Stingray 195 LS
The 195 is impressive in several ways, but two really stand out. First of all, it delivers some impressive performance, and second of all it delivers that performance along with comfort in a budget friendly package. The 195 provides top of the line features with safety and convenience in mind.
The LS version is designed with two jump seats at the stern with the engine box in between them. This model is designed to deliver curb appeal and speed thrill in a V-6 sterndrive package. Standard conveniences like pop up cleats, high power audio and large swim platform will make this a hit with just about any family.
By Capt. Rob Smith
Stingray started building runabouts back in the late 70s and continues to build them today as a private corporation. The technology and the performance are both near and dear to Stingray. After a second trip to Hartsville, SC, I finally got to see what they had. I started with the 195. This 19’6” has a patented Z-plane hull that extends the running surface and improves the ride for both comfort and speed.
Although the 195 has several personalities, they all have the same bow seating arrangement. Hull to gunwale top height is a safe 32 inches with the seat cushion 15 inches from the top. Low profile grab rails are convenient and easy to reach for security and safety, and dual drink holders are at the front separated by a cooler locker. Two can easily relax lounger style up here or several can sit in together for a private conversation in the back. The seat bases will provide you plenty of room to stuff changes of clothes or gear out of the way.
The full framed safety glass windshield has a generous walk through area but lacks a lower air dam to protect the cockpit from chilly morning air.
From the Helm
Moving back to the helm and navigator’s positions, the 195 offers good visibility when driving and good leg room under the fiberglass station. The Dino Sport wheel is comfortable and the instrument gauges are arranged for good visibility when underway. A 12volt connection is under the gauges so you can power your portable GPS or cell phone and the rocker switches are grouped to the right under the gauges with a convenient drink holder just below for the driver. The dash itself is covered with low glare upholstery and the panel and wheel have matching woodgrain trim.
The navigator or safety observer has a comfortable arrangement with top side drink holder, covered faceplate over the stereo and large opening into the glove box. There is also plenty of legroom under the dash and a grab rail in front for added safety in rough conditions. The LS version has a bucket seat for the driver and a back-to-back ski lounger seat for the companion/observer. The LX version has two comfortable bucket seats.
Between the seats is a large sole locker with room enough for skis and wakeboards.
Continuing on to the aft cockpit, the side panels offer more open storage for loose items. Bench seating provides for room for everyone to sit together at anchor. The LX version offers a straight bench seat and the LS has two jump seats separated by the engine box. The sunpad is also the engine cover on the LX version but is large enough for someone to lay out for some sun if they choose. The hatch lifts up easily for access to the engine. There is room to either side of the engine for pre-launch checks and to keep wet items taking advantage of the warmth to dry them. The engine is mounted on custom engine vibration dampeners that really did seem to work well.
Just over the sunpad across the back was the integrated swim platform with recessed telescoping three step swim ladder, center tow ring and stainless grab handle. This gives you plenty of room to strap on the skis or to relax at anchor with your feet in the cool water or take a dip and get back on board without help.
The Stingray 195LX/LS measures 19’6” length overall with a beam width of 91”. This model has an average dry weight of 2580 lbs and a fuel capacity of 21 gallons for the 3L version or 35 gallons for the 4.3L version. Maximum capacity for this model is rated at 8 people or 1315 lbs people and gear. She has about 24 inches of freeboard and a maximum draft of about 31” with the drive down. The transom angle measures 15 degrees while the deadrise measures 19 degrees.
I tested the 195 on an inland lake near the plant in Hartsville, SC. Although it was cold, it was a beautiful day for a ride.
I tested the 3L 195LX version with the Volvo 135hp GL with just myself on board. This version was running a SX drive with a 14 ¾ x 21 stainless steel prop. With this combination, I found she was on plane in 3.6 seconds and up to 30mph in only 7.2 seconds. With this prop, I got a maximum speed of 44.7 mph at 4760 rpm and a cruise speed of about 25.5 mph at 3000rpm. At cruise with the 21 gallon tank, you can expect about 103 miles on a full tank of fuel.
I then moved over to the 195LS version powered with a Volvo 4.3L GL sterndrive with SX drive and a Laser 23 prop. The 4.3L Volvo reached plane in only 3.2 seconds and made 30 mph in 5.9 seconds. She cruised comfortably at 2500 rpm and 22.2 mph for a full tank range of 161 miles with the extended 35 gallon tank. She reached a top speed of 56.4 mph at 5000rpm.
I believe this model will provide years of thrills for the active family and has room for just about any watersports. She handles well and delivers top notch speed and agility without quirky turns. At the dock, she slips up to the ramp with ease.