Stingray Boats have been around for over 40 years. They make a variety of boats from 17 to almost 28 feet in length.
How good and reliable are they?
Here’s How Good Stingray Boats Are:
Stingray Boats are generally characterized as a volume-tier brand, which means low to mid-tier pricing. They are universally considered fast boats and a rougher ride in large waves and can lead to some durability problems. They are built with precision, and the company is great with customers.
A Brief History of Stingray Boats
The company started in Hartsville, South Carolina, in 1979 when founder Al Fink gathered a handful of artisans to found a new brand.
They had two molds initially, and after a few months, their first Stingrays rolled off the line.
In the first decade of their existence, they gained a reputation for applying new technology to the construction process, such as CAD-driven routers for precision parts done in-house and robotics in the lamination process.
They received a patent on their Z-Plane deep-V hull design in 1991. They continued to refine their CNC (Computer Numerical Control) manufacturing processes over the next decade.
In 1995, they became the first marine manufacturer to have their own webpage, improving its interactivity in 199, and in 2001 they launched the first unmoderated marine forum.
In 2003, the company located Stingray Hull #1, still in Hartsville, and it is restored in a lengthy project in time for its 25th Anniversary.
From 2007 until the present day, Stingray wins numerous Consumer Satisfaction Index awards from the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
In 2018, Al Fink stepped down as President of the company after 39 years at the helm.
His successor is Barry Avent, and the company remains independently owned and operated until this day.
How Reliable Are Stingray Boats?
Stingray Boats have a reputation as being an affordable brand.
Another thing they are known for is their speed, their patented Z-Plane hull design being a primary factor.
Their construction is known for its precision due to their early adaption of computer-assisted design and manufacturing. This is something they have continually refined over the years.
Despite their deep-V hull design, there is a certain perception that the boats perform poorly in rough water. This is believed to be due to their lighter weight of construction, which allows the boat to be pushed around by larger waves.
Their motors and wiring are held to be very good, particularly for the price point of the boats.
How Durable Are Stingray Boats?
Being fiberglass, the company’s boats are generally tough and durable.
But there is the general perception that their fiberglass is thinner than other brands. While this is one factor in their superior speed, it can cause problems.
Their increased flexing in rougher water can cause cracks in the gel coat or even deeper problems in the fiberglass.
This is less of a problem in inland waters and lakes, where the waves are generally tamer than along the coast.
Overall, the boats are as durable as you’d expect from a lower-priced boat.
What About Older Stingray Boats?
Stingray boats have been ahead of the curve as far as computer-assisted construction, so they have always been pretty precise in their manufacturing processes.
Similarly, they have always had a reputation as a fast hull, but one made from thinner layers of fiberglass.
On forums, you will see the same opinions on Stingray Boats from every era of their existence, so it is pretty clear that they have been consistent in their niche and quality for most of their five decades of existence.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Stingray advises owners looking for parts to contact their local dealers on their website, as they have an extensive dealer network.
They say on this page that they generally have parts for boats as far back as 10 years before the current models.
Beyond this, it will be harder to track down parts. The dealer network is still the best place to start, as some have been with the company for decades, and their repair shops may have accumulated many old parts.
Several online retailers advertise older OEM parts for Stingray Boats, such as boatoutfitters.com. Both amazon.com and eBay list many replacement parts for the brand.
Sadly, the original Stingray owners’ forum is no longer supported. They do have a large following on their active Facebook Owners Forum, and owners may find some leads there looking for a particularly obscure part. It is closed to the general public but easy to join.
What Are Typical Problems With Stingray Boats?
Two of the most recurring complaints about Stingray boats are their performance in rough water and the thinness/lightness of the hulls.
As one owner said:
“I had a 200LX for a while. Sleek-looking boat and very fast. Not a good rough water boat at all. They are light, and the layup is thin. The hulls flex a lot; too much…Stingray’s manufacturing is very consistent, but they build to a design that is far from optimal for rough conditions, and I’m talking freshwater conditions.”
[Source: The Hull Truth]
While not all owners share this perception, it is not uncommon to find these sentiments on message boards.
Another problem relating to the thinner layup of fiberglass that some owners have reported is the cracking of the fiberglass around the transom areas, where the plywood is bonded to the hull. Some reports of this have been severe, such as delamination to the core.
It should be pointed out that some of the more severe of these problems were the result of errors in the fiberglass construction for a particular individual boat rather than the entire line.
For instance, one marine surveyor said:
“We suspect that laminate technicians simply neglected to properly mate bond the entire port side transom panel before installation of second ply member and inside encapsulating covering.”
[Source: Google Groups]
Several owners have reported a crack in the gel coat attributed to the thin hull flexing.
How Long Do Stingray Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Stingray Boats is continually compared to on forums when people ask about durability and longevity is Bayliner.
Both are more entry-level, lower-tiered boats. That does not necessarily mean low quality, but there must be compromises to meet the desired price point.
For Stingray, that means the thinner layups of fiberglass. While this decreases their longevity compared to more expensive and heavier-built boats, they do not seem to be viewed as any worse than Bayliner on forums regarding longevity. Some see them as superior.
They are seen as being longer lasting on more protected waters than the ocean and open coastal areas.
This being said, much depends on the care that an owner takes of the boat. If left exposed and never winterized, and quality of the boat will begin degrading.
Do Stingray Boats Hold Their Value?
Stingray boats seem to have an average depreciation on the resale market. In general, they are not particularly good, nor are they terrible in terms of depreciation.
In 2015, a 212SC deck boat had a base retail price of $43,695. That boat currently has an average resale price of $31,970. That is a depreciation of 27%, which is about average.
Their largest boat in 2015 was their 250LR sport deck hybrid, which had a base price of $64,194. That year and model have a current average resale price of $47,640, a depreciation of 26%.
Are Stingray Boats Still Being Made?
Stingray Boats are built in a 225,000 square foot factory in Hartsville, South Carolina.
They divide their boats into five lines: deck boats, sports decks, sport boats, center consoles, and dual consoles. Each model of each line has several options, allowing a significant amount of customization.
Their deck boats range from the 172SC, a 17’3″ boat starting at $27,920, to the 212SC at 21’11”, which starts at $54,073.
They currently make one model of a sport boat, the 225SE, which measures 22’11” and starts at $61,679.
The sports deck line is a hybrid sport boat and deck boat design. It starts with the 208LR, 20’8″ in length and starting at $48,427, and goes to the 23’11” 235LR, which starts at $67,019.
Their 3 models of center consoles begin with the 206CC, at 20’1″ with a starting price of $45,943, and go up to the 23’8″ 136CC, with a starting price of $70,308.
Finally, their line of dual consoles consists of 4 models, starting with the 191DC, at 19’1″ and starting at $38,801. The largest and the largest boat they make overall is the 269DC at 27’11” long. It starts at $158,668.