One trend we've noticed the past few years is that builders are increasingly finding new ways to offer boaters more comfort and convenience in smaller packages. The brand new 25-foot 250CS from Stingray is a great example.

While 25 feet isn't necessarily small for a bowrider or a deckboat, it is pretty small for a cruiser. We're not talking about a cuddy cabin here; the 250CS is a true cruiser — and it offers an impressive amount of space for a 25-footer.

One element that really separates a cuddy cabin from a cruiser is a mid-berth under the ladder leading to the cabin below. The mid-berth on the 250CS has plenty of room for two people to sleep as well as a portlight and a mirror. The first thing you'll notice in the forward area of the cabin is the headroom — no dome scratching here. One of Stingray's design goals was a small cruiser with big-boat headroom in the cabin, and that's exactly what the 250CS has.

To starboard is the enclosed head, which comes standard with an opening portlight, shower, Porta Potti and dockside pumpout. A porcelain head with holding tank is optional. Again, you get plenty of headroom in the head compartment, and everything inside is covered to allow the space to double as a shower.

To port is the galley, which features a microwave, a single-burner electric stove, a 12v/110v refrigerator, a sink and plenty of pantry space. Meals aboard won't be a problem here.

 PERFORMANCE & PRICING
 STINGRAY 250CS

  PERFORMANCE  
MPH
RPM
MPG
RANGE
DBA
PEAK
47.8
4,800
2.03
124
89
CRUISE
32.4
3,500
3.12
191
82
TIME TO PLANE 7.2 seconds
0-30 MPH ACCELERATION 10.8 seconds
Fuel consumption measured with TechMate digital fuel-flow gauge; range based on 90% of total fuel capacity

  TEST POWER  
MOTOR   280 hp Volvo Penta 5.7Gi
PROP SET   F5 3-blade stainless steel
WOT LIMIT   5,000 rpm
Craft available with stern drives ranging from 220 hp to 320 hp from MerCruiser and Volvo Penta

  LOAD  
PEOPLE
FUEL (GALS/LBS)
MISC
TEST
1
34/213
15 lbs.
TYPICAL
5-6
68/426
100 lbs.

  BASE PRICE  
WITH TEST POWER $53,992*
*Price can vary depending on options and location — price does not include trailer or freight

  FINANCING  
$469/month for 15 years*

*Assuming a final price of $58,000 with a 10% down payment and a fixed interest rate of 7.0%—does not include sales tax

  FIVE NOTABLE OPTIONS  
Lenco trim tabs with LED indicator ($791), porcelain head w/holding tank ($692), full canvas set ($800), 110v AC w/reverse-cycle heat ($3,000), snap-in carpet ($346)

  FIVE NOTABLE STANDARDS  
Enclosed head (w/vent window, shower, Porta Potti and dockside pumpout), tilt power steering, Bimini top w/boot, transom shower, removable filler cushions for cockpit

The v-berth forward is wide and spacious, and there's a large circular hatch above to let in natural light and air. There's storage underneath as well as a lift-out dinette. All in all, the cabin on the 250CS rivals what we're used to seeing on larger 27- and 28-foot cruisers.

Above, in the cockpit you're greeted to this same notion of impressive space. Lounge seating wraps around the port and rear of the cockpit, while the driver gets a bucket seat with a bolster. There are even two footrests for the driver, one for when the bolster is down—both allow you to keep solid contact with the seat while making high-speed maneuvers.

Just aft of the driver's seat is a small wet bar with a good-sized counter, a covered sink and a dedicated space below for a 25-quart carry-on cooler.

All the way aft to starboard is the deep and wide walk-through transom, which gives you easy access on and off the boat as well as to the large integrated swim platform, which includes a three-rung fold-away boarding ladder, a nonskid surface and plenty of stainless steel grabrails all around.

PERFORMANCE

For our test run the Stingray 250CS had a 280hp Volvo Penta 5.7 Gi with a dual prop setup. Pushing the throttle all the way forward gave us a top speed of 47.8 mph, which is good considering the boat has a dry weight of more than 5,000 pounds and we were carrying a load of about 400 pounds including passengers and fuel. Acceleration was modest with a time to plane of 7.2 seconds and a 0-to-30 mph time of 10.8 seconds. Those looking for more top-end speed and acceleration will be happy to learn the 250CS can be equipped with as much as 320hp.

Handling was a breeze thanks to the standard power tilt steering. You'll definitely notice how high you sit in the water compared to a typical runabout or deckboat, which enhances the feel of the lean in the turns. Even though this is a cruiser, it's still got the ride and attitude of a sportboat. Our test boat was rigged with the optional Lenco trim tabs, which work great to balance the load or calm the ride down in rough water.

OVERALL

 SPECIFICATIONS
Length25 ft.
Beam8 ft., 6 in.
Capacity10 people
Dry weight5,025 lbs.
Fuel capacity68 gals.
Maximum power320 hp
Deadrise (@ transom)21°
As we mentioned in the beginning, the Stingray 250CS accomplishes a lot in a small amount of space. It's not easy to fit a true cruiser cabin into a 25-foot hull, but Stingray managed to pull it off in style.

In terms of price you're looking at $53,992 with our 280 hp motor, which is right where we'd expect the bottom line to be considering everything you get with this boat and Stingray's philosophy of quality boats and value-driven prices.

Go Boating Test Team
April 2007


 



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