When I climb aboard a runabout powered by a V-6 sterndrive, I don't expect much. After all,
what kind of speed would you expect from a 4.3L in a boat such as Stingray's new 195LR? Fifty,
maybe 55 mph?
How does 60 mph sound?
That's right — the Volvo Penta 225 hp 4.3L GXi/SX propelled this 19 1/2 footer to nearly
60 mph, while turning a 21-inch stainless Laser three-blade prop. Acceleration was decent, with
an average of 0-to-30 mph time of just under 8 seconds.
Credit for the performance must be given to Stingray's next-generation Z-plane hull. It is
undoubtedly one of the most efficient planing hulls on the market today. In our testing on
South Carolina's Lake Robinson near Stingray's headquarters in Hartsville, I was amazed at how
well the bowrider lifted at speed. A new aft-extended running surface lets the 195LR really
"hang out," even with as little as 225 hp.
The new Stingray also handles exceptionally well. Thanks to a healthy reverse on the chines,
it holds superbly even in hard turns at top speed.
Another new feature of this hull is a molded-in rub rail between the conventional rub rail
and the waterline. This fiberglass structure is broken only by a distinctive new name plate at
the halfway point. It is designed to lend additional structural strength, as well as protect the
rest of the hull when docking.
Stingray's 195LR is also very comfortable. It features non-removable cockpit carpeting, twin
swiveling bucket seats, U-shaped cockpit seating and a spacious aft sunpad. Under the hinged
sunpad is a cavernous engine bay that provides outstanding service access.
Both thickly padded bow loungers lift up to reveal an enormous amount of storage space. A
built-in cooler is situated in the forepeak. You will find additional storage in an in-sole ski
locker, as well as on either side of the engine and cockpit side trays.
A padded steering wheel and full instrumentation (which is set in a durable, attractive
aluminum plate) enhance the driving experience. The 195LR we tested also featured a Kenwood
AM/FM/CD four-speaker stereo.
After a full day of driving the 195LR, about the only element I found missing was an armrest
for my right arm, which was getting sore from jockeying this rocket of a boat around Lake
If you are looking for a lot of boat for the money, check out Stingray's new 195LR. Base
engine is a 135 hp 3.0L, but if you want to fly, upgrade to the 225 hp 4.3L. You will not be