Stingray Boats
Boat Test - Stingray 195LX

Power Boating Canada - January 2005

This souther boat builder reaches new heights in design, performance, and comfort.

I was simply overwhelmed. Now, that's not a word you'll often hear from a boat tester with almost 30 years of experience in the marine industry.

Deadrise:19 degrees
Draft (drive down):31"/9.4m
Dry Weight (popular eng):2580 lbs/1170 kg
Fuel Capacity:35 gal/133L
Maximum Horsepower:255 hp
Power as Tested:Volvo 4.3L GXi SX
Price as Tested:$26,830

Last September, Power Boating Canada attended Stingray's 2005 dealer meeting in Hartsville, South Carolina, to check out its new model lineup. The testing site was located near the company's manufacturing facility, which is considered one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally-friendly facilities of all boat builders.

The all-new 195LX bowrider epitomizes the giant strides Stingray has made in its 25 years of boat building. The 195 rides on the next generation patented Z-Plane hull, which has been refined with special contours on the running surface (located under both sides of the integrated swim platform) creating what the factory calls a three-point contact with the water at high speeds.

Our two-tone white and bright red test boat was equipped with the largest engine choice, a 225 hp V6 Volvo Penta 4.3 L GXi with an SX sterndrive, spinning a 23-inch aluminum prop. With two adults and a full tank of fuel, dead stop to plane consumed an eye blinking three seconds! Wide-open throttle, at 4,800 rpm, produced 60 mph! I was impressed. What's more, was how quiet she ran at a minimum planing speed of 22 mph at 2,200 rpm and the comfortable cruising speed of 32 mph at 2,800 rpm.

To verify my own test numbers, Volvo later supplied me with high-tech test data that reported an average time-to-plane of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 58 mph at 4,865 rpm. Volvo used a 21-inch stainless steel prop and the test weight and air temperature was about the same.

To test my theory that all that power wasn't entirely necessary unless you plan to cruise with full loads (at all times), I also checked out the new 195CS (a cuddy cabin version of the same hull). The CS was equipped with a 135 hp Volvo Penta 3.0 L four-cylinder swinging the same 21-inch aluminum prop. This heavier model jumped onto plane in a remarkable four seconds and topped out at 44 mph at 4,800 rpm. A comfortable cruising speed settled out at 3,000 rpm at 22 mph.

Volvo's official test results reported 3.74 seconds to plane, a top speed of 43.5 mph at 4,840 rpm, and a cruising speed of 23.5 mph at 3,000 rpm.

The four-cylinder was of course noisier, so the results indicated my choice of power would be the smallest V6 (from MerCruiser or Volvo Penta) to achieve the optimum balance of power, noise, speed, fuel economy and price.

Regardless of the hull colour choice, the cockpit and bow area of the 195LX is fully carpeted in a dark taupe. The LX seating layout includes two buckets forward plus an aft bench with a sundeck aft. This pad is large, comfortable and featured a safety latch to keep it securely shut. It also incorporates two gas struts to easily raise it. Inside, was a finished engine compartment with carpeting.

Some other features aft include a large, integrated moulded swim platform with a recessed three-step stainless ladder. All mooring cleats are stainless steel.

More seating with backrests is found in the bow. Some highlights up here include a stainless steel grab rail and ample storage space. A thoughtful design was incorporating raised lips around the fibreglass opening to prevent water entering. Additional storage space is found in the in-floor locker, providing more than enough space for water toys or essential boat gear. All storage areas are carpeted.

Drivers will appreciate the helm with its wood-grain instrument panel, array of standard gauges, an hour meter, Dino wheel and standard Kenwood AM/FM/CD stereo with two speakers.

Am I still overwhelmed? You bet. Check out, which is claimed to be one of the industry's most advanced and interactive web sites, and overwhelm yourself.

Richard Crowder
Power Boating Magazine

Stingray 195LX


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