On Deck Roomy Stingray 212 a well-appointed recreational craft that packs a punch

Hartsville-based Stingray introduced the 212 deck boat two years ago.

The Stingray 212SC goes by the title “deck boat,” meaning it’s designed for hanging out on a bay, lake or river. It can even include carpeting.

“This is a party boat and seats 12,” said Kenneth Suggs, sales associate at Stingray dealer Butler Marine of Charleston. At more than 21 feet in length, the Hartsville-built craft is “the largest deck-boat series Stingray makes,” he said.

The single-console’s versatility — such as cushioned covered storage everywhere, freshwater sink, changing room, available tables front and back, and bow and stern swim ladders — attract buyers. Launched in 2014, the Stingray 212’s price tag is in the low $40,000s.

Butler Marine will show the Stingray 212 at the Charleston In-Water Boat Show this weekend. Fashioned with a 150 horsepower four-cylinder Yamaha engine, the boat posts its best fuel mileage totals around 35 mph and reaches a top speed of 50 mph or higher — thanks to a fast and efficient “Z plane” hull design that dates back decades. “It’s still a V hull, not a flat bottom,” he said. For another $4,000 to $6,000, the buyer can take home a Stingray 212 with a 250 horsepower, V-6 engine to push speeds to 55 mph or above, Suggs said.

The boat gets up to 6 miles per gallon and can go long distances with a 57-gallon fuel tank.

Purchasers include families that enjoy heading out on the water, especially with children who like to waterski or go tubing. The easy-to-maneuver vessel also proves popular with first-time and comparatively new boaters, he said.

Stingray produces a popular sister boat, the 192, that’s 2 feet shorter, typically equipped with a 115-horsepower engine and priced about $10,000 less, Suggs said.

Butler Marine sells most of the Stingray deck boats with the emphasis on cruising.

The recreational craft boasts a dozen drink holders, including two at the side-mounted helm. Skis and wakeboards fit in storage compartments beneath the seats. The throttle is on the right side of the helm with gauges just below the open viewing area; there’s no windscreen. A depth finder keeps the boater off sandbars, and a Bluetooth audio system comes with speakers fitted around the boat’s interior.

Also accessible are two coolers and a tray space that, when removed, provides access to the bilge pump for maintenance.

The left-side sink is located just above a closable trash receptacle. The changing room in the middle of the boat provides enough space to put on a swimsuit or use the head, and it also has a small table.

In a feature not found on a fishing boat, the Stingray 212 includes both fore and aft ladders so a few people can get in and out of the boat at the same time. “The shape of the boat drops in front (making it easier) to utilize the ladder,” Suggs said.

A freshwater hose allows swimmers to rinse off after taking a dip in saltwater or getting sandy feet from the beach.

According to online vessel research publication BoatTest.com, the Stingray 212 benefits from a good-sized cockpit depth of 26-28 inches. The measurements “are on the generous side for a deck boat, many of which are known for having relatively shallow cockpits. This is good news for families with tots,” it said.

For entertaining, “the 212SC is equipped to handle a crowd,” BoatTest.com points out. “With a built-in cooler forward, a cooler with a drain under the aft bench seat, as well as a carry-on with its own dedicated compartments, sink, enclosed changing compartment and L-shaped seating, the 212SC has the basics,” according to the boating site.

Based on a 20-minute trip on the Ashley River, the Stingray 212 was fun to drive and ride in, even on a day when waves whipped up to 2 feet or so. The custom Italian steering wheel had a smooth touch, and the mechanical throttle with built in trim tabs proved convenient. The speedometer wasn’t hard to find on the console board.

The Stingray sits at a moderate level in the water to provide safety and scenic views. Only on a turn into the wind did spray cross into the cockpit.

All the seating, storage and essential creature comforts such as a portable toilet, sink, hose and Bimini top combined to create a decent-sized pleasure boat for water novices and veteran lake and rivergoers. Plus, you’ll rarely run short on places to temporarily put down your favorite beverage.

To learn more about the Stingray 212, visit your local Stingray dealer.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.