This article originally appeared in our 2017 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more stories like this, click HERE to subscribe.
Passionate anglers in search of the ultimate fishing boat can stop dreaming; the specific model they’ve been wishing for is now a reality with this new-for-2017 Stingray.
It’s a Stingray, so heading into our test we already knew it would be well-built and well-thought-out. However, what we weren’t expecting to find was such a smart and fish-friendly layout that truly impressed us. For starters, there are two aerated livewells onboard, a 17-gallon one forward of the helm and a 26-gallon one below the helm bench seat. Inside, the round (not square) design keeps your catch or bait swimming freely and there is even blue LED lighting to help calm the fish.
Also included are 10 rod holders. Yes, you read that correctly: 10! This includes rod holders on each side of the helm stand as well as built into the gunnel. Plus we always love to find designated tackle storage built into the boat and this particular model has three separate areas including one below the helm’s steering wheel.
Speaking of the helm, the tall console includes easy-to-read gauges, rocker switches with circuit breakers and a Marine Audio stereo. There is even a designated area for your cell phone that includes a 12-volt outlet and a USB/Auxiliary port. Stingray did leave plenty of room if you wanted to add a GPS or FishFinder to the console, though if we had to be picky we’d like to see some type of electronic accessory come standard to complete the package.
For the captain the tall bench seat has a three-way position back rest including a middle setting that allows you to stand when driving and use the seat as a leaning post. Having a tilt steering wheel also adds to the versatility. Other key features include a removable ski/tow pylon,
Nano-Block stain-resistant vinyl, LED lighting, a removable 48-quart cooler and two folding jump seats so you don’t have to stand on your furniture when stepping into the boat. You can even remove the cushion from the middle bench seat to increase your angling platform, plus, don’t forget the large swim deck that includes a three-step boarding ladder.
Below deck the fiberglass USCG-exclusive Z-plane hull uses wood stringers that are encapsulated with flotation foam and is covered by a three-year hull blister protection plan and a limited lifetime warranty.
Up top there is nearly 11 feet of deck space inside the boat with easy access to steps on both sides. The oversized cupholders include drain tubes and the self-bailing cockpit includes stainless steel pullout drains for easy cleanup, which is very unique and we absolutely love.
One other user-friendly feature worth noting is the storage below the helm console that is easily accessible by pivoting the stand forward. This gives technicians access to all the console wiring plus there is even a tube built in to run your wires to your gauges.
Quick to plane and very responsive, the Suzuki 150 is a great engine choice for this Stingray hull. We nearly reached the 50 mph mark at full throttle and behind the tall helm stand with an actual glass windshield we felt very comfortable driving this boat. She banks beautifully in sharp turns and is a blast to drive.
Clearly designed by not only anglers but by boaters who spend hours on the water, we were impressed by the engineering that went into the floorplan and layout as well as the extra attention that was placed on even the simplest details.
Number of Occupants 9
Maximum Speed 48.6 mph
Wild Ponies 150 hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 5.88 seconds
Ladder Measurement 2’ 10” deep
Why we love this boat…The impressive fishing amenities could only be overshadowed by the quality construction and user-friendly design.
Just being picky…It is available as an option, but a loaded fishing model like this one should really come standard with a GPS/FishFinder to complete the package.
NMMA certified, 1100 GPH auto/man bilge pump, bow anchor locker, cooler, storage box w/ overboard drain, backlit instruments w/ circuit breakers, integrated electric horn, power trim and tilt zero torque steering, white gunnel molding w/ SS insert, safety glass windshield, SS Springline cleats, Marine Audio 160w stereo, aerated 800 gph aft livewell, helm seat flip-flop w/ leaning post, removable bow filler cushion, 10 stainless steel rod holders, tilt steering w/ locking detent, and stainless steel hardware pkg. (SS horn cover, SS cupholders, SS windshield supports, SS grab handles).
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Full hull color band, Sunbrella Bimini top w/ SS frame, stainless steel ski/tow pole, and bow fishing seat base.
LOA 20’ 1”
Beam 8’ 4”
Hull Design Semi-V
Dry Weight 2,700 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 46 gallons
Engine Suzuki DF150
Cylinder Type Inline 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 174.9ci/150hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 2.50:1
Propeller 15 X 21
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
850 2.6 83
1000 3.3 80
1500 4.2 84
2000 6.2 79
2500 8.1 85
3000 15.5 95
3500 16.1 98
4000 23.3 104
4500 29.6 109
5000 35.2 110
5500 40.5 115
6000 48.6 119