Lakeland Boating July 2003

Stingray Powerboats
Stingray 240CR

Lakeland Boating - July 2003

This nicely gilded pocket cruiser is
versatile and satisfies the need for speed.

Stingray 240CR

After I took the Stingray 240CR for a sea trial, I wanted to take it home with me. A swift and stylin' number, this boat can do a lot of things well. Big enough for entertaining at a seasonal slip, it's also compact enough to be easily trailered, which opens the door to visiting a different port every weekend for us lubbers who are landlocked. Plus, at about $40,000 for the boat and trailer, it's a superb value for a weekend retreat.

My attachment to this boat all started on a blustery day in May when I met Jim Grewe, Stingray's Great Lakes rep, and John Noel of Grand Valley Marine at the public ramp in Grand Haven, Michigan. We had a choice of heading out onto Lake Michigan or running the boat through its paces on the more tranquil Spring Lake. With heavy winds, high seas and small-craft warnings, we opted for the latter.

As we idled though a no-wake zone, Grewe noted the boat's wide appeal. "At shows over the winter, we had the almost-retirement-age couple as well as young families and young couples," he said. "Mostly people who had a boat before, and quite a few who had owned open-bow Stingrays who wanted to overnight."

Brand loyalty is something Stingray actively promotes, especially on its website, which serves as an active forum for Stingray owners—and where the South Carolina company picks up plenty of design ideas. The 240CR, for example, is in its third year of production, but sports some innovative tweaks suggested by owners via the site.

"As those people boat every day, they give us ideas we might not think of," Grewe said.

Some of the recommendations that became part of the 240CR's design include a storage bin inside the step into the cuddy, a port-side cabinet in the cuddy, an enclave for reading material and a storage area built into the cabin bulkhead where a couple of sea bags could be stowed. These added touches optimize space and definitely add a lot to the overnight capability of this 24-foot cruiser.

spacer Stingray 240CR Bow Steps, Cabin Entry Stingray 240CR Sunpad Stingray 240CR Sink, Cooler Stingray 240CR Sink, Cooler

The 240CR is one of the three 24-footers in Stingray's lineup. The 240LR is a bowrider, while the 240CS is a mid-cabin design. The largest boats in Stingray's stable, the trio use the same hull configuration.

This model features a large, U-shaped seating area in the cockpit that wraps around the aft of the boat, providing room for up to six people. For dining, you can pop a single-pedestal table in the middle. For sunning, add two firmly supported cushions to create a massive sunpad. These cushions, as well as the table, store securely next to the motor.

A nice touch on the sofa is a snap-in cushion right in the middle of the transom. Take it off, and you have a nonskid gangway to climb aboard from the swim platform. In a testament to the boat's versatility, there's a shower, waterfill and even a trim switch back here. It's easy to board from the water or while the boat is on the trailer, thanks to a long, telescoping ladder. Two stainless steel grab handles are right where you need them when using the platform.

Forward of this on the port side is a sink with a removable, 25-quart cooler underneath. Directly across is a cabinet with another cooler built right into the top.

At the helm, both the pilot and passenger chairs swivel, allowing them to be used for round-the-boat discussions. Stingray makes it easy to access any part of the 240CR through the windshield via molded-in steps. On the bow, sunbathers can feel secure with the bow railing.

For a 24-footer, the cuddy features plenty of storage and is surprisingly roomy—two can sleep in the V-berth. The AM/FM radio and CD player pipe tunes out to two speakers in the cabin and two in the cockpit. The captain controls the stereo from the helm.

As for performance, MerCruiser's 5.0L MPI and Alpha drive make this boat a hot little cruiser, with speeds better than 50 mph at wide-open throttle. The 240CR jumps on plane in less than four seconds with very little bow lift and accelerates smoothly throughout the power curve. The boat has a polite cruising speed of about 28 mph while turning just over 3000 rpm.

Trimmed up to its sweet spot, the boat delivers a solid ride without a hint of getting squirrelly. It corners firmly, too.

Boarders should appreciate the boat's solid wake. Grewe explained that the company's patented Z-plane hull puts little air underneath when on plane, which means few bubbles mix in and come out under the transom. The end result? A solid, unaerated wake for killer leaps.

Our test boat included $2,900 Tennessee Custom trailer, snap-in carpet ($419) and the full canvas ($792). It also featured a "convenience package" with $3,625 worth of goodies ranging from an automatic/manual bilge pump to the helm's sport/bucket flip-up seat.

Take this Stingray out for a spin, and there's a good chance this sleek, speedy boat will instantly capture your attention. And I still think it would look really good in my slip.

Dave Mull
Lakeland Boating

LOA 23'6"
Beam 8'6"
Draft 2'10"
Weight 4037 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 68 gals.
Power Merc 5.0L MPI
Base Price $35,490
Price as Tested $41,224
Standard equipment
5-year hull protection plan • 3-year hull blister plan • patented Z-plane hull • insulated ice/storage box • bow anchor storage • translucent deck hatch • indirect cockpit lighting • woodgrain trim package • power trim & tilt w/ indicator • freshwater sink • fiberglass cockpit floor liner • remove oil-change system • power steering
Optional equipment
full Sunbrella canvas set • snap-in carpet (w/ glass liner only) • remote trim & tilt switch • digital depthfinder w/ alarm • 2-tone hull color stripe


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