The big news at Stingray this year is its new line of center console deckboats, which starts with the 186cc Deck Boat. It’s multitask-ready, but like most center consoles, fishing is high on the list of to-dos, so Stingray checked off a lot of wish-list boxes, such as ample rod storage: six in-gunwale holders, including four at the stern that can be used for trolling, six vertical holders in the center console, and four holders under the gunwale. That’s 16, which is more than many one-trick-only fishing boats. A 104-quart livewell is under the leaning post, and a cooler under the jumpseat in front of the console can be converted to a 68-quart livewell. The beauty of the 186cc’s deckboat layout is evidenced by the wide bow casting deck, which is huge and includes twin storage compartments and an anchor locker that has a cradle for a Danforth-style hook. It comes standard with a pedestal fishing seat and can be rigged with a trolling motor harness and mount ($346).
The center console itself is perfectly proportioned for a boat this size but still has enough dash space for big-screen electronics. Stingray designers wisely created a storage well at the top, which is lined with cork for stowing odds and ends. Flip a couple of latches and the entire console tilts back for easy maintenance access to the wiring and easy access to stowed items. It’s also the spot for a pair of trolling motor batteries. The three-position backrest on the leaning post features latches on the sides to lock it into place, so riders standing behind can grab it securely without jamming the backrest into the driver and copilot. The 186cc is ready for cruising and entertaining, and the bow can become a sunning platform with optional filler cushions ($531). At the stern, four passengers can sit abreast on a bench that’s flanked by twin flip-up jumpseats. There’s a slot for an optional ski pylon ($492), and extended swim platformettes create plenty of room to boot up or land a fish next to the outboard.
Our test boat was powered by a Yamaha F115, which was plenty of engine thanks to Stingray’s efficient Z-Plane hull. On plane in 2.6 seconds, the 186cc reached 25 mph in 6.2 seconds and reached a top speed of 43.4 mph.