Boating is all about choices. There are many things you can do on the water, and having the
right boat to do them adds to the enjoyment. Two of the most popular activities are fishing
and skiing, and with Stingray's new 190FX, they are not mutually exclusive. This is a boat
that lets you have the best of both worlds, as well as a third option: speed. The 190FX is a
sprightly little rocket, indeed.
Measuring an even 19 feet in length overall, the 190FX sports a 7'7" beam. An easily
trailerable 2,590 pounds of dry weight (with the base engine) means you can take it to where
the action is. There's plenty of cockpit space for people and gear. Five people can sit
comfortably amidships and two more can stretch their legs at the bow. The main cockpit, which
measures 6'1" wide by 8'7" long, has two swivel captain's chairs and a bench seat. The helm
features full engine instrumentation and switches that control lights, horn and accessories. A
Humminbird depth gauge is an option, as is a tilt steering wheel. On the passenger side, a
lockable, carpeted glovebox keeps valuables safe, and an optional high-power Sony AM/FM stereo
cassette deck drives four speakers to fill the boat with sound. Oh, and of course, there are
lots of cupholders.
Open the walk-through windshield to enter the forward seating area. Pop in a removable
support panel and filler cushions and the bowrider area converts to a large sun pad. Take
away the cushions and you have a casting platform with a chair. When the 190FX is in its
fishing mode, you can keep your lures organized in the two-drawer tackle locker at the peak
of the bow. Just to port is an electrical control panel with accessory switches and and a
power plug for a trolling motor. The mounting position for the trolling motor is within easy
reach of the casting seat. There's also an ample anchor locker amidships, along with storage
compartments under each seat cushion.
The 190FX has a 36-quart livewell under the center section of the cockpit bench seat,
complete with a standard recirculating pump. On either side of it are additional storage
compartments. There's a large, removable hatch in the cockpit sole that opens to a carpeted
storage compartment for skis, boards or fishing rods. A shelf runs in the cockpit coaming
along the full length of each side for more space to hold your stuff.
A second sun pad is attached to the engine hatch with snaps; it's a great spot for catching
rays. Take it off and you convert the aft portion of the 190FX to its fishing configuration,
including a second chair and casting platform. For in-water activities, the molded swim
platform has a recessed, two-step swim ladder.
A pair of gas-assisted shock absorbers keep the engine hatch open. When not in use, the
fishing chairs fold and stow inside the engine compartment. You can also fold up the
convertible top and store it there. Everything on the engine is easily accessible for fluid
checks and fills. The power trim pump is located to port and aft, and the battery is in the
same spot on the starboard side.
Our test boat was equipped with a Mercury 4.3L V-6 engine with EFI. It's one of two Merc
engine options available for the 190FX. The other is a carbureted version of the same block.
The 4.3L V-6 EFI is rated at 210 php and will top out at 56 mph, while the carbureted version
turns 190 horses and comes in 2 mph slower. Both engines are mated with an Alpha One drive and
a 23-inch aluminum prop. Your 190FX can also be Volvo Penta powered—a 4.3GL or
4.3GI EFI engine mated with an SX drive. Top speeds for the Volvo 4.3s are the same as the
Regardless of whether you choose a Merc or a Volvo, I'd recommend the EFI option if you're
doing a lot of skiing. You'll be able to pull a skier out of the hole quicker. However, for
just plain cruising or getting to your favorite fishing spot, it's your choice among the
Regardless of which engine you choose, the 190FX comes on plane quickly and has tight
steering response in turns at cruising speed. Stingray's patented, fuel-efficient Z-Plane
Hull is rated as one of the most slippery in the water for boats this size; as a result the
190FX is a smooth-running and well-mannered boat.
To top off the 190FX, you can take the standard Sunbrella convertible top that comes with
the boat or upgrade to a full canvas set and add side curtains. There's also a mooring cover
available, along with a canvas cover for the bow.
The 190FX is a true value for a boat its size. Compare to others in its class, it delivers
performance, features and versatility at an affordable price. What's more, it has a five-year
owner protection plan. Depending on how it's rigged, the 190FX sells, complete with trailer,
for about $20,000. You could pay more, but why? Take a ride in one. See if you're not