Where do STINGRAY boats fall in the lineup of boats as far as quality goes?

jwilkey84

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So I was looking to buy a family boat and ran across a 2004 stingray 185 with the 3.0 I/O for sale. I would like to know if this brand of boat is good or not. I mean I know that most might be similar but lets face it: we all know the bayliners of the 90's were complete junk! Just wondering if there are any bad things known about this stingray. I always thought when I found "my" boat that it would have the 4.3 motor that seems to be enough power in most situations. I have heard the 3.0's were a little underpowered....but that was on older boats. Is the 3.0 still considered underpowered on a 2004 model. Funny to think that in my book a 2004 is a "new" boat! The owner says it is a 3.0 "high output" which I cant seem to find any info on the "high output" part. So just looking for some advice, thanks!!
 

tpenfield

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You will get some varying opinions, but Stingray is generally geared towards the lower end of the market, not too distant from the Bayliners that you mention (IMO of course). There will be plenty of better boats on the water, and perhaps a few that are not as good.

I would consider Stingray to be a bit better than Bayliner, but they are known to be light in their construction, offering better speed and economy than heavier boats.

Nothing high output about a 3.0

So, no bragging rights to be had, but if it is a good deal and the boat is in good shape then no reason not to go for it.
 

thumpar

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I agree with the above. Stingray is an "OK" brand, maybe a little better than Bayliner. When it comes to a 10 year old boat my main concern would be how it was taken care of more than the brand name. You can have a 10 year old top brand boat that is junk if it wasn't taken care of.

For me 18" is the cut off for going to a 6 cylinder. It is just my opinion but that boat would be underpowered for me in that size boat. Depending on what you plan on doing with the boat it may work for you. Getting a skier up with other people onboard might take a bit.
 

jwilkey84

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ok. well I think I can buy it for $7000 and it is in excellent shape with 200 hours on it. I beleive it has the volvo pena motor and outdrive, is that any better than a mercruiser 3.0? The owner says his wife cleaned it out after every outing, they are the original owners and from pics everything looks good. He claims it is NOT underpowered and that it will pull two 18 yr old skiiers at the same time. I would be using it for a growing small family with small kids. Im not gonna be trying to pull up any 300 lb skiiers or anything. The owner says it will do upwards of 50 mph, which is 20 mph faster than any boat ive ever owned. but really I think my ideal boat would be 18-20 ft with the 4.3 fuel injected motor putting about 200hp out. Thouhts?
 

oldjeep

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3.0L in that size boat is plenty for pulling up a slalom skier. As far as pulling a pair of skiers, I assume he is saying if they are on 2 skis - you can do that with a row boat ;). I seriously doubt 50MPH, my old 2005 195 Baliner Classic was good for 43MPH with that engine.
 

thumpar

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Volvo and Mercruiser use the same 3.0 block so the power would be the same with either. One advantage of the Volvo is the cone clutch vs the Mercruiser Alpha 1 clutch dogs. The cone clutch shifts much smoother. I highly doubt it will do 50 but maybe mid 40s when loaded up. Almost any boat can get a skier up it is just how long it takes that matters and if they can take the face full of water while trying to get up. Take it out if you can and see if it works for your needs. If you don't know what to check for you should also have a mechanic check it over too. It will cost a little but could save you a bunch.
 

jwilkey84

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maybe this is a better way to look at it.......my buddy has a 1991 (i think) vip with the 4.3 engine, how would this 3.0 compare to his older 4.3? I mean in a vehicle they are all the time taking a smaller cubic inch motor and getting more hp out of it. Is it the same in boats? would a newer 4.3 be better than an older 4.3? Would a newer 3.0 be comparable to an older 4.3? This boat would hardly ever be on big water, if ever. The lakes we use around here have a ski/tube area of prly a mile long at most and prly less than a half mile wide. Is this an economical way to get my kids on the water, or is it an underpowered mistake I dont want to make? afterall there will always be deals out there if a guy looks long enough.
 

thumpar

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You can't compare boat motors to auto motors. Auto motors don't run at 3000rpm+ very much and if they do it is for a short period. I normally cruise down the lake at that RPM. You also can't use a cam that has overlap or you will get reversion. The 3.0 was never even put in an auto.
 

oldjeep

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maybe this is a better way to look at it.......my buddy has a 1991 (i think) vip with the 4.3 engine, how would this 3.0 compare to his older 4.3? I mean in a vehicle they are all the time taking a smaller cubic inch motor and getting more hp out of it. Is it the same in boats? would a newer 4.3 be better than an older 4.3? Would a newer 3.0 be comparable to an older 4.3? This boat would hardly ever be on big water, if ever. The lakes we use around here have a ski/tube area of prly a mile long at most and prly less than a half mile wide. Is this an economical way to get my kids on the water, or is it an underpowered mistake I dont want to make? afterall there will always be deals out there if a guy looks long enough.

