Stingray’s 198LX carries on the brand’s tradition of getting more speed out of less horsepower. With a powerful MerCruiser 4.3 engine, our test boat peaked at an impressive 58.2 mph, planed in three seconds flat, and reached 30 mph in 7.4 seconds. These numbers are “wow” numbers for a boat with an overall length under 20 feet. Credit Stingray’s Z-plane hull design. It trades conventional strakes for overlapping planes, stacked atop each other like the slats in a Venetian blind. As the boat accelerates, these horizontal sections act as planing surfaces. Once the boat is at speed, they transition to spray releasers. Stingray notes the design delivers a smoother flow of water to the prop. It also works in conjunction with another Stingray trademark, a notched transom. The latter allows the drive to be mounted higher, reducing drag. A slightly deeper entry and sharpened keel give the hull similar thrills as it cranks its way through a sharp, snappy turn. It’s like driving a zippy sports car that really grips the road. You know the difference between that and a boring sedan.