Everybody Loves 'Ray
- December 2000
The new 200MS Stingray 'SUV' brings maximum versatility to the water
Built to handle fishing, waterskiing and family fun, Stingray calls its all-new 200MS a "Sport
Utility" vessel. Like the popular on-or-off-road vehicles it's named for, the 200MS is attractively
styled and comfortably arranged for everyday family use. However, when you're ready for serious
sportfishing, wakeboarding or watersports, this versatile sport machine can tackle just about
anything you can dish out.
Anglers will appreciate the wealth of fishing amenities that come standard on the 200MS —
including a deep self-draining cockpit, walk-around decks, rod holders, a raised casting platform
and deep storage boxes at the bow, built-in rod storage racks, a 14 gallon transom mounted livewell
and adjacent fishboxes. An optional T-top adds even more versatility.
Watersports enthusiasts will go for the big integrated swim step with stainless steel boarding
ladder — and an optional custom arch can serve as an ideal wakeboarding tower. The boat's
standard bow lockers are large enough to stow tow ropes, skis and boards when they aren't in use.
While this boat comes fully equipped to handle so many boating activities, it is readily towable
— with an 8 foot beam, and an overall weight of around 3,000 pounds. It's 20 feet in length,
so it can be parked in an average-size garage.
Catch a Plane
We tested the 200MS during its introduction on South Carolina's Lake Robinson, with two adults
aboard and half a tank of fuel. Our test boat was equipped with a 210 hp MerCruiser 4.3 liter EFI
Alpha stern drive — installed using a jack shaft that allows the engine to be mounted in the
center of the boat, under the helm seat.
The advantages of this configuration are twofold: You get more space at the rear of the boat
for fishing, since there is no engine box to maneuver around; and the boat offers the smooth, solid
ride of an inboard engine, along with the speed and efficiency of a stern drive.
Thanks to the mid-boat engine placement, you can use trim tabs to adjust the size of the wake
the 200 MS produces. With the push of a switch, you'll get exactly the type of wake you want for
waterskiing or wakeboarding.
The boat is also available with a 210 hp Volvo Penta 4.3 Liter GI EFI S stern drive, with jack
During our test, we put the 200MS through a variety of turns, speed runs and other maneuvers
— and we were impressed with the boat's tight, precise handling and dry ride. Cornering was
excellent, and we made very tight turns even at 40 mph (4,200 rpm). For a single-engine boat, the
200MS backed easily — in a circle or straight line.
We were on plane in a quick 6.5 seconds, at 20.4 mph (at 2,800 rpm). We reached a top speed of
48.4 mph at wide-open throttle (at 4,950 rpm), and cruised at around 32 mph (at 3,500 rpm).
Stingray gave the 200MS a ZP (Z-plane) hull with 19 degrees of deadrise, and a Generation II
bottom. The new hull is designed to provide better performance and fuel efficiency than conventional
The hull's pronounced horizontal strakes, or "Z-planes," provide increased lift and knock down
spray. When they hit the water, the outside edges of each strake act as a spray release system,
so that the hull planes without catching bubbles — giving the propeller increased "bite."
Aft, the boat's "performance notched transom" puts the prop higher in the water, reducing
The engine itself is housed in a well-insulated compartment, concealed beneath a seating unit
that has a bench seat facing aft and a pair of upholstered bucket seats facing the helm. Lift the
hinged seat console, and you'll get easy access to the engine and all associated mechanical
We enjoyed excellent visibility at the ergonomically designed center console helm. The dash is
fully instrumented and includes a compass, a digital depth finder with bottom alarm, power trim
and tilt indicators and controls, well-labeled water-resistant circuit breakers, a stereo system,
a panel for mounting optional electronics (such as a fish finder and GPS) and a single lever
Below the wheel are two built-in footrests and an easy-to-grab fire extinguisher. The side of
the helm console has a large storage compartment for a portable head, and there is good access to
electrical wiring. An upholstered bench seat for two is built into the front of the console, and
a removable 25 quart Igloo cooler is hidden beneath it.
From bow to stern, Stingray included a long list of great features as standard equipment.
The bow offers a raised area where an upholstered pad can be added for extra seating, or an
angler can stand up and cast. Beneath this "casting platform" are two large self-draining lockers
that can also be used as fishboxes.
All the way forward, there's a convenient anchor locker. Sturdy stainless steel rails surround
the entire bow area.
Aft, built into the boat's transom, you'll find three compartments. The center contains a
livewell with rounded sides, and self-draining storage lockers or fishboxes are on each side.
Below each box are three transom side storage compartments, topped by three stainless steel
grabrails. At the base, in the sole, there's a large scupper to drain the cockpit, which looks
like the shower drain at home.
Standard features that you won't notice while taking a joyride include such useful
items as an electronic fuel management system, a fuel surge protector, an auto/manual bilge
pump system that removes up to 500 gallons per hour, a driveshaft revolution dampener and a
remote oil changing system.
The 200MS is available with no top, a canvas Bimini top, a fiberglass T-top (priced at an
extra $2,300) or a custom arch that's ideal for use as a wakeboard tower ($1,838 extra).
Our test boat had the optional T-top. Unlike the ones found on larger sportfishers, this
tower has no rocket launcher-type rod holders built-in. This would be a great spot to have
some installed, if you're planning to use the boat for offshore sportfishing.
We especially liked the T-top on our test boat — and we'd definitely recommend this
option. We'd also spring for the optional automatic fire extinguisher system ($411), the
battery on/off switch ($89) and the transom tilt and trim switch ($103).
Whatever options you decide to add — or not to add — you'll find the 200MS to
be extremely versatile and well-designed. Whether your boating goal is to fish, ski, wakeboard,
or day cruise, Stingray's 200MS is built to do it — in style.
Go Boating Test Team
Go Boating Magazine