Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. For most of you, it's a day to take stock of your relationship and let your significant other know how much you love him or her. For others, the day serves as a cruel reminder that we're completely alone in the world, with no one to love us. (But we're not bitter. Really.)
However, even if you think you've found true love (ha! sucker!), you're going to want to make plenty of room in your heart for the new Stingray 220DR. When we saw this boat for the first time, it was as though cupid had come along and shot us with one of his enchanted arrows. Our hearts skipped a beat. (We're having a cardiologist look into that. It could be a murmur.)
In fact, after our test ride, our hearts were more than just aflutter — they were downright pounding with excitement. It was love at first ride.
We tested the 220DR on South Carolina's Lake Robinson. The water was a happy medium between flat and choppy, and the skies were clear.
With two adults and half a tank of fuel on board, we wasted no time getting to the fun. The Stingray jumped to plane right away, making the most of its patented Z-plane hull.
If you look at the 220DR's profile, you'd never know it was a deckboat. Instead, its sleek lines would lead you to believe it was a typical runabout.
When you look at the 220DR head on, though, you can see how wide the bow is, offering an amazing amount of room up front. In fact, where spaciousness is concerned, Stingray has been so bold as to compare the 220DR to pontoon boats, which are known for their roominess.
However, that Z-plane hull allows the boat to cut through the water better than most of the pontoon boats and other deckboats out there on the water. That equates to both fuel efficiency and speed.
Our test boat was powered by a 5.0L MPI MerCruiser Alpha I stern drive with a 19 inch stainless steel Laser prop. We took the boat to a wide-open throttle of 4,900 rpm, where it hit a top speed of 50.5 mph. Stingray has rated the 220DR's top speed as 52.1 mph, which certainly seems doable. Cruising speed is approximately 30 mph.
The 260 hp 5.0L offered just enough power, but we'd suggest you go for an even more powerful engine, due to the boat's weight of 3,811 pounds. The 220DR is available with a 300 hp 5.7L MPI MerCruiser Bravo III and a 320 hp 5.7L Volvo Penta Duo Prop, both of which are worthy of your consideration.
With the 5.0L engine, the ride was excellent, as was the turning. Vibrations and shuddering were nonexistent.
The Look of Love
The 220DR's layout is one of its best features. From the additional stowage locker at the bow to the fully integrated swim step at the transom, every detail ensures that this Stingray is as ergonomic as it is aesthetic.
A bow storage locker fits snugly into the forward swim platform, which also features a built-in boarding ladder. Take two steps down from the forward platform and you're on the main level.
The large settees that flank both sides of the bow offer a generous amount of seating — and filler cushions can be used to transform the entire area into one large sunpad. Bigger settees mean bigger stowage is hidden underneath, and even the four built-in cup holders are placed at just the right spots.
The 220DR's aerodynamic windshield deserves a good amount of credit for the boat's sporty look. It provides plenty of protection — and visibility — while adding to the boat's attractiveness.
An in-floor locker is located right at the walk-through space between the bow and the cockpit. To the port side of the locker is a sturdy head compartment that opens to reveal a portable toilet with self-contained holding tank. A portlight illuminates the space.
Just aft of the head compartment is a small entertainment center. The most noteworthy features of this center are its moderately large freshwater sink and its 25 quart removable cooler (which is optional).
The helm console is starboard of the in-floor locker. At the helm, you'll find backlit instrumentation and switches that work in unison with the standard woodgrain trim to give the entire console a sophisticated look.
The captain's chair is standard size and includes bolster seating. When the skipper wants a frosty beverage, all he or she needs to do is reach back to the small built-in cooler that has been placed right behind the captain's seat. Good idea.
A J-shaped settee wraps around the transom and the sides of the cockpit. A removable pedestal table can be positioned at the center of the space or moved up front to serve the bow.
The designers at Stingray have made it easy to get to the transom. The skid-resistant surface that covers the rest of the deck crawls up through the center of the rear settee, so you just take two small steps up and then two small steps down to the integrated swim platform.
Optional features on the boat include tilt steering, a magnetic compass, a pedestal cocktail table, pressurized water with a transom shower, a Bimini top with a stand-up boot, deluxe throttle and trim controls, a hull graphics package, a Kenwood high-power CD player with remote, and a 500 gph bilge pump.
This year, Valentine's Day can be a happy occasion for every boater. Those of you who are already in a happy (quit bragging!) relationship can use the Stingray 220DR for romantic getaways — and those of us who have no one on the entire face of the planet to love us can get away from the rest of those saps who like to point out things like, "Maybe you're single for a reason." (But we're still not bitter. Really.)
Whatever the case may be, you'll be glad you have a DR in the house.
Stingray 220DR Specifications
|Fuel capacity||62 gallons|
|Maximum power||320 hp|
|Base price with 5.0L engine||$29,850|
|Price as tested||$38,285|
|Model||5.0L MPI MerCruiser Alpha I stern drive|
|Bore and stroke||3.74" x 3.48"|
|Maximum engine speed||4600-5000 rpm|
|Top speed||52.1 mph|
|Cruising speed||30 mph|
|Miles per gallon at 30-mph cruising speed||3.8|
|Estimated fuel cost for 100 miles||$39.47|
|Range at 30-mph cruising speed||235.6 miles|
(Estimated fuel cost based on a fuel price of $1.50 per gallon.)
Insulated ice/storage box, high output bilge blower, opening portlight with screen, stainless steel bow rails and cleats, enclosed head with lockable door, indirect cockpit lighting, self-bailing fiberglass cockpit floor liner, adjustable cabin lights, power trim and tilt with indicator.
Tilt steering, magnetic compass, pedestal cocktail table, pressurized water with a transom shower, Bimini top with a stand-up boot, deluxe throttle and trim controls, hull graphics package, Kenwood high-power CD player with remote, 500 gph bilge pump.
For More Information
625 Railroad Ave.
Hartsville, SC 29550