Short Test Stingray 225LR

Zee-licious
Less sugar, more spice.

If a bowrider is claimed to be faster, more efficient, and less expensive than its competitors, plus it handles like a dream, you'd be first in line for a sea trial, right? After my test of Stingray's 225LR, I say get in line. Powered by a 300-hp Volvo Penta 5.7 Gi DuoProp stern drive, my tester hit an impressive 58 mph. Most boats this size and weight, comparably powered, struggle to top 52 mph. Also, at 33 mph, the 225LR burned only 8 gph, delivering better than 4 mpg. In other words, the 225LR goes nearly 10 mph faster than its competitors while delivering the same efficiency. What does this mean for you? The 225LR offers a 200-mile range, better known as several Saturdays tearing up the lake without stopping for fuel. Some of this can be attributed to its low weight: at 3,364 pounds, the 225LR weighs several hundred pounds less than many 22' bowriders. Its transom is also notched, allowing the drive to be mounted higher for less drag. But credit must also go to Stingray's patented Z-plane hull.

You already know what most boat bottoms look like. Viewed from astern, each side is an angled panel running from keel to chine. Protruding from each panel are strakes, usually two per side. The flat horizontal surfaces of the strakes provide lift; their vertical sides improve tracking.

However, a Z-plane hull doesn't have protruding strakes. Instead, its hull panels are faceted. Each side of the hull bottom, between the keel and chine, consists of three panels, each a little narrower than the one above. The lower edge of one panel forms a corner, sort of like roof shingles, with the panel below it. Basically, the chines are recessed rather than protruding from the hull surface. One result, says Stingray, is cleaner water delivered to the prop, which makes the boat's speed and efficiency climb.

Stingray also claims that the Z-plane design delivers smoother handling in turns. There must be something to it. As I pushed the 225LR through the routine U-turns I use while testing, it cut dangerous curves with a style and grace that no competitor I have driven has ever delivered. The 225LR handles hairpin turns with impunity.

This isn't the glitziest boat you can buy, and because of that, it's not too pricey. But such features as a fiberglass stringer system, lined stowage compartments, and durable Nomex-backed upholstery seating ensure it's not cheap. Lastly, I liked the windshield side-vent windows, a feature that used to be common but is too often forgotten by boatbuilders today.

Kevin Falvey
Boating Magazine
July / August 2009
  Boating
  Certified Test Results

SPEED
EFFICIENCY
OPERATION
rpm
knots
mph
gph
naut.
mpg
stat.
mpg
n. mi.
range
s. mi.
range
run
angle
sound
level
1000
5.3
6.1
1.7
3.2
3.7
165
190
0
76
1500
7.2
8.3
3.4
2.1
2.4
109
125
1
77
2000
15.9
18.3
4.9
3.3
3.8
168
194
3
79
2500
24.0
27.6
5.9
4.1
4.7
208
240
3
80
3000
29.3
33.7
8.4
3.5
4.0
179
206
2
86
3500
35.5
40.8
11.8
3.0
3.5
154
177
2
89
4000
40.8
46.9
14.0
2.9
3.4
149
172
1
90
4500
44.8
51.5
17.8
2.5
2.9
129
148
1
91
4850
50.4
58.0
22.6
2.2
2.6
114
132
1
100
Advertised fuel capacity 57 gallons. Range based on 90 percent of that figure. Performance measured with two persons aboard, full fuel. Sound levels taken at helm, in dB-A.



STANDARD POWER: Single 220-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 SX gasonline stern drive.

OPTIONAL POWER: Single Volvo Penta gasoline stern drive to 320 hp; single Volvo Penta diesel stern drive to 190 bhp.

TEST BOAT POWER: Single 300-hp Volvo Penta 5.7Gi DP V-8 gasoline stern drive with 350 cid, swinging an F7 DuoProp ss propset through a 1.95:1 reduction.

STANDARD EQUIP: (major items) Built-in cooler w/drain; 25-qt. removable cooler; cockpit sole locker; 36-oz. foam-backed vinyl upholstery; hull graphics; ss pop-up cleat; ss boarding ladder; remote oil change system; power steering; LED lighting; circuit breakers.
LOA 22'11"

Beam 8'3"

Draft (max) 2'9"

Displacement (lbs, approx) 3,364

Transom deadrise 20 deg

Bridge Clearance 4'4"

Fuel capacity (gal) 57

Price (w/std power) $32,496

Price
(w/test power)
$38,442



High Points Speed, efficiency, and handling are tops in class. Electrical terminals are gel filled to thwart corrosion. All grounds lead to a single buss for easy troubleshooting. Smooth-walled bilge hose is costlier and provides better flow than a ribbed hose.

Low Points Aboard a boat this fast, the batteries should be secured by bolted brackets or racing-style, metal-framed boxes instead of a web strap and a plastic box. Anchor locker is too small. A stereo, Bimini top, and other "must-haves" are options.

Toughest Competitor Like the Stingray 225LR, Rinker's 226 XL has a walkthrough transom lounge and a big swim platform. It has a bigger anchor locker, a transom rumble seat, and a rubrail that encircles the swim platform. The Rinker hits 53 mph powered like my test boat, comes pretty much loaded and costs $45,353.




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