3.0L has had the same HP for a long time. Good, reliable motor but not comparable to a 4.3L in terms of power. There is no replacement for displacement.

Whether it is underpowered or not is a perception, you need to try it out and decide for yourself. I found my 3.0L boat somewhat underpowered but still very usable, after 9 years of owning it I decided to step way up to something more suited to skiing. So for me the 3.0L wasn't a big problem, we had it a long time and used it a lot.
 

KD4UPL

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Top speed is not really a measure of whether or not a boat is underpowered. Depending on the load in the boat and the prop selection it might be quite fast but take forever to get on plane.
Stingrays are built for speed; that's fine if speed is what you want. When you engineer something towards one aspect you necessarily have to move away from other aspects. Likely ride quality, possibly handling, hole shot, etc may have suffered in order to achieve speed. So ask yourself, do I want a fast boat or do I want a towing boat, or a cruising boat?
Personally, I think that boat, with a "growing family" and their toys and gear would be underpowered, especially if you were looking for a 4.3. With boats the bigger the engine the better.
 

thumpar

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Another thing to consider is the capacity. My last boat was limited to 6. That meant if we wanted to take another family with us we could only take 2 extra as a family of 4. That one is limited to 7. I don't know how big your family is but if you have 2 kids and want to take another family out with 2 kids you would be over the limit. I can now take 12 with the current boat and that leaves a lot of options open for friends.
 

JimS123

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I bought my 19' 3.0 Liter Stingray because our family was growing and we needed a bigger boat. She has now gone through 31 seasons and it was the best purchase I ever made.

My youngest son bought a 2007 model with the 4.3 and personally I'll keep my 3.0.

There is no such thing as a high output - that is seller's BS.

The $7000 price seems a bit high for a 10 year old boat, but if it truly has 200 hours and was cleaned and garage kept each time (like mine), it might be worth it. A 10 year old garage kept Stingray beats a 5 year old Cobalt that was kept in the driveway (IMHO of course). Ours now has about 1400 hours on her.

A Stingray is an Oldsmobile. Beter than a Chevy, but not quite a Caddy. Now, if you think a riceburner is better than a Chevy, then you don't understand what I just said......LOL.
 

roffey

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I have a 198lx Stingray (19.8 feet) it has the 4.3 TKS ,carbureted 190 hp. The Volvo 4.3 MPI is fuel injected and runs out at 220 hp and will go 59 mph and will cost an additional 5k. With half a tank and just me (215 lb) in the boat I can just hit 55 mph and it takes a bit to get there. I have to trim the motor up and just a light chop.
 
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muskyfins

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Jun 7, 2012
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Just sold my stingray 606ZPX in October. I agree that the construction was light in weight, but that really made her seem to fly. The comment about Stingray being about like an Oldsmobile is spot on. Very good value for the money in my opinion. I added a 5.0, so I can't comment on the motor, but then again, I try to maximize HP where possible to avoid pushing the engine so hard. Stingrays still use the Z-plane hull. Some folks may call BS, but on smooth to rippled water, that boat turned like it was on rails! If you go to Stingray website they have info for pretty much every model they've ever built. You can look up all sorts of specs including what speed they achieved during actual testing with your motor set up and with what prop pitch.

They claim 49 MPH with a 23" pitch. http://www.stingrayboats.com/products/models04/power_options.html
 
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roffey

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... just to add something to comment on, I was "told" by the sales person who sold me my boat that the Stingray was trying up elevate the boat and now have a better fit and finish with upgrades to the interior.

Feel free to comment or call BS.
 

oldjeep

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... just to add something to comment on, I was "told" by the sales person who sold me my boat that the Stingray was trying up elevate the boat and now have a better fit and finish with upgrades to the interior.

Feel free to comment or call BS.

Bayliner has better fit and finish every year too, but the main thing with a 10 year old boat is how the previous people treated it. My 05 was in almost perfect shape when I sold it, I've seen others of the same year that were trashed beyond belief. I wouldn't worry too much about what sales people say - look at the boat, drive it and if you like it and it fits your needs for a price you like then buy it, use it and take care of it.
 
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Slip Away

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The last 3 years have seen an improvement in Stingray build quality. However, they are still a light weight boat, and not always the best choice for choppier waters.
If speed and value for your dollar are more important than ride quality and re-sale value. then Stingray may be a good choice for you.
 

agallant80

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I had a stingray, granted it was a newer one (2011) but had no complaints about the build quality. It was better than my current 2013 Bayliner's. If she is clean and well taken care of I say go for it.
 
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