Stingray 211DC

Improving access.

By Heather Steinberger

Late September in South Carolina can be absolutely charming.

Photos Courtesy of Stingray

Cotton plants turn russet in the fields, bursting with snowy bolls. The woods reveal their first splatters of yellow, and summer humidity releases its grip at last.

The operative words are can be. On this late September day, the Palmetto State seemed determined to provide one last wallop of summer. With the mercury rocketing past 90 degrees before mid-day, the yard at Stingray Boats felt like the surface of the sun. The question of the day: What happens when a boat builder wants to improve access to one of its most popular models? Ahead of me, on its trailer, the answer was waiting.

Sporty but spacious

In 2019, Stingray introduced its 231DC, a dual-console dayboat that offered watersports-caliber performance as well as the necessary comfort and amenities for relaxing and entertaining. Sales went through the roof, and the team knew they had to take the next step. That meant designing a little sister — a boat that would provide similar features and benefits yet improve access with its smaller size and more affordable price tag. And so the new 211DC was born.

“The 231 was the catalyst,” says Drew Gantt, director of engineering, “The 211 has the same aft end, nearly the same bow, and most of the features.”

I climbed up the stainless steel swim ladder, pleased to note the convenient grab handle at the top. Then, standing at the transom, I looked forward and absorbed my first impression

Space.

The 211DC’s expansive U-shaped seating sweeps around the aft end of its large, self-bailing cockpit. Standard filler cushions create a sun lounge, which doesn’t crowd the dual bucket seats at the consoles. A generous walk-through leads to inviting bow lounges, which also are available with filler cushions.

“We were going for sporty but spacious,” explains Robert Lyew, lead engineer on the project. “The bow is one of the widest in this class, and we widened the aft seating. We also made the walk-through transom standard this year, with a filler cushion for the transom door.” I liked this a great deal. Although my daughter is a teenager now, I remember the days of wrangling a small child on a boat all too well. The walk-through transom makes getting on and off the boat easier, and parents will appreciate having the ability to block that ingress/egress with something soft.

Families will also appreciate the enclosed, lockable compartment in the portside console. It can either serve as a changing room or, with the available porta-potti, a head compartment. Admittedly, it will be a bit of a squeeze for a grown-up, but it is a welcome amenity nonetheless.

Family members who enjoy watersports and angling won’t be disappointed. A ski locker and available retractable tower accommodates the sports fans, while rod holders and additional under-seat fiberglass storage will manage the rest of the gear. In addition, the 211DC incorporates a cockpit table and a generous cooler box beneath the aft seating, perfect for a day on the water.

“This is a ‘do it all’ boat,” Gantt says. “No boat is inexpensive, and we understand that people need to feel that their purchase is worth it. With the 211DC, boaters can justify the expense, because everyone in the family can enjoy it.”

“We wanted to put as much as possible into this boat without compromises,” Lyew agrees. “It’s designed to be a family boat and to get people out on the water. I took my parents out recently and they loved it. My mom could even drive this boat.” I couldn’t wait for my turn.

Expect the unexpected

We hopped into Gantt’s truck for the drive out to Stingray’s waterfront property at 2,250-acre Lake Robinson, just northwest of the Hartsville facility. Bob Van Vollenhoven, vice president of sales and marketing, reversed the 211DC off its trailer at the private launch ramp, and Gantt and I walked along the quiet lakeshore to meet him at the dock.

As we climbed aboard, Gantt drew my attention to the sleek dashboard. It featured the available 7-inch Garmin display and, new for the 2023 model year, standard Medallion digital switching with an integrated touchscreen (traditional switches remain accessible). “We’ve paid special attention to the dashboard, because it’s really a key thing,” Gantt explains. “We’ve had a lot of new boaters coming into the lifestyle over the last couple of years, and they expect their boats to be like their cars.”

These boaters are technologically savvy, and they desire seamless, intuitive systems in one central location for both simplicity and control. For boat builders, that means leveling up the way people communicate with their boats for a better overall experience on the water.

 

We fired up the test boat’s Yamaha F150XB. Leaning into the robust bolster on the captain’s bucket seat, I took the Italian steering wheel in one hand and throttle with the other, and we roared down the middle of the empty midweek lake.

It was flat and calm, so I focused on S-turns and a few doughnuts to create mild sea conditions for the 211DC to navigate. The boat handled them deftly, with barely a bang or a rattle. And I quickly realized its spacious layout is deceptive.

“This definitely is not a deckboat,” Gantt says with a smile. “The hull has a deeper V, so you get a smoother and sportier ride.” That’s putting it mildly. If you spin the wheel hard over to make a sharp turn, the boat will dig in and bite instead of skipping or darting sideways. And it’ll bite hard enough to pin you against the side.

It’s an overused expression, but the 211DC really does corner like it’s on rails. That was an unexpected and fun surprise. “It’s the Z-plane hull,” Gantt notes. “The design originally came from a sportboat with a sterndrive, but we adapted it for outboard power. This hull design provides better performance, and it also is more fuel efficient, which is important these days.”

Anticipation is building for this attractive newcomer, and Stingray Boats is full steam ahead on production. As I drove hull No. 1, and No. 2 was on its way to the Jersey Shore Boat Sale and Expo, 10 more were taking shape on the Hartsville production line.

Great Lakes boaters will be able to see the new 211DC at the 2023 winter shows, including the Chicago Boat Show on January 11 – 15 and the Milwaukee Boat Show on January 20 – 29.

Sleek automotive-inspired dash with digital switches

Enclosed portside compartment with locking door

Standard Bimini top and cockpit/bow covers

Expansive U-shaped aft seating with filler cushions, also standard (walk-through transom too)!

Specifications

  • LOA: 21’8″
  • Beam: 8’5″
  • Max Draft (drive up): 17″
  • Ave. Dry Weight: 3,248 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 42 gals.
  • Power: 225 hp
  • MSRO: $68,410
  • Website: stingrayboats.com
Dealers

Source: https://lakelandboating.com/stingray-211dc/