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.
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.
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.
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.