Main: Stingray's 220DR should prove to be a popular deck boat this season with its comfort and performance.
During our sea trials, test writer Richard Crowder hit plane in 4.5 seconds and zero to an indicated 30mph averaged
7.5 seconds. Powered by Volvo Penta 320 hp 5.7L MPI H.O. 320 DP, the 220DR easily managed a top speed of 55 mph at
5,000 rpm and 55.7 mph on GPS. Below (l-r) The wide platform offers easy boarding from the dock or water. Some
highlights at the helm include a Dino wheel, Lenco trim tab controls with digital tab position indicators (optional),
and additional space for electronics.
There's something very comfortable about testing Stingray models at the company's Lake House waterfront retreat located
just outside Hartsville, South Carolina. Maybe it's the relaxed nature of the Stingray personnel, the no-nonsense genuineness
of the models they build, or just the good ol' southern hospitality. Whatever it is, the overall atmosphere is unequaled.
Stingray's new 220DR deck boat reflects all these aspects. It's a model designed to be all things to all people in terms
of family enjoyment and water activities. Let's see how the 220DR stacks up against this criteria.
Entering the 220DR is a breeze from the dock or water. In modern deck boat fashion, boarding from the water is facilitated by
not one, but two concealed stainless steel boarding ladders located at the swim platform and bow. There are three stainless
steel grab rails around the transom and three handholds in the platform. Easier access is offered by the optional (and highly
recommended) extended swim platform, an appointment that can also enhance water sports. Added touches include a standard cold
water shower/washdown plus a recessed stainless steel ski tow eye. Another option to consider is the remote out-drive trim/tilt
A transom/platform-mounted self-draining storage trunk for lines or fenders doubles as a handy non-skid step and assists with
entry over the center notched transom into the cockpit. The center cushion of the motor box is removable to reveal another
non-skid surface to again, provide simple access into the cockpit.
Once in the cockpit, the huge U-shaped aft lounge is fitted with seven removable cushions. Underneath these cushions are
either carpeted or fiberglass finished storage areas to accommodate any conceivable amount of gear and supplies brought aboard.
There's even dedicated storage for the removable standard cockpit table and sunlounge filler cushions. This aft lounge is very
comfortable with high back support and the cockpit depth of 33 inches means optimum security for children or adults of all ages.
The cockpit sole is uncluttered, self-draining and features a non-skid fiberglass inner lining. Access to the engine is easy via
a bottom-hinged, forward swinging (and very well) insulated motor box cover. The engine compartment is neat and spacious.
Forward of the stern lounge are moulded-in refreshment centers on both sides. There's a cold water sink, food prep area,
drink holders and portable Igloo cooler storage to port, while a built-in, hinged door storage area with a trash container is to
The driver and passenger seats are extremely comfortable. They are adjustable, Avenir swivel Sport buckets complete with flip-up
forward bolsters. Forward sight lines from both seats are perfect through the high, brushed aluminum, trimmed, stainless steel
At the helm you'll appreciate the stainless steel Dino tilt wheel with custom moulded soft hand grips that falls readily at
hand. Standard instrumentation includes two large gauges, a speedo and tach, and four smaller gauges for oil pressure, temperature,
trim, and volts. A small space on the dash of our test boat would accommodate a digital sounder, while a larger blank space to the
right of the wheel would nicely accept a navigation or fish finder (depending on your priorities).
To the left of the wheel is a row of backlit weatherproof rocker switches dedicated for accessories, along with an ignition key
featuring a rarely seen, yet practical, stereo accessory position. Below the helm is a very clearly labeled DC breaker panel, a
pair of drink holders in a recessed storage area (that's duplicated to port) and behind the driver's seat you'll find a recessed
mounting area for a fire extinguisher. Stingray deserves special kudos for time spent at the design stage, attacking even the
smallest practical details.
There's one area left to explore before we move to the bow. It's located in front of the passenger seat and is a very important
feature for a multi-faceted deck boat — the head and/or change room. Entering this room is via a curved and large locking door,
which is finished on both sides. On the back of the door is a towel rack, toilet paper holder, plus a magazine rack. A porta-potti
with standard deck pumpout attachment, swivel light, opening screened port window, Kenwood AM/FM/CD stereo, and lots of elbow and
knee room are just a handful of the useful amenities. Since the stereo is also in this compartment, opt for the available
dash-mounted remote control.
Moving forward to the bow, the large, scuppered in-floor storage area can easily stow an array of water sport accessories such as
skis, wakeboards, or kneeboards. Immediately to starboard in front of the helm is another storage area behind a door. This dry area
would be great for convertible top components, bow filler cushions, or life vests. It even sports a dedicated bracket for a portable
Igloo cooler. If you're counting, that's three specific coolers offering 26, 24, and 30-litre capacities!
This bow area has the same 33-inch inside depth as the aft cockpit, plus the same comfortable seating (a curved bench on each
side) featuring high backrests, removable cushions and carpeted storage underneath. The cockpit table can even mount here if desired.
Handholds, indirect lighting and more drink holders are other niceties.
Forward in the bow, Stingray doesn't put a seat here for safety reasons. However they utilized this area to the fullest extent by
featuring a finished storage area with hinged, non-skid lid that doubles as a step up to the notched walk-thru to the bow platform.
Stingray personnel are proud of the performance they achieve from their patented Z-Plane hull design. Our test boat sported the largest
of the six available engine options, a 320 hp Volvo Penta 5.7 L MPI H.O. DP fitted with an F-6 stainless steel prop-set. Six MerCruiser
stern drive options are also available ranging from 220 to 300 hp.
During our sea trials, with only yours-truly on board, a three-quarter-tank of fuel, the required safety equipment, a light breeze,
small chop, low humidity, and about 80-degrees of southern sunshine, the test conditions were as positive as you could want. Time to
plane averaged 4.5 seconds and zero to an indicated 30 mph averaged 7.5 seconds.
Minimum planning speed with no tabs was an indicated 12 mph on the speedo and 11 mph on the GPS at 1,800 rpm. I found a comfortable
cruising speed to be 3,200 rpm showing 29 mph on the speedo and almost 33 mph on GPS. At 4,000 rpm, the speedo revealed 40 mph and the
GPS displayed 42.4 mph. Wide-open throttle at 5,000 rpm produced 55 mph on the speedo and 55.7 mph on the GPS. These are all pretty
respectable numbers for a test weight of almost two tons.
As I've found with all Stingray boats, the 220DR is fairly trim sensitive partly due to having no extra weight on board. Keeping the
drive tucked in kept the boat running neat and tidy, but the fairly flat 16-degree deadrise of the hull meant uncertain waves created
more pounding than a deeper vee hull would. Visibility was great in all directions, especially through the extra tall windshield, but a
darker tone at the top of the dash would help minimize glare on the inside of the windshield.