Let me be clear from the start. Cuddy cabins are my favorite style of trailerable boat, regardless of brand. The hulls are generally deeper than comparable bowriders and offer more weather protection. Thereís a place for the kids to take an afternoon nap, as well as keeping gear dry. And these boats offer a cozy cabin for overnighting.

True, cuddy models generally have less seating than a bowrider, but few boats can handle their maximum capacity of people for any length of time without discovering what "close" really is. With that in mind, letís take a look at the latest cuddy from Stingray, the 225 CR.

Stingrayís reputation has been built on family-friendly boats with an exceptional level of performance. Few builders get as much speed per horsepower as Stingray. Our test boat was powered by a 270 hp 5.0L Volvo Penta single-prop drive, and top speed was in excess of 57 mph. Thatís not bad for a boat just shy of 23 feet with a small galley, portable marine head and cabin accommodations.

CABIN COMFORTS
The cabin layout has a few twists. The entry is on the port side, and as you step down, there is a sink and water system on the port side against the cockpit bulkhead, with an Igloo cooler below. A portable butane stove rounds out the galley on the starboard side.

Cabin-seating space is on the starboard side, and this extends the length of the starboard side V-berth for those who need extra legroom. The cushion arrangement allows side-by-side sleeping for two with room on the port side for a third. The portable head is located under the V-berth. Two reading lights are mounted forward along with two speakers for the stereo. Two port lights are mounted port and starboard, and a circular hatch is overhead.

Topside on the bow is a stainless rail and a locker forward for an anchor and rode. The wraparound windshield has a walkthrough center section, and access to the foredeck is via three molded-in steps in the cabin bulkhead.

HELM VIEW
The instrument panel features Faria gauges. The center gauge is a multi-function instrument providing readouts for oil pressure, volts, temperature and fuel. Flanking this are the tachometer and speedometer, with gauges at each side providing depth and trim indications. A flat surface below the gauges features a Ritchie direct-reading compass. An electrical panel, with clearly marked rocker switches, is mounted to the right of the steering wheel and a high-powered stereo is mounted to the left of the wheel, with a remote mounted on the bulkhead facing into the cabin over the galley.

The captain and mate have twin bucket seats with fold-up bolsters. The rear seat is mounted forward of the engine and wraps around each side of the cockpit. Storage is provided under the lounge seats, and also contains an additional 25-quart Igloo ice chest A table that stores under the rear deck turns the lounge area into a dining area. The cockpit area is lit with indirect LED lighting. A full height Bimini top is standard.

SPECIFICATIONS
STINGRAY 225CR
Base Price$32,842
Price as tested$37,944
Length22'11"
Beam8'4"
Deadrise at Transom20°
Weight3539 lbs.
Draft (drive down)36"
Fuel Capacity57 gals.
Max Horsepower320
NMMA CertifiedYes
NOTABLE STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Bimini top, cockpit table stereo, tilt steering, butane stove, portable marine head, 25-quart Igloo cooler, opening cabin windows, remote oil-change system
NOTABLE OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
Snap-in carpet, battery selector switch
ENGINE AS TESTED
MakeVolvo 5.0L GXi/SX
Horsepower270
Number of CylindersV-8
Displacement5.0L (305 cid)
Weight1031 lbs.
Gear Ratio1.51:1
WOT RPM Range5000
Propellers14.75x21" 3-blade stainless
TEST RESULTS
TOP SPEED (mph)57.5
ACCELERATION (seconds)
0-30 mph
8.0
SOUND MEASUREMENTS (dBa)
Idle at Helm (600 rpm)59
Idle at Engine (600 rpm)65
Cruise at Helm (3000 rpm)83
WOT at Helm (5150 rpm)92
MPH
GPH
MPG
RANGE*
3.6
1.3
4.0
205
7.4
2.4
3.1
159
9.0
4.1
2.2
112
2500
22.8
5.6
4.0
205
30.1
7.0
4.3
220
34.9
10.5
3.3
169
42.3
14.2
3.0
153
49.5
18.4
2.7
138
56.0
21.5
2.6
133
57.5
22.1
2.3
133
* Range based on 90% fuel capacity.

The sun lounge over the engine has three cushions. The center cushion is removable, and that allows access to the rear swim platform without the need to walk on the upholstery. Two large storage compartments are available under the sun lounge. A large, rear swim stem is molded into the stern of the hull. This is a nice place to congregate when the boat is not in motion. A multi-step boarding ladder is mounted under a lid on the starboard side of the swim step.

UPLIFTING SPIRIT
I mentioned at the outset that this boat ó boasting 270 ponies ó was fast. If 57 mph isnít fast enough, two larger-engine options are available at 300 and 320 hp. The 225 CR has a solid feel and free-running spirit at speed. The power trim easily lifts the bow. When fully trimmed, the hull tracks true and carves turns with precision and without any tendency to bobble, slide or spin.

Stingray has a patented Z-Plane hull design that the company has employed for years. The planing strakes are recessed into the hull instead of protruding from it, and their purpose is to reduce the turbulence and aeration of the water as it passes under the hull. In addition to the Z-Plane hull design, Stingray employs a notched transom that allows the engine to be set higher for less drag. This permits the prop to run in smoother water for reduced ventilation, particularly in turns. Stingray carefully tests each model before it goes into production to make sure all engine mounting dimensions are optimum. This is another reason Stingrays run so well.

Jim Barron
Trailer Boats
August 2009




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