Anglers in the market for a compact bass boat should have a look at the updated Lowe Stinger 195.
Bass boats are popular, but the simple reality is that not everyone needs a $70,000 boat with 250 horses bolted to the transom. For anglers on smaller water bodies who don’t make long runs to their spots, a less powerful, scaled down bass boat is often a better choice. Aluminum bass boats are extremely popular in many markets for this very reason – plus the fact their tough aluminum hulls slide over sticks and stumps without damage, and their lighter weight makes them much easier to launch and retrieve from unimproved ramps.
Passenger Capacity: 5
Maximum Power: 115 HP
Lowe Boats has been catering to this angler for a long time. Its popular Stinger series of aluminum multispecies/bass boats offer luxury bass boat features wrapped in a light, tough aluminum shell that’s perfect for rivers and medium-sized lakes. Take the Lowe Stinger 195 for example, which has been newly refreshed for the 2018 model year.
Measuring a full 18 feet, eight inches long and riding on a comfortable 85-inch beam, the Lowe Stinger 195 weighs a svelte 1,060 pounds, making it an easy boat to launch and a very easy boat to tow with a normal family vehicle. Yet don’t be misled by that light weight – it still offers a full 21 inches of side depth, and its hull is built from solid 0.100 gauge aluminum for serious durability. The genius in the Stinger lies in its design and how it makes the most of its generous interior space.
Like any bass boat, the Lowe Stinger 195 offers raised bow and stern casting decks with a compact cockpit in between. The front deck in this boat is just enormous, offering plenty of fishing space for a couple of anglers without any fear of bumping elbows. A raised pad at the bow provides the perfect spot to mount the standard MotorGuide X3-45FW FB 12-volt electric trolling motor, while a small panel below it houses the wiring harness connection using gauge wiring. Plush 16-ounce marine carpeting provides a secure, non-slip surface that’s comfortable on wet feet, while a pair of pedestal-mount fishing chairs can be removed if desired.
The big front deck conceals a number of large, deep storage lockers – a huge main locker in the center, plus twin lockers that run lengthwise along each side of the deck which handle rod storage and other bulky items. At the aft end of the bow deck is a massive 23 gallon aerated live well with an integrated bait bucket – a thoughtful addition given that this boat will almost certainly be used to fish for species besides bass. When heading out for crappies, walleye or perch, there’s no need to lug a bucket and eat up valuable deck space.
As you step down into the main cockpit you’ll find three side-by-side seats facing forward – just as in any other bass boat. Tilt the seats forward and you’ll discover still more storage space in the seat bases, which is ideal for storing rain gear, life jackets and other personal items.
This boat even has a safe! A round access panel in the cockpit screws open to reveal a small storage compartment behind it – the ideal, super-secure place for wallets, truck keys and other valuables while out on the water.
The helm console is thoughtfully designed, with a tinted, low profile windscreen that actually works quite well in spite of its trim dimensions. The switch panel features illuminated toggle switches, while the primary dash panel puts the primary gauges to the sides to allow plenty of space to fit a flush-mount touchscreen display of up to seven inches in the center. There’s also room for the standard Lowrance Hook 3X fish finder, which can be upgraded if desired. A stylish black, soft-grip steering wheel completes the helm.
There’s a second 23-gallon live well with integrated bait bucket located in the stern casting deck, along with another pedestal fishing seat and two large storage compartments, one to each side of the boat. These are perfectly sized to fit three Plano 3700-style tackle boxes each.
The Stinger 195 comes well equipped with just the standard features alone. But Lowe offers an enticing option list so that anglers can personalize the boat to their own specific tastes. Electronics upgrades, such as adding bow-mounted displays or upsizing the standard Hook 3X to a Hook 5 or Hook 5X are popular, as are upgrades to the electric motor to various MotorGuide 24-volt models.
Rated to handle outboards of up to 115 horsepower, the Lowe Stinger 195 offers enjoyable performance with engines of less than maximum power, right down to an economical 75. It can also be rigged with a jet for those who boat in very shallow waters. With it’s efficient hull design, this is an honest 40 mph boat, bringing more than enough performance to the smaller and mid-sized waters it was designed for.
Lowe Stinger 195 Specs
- Length: 18’ 8”
- Beam: 85”
- Side depth: 21”
- Transom Height: 20”
- Dry weight: 1,060 lbs
- Passenger capacity: 5
- Maximum capacity weight: 1,400
- Fuel capacity: 19 gal.
- Maximum power: 115 hp