By Capt. Rob Smith
Stingray is well known for building affordable boats with good performance and efficient operation. The Z-planing hull is a patented design that delivers on performance and the company’s unbending dedication to value -- both at purchase and at resale – to deliver cost effective, budget friendly enjoyment every time you turn the key. The 205 comes in several different versions including the wrap around aft seat version and cuddy cabin version I will report on here.
With the 205 LR version, you have twin lounger benches up front to relax on with oversized drink holders for your favorite beverage. Two can lounge up front or several can sit face-to-face. In the front is a 32qt insulated cooler to keep drinks chilled just right. Low profile grab rails give you that added safety and security you need when running. The bench seat bottoms lift off to allow you to store the beach towels, toys and other gear you carry to enjoy the day. The full framed windshield offers the cockpit protection from the wind but doesn’t have a lower air dam against the cold morning air.
With 205CS cuddy version, you have a comfortable get-away inside up front. A raised bunk up front has net storage built into the side panels. Abaft the berth are twin facing seats that can convert to extend the length of the forward berth. Also inside are a freshwater sink and concealed port-a-potty with integrated holding tank. Overhead you have a large hatch for fresh air and ventilation. Topside, you have a center windshield pass through with low rails to hang on to when you have to go forward for anchoring. The integrated cooler for the CX version is just outside the cabin door in the sole and is larger at 46qts.
From the Helm
Moving back to the helm and navigator’s positions, the 205 offers good visibility when driving as well as an integrated footrest for the CX version. 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 a glove box. There is also plenty of legroom and a grab rail in front for added safety in rough conditions. Both have bucket seats for the driver and observer. The LR version has a wrap around bench seat from the helm to the observer seat across the stern. The side panels have open storage to keep your lotions and sunglasses handy when you are not using them.
The CX version has a straight bench seat across the stern. Both have a large sunpad/engine cover with a removable center cushion walkthrough so you don’t have to track up the cushions when getting back aboard from the beach. The large integrated swim platform creates a great place to relax and enjoy the anchorage, swim or just play. 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.
The Stingray 205LR measures 21’2” length overall with a beam width of 93”. This model has an average dry weight of 2850 lbs and a fuel capacity of 35 gallons. Maximum capacity for this model is rated at 8 people or 1700 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.
The CX version adds another 100 lbs to the measurements above, but is otherwise the same.
I tested the 205 on an inland lake near the plant in Hartsville, SC. Although it was cold, it was a beautiful day for a ride.
The 205LR was tested with just me on board. It was powered with a Volvo 270-hp 5.0L GXi with a 14 ¾ x 21 stainless steel prop. She was on plane in 3.6 seconds and up to 30 mph in 6.9 seconds. I found her best cruise to be at 25.5 mph at 2500 rpm for a cruise range of 152 miles. Her top speed registered 60.9 mph at 5020 rpm.
The 205CX was tested with a 225 hp 4.3L Volvo GXi but with an Enertia 22P prop. This model was on plane in 3.8 seconds and up to 30 mph in 8 seconds. She reached a comfortable cruising speed of 22.9 mph at 2500 rpm for a range of 157 miles on a full tank. She reached a top speed of 56.8 mph at 5000 rpm.
Whether you want a cuddy for the small ones or the openness with more seating capacity of the LR version, you will find, as I did, this model is smooth handling with performance turns and easy handling.