Stingray Powerboats
Stingray 220SX - Twice the sting

Today's Boating - August 2000

Stingray 220SX

Its Z-plane hull and computer-controlled production have always let Stingray take an aggressive approach to the small sportboat market. The patented Z-plane hull offers the kind of control, enhanced handling and inherent stability you need in a small, fast boat and building to carefully controlled specs ensures light, strong construction.

But teaming Stingray's 220SX with a Mercury Racing Scorpion 377 sterndrive gives the combination even more bite.

With 350 horsepower on demand, the Scorpion sterndrive is one hot powerplant. It pushed the Stingray I tested in Miami's Government Cut to a top speed of close to 70 mph (69.3 in Today's Boating's radar tests, to be exact).

Driving the 220SX is arm-stretching fun, but with any 22-foot boat, that kind of power requires a careful hand on the steering wheel and a liberal application of good judgment. On calm water, the boat is perfectly well-behaved. It would probably perform at its best in a one- to two-foot chop; that would let the hull break free of the water surface to produce optimum speeds. In the steeper waves, ferry wakes and ocean swells I encountered during testing in Miami, handling at top speeds required the utmost concentration. A 22-footer gets airborne easily at 70 mph in waves over two feet. Still plenty of fun, but requiring concentration at the helm.

Stingray 220SX

Realistically speaking, the Stingray 220SX, powered with the Scorpion 377 sterndrive, is a boat that will cruise effortlessly between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm, at speeds ranging from 45 to 55 mph. At these speeds, the Z-plane hull helps the 220 track straight and true. The Z-plane hull (including Z-shaped strakes) helps the boat plane quickly — I reached 30 mph in just over eight seconds and 40 mph in 8.63 seconds. It also provides great cornering and truer tracking at higher speeds.

I recorded speeds of 46.1 mph at 3,500 rpm and 56.8 mph at 4,000 rpm during radar testing. Top speed (achieved in a calmer corner of Miami's outer ship harbor) was 69.3 mph, just under the 70-mph benchmark.

The 220SX, with its all-red hull and deck looks sleek and hot, but the Scorpion has to take much of the credit for those speeds. Merc Racing takes a small-block V-8, strokes it to 377 cubic inches, adds lightweight aluminum pistons, balanced crankshaft, a high-lift camshaft and large flame arrestor. The Scorpion started life as a high-performance ski-boat engine and is now being offered for use in sterndrive applications for 22- to 35-footers with single and twin installations. Balanced and blueprinted, it's a lovely piece of machinery.

Rated at 350 hp, the Scorpion has much more bite than the 210-hp 4.3 EFI listed as the 220SX standard engine, or even the Mercury MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI, a powerplant likely to be found on many of these boats. The 350 MAG MPI is still likely to push the boat past 60 mph. That's plenty fast for a 22-foot pleasure boat.

The 220SX has other charms, outside of the neatly rigged engine compartment. With swiveling helm and companion seats and a three-place bench aft, the cockpit is comfortable. The red and white upholstery is well-made while the black dashboard (with white gauges) and padded black Dino steering wheel add high-performance touches.

Stingray 220SX

The off-white fiberglass cockpit liner will make cleanup easy while helping to keep folks cool in summer weather. There's storage space under the aft seat, an insulated cooler in the cockpit floor and a locking glovebox. The engine compartment is carpeted, with partitions alongside the engine that drop down to allow easier servicing (or just to let you admire the engine at work) but flip up to create useful storage space.

There's an opening windscreen to allow easier access to the foredeck, plus a convenient stainless-steel step that swings out of the way under the helmside dashboard when not needed.

The cabin is a compact area designed for comfortable overnight stays. A pair of transverse facing seats aft lift up to form a large V-berth. Forward, under the cushions, there's a small sink to port, a single-burner alcohol stove to starboard and a chemical head in the middle. There's more storage further toward under the V-berth cushion.

While the "galley and head" allow Americans to claim a second-home tax deduction for the boat, they are likely to see occasional rather than frequent use in a boat such as this. If the accommodations ever get too cramped, however, or the facilities seem inadequate, the Scorpion will ensure a fast ride home.

Mike Milne
Today's Boating
August 2000

Specifications Power/Performance
21 ft. 6 in. (6.5 m)
8 ft. 1 in. (2.46 m)
3,285 lb. (1,490 kg)
39 gal. (148 L)
Test boat engine: Mercury Racing Scorpion 377, 350-hp, 6.2-litre (377-cid) V-8, multiport fuel injection sterndrive, pushing a 23-inch Laser stainless-steel prop through a Bravo One drive.
0-20 mph: 5.75 sec.;
0-30 mph: 8.08 sec.;
0-40 mph: 8.63 sec.
Top speed (radar):
69.3 mph/5,000 rpm.
Cruising speeds (radar):
34.5 mph/3,000 rpm;
46.1 mph/3,500 rpm;
56.8 mph/4,000 rpm;
64.9 mph/4,500 rpm.
Sound Levels At Cruise (3,500 rpm):
88 dbA (helm); top speed, 97 dbA (helm).

Speed testing by Stalker radar
220SX - Plan Drawing


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