Stylish yet with and eye on value – these words describe the new Manta Ray line of family sportboats from Fiber Sport Inc. The 189 Manta Ray gets its sporty looks and European flair from rounded corners, a curved safety glass (not plexiglass) windshield, and integral swim platform. A spacious sundeck aft is supplemented with a swiveling bucket-style companion chair and an adjustable driver’s bucket seat that offers superb comfort and important visibility.
The helm features a full array of Teleflex instruments. To port, there is a lockable glove box with collapsible drink holders and an AM/FM stereo. Interior storage is plentiful, with compartments located under bow seats, in gunwale sideboard panels, and in a hinged ski-stowage locker.
Further, the vinyl-wrapped dash panels add form and function to the 189’s already-good look. Convenient stowage below the sundeck is provided for the canvas convertible top and Igloo cooler. With additional hinged stowage compartments that fold out of the way and allow easy access to the engine. In fact, the amount of stowage on this boat is amazing.
The Manta Ray has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of around $10,500. Part of the reason the price is so low, the company says, is that the boat doesn’t require a lot of power to reach design performance levels. (Smaller engine, smaller retail price tag.) Also, besides a reduced initial cost, maintenance and fuel costs associated with small engines are a good deal lower as well. That’s good news, especially these days.
JUST FOR PURE FUN
Fiber Sport says, “By using our background in heigh-performance boatbuilding, we’re able to design a hull that performs great even though it’s only an 18-footer with four-cylinder engine.” Fiber Sport reports a planing time of 3.3 seconds and top speed of 42 mph, with standard MerCruiser 3.0L Alpha One. “This kind of performance,” says Fiber Sport president Phil Faulkner, “Usually requires at least a six-cylinder engine, sometimes more.”
Although the price is low, Fiber Sport doesn’t cut corners. The company backs its boats with a limited five-year hull construction warranty. The Manta Ray’s construction feature 18-ounce woven roving, chop mat, Coremat, and balsa coring, supported by fully encapsulated kiln-dried spruce stringers.\
Plywood backings plates are glassed in at lay-up for added reinforcement behind hardware, all of which is through-bolted with stainless bolts and nylon lock nuts. Gelcoats, resins, vinyls, and other materials are also of extra high quality, says the company.
If you’re looking for high style and unique construction in this price range, you owe it to yoursefl to check out the Manta Ray 189 by Fiber Sport. Jam-packed with quality features at an affordable price, it’s really something special.
- Base price: N/A
- Standard Power: MerCruiser 3.0L
- Notable Standard Equipment: AM/FM cassette stereo, convertible top, insulated cooler, padded “Vinyl Wrap” instrument panel, hinged teak ski locker, S/S bow rail and ladder, adjustable driver seat, emergency kill switch, through-bolted cleats and rails
- Construction: hand-laid balsa core; five-stringer construction
- Deadrise at Transom: 18°
- Warranty: 5-year limited hull
Loa: 18’9” Beam: 7’6” Draft: N/A
- Approx. Weight: 2,200lbs
- Fuel/Water Capacity: 27 gal./0 gal.
- Options: mooring cover, Lowrance 3500 depthfinder.