Stingray Powerboats
Stingray’s Zippy New Bowrider Really Fast

The Log Newspaper - March 18, 2004

BENT FOR SPEED - Stingray’s new bowrider is, in a word, "zippy." The 195LR, a bowrider that rides on the company’s patented next-generation ZP-Hull, is uncharacteristically fast.

Stingray 195LR

Zippy. If I were to venture a guess as to what the ZP in Stingray Powerboats’ ZP-Hull design stands for, that would be it.

I recently had the opportunity to test-drive the company’s new 195LR, a bowrider that rides on the company’s patented next-generation ZP-Hull - it is uncharacteristically fast.

Like many boating enthusiasts, Stingray president and founder Al Fink has a passion for performance and a bent for speed. Hence the ZP-Hull.

At the unveiling of the 195LR at a press conference in Hartsville, S.C., Fink, standing at the docks next to the boat, said with ever-so-slight a grin:

"This boat will hit 60 mph…with a V6."

"Really. A V6?"

The grin grew bigger, and Fink simply nodded.

"Wow. That’s impressive. What do you attribute that to?"

It’s the new hull," Fink explained. "You can’t really see it from here, but we extended the running surface a little and changed some angles."

After a bit more prodding on my part, I learned that the new ZP-Hull includes special contours to the running surface, which extend beneath both sides of the integrated swim platform and create virtually three-point contact with the water at high speeds.

Notched Transom Eliminates Some Drag

And, like all Stingray models, the 195LR includes a notched transom. It’s not a big cutout, but it does allow the sterndrive to set a little higher up the transom, thereby eliminating some of the outdrive’s drag in the water, resulting in faster speeds.

I climbed aboard the 19-foot, 6-inch bowrider and opened the engine hatch.

Inside was a Volvo Penta 4.3GSi. (Stingray also offers MerCruiser engines.) The fuel-injected V6 generates 225 hp and, in this case, it was coupled to an SX drive unit spinning a 21-inch stainless steel propeller.

Armed with a Garmin handheld GPS, I took the 195LR for a ride.

After a brief shakedown of its handling characteristics to familiarize myself with its "personality," I opened it up and headed for the opposite end of Lake Robinson.

Sure enough, before long my GPS indicated 60.6 mph.

At that speed, the boat rides freely out of the water for the most part, giving the distinct feeling that you are riding on a cushion of air - which, in fact, you are. It’s an exhilarating experience.

At lesser speeds, the 195LR maneuvered admirably.

With the proper trim setting, the boat turns very well, and the prop keeps its bite. Time to plane is approximately three seconds, during which the driver can maintain forward visibility for the most part because there is minimal bow rise.

Acceleration Is Crisp

Acceleration is crisp. Zero to 30 mph only takes about seven seconds. For those interested in wakeboarding, the 195LR builds a fairly nice launch pad of a wake in the 18-mph range.

There is more to the 195LR than solid performance and good handling, however.

It is the first Stingray boat to feature a wrap-around lounge seat in the aft cockpit. Previous models have either had a straight bench across the stern or a pair of jump seats next to the motor box.

This configuration is more in vogue and creates a better social atmosphere due to its expanded seating.

To create more usable interior space, Stingray tapered the sidewalls of the 195LR more than on previous models.

Both the driver and passenger bucket seats swivel around to face aft, which is nice for entertaining at the dock or in a quiet cove.

A cockpit table can be positioned in the center of the wrap-around section to further enhance the boat’s entertainment value.

Oversized drink holders are also conveniently built into the lounge. Sunbathers will enjoy soaking up rays on the padded sun lounge over the engine.

Additional passengers can relax in the open bow, which has also been refined from previous models.

To provide more legroom and simultaneously improve aesthetics, Stingray made the seat bases less angular and more curved.

Makes The Most Of Available Space

In addition to having individual drink holders, passengers in the bow also have their own built-in cooler. It drains overboard for convenience and has a smooth finish for easy cleanup.

To make the most out of available space, Stingray installed the cooler beneath the forward step and put drink holders to the side. The step itself is a nice feature, which makes boarding from the bow a safe and easy process.

Stingray wisely uses a pop-up cleat at the forepeak to reduce the chance of stumbling. Storage is always an important issue on boats, and the 195LR’s is more than adequate.

All seat cushions, with the exception of the bucket seats, lift to reveal storage space, and there is some room built into the gunwales, too.

Considerable storage space is also found on either side of the engine.

Folding partitions raise when items are stored here to keep them from coming in contact with the engine.

Dedicated water ski and wakeboard storage is built into the sole of the boat, while small items can be placed in the locking glove box or in storage nets found on the rear of the bucket-seat backrests.

Stingray also implemented some improvements in the dash.

The helm, for instance, has a lower-profile elliptical instrument panel that provides the driver better forward visibility and easier access to clean the inside of the windshield.

High Value And Performance

On the passenger side, Stingray cleverly tucked the boat’s stereo CD forward of the flat glovebox so that it is better protected from rain by the windshield.

The new design even allows small space for installing aftermarket electronics.

Stingray offers customers some items seldom included as standard equipment.

For instance, with the purchase of any model comes a personal Website, hosted by Stingray. It is a place to display photos of your boat and also offers numerous other features.

The list also includes custom engine-vibration dampers, a remote oil-changing system on MerCruiser powerplants (Volvo Penta does not offer this feature), environmental fuel surge protector, and three-year blister protection as part of the five-year hull warranty.

All things considered, you get a lot of value and performance for the price in the Stingray 195LR.

For those who want the open seating afforded by a bowrider but don’t want to sacrifice raw speed, Stingray’s zippy new 195LR is just the ticket.

Locally, Stingray boats are sold at Castaic Marine (661) 257-4140. For more information, including additional dealer locations, go to or call (843) 383-4507.

Randy Scott

Stingray 195LR Standard Features:

Insulated cooler, ZP-Hull, recessed boarding ladder, environmental fuel surge protector, custom engine vibration dampers, 12-volt receptacle, Dino (Italian) steering wheel, engine-hour meter, Kenwood Hi-Power Audio System w/CD player, woodgrain trim, personal Web site.

LOA -19 feet, 6 inches
Beam - 91 inches
Fuel Capacity - 21 gallons
Weight - 2,577 pounds (approximately)
Base Power - MerCruiser 135 hp 3.0L Alpha 1
Base Price - $17,460 MSRP
Price As Tested - $22,561

33.4 mph @ 3000 rpm
41.9 mph @ 3500 rpm
48.7 mph @ 4000 rpm
60.6 mph @ 5000 rpm

0-20 mph 5.2 seconds
0-30 mph 7.4 seconds
0-40 mph 10.5 seconds


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