Our host had just slipped the NauticStar 211 Angler and us into the water, and while he drove to the parking area, we took note of our surroundings. The 211 Angler boasted a wide beam from stern to stem and a wide center console with a large windshield that we wouldn’t fully appreciate on this balmy day.
We spotted a 20-gallon livewell under one hatch and a beefy cooler on the centerline. The easy step to the bow will be appreciated when fighting fish, hauling anchor, or just dipping a toe in the water while drifting in a bay. There was a boarding ladder astern — a standard on the 211 Angler.
We took note that there was something else besides the fishability. Roomy, comfortable seating abounded from stowaway cushions fore and aft. These weren’t just flat pads; the combination of cushions and coaming bolsters made them very comfortable seats. Real seats. On the forward seats, flip-out backrests turned the lounge into a forward-facing seat.
When our host returned to the boat, he said, “My wife says this is the perfect boat.” One of our tech-team members nodded in agreement. “If there could be one, this comes the closest,” he remarked. “My family likes hardcore fishing,” he continued. “If we have to give some up for cushy seating, we will. We prefer open water or a stout outboard motor as a backdrop to our hero-shot selfies, and while we could appreciate the comfort on this boat, we wouldn’t accept it at the expense of its fishability.”
They wouldn’t have to. Yes, there was comfort all around this 8-foot-6-inch beam platform, but it wouldn’t get in the way of a good day’s catch in most conditions. We could cast a net from the bow or stern, or, when done casting, sip some tea in a reclined position. More convenience can be had by adding an optional head to the changing compartment beneath the console. A full Bimini top shaded the cockpit. The rig is ideal for fishing the inlet, scalloping on the flats, or pulling the kids on tubes.
The test boat lacked only two things: a stout rod and a livewell full of feisty fish — or a cooler full of drinks and a party crew of music-loving sunbathers. Any of those could be fun on the NauticStar 211 Angler.
*Bluetooth-equipped stereo is standard.
*Recessed cleats avoid tangling lines and nets.
*Reinforced trolling-motor deck at the bow
*Aft jump seats fold out of the casting deck.
*Vented chines give an aggressive look and are said to improve acceleration.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F150
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Powertech 18" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.86:1
Fuel Load: 20 gal.
Crew Weight: 440 lb.
$51,019 (as tested)
NauticStar Armory, Mississippi; 662-256-5636; nauticstarboats.com