We love the classic lines of a bowrider -- especially when it
also has enough seating capacity to bring along all our friends -- and Stingray's 220LX is
one of our favorites. With the ability to seat 10 adults and still have the zip of a sport
boat, the 220LX offers a unique hull design, high speed performance and affordability.
We tested the Stingray 220LX on a slightly overcast day on Florida's Sarasota Bay and were
impressed with its performance.
Stingray's patented zp hull has a racing style notched transom, allowing the engine to be
mounted higher for less drag, enhanced fuel efficiency and better top speed.
Powered by a 5.7L MerCruiser EFI Bravo III, our test boat cut through the chop, giving us a
relatively smooth ride and the boat reached a top speed of 57.1 mph. It didn't take a lot of
throttle to put the boat on a plane, nor did the bow raise noticeably.
The standard power steering is very responsive through even the tightest maneuvers and the
hull is able to track straight without much input from the helm. There is also minimal slide
during turns giving the operator more control.
Vessel With Vision
As you slide into the helm seat, you'll notice that the 220LX's interior looks as sporty as
it performs and that the dash is reminiscent of those on high-performance boats.
The fully instrumented helm features backlit Teleflex gauges set in burled wood, tilt
steering, a depth finder, a compass, illuminated switches, a 12v outlet and a Teleflex steering
wheel. Its computer generated ergonomic design ensures generous leg room, correct helm position,
convenient control locations and overall comfort.
The helm and companion bucket seats are fully adjustable fore and aft as well as swivel, which
can turn the cockpit into an entertainment area when the boat is stopped. They are constructed of
injection molded polypropylene cores instead of wood for longer wear. The standard Sunbrella
Bimini top comes with a see-through filler to give even the tallest operators standing headroom
when the canvas is on.
The port side console has a burled wood lockable glove box and a covered AM/FM cassette stereo
with four speakers.
Forward, the bow seats are roomy enough so that even more amply sized adults can sprawl out.
There is also plenty of storage space under the bow cushions. The forward hanging anchor locker
has cleats on port and starboard so you can easily tie off on either side.
Passengers sitting in the cockpit are protected from the wind by a Taylor clear view windshield
with side vents. Additional seating is provided by the aft bench seat with more storage underneath.
The infloor ski locker drains overboard and offers plenty of room for all your water toys.
Other features include side storage, drink holders, courtesy lights, grab handles and a 48
quart cooler in the floor which is large enough to hold a two liter soda bottle standing up.
The aft sunpad lifts up via the hydraulically assisted hatch for easy engine access. The engine
compartment has a designated area to stow a Bimini top with a boot for protection and carpeted
storage dividers that can separate your gear while under way or can be folded down to make it
easy to work on the engine.
Reboarding swimmers and water skiers is easy via the recessed two-step ladder on the integrated
When we finally pulled the 220LX out of the water after our test, something else caught our
eye. The brass garboard screw-in drain plug fastens in solid fiberglass, preventing water seepage
into the transom core.
Leading the Way
But what really sets the 220LX apart is the quality of the construction and detailing that
seems impossible at such a reasonable price tag.
Stingray Powerboats has really come into its own, having grown from a 1,500 square foot plant
with 11 employees to more than 200,000 square feet with more than 100 employees.
It is now one of the most technologically sophisticated builders in the world, producing more
than 2,000 boats a year ranging from 18 to 23 feet long.
A unique overhead tram system, developed just for Stingray, carries parts around the plant
under computer control.
Each boat is created and tested using advanced computer design and manufacturing programs,
and a multi-axis milling machine produces three-dimensional parts from computer instructions.
Where many builders use power saws to trim fiberglass components in a blizzard of fiberglass
dust, Stingray uses a computer-controlled water-jet cutting machine -- that uses a stream of
water .007 of an inch thick firing at more than 50,000 psi -- to cut quickly and neatly through
a variety of material much more easily.
Stingray's thorough lamination process combines robotics and skilled craftsmanship. All hulls
are constructed of hand-laid fiberglass with Klegecel and Coremat cores for a high strength to
All this cutting-edge technology also allows Stingray to offer an affordable product. The 220LX
costs $20,844 with a 4.3L MerCruiser. And Stingray backs every model it produces with a