Stingray Powerboats
Everybody Loves 'Ray
Go Boating - December 2000

The new 200MS Stingray 'SUV' brings maximum versatility to the water

200MS with T-Top 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.

200MS Pole Storage 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.

200MS Tackle Storage The boat is also available with a 210 hp Volvo Penta 4.3 Liter GI EFI S stern drive, with jack shaft installation.

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 bottoms.

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."

200MS Cockpit Aft, the boat's "performance notched transom" puts the prop higher in the water, reducing drag.

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 gear.

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 throttle/shift control.

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.

Forward Thinking
200MS Seat Storage 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.

200MS Aft Storage 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


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