NauticStar 203 SC

The 203 SC is a deck boat that does it all.

NauticStar’s 203 SC stays true to its deck boat roots. The elongated bow cockpit, a must for increasing passenger space, carries the beam well forward, tapering at the bow just enough for style. Instead of a wraparound windshield, the boat features a traditional open layout with a detachable windscreen at the starboard helm console. The ski tow bar and 15.5-cubic-foot, gasketed floor locker satisfy the water-sports crowd, while the self-bailing cockpit and shallow transom deadrise will get a fisherman’s nod of approval. You can even convert the insulated bow cooler into an optional livewell. Cruise, tow, fish...NauticStar built this deck boat to do it all.

The 203 has the soul of a runabout below its bond line. Its stable, 15-degree transom deadrise sharpens to a chop-busting angle forward. The chine is notched along the way to introduce air under the hull, adding lift and reducing drag. Powered by a Yamaha F150 outboard, my test boat planed in a quick 3.5 seconds, powered to 30 mph in seven seconds and maxed out at 44.6 mph. It also displayed smooth, predictable handling along the way.

Attention to detail stands out throughout. Molded-in docking lights accent the bow platform. Separate ladder and anchor lockers are below nonslip hatches to keep the platform snag-free and uncluttered. Seats are hinged to lift lengthwise and feature water-diverting gutters below, and under-seat stowage foregoes carpet for composite lining to prevent dampness and mildew. The ski locker offers rubber matting for that same reason, as well as to protect the toys. Interior helm stowage is lined with vinyl. To port, an open cutout secures the removable 25-quart Igloo cooler, but still allows quick access to the contents within. Looking for the convenience of a walk-through transom? It’s there, hidden below the hinged, starboard bench seat that refuses to sacrifice valuable passenger space for ease of access. Like I said, true to its deck boat roots.