Boaters who would like something different in a sportboat may want to consider the German-built Viper 243. She is a well-appointed 23’9” (7.25 m) cuddy with a berth below, an enclosed head, wrap-around cockpit seat, entertainment console and a choice of 23 engine packages ranging from 190-hp to 300-hp, in both gas and diesel.
Integrated swim platform with retractable ladder
Ski tow ring
Aft removable bench with storage underneath
Removable L-bench with back rest on port
Cockpit cover and hardtop slant back cover
Tilt steering with padded grip on wheel
6 cleats on hull and deck
12V navigation lights
Viper 243 (2014-) Specifications
23' 9'' 7.25 m
3,748 lbs. 1,700 kg
8' 5'' 2.57 m
2' 11'' 0.90 m
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
The Viper 243 is 23’9” (7.25 m) LOA, with an 8’4” (2.57 m) beam, 3’ (.90 m) draft, and weighs 3,740 lbs. (1,700 kgs.).
The Mission of the Viper 243
The Viper 243 is built by Europe Marine and she is one of seven models the company makes ranging from an 18’ (5.48 m) cuddy to a 32’ (9.75 m) express cruiser. The Viper 243 falls roughly into the middle of that range, thus providing an important step for those boaters moving up the builder’s model ladder. She is intended for watersports of all kinds from just river cruising at an economical pace to a high-powered wakeboating with muscle to get board enthusiasts up on top in a hurry.
This impressionistic drawing of the boat’s cockpit gives an idea of the flare involved with this design both in the upholstery and in the boat’s exterior lines as well.
Her cockpit with its wraparound seating can handle five or six people and with the skipper that makes as many as seven, which is quite a crowd for a 23’ cuddy. With an enclosed head below with a standard Porta-Potti guests will feel comfortable planning a full day’s outing.
We think that the Viper 243 has an attractive cockpit layout as well as noteworthy upholstery work. Note the entertaining console in the starboard side of the cockpit.
•Enclosed head with Porta-Potti
•Swivel bucket helm seat
•Convertible companion seat
•Bimini top with full canvas
•Cockpit console with sink, water tanks and pump
•Automatic engine room fire suppression system
•Stainless steel fuel tank
Another advantage of the Viper 243 is its extensive option list of engines which allows consumers to dial-in the exact power needed for any given application.
About Europe Marine
Europe Marine has been in the boating business since 1988, and not only builds Vipers but also imports Four Winns, Glastron, Cruisers Sport Series, Monterey and Quicksilver boats. It runs its own dealership, with a 4,000 sq. m. showroom in Budenheim, Germany, south of Frankfurt; operates a 30-boat marina on the Rhine River; and provides winter storage and full marine services in a 2,500 sq. m. facility.
Note in this image the companion seat is facing forward. We like the ability to switch the seat back. There are steps to the foredeck between the helm and the companionway although they can not be seen in this photo.
An Unusual Blend. Because Europe Marine is involved in every aspect of boating from commissioning to winter layup, its managers are in constant close contact with owners of its boats. This is more apt to occur in Europe where sportboat sales numbers are low, and small companies often build mainly for the local market. It is quite rare to see this sort of arrangement in North America among builders of 23’ boats, but it augers well for the consumer.
Because the folks deal with their customers on a day-to-day basis about service issues, warranty matters, and to give general boating advice, they have their finger on the pulse of their owners and know what works and doesn’t work.
Because Europe Marine sells several sportboat brands made in the U.S., it is intimately knowledgeable in state-of-the-art developments.
The result should be a strong, functional boat that is easy to maintain and service.
A peek below reveals sleeping, or perhaps napping, accommodations. Note the door at right to the enclosed head with Porta-Potti.
23 Power Options
Because the activity intended for the boat determines what power the Viper 234 should have, Europe Marine is offering one of the largest line of options we have ever seen. All are sterndrive, and they come from both Mercury and Volvo Penta with both single-prop and dual-prop lower units.
The gas engines range from a 190-hp 4.3 L engine to the 6.0 L 8V Volvo Penta 380-hp engine. Diesel options run the gammit of horsepower from the 120-hp Volvo Penta D3 to the 300-hp D4.
We like the tans and earth tones on the upholstery, a color scheme that seems to make sportboats look more upscale and luxurious. The same color scheme can be found on the sportier Bentleys and Aston Martins.
As we look over the Viper 243 the element of the boat that we find most distinctive is the upholstery in the cockpit. The builder says its high-grade marine vinyl, but all builders say that. Nevertheless, this upholstery certainly does look rich to our eye The two earth tones and stitching patterns show a concern for both style and practicality.
Here we see the companion seat facing aft for spotting someone on the end of a tow line or for just taking in the sun.
We have not tested the boat so can make no remarks about her speed, handling of fuel consumption. People outside Europe who want to have a sportboat unlike anything in their marina may want to consider the Viper, contact the factory and see about shipping (There are no Viper dealers in the U.S.). Europe Marine sells from its own showroom, but has dealers in most European countries. Folks willing to invest in a trip to Budenheim can take a test drive before buying, something we strongly recommend. There's no better way to learn about a boat than by driving it.
We never recommend that people (even models) lay on the aft sun pad while the boat is underway at speed. Nevertheless we do get a good idea of the dimensions on the aft deck.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Viper 243 (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
= Standard = Optional
Viper 243 (2014-) Warranty
Viper 243 (2014-) 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.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Members must log in to view the test results section.