225 Bowrider and Cuddy

Stingray's New 225 Series for 2009
is a Winner on All Counts

By Richard Crowder

At twenty-two feet, eleven inches length overall and a one hundred inch wide beam, the all new 225 series by award-winning Stingray Boats of Hartsville, SC is almost a foot and a half longer and three inches wider than the 220LX and C series boats they replace from last year. That amazing increase in size results in an incredible amount of increased usable interior space and Stingray has taken full advantage of it.

Both the hull and the decks of the LR (bowrider designation) and CR (cuddy designation) are brand new designs for '09 and the resulting improvements in ride, handling and creature comforts are noticeable and commendable. Both the LR and CR hulls are identical and inherit the next generation of Stingray's patented "Z-Plane" hull. Modifications to the hull include unique contours to the running surface that extend beneath both sides of the integrated swim platform, creating, in Stingray's words, "three-point contact with the water for an extremely stable ride at high speeds." It is also designed for faster "hole shots" and less drag at higher speeds.

Both models share some common features. From the usably sized integrated swim platform with a multi-step, recessed and covered stainless steel boarding ladder, Stingray has utilized its safe and convenient sunpad center walk-thru companionway system for access to the cockpit. For walk-thru purposes, the center rear bench seat converts to a step and a filler cushion converts the sunpad back to a sunlounge.

Safety has always been a Stingray focus and it is manifested on the 225 with one of the beefiest sunpad/engine release latches I have seen. Stingray owner Al Fink likens it to the release on a car's hood "so the hatch is not likely to fly open when the boat is being trailered at interstate speeds!" Within the next engine compartment, an 1100-gallon per hour bilge pump replaces the old standard 500-gph pump.

Both models are rated for a maximum ten-person capacity (2080 lbs/943 Kg) and well over half of them would fit comfortably on the U-shaped rear lounge seat with integrated storage beneath. This lounge seat is big and comfortable. A removable 25-quart (24 L) Igloo cooler fits in dedicated storage detents under this lounge seat. I was pleased to see the extensive use of synthetic (no wood) "starboard" construction material in the seating, and the fact that it is colour-coordinated to the interior accent colours of the boat. A fiberglass cockpit liner is standard in both boats with optional snap-in carpeting available.

Handy and safe pop-up stainless steel cleats are standard all around and an optional stainless steel hardware package includes oversized cupholders, horn, instrument bezels, Dino tilt steering wheel (with padded trim), and rub-rail insert. Both models have adjustable helm and passenger sport bucket seating with flip-up bolsters. All upholstery is heavy 36-ounce foam-backed vinyl with PreFixx treatment to resist stains and weathering. New higher wattage stereo speakers are recessed in the cockpit to prevent damage to them, as are all cupholders.

The all new helm and passenger dash pods are two level fiberglass construction with "soft touch" vinyl prows to reduce glare and offer a classy appearance. Faria white-faced gauges fill the upper level on the driver's side with the large central gauge displaying four critical functions—fuel, oil pressure, engine temperature, and volts. A tachometer and speedometer flank this gauge. The lower level houses the remote stereo control, 12-volt accessory plug, the normal rocker panel switches, and Stingray's ignition switch with an engine-off accessory position. An electronic engine hour meter is standard. The passenger side dash features a built-in stereo compartment for the standard MB-Quart stereo housed in a locking glove box plus what Stingray calls a "catch-all" bin for sunglasses, lotion, etc.

A stand-up bimini top with boot is standard on both models and the stainless steel hardware supporting it is the easy-to-use ball and socket variety. Full enclosures are available optionally. I noted that Stingray has stuck to its practical thinking with respect to the windshield. Not only is it high enough for six-footers to actually look through when seated—as opposed to over—and receive adequate wind protection, but both sides have opening vent windows. These opening vents are especially appreciated in our Canadian climate of early spring and late fall boating when the inside of the windshield is often covered with condensation. These side vents are especially effective in helping clear this condition.

In the bowrider model, immediately in front of both driver and passenger helms are huge carpeted storage areas accessed by doors opening into the companionway. In addition, an in-floor storage compartment for watertoys has a gas strut-assisted opening lid and a sub-floor with a removable mat to help keep items inside dry. I doubt if any boating family could ever fill all the storage compartments, including those beneath all of the bow seating!

Right at the bow, Stingray has commendably retained its bow step with built-in cooler below plus an anchor locker. The extra length and beam of the 225 is manifested in longer, wider, and more comfortable bow area side lounge seating.

In the cuddy model, again, the extra length and beam of the 225 combine to make the cuddy cabin area that much more roomy and usable for full-sized adults over the old 220 this model replaces. Entry to the cabin is via a port side bi-fold, lockable, "starboard" door with smoked plexi inserts. Ventilation and natural lighting are provided by two opening, screened hull-side portlites and a large, tinted circular (no screen) deck-mounted hatch.

All V-berth cushions have storage below while the center cushion hides a standard porta-potti. To port is a sink and cabinet and a standard portable auto-lighting buntane stove in a stainless steel case. Pressurized water with a transom shower is optional.

Performance wise, I was most pleasantly pleased with the results of the tweaking Stingray has made with this next generation of its Z-plane hull. Both models were rock solid, totally predictable, and responsive at all speeds. And fast! The bowrider with its 300 horsepower duo-prop Volvo Penta 5.7GI DPS package eagerly jumped onto plane in less than 4 seconds and buried the 65 (max) mph speedometer at what I estimated to be an optimistic 68-mph at 5200 RPM. I found a comfortable, quiet cruising speed at 30 mph at 2500 RPM where fuel consumption was 6.8 (US) gallons per hour. I found minimum planing speed to be at 2000 RPM at 18 mph.

The just less than 200 pound heavier cuddy cabin was powered by the smaller 270 horsepower single-prop Volvo Penta 5.0GXI engine package but it still managed a most respectable WOT of an indicated 61 mph at slightly slower than the bowrider at just over 3 seconds. A comfortable cruising speed seemed to be at about 3000 RPM at just under 30 mph with fuel consumption of 7 (US) gallons per hour. Minimum planing speed seemed to be about 15 mph at 2400 RPM. The only one complaint I found with the cuddy was, even at my six-foot height, I found the helm seat to be too low for comfortable visibility. That of course is easily fixable with a pedestal insert.

S p e c i f i c a t i o n s
Length Overall22'11"/7.0m
Beam8'4" / 2.54m
Weight - Bowrider
           - Cuddy
3125 lbs / 1418 Kg
3310 lbs / 1501 Kg
Fuel Capacity57 gal / 216 L
Draft - Drive Up
        - Drive Down
18" / 46 cm
33" / 84 cm
Bridge Clearance - Bowrider
                          - Cuddy
52" / 132 cm
55" / 140 cm
Hull Deadrise19 degrees
Engine as Tested:
Bowrider: Volvo Penta 300 hp, 5.7 GI DPS
Cuddy: Volvo Penta 270 hp, 5.0 GXI SX

I love these new Stingrays. The ride, the handling, the looks, the amenities, the creature comforts, and the styling all add up to a most desirable package. There are a few options you will really need to thoroughly enjoy these boats. Aside from the complete canvas set, a digital depth sounder, and snap-in carpet, the rest are mostly to satisfy personal taste such as graphic packages and upgraded sound. And best of all, the pricing is enticing.

Richard Crowder
Power Boating Canada Magazine
Volume 23, Number 6, Dec 2008

The French version of Power Boating Canada, Les Plaisanciers, featured a reprint of this article in its Spring 2009 issue.

In addition, Les Plaisanciers featured the Stingray 225CR on the cover of this issue.


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