Stingray is using the title of George Strait's country music hit, "Easy Come, Easy Go" to describe their all-new-for-2010 deck boat, the 235DR. At a time when some other manufacturers are simply "refreshing" their model line-up for 2010, Stingray Boats of Hartsville, SC has introduced two completely new models: a 2353CR cuddy cabin and the 235DR deck boat. These two new models are aimed toward the upper end of Stingray's 27 model line of open bow, fish & ski, sportboat, deck boat, and cruisers ranging from eighteen to twenty-five feet.
The song title certainly reflects the ease of passenger entry and recreational use Stingray has built into the 235DR with an oversize, extended and integrated swim platform complete with built-in cup holders, a storage compartment, transom shower, remote trim/tilt switch, and a recessed, telescoping stainless steel boarding ladder. It is standard, not an option like on some boats. The only option you may choose here is an LCD transom stereo remote control. Seven pull-up stainless cleats provide all of the necessary mooring requirements around the boat.
Getting into the cockpit from the platform has been made easier through a 15-inch wide starboard-side companionway with a short step down to the cockpit sole. Once within the deep and wide cockpit, conveniences and comfort abound. Premium 36-ounce marine-grade, foam-backed vinyl with "PreFixx" weather and spill treatment covers all seating surfaces which themselves are constructed of sturdy, synthetic materials or fiberglass, not wood. An L-shaped, three or four person lounge seat is to port in front of the engine box with padded sundeck. Huge finished storage is found not only under this lounge seat but also under the sun deck cover to port of the engine. Under this cover is dedicated storage for rectangular fiberglass table which can be set up in either the cockpit or the bow areas. Access to the necessary engine inspection areas is exemplary with the standard remote oil change system and easy access file pump, filter, water pump, and fresh water flushing attachment.
To starboard, behind the driver's seat, is a built-in refreshment center with countertop and sink with a recessed freshwater faucet. Below the counter is a portable 25-quart cooler. The self-bailing fiberglass sole features a huge centrally located dedicated storage area for all of the waterspout toys and equipment imaginable. It has a fiberglass, draining, hinged lid with gas strut assists. You'll probably want to opt for snap in cockpit carpeting for the added comfort of your passengers. The comfortable and sturdy driver and passenger adjustable swivel bucket seats have flip-up forward bolsters and are mounted in an optimum position for visibility at all speeds.
Seated at the helm, I was impressed with the large diameter, easy-to-read chrome-rimmed Faria gauges mounted on the upper level of the two-tiered dash under a soft vinyl "eyebrow" meant to shadow their faces from the sun. The central gauge is actually four-in-one to monitor fuel, engine temperature, oil pressure, and battery voltage. To the left is the speedometer and further left, the outdrive trim gauge. To the right of center is the tachometer with built-in electronic engine hour meter. Further right is space for an optional but usually necessary digital depth finder with alarm.
The second tier down and to the left of the dash panel houses Stingray's laudable ignition switch with seldom-found "Accessory" position to power the stereo only, when the ignition is turned off. The main stereo controls are also here. To the right of the standard tilting Italian Dino steering wheel are mounted the normal complement of backlit DC rocker switches. The standard Ritchie compass is ideally surface mounted between the two dash tiers immediately in front of the driver. It's small, but fills the bill. Stingray is to be commended for their continued utilization of opening side vent windows in the moulded, curved windscreen. These are invaluable on some of those hot muggy summer days or during the early spring or late fall Canadian boating days when condensation needs to be quickly cleared from within the cockpit.
To port of the bow walk-thru in front of the passenger seat is a roomy head or change room compartment with standard porta-potti with deck pump out attachment. Inside are two integrated storage units, one equipped with a stainless steel assist rail. An opening screened hatch provides natural lighting and ventilation. An interior light is also provided.
To starboard and in front of the helm is an enclosed, finished and dry storage compartment with a wastebasket receptacle, paper towel holder, and room for all the groceries and refreshments you'll need.
In Stingray fashion, the facing bow lounge seats are curved to allow more walking and legroom and are amply long, comfortably and thickly padded — as are their tall supportive backrests. Recessed areas protect large drink holders and stereo speakers from the weather and from being in the way. A second optional stereo remote control is available for this bow area. Parents may want to opt for the optional filler cushions to convert this entire area to another huge sun lounge for their small kids.
Imaginative engineering has created a built-in insulated cooler under the bow step plus a dedicated fender holder storage area under the first section of the bow step-thru and another dedicated section for the anchor and the telescoping stainless steel bow ladder under the second portion of the step-thru.
Stingray continues to tweak maximum performance and handling from its patented Z-Plane hull design with notched transom. This new 235DR takes this design to yet another level with both low and high speed handling second to none. This boat goes where and when you want it with no wavering, no jerky motions, no jarring, and no excuses. Absolutely no rattles either. Our test boat on a very cool September morning was equipped with a Volvo Penta 5.7 GXi 320 hp V-8 Duo-Prop sterndrive fitted with Volvo Penta's F7 stainless steel propset.
The 235DR quickly got up on plane with minimum bow rise and no trim tabs. In fact, although they are an option, unless you have specific reasons for needing trim tabs, this boat definitely does not require them for most normal boating situations. Planing speed of 18 mph was reached in less than 4 seconds at 2000 RPM while consuming just over 4 (US) gallons per hour according to Volvo Penta's independent test results.
A comfortable and economic cruising speed of almost 35 mph is found at 3000 RPM while consuming less than 8 gph. At 4000 RPM, the 235DR runs over 46 mph and WOT (Wide Open Throttle) produces just a hair under 60 mph at almost 5000 RPM while consuming just over 24 gph.
Stingray once again has appeared to have hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head with the 235DR deck boat. Roomy, comfortable, functional, an excellent performer and good looking to boot! Personalize yours with some available upgrades including full acrylic canvas surrounds to complement the standard stand-up bimini top and perhaps dual batteries to keep all of your accessories powered up and fancier hull graphics if you wish. Otherwise it's virtually complete as it comes from the factory. "Easy come, easy go" suits the 235DR to a tee.
Power Boating Canada Magazine
Volume 25, Number 5