way, the Stingray 205 CX is an impressive performer.
BONUS WEB INFORMATION (from Trailer Boats web site)
MORE ON STINGRAY’S 205 BOWRIDER AND CUDDY MODELS
Stingray has been a leader in computerized manufacturing techniques. Computerized routers, a water-jet cutting machine and
a three dimensional milling machine allows Stingray to produce parts with a precision fit, so the fit and finish of Stingray
hulls is consistently good — as was the case with the 205 CX cuddy and 205 LR bowriders we tested.
Both hulls employ foam-filled fiberglass stringer systems. Hull lay ups are computer controlled and utilize both hand lay
up and robotics. Hull structures use Coremat and Klegecel cores to improve each boat’s strength-to-weight ratio. Seating
surfaces are equally robust, and consist of 36-ounce foam-backed marine vinyl treated with PreFixx, a process that reportedly
makes surfaces extremely resistant to marks, stains and scuffs. The upholstery is neatly stitched, with straight seams and no
Our CX model’s cockpit featured a sunlounge over the engine with a bench seat in front. A second version of the cuddy
model, the 205 CS, features an engine box with jumpseats on either side. This provides additional space in the cockpit — but
with a slight loss in storage on either side of the engine. In both the CX and CS versions, a circular hatch provides access
to the foredeck and anchor locker.
By comparison, the 205 bowrider is available in three configurations, the LR, LS and LX. The 205 LR we tested features a
sunlounge with walkthrough over the engine bay, fronted by a U-shaped aft bench seat that extends forward along the port and
starboard sides. The LX version also has an oversize sunlounge and stern bench, but foregoes the side wings for additional
cockpit space. The 205 LS opens up the cockpit even more with a conventional engine box and aft jumpseats that transition to
a helm bucket seat, plus a back-to-back reclining lounge on the port side.