Stingray Powerboats
Stingray 230LX
Boating Life - February 1999

Stingray 230LX

Stingray's new 230LX is a combination of speedboat technology and design applied to a family runabout.

Hurtling across the water at 61 mph may sound like a hair-raising experience. Aboard some boats, it can be. However, Stingray's new 230LX delivers that kind of speed with stability and poise. That refinement begins with Stingray's patented ZP hull. Originally conceived to improve handling, the ZP hull design actually effected an increase in speed and a decrease in fuel consumption. Compared to conventional hull-lifting strakes, the ZP design allows an undisturbed flow of water to glide under the hull. With conventional strakes, pockets of air create a vortex and hamper performance and handling. Stingray tests show that the ZP hull is 30 percent more efficient than other hulls.

Stingray engineers designed the hull using CAD/CAM technology to create a virtual three-dimensional model. Then they used a multi-axis milling machine to cut a full-size plug and make design changes as necessary.

The factory's manufacturing process also is computerized. It has a unique overhead monorail assembly line and an advanced database to keep track of accounting and inventory and retain boat history. A few keystrokes bring up the boat's mold number, part number and the employees who built it. It also stores the key code in case the owner loses his.

The fiberglass stringer system inside the 230's hull is cut with a five-axis water-jet cutting machine. The mill shoots a stream of water .007 inches thick at 50,000 PSI. This process is faster, easier and more exact than cutting by hand. Stingray thinks enough of its manufacturing procedures to back its boats with a five-year protection plan.

Up on deck, the 230 looks as fast as it goes. The bow section is long and pointed and sweeps back to a steeply raked wraparound windshield. Adjustable-vent windows introduce cooling breezes into the cockpit. The deck is self-bailing and all gel-coated fiberglass. A non-skid texture helps passengers keep sure footing when things get wet.

230LX steering wheel and dash

Dual swivel bucket seats turn the cockpit into a conversation pit. Behind the rear seat, a thickly upholstered sun pad with three built-in backrests —á la offshore-style boat — covers the engine compartment. Storage compartments flank the finished engine box. Back on the integrated swim platform a two-step stainless-steel swim ladder drops below water level. There's also a stainless grab rail high on the transom to help you out of the water. A ski tow eye comes standard, and the stainless cleats are mounted so they won't interfere with ski ropes. Like all the other cleats on the 230, they are through-bolted into glassed-in backing plates with custom rubber gaskets on the outside to keep from chipping the gel-coat. A pop-up cleat is located at the bow.

During testing, the team gave high marks for the helm. The 49-inch windshield — one of the highest in our tests — deflected air up and overhead. The instruments are fanned out across the dash and are readable in direct sunlight. Seats feature high backs and offer good support.

The bow also earned praise from the test team. They noted the bow had two built-in steps with nonskid finish, which allows the driver to pick up passengers by nosing up to the dock and having them step aboard. There is storage under both bow seats and a cooler built into the cockpit floor and another in the bow.

What We Thought

PERFORMANCE — Radar-clocked at 61 mph, the 230LX is the fastest boat in this year's tests. Even at that speed, the boat remains composed and stable.

CRUISING — At cruising speeds, the 230LX is barely breathing hard. The hull design allows you to cruise effortlessly and talk without having to shout at your passengers.

WATER-SPORTS — Plenty of pulling power and ample storage under the rear seat make the 230LX a good choice for towing sports.

Stingray 230LX
Length 22 ft., 8in.
Beam 96 in.
Fuel capacity 60 gal.
Cockpit* 75 in. (w) x 76 in. (l)
Cockpit depth* 36 in. (driver) x 34 in. (rear seat)
Bow interior* 62 in. (w) 60 in. (l)
Seating capacity (actual people)* 8
Driver knee room* 23 in.
Windshield height* 49 in.
Walk-through width* 21.5 in.
Passenger foot room* NA
Rear foot room* NA
Rear seat width* 72.5 in.
Rear seat to engine cover* NA
Dry weight 3,407 lb.
Platform 74 in.(w) x 15 in. (l)
Test engine 35 MerCruiser Mag MPI
Base engine 250-hp 5.7 liter MerCruiser V-8
Engine options up to 8.2 liters
MSRP on base boat $26,555
MSRP on test boat $30,936
Top speed 61 mph @ 4,800 rpm
Bowrise* 5.70 seconds w/ a 2-second loss of horizon
Speed @ 75% throttle* 42 @ 3,600 rpm
Speed @ 50% throttle* 10 @ 2,400 rpm, not on plane
Time to 30 mph* 7.24 seconds
Distance to 30 mph* 159.69 ft.
Noise Level* 84, 81, 97
*Test team measurement  

Boating Life
February 1999


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