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Viper V203 (2011-)

Currently not test numbers

Brief Summary

European boaters looking for a slick cuddy should include Europe Marine's Viper V203 on their short list. At 6.25 m (20' 6") overall, the V203 combines German quality with an attractive starting price and a long list of accessories and optional power, including several diesels. Her builder, Europe Marine, has been in the boating business since 1988, and not only builds Vipers from 5.38 m (17' 8") to 9.80m (32' 2") but also imports Four Winns, Glastron, Rinker, Monterey and Quicksilver boats; runs its own dealership, with a 2,000 sq. m. (21,500 sq. ft.) showroom; operates a 30-boat marina on the Rhine River; and provides winter storage and full marine services in a 3,000 sq. m. (32,300 sq. ft.) facility. You can buy your Viper and have all your boating needs met without ever leaving Europe Marine.


Length Overall 20' 6'' / 6.25 m
Beam 6' 11''
2.12 m
Dry Weight 2,182 lbs.
990 kg
Draft 1' 4''
0.41 m
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom N/A
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 265 gal.
70 L
Water Capacity N/A


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Engine Options

Tested Engine Currently not test numbers
Std. Power 1 x 135-hp MerCruiser 3.0L
Opt. Power Not Available

Captain's Report

Viper V203

The Viper V203 is a typical cuddy-cabin boat, with basic berths under her deck and lots of seating in the cockpit. We haven't tested her yet, but with engines available from 135-hp to 225-hp in gas, 140-hp to 220-hp in diesel, her performance should satisfy most buyers.

Pick Your Power

The standard Viper V203 comes with a 135-hp MerCruiser 3.0L sterndrive, adequate horsepower for lakes, rivers and sheltered waters – but many buyers will want more, so Europe Marine will build V203s with a number of engines. Both MerCruiser and Volvo Penta sterndrives are available; top of the power range is the Volvo 4.3 Gxi Duoprop, 225-hp, with electronic controls. That should satisfy all but the most speed-obsessed.
But there are diesel options, too: In Europe, where gasoline is astronomically expensive, diesels find their way into smaller boats than in the U.S. The Viper V203 can be powered with Volvo Penta D3 diesels rated from 140-hp to 220-hp, spinning either single-prop SX or Duoprop drives. Even a pair of Volkswagen Marine TDI diesels are available, 150- or 165-hp.

Viper V203

The V203 helm is packed with instruments and switches, arranged so all are easy to read at a glance. We like the white-faced gauges against the black carbon-fiber panel, the pair of grab handles either side of the wheel and the padding along the lower edge of the console so you don't bang your knees.

Choose Your Options

Standard price of the Viper V203 with the 135-hp MerCruiser is €33,665 (approx. $46,000 U.S., or £28,700). For that price, the boat's ready to go, but most buyers will want to pick from the long list of options to customize their Viper. And some things are missing that should be standard – a compass, for example. Maybe you don't need one on the Rhine, but we like seeing one on top of the helm, just in case. On the other hand, a Bimini top with side curtains is standard, as is a cockpit table and a comfortable-looking swivel helm seat.

Viper V203

Most of the V203's cockpit is seating, including this L-lounge – the companion helm seat reverses to form a backrest for folks who prefer to stretch out. Note the grab rail by the model's right hand, and another behind her. You can't have too many grab rails.

Besides the compass, we'd add tilt steering and a smoked-glass cabin door so we could lock-up our stuff, or have some privacy when using the optional Porta-Potti; a teak door is also available. The extended swim platform with Flexiteek decking would be nice, along with the swim ladder; otherwise the platform is too narrow, and doesn't provide protection against whacking the outdrive. We'd add a stereo, since none is standard; both a basic radio/CD and a Sony Marine Clarion are available.

Viper V203

The extended platform is optional, but we think necessary to keep swimmers away from the outdrive. Flexiteek decking and the swim ladder are also options.

Viper V203

The helm seat swivels to serve as extra seating at the table. Note the molded steps leading to the opening windshield.

Viper V203

Cuddy cabins are very basic in boats like the V203, but we'd make this one more usable by adding the optional Porta-Potti and a teak cabin door for privacy.

Viper V203

A forward sunpad is optional, but given the sloping bow, necessary to maintain the skipper's sightlines at high running angles, we'd save our money. This model looks like she's trying hard not to slide overboard; fortunately, the bow rails are standard.


We think the Viper V203 is well worth a close look for those considering a cuddy-cabin boat. The base price is competitive, there are lots of power choices and plenty of options to pick from. We'd consider investing extra Euros in a diesel sterndrive to cut operating costs, and hope we'd get most of it back when we sold the V203 to move to a bigger Viper. For option prices, contact the builder or a Viper dealer.
Europe Marine sells from its own showroom, but has dealers in most European countries. (Vipers aren't exported to the U.S.) 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.

Viper V203

The aft sunpad is a nice place to chill, but we think it would be much better with the extended swim platform – Mom and daughter could dangle their feet in the river without worrying about the outdrive. For general family boating, it might be wiser to spend extra on options like that rather than splurge on a bigger engine.