Nautic Star 265 XTS Running Review

The demand for a “Hybrid” boat that is part Flats boat, part Bay boat, or part Bay boat, part Offshore boat continues to grow. The industry has stepped up and offers almost every combination of features you can dream up rolled into a single vessel. A large enough segment of the boating population who know exactly what they need create demand. NauticStar answered the call to build a magnum sized Bay Boat with the classic Bay Boat layout and features, on a hull large enough to handle rough water if necessary. The result of their efforts is the NauticStar 265 XTS (Extreme Tournament Series) a boat that will appeal to the go big, or go home crowd who love inshore fishing.

A benefit of building a Bay boat this large is the added space and storage gained. Beginning with fishing space, this model features elevated casting decks forward and aft that will accommodate several anglers without crowding. Room for more anglers means you’ll need to store more gear. Beneath the forward casting area, you’ll find a pair of matching rod lockers with organizers to stow 10-rods, a 100-quart storage compartment, and a 172-quart insulated fish box which also doubles as dry storage. The side entry head console also offers storage as well as access to helm systems. At the rear casting deck, they’ve included three across flip-up jump seats with two concealing matching tackle storage tray compartments, and a third featuring a bucket storage cutout for cast net storage below it. In the aft corners you’ll find a 137-quart compartment below deck to Port, and a matching hatch to Starboard containing a molded receiver to fit the included 35-quart Yeti cooler.

Another important feature many Bay anglers require is the ability to carry large quantities of live bait. This larger footprint deck addresses this issue by handling three wells with ease. Forward, beneath the front console seat is a 13-gallon satellite well for anglers on the bow. Behind the leaning post is an above deck 21-gallon well and beneath the aft deck is the main 42-gallon release well.

A stylish D-channel tubed Hard Top frame integrates nicely into the console creating a sleek look and adding walk through space to the center deck. The console also features a clever three position; removable windshield. Arming the 265 XTS with all of the features Bay anglers demand and allowing room on board to add extra comfort features you might not fit onto a smaller platform, isn’t going to get you through a sloppy inlet however. NauticStar built this boat to handle some weather beginning with a sharp entry forward (40-degree) and air assist chines, along with a step hull and planing pods. The ride proved to be extremely soft under an exceptionally solid feeling hull. A one-piece molded fiberglass grid system, the hull and the deck/cap are each bonded together creating a unified platform. This model will appeal to a lot of folks who either need more space than the average Bay boat offers for hauling people and gear, or who simply want a more sea worthy boat for comfort reasons. Either way NauticStar has put a lot of thought into this design and it shows.

NauticStar 265 XTS-Specifications

Length: 26-feet 2-inches

Beam: 9-feet

Draft: 14-inches

Deadrise: 40/16-degrees

Weight: 4200-pounds

Max HP: 350

Fuel: 74-gallons

MSRP: $112,364.00 w/Yamaha 300XCA

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