This article originally appeared in our 2014 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing this in print along with 25 other boat reviews, click HERE to purchase the back issue.
What You Need To Know
The 100 percent wood-free construction, Infinity sound system and the leather touch upholstery are just some of the features that make this a popular choice with experienced boaters. But when we dug a little deeper, we found even more reasons to like this new Sport Deck.
Following the success of the 223DC that was introduced last year, we love how the 243DC merges deck boat style and spacious interior with the ride and feel of a V-hull runabout. From bow to stern this boat is loaded with a lot of great standard features including a full wrap-around windshield with folding door and a great head compartment that includes a sink, wash down and a window.
Other key features include bow and stern telescopic stainless ladders, bow anchor locker, and a large in-floor ski locker that is nicely finished inside and at 6 feet long gives you plenty of room to store your toys.
At the helm is a sporty console that flows well with the overall design of the boat. Large, easy-to-read gauges, Lowrance GPS and Infinity stereo with auxiliary ports, are all part of the console design. For the captain is a comfy bucket seat with a flip-up bolster and there is even an identical helm chair for your first mate directly across. Behind the helm chair is a sink with a granite-looking top and a trash bag holder compartment below, but with this location it does limit the space the driver has when behind the wheel.
In the stern is a solid ski/tow pylon, the second stainless boarding ladder as well as wash down to help keep dirt from coming aboard. Speaking of easy entry, we love that the cushion in the stern flips up so you don’t have to walk on your seats to get in. This design is very smart because you don’t sacrifice any seating area and are able to comfortably step in. NauticStar has had this design for years, but we still love to mention it.
From a construction standpoint, we like that no wood is used on this boat. The 100 percent composite construction on the hull includes a one-piece molded stringer system. The 243DC earned high marks for fit and finish work and for its family-friendly design. As far a maintenance, with the self-bailing cockpit, cleanup is a breeze. Just unsnap the optional carpet and wash the boat clean. Even in the under-the-seat storage compartments the water will run out the scuppers.
Sharp tight turns are not a problem with this unique hull and we love how she dived into those corners. Powered with a Yamaha 200hp we reached speeds over 20 miles per hour in just five and a half seconds with a top speed just over 45 mph. This is a fun boat that features the exclusive Star Performance System that includes a shallow draft for fishing, great towing capabilities due to the aft deadrise and transom width, fast acceleration with the planing pods and air assist chine, as well as the sharp entry V hull. Simply put, we had fun driving this new NauticStar.
This is a safe, family-friendly deck boat that as tested has a lot going for it. It really is a great all-around versatile boat that could be seen on the Intracoastal waterway one weekend and then anchored in a cove on a popular lake the next. Plus there are plenty of great comfort features onboard that will allow you to stay out longer and enjoy your time boating.
Number of Occupants 12
Price As Tested With Power $61.7 K
Maximum Speed 45.2mph
Wild Ponies 200hp
No. of Gates 2
0-20 MPH 5.5 seconds
Ladder Measurement 2’ 10” deep
Why we love this boat…Well built, amenity-packed with a safe, family-friendly layout. Plus the versatility helps make it appealing to a lot of different people.
Just being picky…The sink and faucet directly behind the captain’s chair is a great addition to the boat, but it does limit the amount of legroom for your skipper.
LED courtesy lights, JBL stereo w/ MP3/USB port & four speakers, walk-thru windshield w/ folding doors, wood-free construction, fiberglass stringer system, Teleflex SeaStar Pro hydraulic steering w/ tilt, stainless hardware throughout, two boarding ladders, ski/tow pylon, enclosed head w/ mirror & sink, dual bucket seats, ski locker, fresh water pressurize sink w/ nine-gallon tank, deutsche connectors and auto bilge pump.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Infinity Stereo upgrade, snap-in carpet and Lowrance Elite 4 Fish Finder.
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design V
Dry Weight 3373 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 66 gallons
Engine Yamaha F200 XB
Cylinder Type In-line 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 170.0/200hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 1.86:1
Propeller 17 X 14 1/4
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
700 3.0 74
1000 4.1 78.5
1500 6.3 84.5
2000 8.0 85
2500 10.0 82.5
3000 14.1 88.5
3500 21.1 94
4000 26.8 97
4500 31.1 97.5
5000 35.2 98
5500 38.9 101
6000 44.2 102
6200 45.2 102.5