Nearly a year ago I reviewed the brand-new Striper 200 CC when it was introduced at the Miami International Boat Show. You may remember I called it a “small boat with big boat features,” extolling the boat’s plethora of clever fishing options often found only on larger boats. Add those features in with the fishing-friendly center console design and the Striper 200 CC is a winning angling platform.
But center console boats aren’t for everyone. Most any center console owner will tell you that comfy seating and deck space for family and friends can sometimes be lacking on these boats. So what’s the answer to this conundrum? A dual console boat, that’s what. And Striper has answered the call by introducing its brand-new 200 Dual Console (DC), based on the same great hull found in the Striper 200 CC.
Striper is no newcomer to the fishing boat game. You may remember when Seaswirl, a company that had a solid reputation for building sturdy, affordable fishing craft, built Stripers. The tradition continues today under the Larson brand, which also builds its Larson and Triumph boats at the company’s Little Falls, MN, plant.
Since the Striper 200 DC shares the Striper 200 CC’s hull, that means it also has the same quality construction and design innovations. The single-skin hull is hand-laid with multi-directional fiberglass cloths, and composite materials are used to construct a rigid, rot-free transom. Of note is Larson’s single-piece Fibercore™ grid system, a cored fiberglass assembly that adds rigidity and support to the hull. Striper also installs rigging tubes during the building process for trouble-free wiring runs, now and in the future.
The Striper 200 DC’s lines are very similar to all of Striper’s offerings, with generous freeboard, thick gunwales, an aggressive entry, and ample flare forward to keep things dry when the wind pipes up. Twenty degrees of transom deadrise should make quick work of a steep chop while Striper’s V-Track hull, which features extra-wide chines, enhances stability. At 3,389 pounds, the Striper 200 DC is a good bit heavier than other dual console boats in its size range, such as the Grady-White Freedom 205 (2,810 pounds), or the unbelievably light Scout 210 Dorado (2,040 pounds).
Standard power on the 200 DC is your choice of 115-horsepower, four-stroke outboard offerings from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, or Mercury. You can power the 200 DC with up to 200 horsepower, the maximum rating. Based on performance data from the 200 CC, any of the 150-horsepower engine options available for this boat would be a better choice than the standard 115, if your wallet can take it. A Yamaha F150 should net a top speed that touches 40 mph, with a comfortable and efficient cruise settling in at around 28 to 30 mph.
The deck layout of the Striper 200 DC only slightly resembles its center console sister, but you’ll find the same copious use of high-quality stainless-steel deck hardware throughout. Even the lid for the stern-mounted livewell uses a stainless-steel, gas-assist strut. Pop-up stainless-steel cleats dot each corner and I'll give kudos to any builder who includes a set of amidship cleats like Striper does on this boat.
Up forward through a locking, waist-height door is a U-shaped, cushioned seating area for four people (five if they’re good buddies) with a removable table, drink holders, stainless-steel handrails, and stowage cubbies—all great features for having family and friends out for an evening cruise. An anchor roller and locker are situated forward and are easy to access. I found it a bit tight when I thought about fishing up here, however. The rep onsite told me that there’s an option for a drop-in panel to create a casting platform. It’s definitely an option you will want, in my opinion.
One place where the Striper 200 DC benefits from being different than the 200 CC is in the aft cockpit. Unlike the extremely close quarters I found on the 200 center console model back here—because of the leaning post and livewell setup and the huge motorwell—the 200 DC has plenty of room not only for fishing, but also for hanging out and relaxing. There’s the same oversized, in-the-way motorwell, which does eat up some room, but there also are two jump seats, a centerline flip-up bench, and a huge expanse of deck up to the console. The starboard jump seat cleverly flips out of the way to provide a walkway back to the stern, where you’ll find a swim ladder. A swim platform is optional, and recommended if you plan on pulling larger fish aboard, given the 200 DC’s somewhat high freeboard.
The center of the boat is where you’ll find some features that are unique among a lot of 20-footers. Twin swiveling captain’s chairs are found behind both the port and starboard sides of the console, which is topped by a wraparound windshield. They are incredibly comfy and have a flip-up bolster, flip-down armrests, and a pile of comfort adjustments. There are stowage cubbies next to the seats under the port and starboard gunwales along with drink holders and upholstered bolstering.
The captain’s chairs aren’t an entirely unique feature in a boat this size, but a relatively roomy head compartment with an MSD is (roomy being the operative word here). The lockable head compartment is accessed by swinging a large hinged “door” open. It’s not stand-up roomy, but it’s got more vertical space than a lot of boats I’ve been on in this size range. There’s even a small washing basin with stowage underneath. Unfortunately though, there are cushioned vinyl accents in this space and that’s something I never like to see in a head compartment; the materials tend to absorb odors. While you’ll find a fairly cramped head compartment on the Grady-White Freedom 205, you won’t find one at all on the Scout 210 Dorado, the two models mentioned previously.
The starboard console is where the helm is located. Like many manufacturers are now doing, Striper used a dark gelcoat color—dark grey—for the dash, which helps prevent annoying glare. There’s plenty of room for a multifunction display (or two, if they’re smaller in size) in the dash, and the digital engine gauges are placed high for easy viewing. As with the Striper 200 CC, I’m not a huge fan of the throttle placement; I feel as if it’s too far away from the wheel. That said, keeping it off the dash opens up space here. A line of rocker control switches round out the elements on the dash. Underneath the helm console is a stowage area for gear bags, safety equipment, or maybe a small cooler.
|Fuel capacity||91 gal.|
Among the fishing features are twin, 12-gallon fish boxes with macerated overboard discharges—a rarity in a 20-foot boat. Also aboard are four inset gunwale rod holders, port and starboard under-gunwale rod racks for two rods on each side, and a stern livewell with high-speed pickup. It’d be nice to see more rod stowage, but without a center console and hardtop with rocket launchers or a leaning post with the same, it’s part of the trade-off of the dual console design. And if space and comfort for your guests is on your boat checklist, I think it’s worth it. There is an option for a hardtop, which has four rocket launchers in the metal support work.
Think of the Striper 200 DC as the equivalent of a crossover in the automotive world. It has lots of seating and accommodations for a group of folks, but the utility to do other things like fish and creek-crawl. Get it dirty, rinse it off, and then spend an evening enjoying a sundowner cruise with friends. It’s this versatility that makes the Striper 200 DC a dual console that should be on your shopping list.
Other Choices: If you want a bit more LOA check out the Cobia 22 Dual Console. Or, if a 19-footer will do the trick, a top candidate would be the Grady-White Freedom 192.
View Striper 200-series listings.
For more information, visit Striper Boats.