We honestly wondered, as we do every year, if we would once again receive the invitation to "come on down to the cottage"
and test the new models that Stingray Boats would be unveiling for 2011. In a down economy, this independent boat builder out
of Hartsville, SC is one of a handful of manufacturers who brought out truly new designs for next season. For that we applaud
I personally applauded them even more one I got to testing. It was October and after a late night flight down from Toronto,
I found myself standing on the docks outside the Stingray cottage. Stingray owner Al Fink had this little grin on his face as
he said to me "I'm very interested in hearing your comments after you run this one out." Obviously, he knew something I didn't
The 215CR is the cuddy cabin version I tested. She has a 215LR sistership that is the very same exact hull in a bow rider
configuration. The dock crew wiped the dew off as I took notes.
It's obvious that attention to detail is a part of the Stingray design philosophy. Right from the popup cleats and the
gunwale step protection plate, to the bow anchor locker and folding rebounding ladder, to the Taylor Made wrap around
windshield that still to this day includes the pop-out side vent windows so necessary for boating in Canada. It's nice to
see that as models morph from one year to the next, some of the little things that were — and are — such great
ideas, don't get scrapped on the design table.
I stepped aboard the integrated swim platform and noted the two cupholders, moulded-in transom cooler under the swim
platform seat, and stereo remote. A starboard walk thru transom brings you into the cockpit with a removable cooler and a
small sink built into the starboard side, a stern bench seat that wraps up the port side, and there are twin swivel bucket
seats. The cuddy cabin bi-fold doors are to port, leaving room in the middle of the boat for the three step walk-up to the
bow. The bow is truly useable with a recessed area for a sunpad with grab handles on either side all the way down. The
stainless bow rails split to allow for the anchor locker and reboarding ladder. Down in the cuddy there's room for two
adults to sit up and to stretch out for comfortable sleeping. I nodded my approval as I took notes.
At the helm, I fired the Mercruiser 5.0 L MPI engine and let it warm up. The dash is a well laid out standard array of
gauges set into gray fiberglass and protected by an eyebrow. I headed out to run the proven Stingray Z-plane hull through
our test protocol.
This little rocketship had me up on plane in an incredible 2.4 seconds! Acceleration all through the mid-range was
consistent and powerful and I reached a top speed of 54.6 mph @ 4500 rpm fully trimmed out. The hull responds quickly
and predictably to rolling turns and sharp cornering. It feels like it wants to run and play, no hesitation, no lag
from throttle input to on-water reaction, it's an instant response.
So Mr. Fink here are my comments: "The 215CR is a trailerable cuddy that's built for the guy who's starting a new
family, wants to take them out on the water to share his passion, but isn't ready to give up the true performance and
speed of his old boat. It's a four-door family sedan with race car engine performance under the hood."
The cover of this issue featured the 215LR bowrider.