The team at Hydra-Sports tells us that the 202 DC will keep die-hard fisherman happy as well as satisfy the family out for a day of recreation. In our book, a 20-something outboard-powered dual console bowrider is one of the best boating concepts on the market. You can fish from it, use it as a cruising sportboat, a swimming platform, or tow boat for skiers or tubing. Because it is a Hydra-Sports we knew the 202 DC would be fishy, but would it also be family-friendly. In order to find out, we sent our former fisherman, and now family man, Capt. Steve to see if this boat has what it takes to keep both groups happy.
The Hydra-Sports 202 DC is 20’ 1” of muscle, but does it have what it takes to be fish and family friendly?
Capt. Steve Says...
I’ve had good experience with Hydra-Sports in the past so I wasn’t too concerned with whether this boat was built to take whatever I could dish out. They’ve all been very well built boats, and I was confident the 202 DC, with its all-composite construction (no wood) and foam filled fiberglass box stringer system, would not disappoint. But that’s not the mission I was on... I was here to see if this boat could walk the walk. Is she fish and family friendly or just a wannabe?
Let’s Start with the Fishability...
I like the large, insulated fishbox in the bow. It’s big enough to store anything even the most optimistic fisherman can haul aboard in the territory this boat will be traveling in. The insulated 36 gallon baitwell is located aft center, and features a 700 gph pump. Four stainless steel gunwale mounted rod holders will contain the active rods, and rod storage below the gunwale holds two more to either side. The bow has a self-draining anchor locker so that hardware won’t be in the way. I like the raw water washdown for getting rid of the blood and guts before we return for a freshwater rinse.
The Family Friendly Boat...
With my wife and daughter aboard, the enclosed head will be appreciated, both for nature’s calls and as a changing room for getting into and out of swimsuits. The in-deck ski and wake board storage is deep enough to hold the equipment, and more importantly, get it back out without having to bend anything. The port side seat is back-to-back and converts into a lounge. Bow seating is easily accessible through the walk-thru windshield.
The two aft stern quarter seats are now a nice attraction, and the integral swim platform gets high marks for accessibility, but low marks for size… well, there’s an outboard in the middle of it, so while you can’t dive in from the middle, the extra room in the cockpit that an engine box would have taken up is appreciated. We'd say that it is here that the boat is the biggest compromise, and not because she is a fishboat, but rather because she is an outboard. You just can't have a nice wide swim platform going across the transom of an outboard-powered boat. (At least not yet!)
Added points for the stainless steel bow rail that you can grab from any position though. The bowrider next to us at the dock had only a single hand hold. If you needed to hang on from another position besides where the hand hold was, you were out of luck. The pressurized freshwater wash down system is great for the rinse off after dipping into saltwater.
The boat's 22-degree deadrise will make both the family and the fisherman happy knowing the ride will be just about as good as it can get.
The Crossover Features...
The helm is nicely laid out with instruments for fuel, speed, tach, and trim. There is enough real estate for an 8” nav display. All hardware in sight, and out of sight, is stainless. Drink holders are in all the right places, all doors and hatches are held in place with SS piano hinges for added strength. Piano hinges are better than the two standard hinges you see on most boats, which with time often get loose or sprung. Hydra-Sports covers the boat with a 10 year hull and a 1 year component warranty.
Power play and specs...
The Hydra-Sports 202 DC has a LOA of 20’ 1” (6.1 m), a beam of 8’ 6” (2.6 m), and an approximate draft (depending on engine choice) of 29.5” (75 cm). Her dry weight is 2,965 lbs. (1,345 kg), fuel capacity is 104 gallons (393.7 L).
You have two choices in outboard manufacturers to power your 202 DC...Yamaha and Evinrude, both in four sizes... 150, 200, 225, and 250-hp. The Yamahas are Tx and the Evinrudes are E-TEC.
While we haven’t yet tested this model to verify the numbers, Hydra-Sports tells us that with the Evinrude 200-hp E-TEC, she had a top speed of just over 42 mph and a best cruise of 28.5 mph burning 9.2 gph, which gave her a usable range of 290 miles (466.7 km).
So, after giving this boat the once over a couple of times, I found that yes, she does fill both roles of fishing and family friendly cruising quite well. My typical day of pulling Blues and Blackfish from the waters of Nantucket Sound and the surrounding shoals are well suited for this boat, and the family recreation of tubes and skis are certainly doable. Of course it would be nice to have a larger swim platform, but my experience is that it is just a matter of getting used to the boat.
I think any way you look at the 202 DC you will find her a versatile boat.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Hydra-Sports 202 DC (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Washdown: Fresh Water
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Hydra-Sports 202 DC (2011-) Warranty
Hydra-Sports 202 DC (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
10/1 Limited Warranty
Members must log in to view the test results section.