Like all Stingray boats, the 220DR sport boat was developed on Lake Robinson in Hartsville, South Carolina. The
lake’s water is unusually warm because of the superheated discharge from the local nuclear power plant. But it’s the
new look and feel of the 220 that really makes it smoke. Like virtually all deck boats, it offers plenty of space for
passengers and gear, but what sets it apart is its penchant for speed. As its performance numbers indicate, this
deckie is as sporty as many of the quicker runabouts on the market.
Although its layout is fairly conventional, we found this boat to be well designed. Every amenity fits its space and
serves its intended purpose. Up front, the foredeck features a center-mounted ladder, with an anchor locker immediately
aft. The hatches abut, and there is a trough to keep the anchor rode off the deck. Both hatches are equipped with rubber
stoppers to keep the lids closed and rattles to a minimum. Our boat’s bow area also featured a retractable handheld
shower and docking lights.
Stepping from the foredeck into the bow playpen puts boaters on top of the bow cooler lid. A small cutout makes this
an easy step, and reduces the potential for tripping. The 28-quart insulated cooler has a built-in drain system and a
wide-opening lid that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for without numbing your hand in the ice.
Bow seating is generous, with lounges port and starboard. The backrests are wide and comfy, and the benches are long
enough to really stretch your legs. Centered in the deck is a receiver fitting for a removable snack table. For lazy days,
two narrow pads pop in place to turn the bow into a large sunpad. The forward ski well is large enough for several water
toys, and the oversized hatch is big enough to slide a kneeboard through, a rarity on many boats. A pair of grab handles
and four cup holders round out the Stingray’s bow amenities.
The 220DR is a dual-console, full-windshield design that provides welcome wind protection on those less-than-perfect
days — and when the summer sun beats down, you’ll appreciate the side vent windows that allow a touch of extra air through
the cockpit area.
The driver’s console houses a large storage compartment ahead of the helm. A wide door makes access easy, and the
interior is roomy enough for cockpit and bow canvas and supports, plus a removable 25-quart Igloo cooler.
The helm features the standard array of gauges and switches, and our unit was also equipped with trim tabs (at $791, a
worthwhile option). The panel provides a 12-volt power port and a remote control for the stereo system. On top of the
helm and tucked nicely under the windshield sits a compass, which is standard equipment. The wheel is a custom Dino unit,
with graphite-stained wood accents that match the dash panels. Beneath the throttle control, a pair of cupholders and a
small storage area keeps at-the-ready items close at hand.
The passenger console houses the head, which is equipped with a portable toilet. The head door is a complex molded unit
that creates a huge opening for easy access. The door’s fit was not quite on par with some of the higher-end boats we’ve
tested, but we liked the head’s screened porthole that provides ventilation and additional light. The compartment also
houses the Sirius-satellite-ready CD stereo deck; this out-of-sight location protects it from the weather and helps keep
honest people honest.
The driver and co-pilot seats are Avenir sport buckets with wide, stable bolsters. We found the inset cushioned backrests
to be comfortable with the added bonus of offering a bit of support when using the bolsters. The seats swivel and adjust
fore and aft for optimum driver position and passenger comfort. Due to the head door, there’s no glove box or dash cooler on
the port side, so Stingray added a grab handle here.
Two service areas are situated immediately aft of the driver and passenger seats. A flip-lid to starboard covers a deep well
that can act as a cooler, storage or even a trash receptacle. The lid can serve as a cutting board for on-boat snacks. On
the port side, a small sink also features a solid surface cover to keep that area under wraps when not in use.
The U-shaped stern seating area is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of high-back support. Beneath the seating on
either side of the engine compartment is dedicated storage for a cocktail table and base, as well as the support rails and
cushions that allow you to build a large stern sunpad.
The engine cover hinges forward, making access somewhat challenging, but for more involved maintenance, the hinges separate
so the cover can be removed entirely. A shallow “step through” to the swim platform offers an intermediate step down to the
lid of a third onboard cooler. This unit is wide and narrow, but still holds plenty of ice, ski lines or other gear. Like the
bow cooler, this wet locker also gets an integrated drain. A pair of grab handles flanks the step through.
Our boat was equipped with the optional extended swim platform ($1035), which is a must-have option, in our opinion. The
platform area also featured a telescoping ladder and a second pull-out shower. An additional grab handle on the starboard side
gives swimmers something to hang on to when climbing out of the water. Equally handy is a remote tilt control for the outdrive
that makes trailering that much more convenient.
The heart of the beast we tested was a Volvo Penta 5.7 GXi rated at 320 hp. Matched to a DuoProp drive twisting an F6 stainless
propset, it proved to be a potent package — though there are plenty of engine and propeller options to choose from, ranging from
a base 190 hp 4.3L setup to the hull’s maximum 320-horse rating. Stingray powers with both Volvo and MerCruiser, so you can take
We tested in mild water with two men, about 25 gallons of fuel, and test gear aboard; in other words, the boat was lightly
loaded. Wide open, our rig topped out at 54.2 mph at 5000 rpm. Considering the hot and humid 85 degrees Fahrenheit conditions on
test day, that’s a darn good turn of speed for a nearly 5000-pound deck boat. The 220DR jumped on plane quickly, too, as we
clocked 7.3 seconds in our 0-to-30 mph trials.
The first thing we noticed from the helm was the boat’s high stance. Even with the seat bolsters down, the view of the water
is commanding. This also contributes to the absence of spray into the boat in all water conditions we encountered (which,
admittedly, weren’t particularly challenging).
NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE
The 220 tracks beautifully. Once a course is set, it takes little effort to keep the craft on a heading. Our test boat had a bit
of throttle creep, though it was nothing that couldn’t easily be taken care of with minor adjustments.
In corners the boat stays planted, making tight turns easily. Because of the excellent traction of the Volvo DuoProp setup,
the boat doesn’t cavitate in hard turns, but instead changes direction nicely, with crisp, positive and predictable handling. One
small complaint, however, is the tendency of the outside chine to dig in and to pull the boat over to the high side. Under normal
cornering, this won’t be an issue, but operators should be prepared if they have to avoid unexpected flotsam.
In a straight line, there was some tendency for the bow to float side to side over rougher patches of water. With the boat
trimmed out, larger waves also initiated some porpoising (which isn’t unusual in a hull with a modest 16 degrees of transom
deadrise). Fortunately, the fix was as easy as dropping the bow a bit via the tabs or trim. Speaking of tabs, the Lenco models on
our boat were equipped with LED position-indicator lights. With just a little seat time, we’re confident an operator could dial
in the tabs and trim to really tweak the ride.
With its new graphics for 2007, our boat looked sharp. The 220DR’s interior offers plenty of space for every activity, and
the performance — oh, the performance. Yep, this boat handles well and goes like heck. It’s such a blast to drive that once you
get going the only the limits to your fun will be the range of the Stingray’s big ol’ fuel tank.