Stingray 214LR

Impressive performance and attention to detail are both found aboard the 214LR.

We Say: Stingray's sterndrive runabouts provide awesome performance. Will an outboard change that? Powered by a Yamaha F150, the 214LR planed in 3.4 seconds, cut ridiculously tight turns and hit 46.9 mph. Impressive.

The 214LR features a spacious bow cockpit, an enclosed head and a sink, plus showers fore and aft. I applaud details like the cooler nook below the sink: There’s height to grab a drink without hauling the cooler out into the cockpit. The engine space under the sun pad has been turned into wide-open stowage. A 15-inch-wide walkway on the starboard side allows boarding without the need to clamber over the seat cushions.

The bilge is exposed fiberglass, painted black, rather than smooth gelcoat. Ditto the ski locker. Where it truly counts, however, the 214 gets it right. Step into the port console head compartment and you’ll appreciate the hinged half-moon that raises to increase clearance. Under the helm you’ll see wiring run within heavy-duty conduit. Feel around behind the through-bolted cleats and you’ll find beefy aluminum backing plates, a superior mount.

Who'd Want One: Sport-deck types who prefer outboards to sterndrives.

Another Choice: Hurricane's SunDeck SD 217 OB ($38,395 powered by a Yamaha 150 TXR).

Bottom Line: $43,305 with test power; stingrayboats.com