2016 Fishing Boat Buyers Guide: NauticStar 2302 Legacy

This new boat is sure to win more fans

NauticStar Boats boasts three generations of hands-on ­experience among its engineers, designers and craftsmen — and a fleet of pleased boat owners and passengers, our survey shows.

Those with experience with NauticStar boats love their fishing-friendliness (cockpit space, baitwells, stability) and sea-readiness (safety, speed, fuel efficiency, range).

NauticStar Boats are wood-free, with hand-laid fiberglass hulls and decks. Spaces within one-piece, foam-filled ­fiberglass stringer-system arms are also filled with foam, boosting flotation as well as damping sound and vibration.

The inner liner is a one-piece, self-bailing deck, shoe-box-fitted to the hull. The elements are bonded, fastened every 2 inches with stainless-steel ­fasteners, then sealed.

Distinctive NauticStar touches include upholstery produced in-house for greater quality control and product development freedom, in addition to details like waterproof Deutsch electrical connectors that resist saltwater corrosion. The privately owned and operated boat ­manufacturer’s 200,000-square-foot Mississippi plant includes two water-testing stations. Beyond rigorous inspection, each NauticStar boat is water-­tested before it leaves the plant.

The company makes four boat lines: Nautic Bay, boasting shallow-water fishability; the Sport Deck Series with V-Hull ride and deck-boat roominess; the XS Series of center-console offshore boats; and the new Legacy Series, offering a blend of offshore fishability with family recreation.

NauticStar 2302 Legacy

Boaters – saltwater and freshwater, fishing and ­pleasure — loved the NauticStar 2102 Legacy when the company introduced its new crossover center-console line in 2015.

There’s even more to love in its new big sibling, the 2302, which accepts up to 100 more hp, depending on the steering system. It welcomes two more passengers and is rated for 1,250 more pounds total weight.

The new boat’s larger console features a portside window and an in-console cooler that can be rigged as a livewell. There’s a ­slide-in 94-quart cooler — Igloo or optional Yeti — in the leaning post, which also sports rocket-launcher rod ­holders. Three-across aft seating conceals a handy battery box, yet another insulated cooler, and a net/bucket storage compartment. A walk-through transom door makes it easy to get to the water.

Options include a canvas or fiberglass T-top, removable ski tower, and an anti-fatigue helm mat.

What comes standard is performance. It’s powered by a Yamaha 200 four-stroke, and the engine company said the 2302 Legacy popped onto plane in 3.78 seconds; went from 0 to 30 mph in 6.61 ­seconds; and topped out at 46 mph.

NauticStar partisans like the brand’s speed and range. This new boat is sure to win it more fans.

NauticStar 2302 Legacy
Quick specs. LOA: 22'3" Beam: 8'6" Fuel Capacity: 96 gal Max HP: 250Courtesy of NauticStar
NauticStar 2302 livewells
Known for quality construction, fishability and great family amenities, this boat is equipped with powerful livewells in the aft bench.Courtesy of NauticStar