The appeal of a deck boat, such as the Starcraft MDX 211 E OB we tested, resides in the unfettered space provided by a minimalist helm, a broad bow and clever seating, combined with unparalleled boarding and water access that fore ’n’ aft swim platforms with ladders provide. Combine this most user-friendly layout with a nice running hull and the exciting power of an outboard engine, like the 150 hp Evinrude E-Tec G2 that powered our test boat, and you’ve got a combination that’s tough to beat. It should come as no surprise that the MDX 211 E OB graces the cover of this edition of our Boat Buyers Guide. Deck boats embody the best of boating. The MDX 211 E OB provides many examples of why that statement is true.
With that new G2 sporting aesthetics color-matched to our test boat’s gleaming gelcoat, the boat looked as great as it ran during our day on the lake. The MDX 211 E OB shot to 45 mph, planed in 4.3 seconds and netted nearly 5 mpg efficiency at 31.1 mph. Just some more reasons to smile.
Details in the bow included pop-up cleats and U-shaped seating for six in the bow with a handy cooler underneath, as well as carpeted stowage compartments. A removable table is standard. Amidships, we admired the sink, set in a stone top, along with the drink holders with LED lighting ringing their rims. More stowage resides under the sink.
At the helm, the Bluetooth stereo by Infinity allowed us to listen to music from our phones. Here, we found a tilt wheel and illuminated rocker switches to control accessories, a GPS and the Evinrude Icon multifunction gauge. The analog tach and speedo provides a nice touch. Control the color of the LED courtesy lighting via a knurled, stainless-steel knob. There’s a ski locker in the cockpit sole. The Bimini top is standard.
The MDX 211 E OB is constructed with an integrated, interlocking stringer system. It comes with a lifetime hull warranty and a six-year warranty against blistering.
* Modified dihedral V-hull is intended for big water. It runs fast, tracks arrow-straight and provides confident handling at speed.
* Options like the wake tower, board racks, tower speakers and more convert this to a watersports machine.
* Full fiberglass inner liner eases maintenance.
How We Tested
Engine: 150 hp Evinrude E-Tec G2
Drive/Prop: Outboard/13¾" x 17" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.17:1
Fuel Load: 22 gal.
Crew Weight: 420 lb.
Starcraft Marine New Paris, Indiana; 866-772-4538; starcraftmarine.com