Two of four new dealerships that have decided to take on the Stingray boat brand are based in Canada. Stingray announced the newest additions to its global dealer network at its annual dealer meeting held at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Florence, South Carolina in early September.
Dunfords of Havelock in Havelock, Ontario and Georgian Bay Yamaha Leisure and Marine in Midland, Ontario have both added the brand. Stingray has seen a recent surge of growth to its network, with at least 16 dealers coming on board since July of 2013, not including the four announced at the meeting itself.
Approximately 130 people from 65 dealers attended the event, where they had the opportunity to test several of the fibreglass boat builder's newest models. These included Stingray's newest deck boat, the 192 SC as well as its brand new fishing model, the 204 LF. Dealers were also taken for a tour of Stingray's nearby manufacturing facilities in Hartsville, South Carolina.
With 2014 marking the company's 35-year anniversary, Stingray took time to honour several of its dealers who have carried the brand for at least 30 years. While no Canadians made that list, the company continues to grow its presence north of the border.
"When I first started with Stingray in 1998, we had one Canadian dealer, Leisure Marine Warehouse in Woodbridge, Ontario; they signed in April 1998,' recalls Debbie Packer, Stingray's Creative Manager and Marketing. "I remember counting the Canadian dealers a couple years ago, and we were up to 14. It's a rapidly growing area for us and now have 21 dealers signed in Canada.'
Stingray's new 192 SC deck boat is being marketed as the ‘younger brother' of the 212 SC launched last year. The 192 SC measures 20-feet, one-inch in length overall and weighs in at 2,600 lbs. with a 115hp outboard, making nearly two feet shorter and 500 lbs. lighter than its ‘big brother' that's powered by a larger 150hp outboard. The 192 SC also features a two-inch narrower beam of 100 inches. Stingray's designers went to great length to retain the on-board seating capacity, which is very close to that of the 212 SC. Available exclusively with a 115hp engine, the 192 SC starts in the $38,000 range prior to freight and PDI, providing Stingray an even more attractive entry-level deck boat offering.
Completed only days prior to the dealer meeting, Stingray had a prototype of its new 204 LF available in the water just in time for the event. Based on its existing 204 LR hull, the 204 LF is aimed at anglers seeking a capable fishing package that features the looks of a fibreglass bowrider. The LF features a new integrated sink with electric faucet on the passenger side as well as a compact and removable bait station table.
Both boats achieved speeds over 40 mph while powered by Yamaha's F115B 4-stroke outboard.
Other updates to the Stingray's 2015 lineup include a few cosmetic colour changes at the dash on its deck boats, including a darker helm console and back plates for the switches as well as an added aluminum plate to cover the space where optional electronics can be installed. The 212 SC gains a backrest for the port forward seating – providing more comfortable forward-facing riding. Both the 212 SC and 192 SC can now be equipped with two Bimini's, the standard one for the cockpit as well as a new bow Bimini for riders seated up front.
In addition to its newest network members, several other Canadian dealerships were present, including Leisure Marine Warehouse of Woodbridge, Ontario, Mobile Marine of Huntsville, Ontario and Jacques Poirier Et Fils Ltee of Gatineau, Quebec.
Stingray, founded in 1979, is based in Hartsville, South Carolina where it has over 225,000 square feet of manufacturing space at its disposal. Recently the company reported that it builds between 1,300 to 1,400 powerboats annually, including sport boats, sport decks, deck boats and cuddies.