Stingray 200CS/CX
Lakeland Boating - May 1995

NOTE: the 200CS/CX were previously the 609zp

200CS image link Stingray's latest entry into the small cruiser market is the 609zp. At just over 20 feet it has all the performance and pizzazz you'd expect in a sportboat and yet has the amenities to qualify for second-home tax status.

Stingray Boat Co. was founded by South Carolinian Al Fink, who began his boat-building quest 12 years ago. Al is one of those interesting entrepreneurs who is intense, knows a lot about a lot of things, and has an enthusiasm that is well-placed and catching. He has surrounded himself with good people and has more than a passing interest in what the computer can do as a design tool. Stingray has used CAD/CAM extensively in creating its products. Using three-dimensional drafting, the designers can best utilize space and maximize every available inch.

Stingray is very proud of its patented z-plane hull, which is a major innovation in bottom design that was developed on the CAD system. There are no extraneous surfaces or strakes. Z-planes act as horizontal planing faces when submerged, and when very near the water's surface the outside edge of the z-plane acts as a spray release. This design passes through the water with no bubbles or vertices formed by the hull shape.

The use of planar lines enables the hull to be dip-free from whatever angle it is viewed. The smooth flow of water generated by this design allows the propeller better bite during both straight-line speed and hard cornering. The 609zp also has a notched transom, sometimes called a step, which is used on offshore racing boats. It allows the drive to be mounted higher to reduce drag. The overall effect of all this is that because there are no bubbles generated by the bottom when the boat is under way, a vacuum forms and holds the craft to the water. The same thing happens in a turn. The boat clings to the water and you do not experience the side-to-side unstable motion that you do with some other hulls.

The cabin on this mini-cruiser is entered through two sets of bi-fold doors that open independently. When these doors are both open there is plenty of room magazine quote to negotiate, even for my 200-plus-pound frame. As you enter the cabin you come upon two facing seats that are cantilevered to provide maximum headroom and can be placed flat to become part of the V-berth for additional sleeping room. The galley consists of a single-burner alcohol stove with cutting board, which is hidden from view by the berth cushions when not in use. There is a three-gallon freshwater supply with overboard drain.

The cabin has plenty of light, both natural and electric. There is a large Bomar hatch and two ports. Electric lighting is provided by two 12-volt fixtures mounted on the starboard bulkhead. Storage is generous, with a bin under the forward bow cushion and two smaller areas behind the facing seats' headrests.

Above deck, cockpit seating is an adjustable bucket seat at the helm, a back-to-back recliner on the port side, and two jump seats next to the motor box. The jump seats can be raised to the height of the motor box to make a sun lounge, and the boat's bimini top stores behind the compartment.

The instrument panel glows with Teleflex gauges, including fuel, trim, speedometer, tachometer, hour meter, voltmeter, temperature, and oil pressure. Also at the helm is a Maxxima marine cassette stereo with two speakers mounted in the dash bulkhead. There is a large 46-quart insulated cooler in the sole of the boat that drains into the bilge.

A Stingray boat is an extremely well-built boat, and the 609zp lives up to the company's reputation. They use high-quality laminates in construction as well as aluminum backing plates to ensure solid installation of the boat's hardware (which, by the way, is through-bolted rather than screwed in).

Performance is a feature Stingray is noted for, owing in large part to the aforementioned z-plane hull. It offers a very solid ride and corners as if held in place by crazy glue. And powered by the standard MerCruiser 4.3LX you won't lack for thrills. With a 23-inch Lazer II prop, the 609zp will top 56 mph turning 4,900 rpm.

If you are looking for a family boat that will give you the performance and speed of a sportboat yet with amenities enough for a weekend for two, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the 609zp.

Lakeland Boating Magazine
May 1995


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