It takes more than simply size to make an open-bow runabout stand out
from the crowd. While a bowrider bigger than 20 feet was an oddity less
than five years ago, open-bow designs have proliferated to the point
where bowriders seem to be built in bigger and bigger sizes every year.
The Stingray 240 LS, though, has many unique design and construction
features that set it apart. And not least of these is an accommodating
and inviting layout. The bowrider style, we must remember, is increasing
in popularity and becoming available in ever-increasing sizes only
because it makes so much sense for day-cruising boaters.
With the high-quality canvas available these days, folks who want
shelter available but have no desire to stay on the boat overnight have
fewer reasons to opt for a cuddy cabin. Big bowriders can give
day-cruising boaters the power and space to enjoy watersports, all the
conveniences and comforts that make a day on the water more enjoyable
and the room to entertain crowds of family and friends.
While deckboats and pontoons also offer oodles of space, bowriders
benefit from a more traditional shape (pointy end at the front, square
end at the back) and more confident handling in waves and bad weather.
With an already proven hull (it's built on the same hull as the
company's already popular 240 CS cuddy cabin) Stingray 240 LS already
has a head start in the area of performance. It also benefits from some
advances in the area of production.
Stingray has long been using computer technology, not only to keep its
manufacturing process moving smoothly, but also to ensure high quality
boats. Each Stingray hull and deck, for example, is weighed after coming
out of the mould and automatically checked to ensure it falls within a
close weight tolerance.
Another high-tech Stingray feature is the Z-plane hull — a patented
hull that uses Z-shaped strakes as part of a modified V-hull. The
result, on the water, is a boat that planes quicker, uses less fuel and
corners with more confidence than most modified-V hulls.
The 240 LS tested by Today's Boating in Miami, once again proved the
hull's efficiency and confidence. The boat accelerates to plane quickly,
reaching 20 mph in 5.34 seconds, 30 mph in 6.59 seconds and 40 mph in
8.7 seconds. The boat's fuel-injected Volvo Penta 5.7 GSi engine and
DuoProp outdrive, with twin counter-rotating props likely helped
produce those acceleration numbers, but they're still impressive. Like
most boats with DuoProps, the 240 LS does not require much positive trim
to reach top speeds: the twin props also provide torque-free handling.
Also impressive is the boat's ability to stay on plane right down to
about 2000 rpm, its agility in tight corners and ability to handle
good-sized swells. Top speed in radar testing is 51 mph, while the boat
cruises nicely at 38 mph at 4000 rpm and would run happily all day at 33
mph at 3500 rpm. It's quiet too, with sound readings of 82 dbA at the
helm in the cruising range.
With swiveling seats at helm and companion positions and a huge
U-shaped bench seat aft — along with the standard twin benches forward
in the open bow — the 240 LS has plenty of room to roam and play. The
moulded-in swim platform aft and a "step" area at the bow will make it
easy to get aboard and disembark.
As for storage space, there's plenty: built-in coolers in the
moulded-in cabinet behind the helm seat and in a bow locker; a locker in
the helm console with space for the aft table as well as fill-in
cushion; lockers beneath both bow seats and in the sides of the aft
bench seat; and a deep in-floor locker. For convenience, there's a sink
to port aft of the companion seat (with 17-gallon pressurized water
system), a telephone-style transom shower and an enclosed pumpout head
in the companion console, complete with moulded floor liner, electric
light and an opening porthole.
A bimini top with windshield filler comes standard, as does an AM-FM
CD player. So, rain or shine, you and plenty of your friends or family
members will be able to enjoy a comfortable day on the water.