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.
|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
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
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 www.stingrayboats.com, which is claimed to be one of the
industry's most advanced and interactive web sites, and overwhelm yourself.
Power Boating Magazine