'Robalo' Center console Boats
Company has become a leader in the marine industry and fishing Boat building sector because of Robalo' diverse product line, cutting edge technology, history and heritage, profit-minded business practices,dealers and solid management.
contacts: P.O. Drawer 928
Nashville, GA 31639
Robalo Fishing boats
Today's Robalos continues to invest in new product development and offers amazing range of center consoles: R180,R200,R220,R240,R260 and R300.
the Robalo 'R300' center console
Stepping aboard a Robalo is like meeting an old friend. It's a venerable name in fiberglass fishing boats, originating in 1968, and I've fished on a fleet of them over the years. The company has passed through multiple owners since its founding, and when Brunswick owned it in the 1990s, a Robalo was built as a midpriced rig, sturdy and dependable, but lacking some of the eye appeal of costlier brands. Since 2001, when Chaparral purchased Robalo and moved production to Georgia, the styling and standard features list has made dramatic leaps forward. The name, by the way, is Spanish for snook, Florida's famed inshore gamefish, and a tie to the company's Sunshine State roots.
Today's Robalos are as classy and full-featured as any saltwater rig, but, price-wise, are now positioned toward the higher end of the market. Equipped with twin Honda 150s, the starting price for the R240 center console we ran out of Sarasota on Florida's west coast is $80,000. But for that money, you get a turn-key rig with a ton of standards that are options on most boats, including a full sunpad to turn the front casting platform into a lounge area, a foldaway transom seat, transom shower, trim tabs - and the list goes on.
ROBALO Model R240
Base Price (w/ Yamaha 250) $71,146
Price as Tested $90,980
Length 24' 0"
Beam 8' 9"
Weight (hull only) 4994 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 175 gals.
Maximum Horsepower 400
NMMA Certified Yes
Engine as Tested Twin Honda BF150s
Horsepower 300 total
Propellers 151?4x17" stainless 3-blades
Robalo, Dept. TBM, 200 Industrial Park Blvd., Nashville, GA 31639; 229/686-7481; robalo.com
Trailer Boats Boat Test
BENEATH THE SKIN
The new Robalos also epitomize the "tough love" philosophy. This is a heavy boat for the genre, coming in at about 4990 pounds sans engines. The weight is a result of massive construction, including Robalo's "hull-within-a-hull" liner and extra-heavy layup. The hull starts with a MaxGuard gelcoat, backed by a vinylester skin coat, spray core and then the usual layers of woven and bi-ax fiberglass. The hull uses Kevlar reinforcement at stress points, as well. Stringers are a foam-filled 'glass matrix, and the inside of the stringer grid is gelcoated and forms the interior of many of the storage boxes. The transom is poured ceramic, which is harder than any foam, waterproof and crush-proof when twin engines totaling up to 400 hp are bolted on.
The philosophy of overbuilding a boat is a good one if you're not after maximum speed. Although heavy boats can be more stable in rough water than lighter hulls of similar design, they also use more fuel and tend to be somewhat slower. As in most things marine, there are tradeoffs.
Be mindful of your tow vehicle's ability when you consider this boat, as well; rigged and on a trailer, you're looking at something well north of 31?2 tons, so you'll want a substantial machine to pull it up the launch ramp.
HOLD THE BUMPS
In our test runs on a very bumpy Sarasota Bay, the Robalo R240 didn't notice the lack of flat water. This is a variable-deadrise hull, with 22 degrees of deadrise at the transom. She slices the waves nicely, even when you're trimmed high. It's also a deep boat, with lots of freeboard and bow flare, and this translates into minimal spray at the helm and cockpit. Reverse chines help keep down spray, as well, and also assist in planing.
The trim tabs are inset into the hull, which gets them out of the way for trailering and reduces problems with snagged fishing lines. We didn't need them to put the boat on plane, but they would be useful for leveling an unbalanced passenger load, or for raising the upwind rail to knock down spray. Tabs are also helpful for softening the ride when you want to keep the engines trimmed high, but need to lower the bow to cut through waves.
Emergency turns are easily controlled, with minimal slide. The R240 exhibited some leaning in hard corners, but this is common with deep-V hulls. Rigged with three-fourths of its max-rated power, our rig topped out at 43.5 mph, and accelerated from 0 to 30 mph in 8.4 seconds. Although there was some initial hesitation off the line, once the engines revved to about 3000 rpm, acceleration was quick and authoritative.
In terms of fuel economy, our boat's twin Honda 150s did remarkably well, peaking at 3.4 mpg at 3500 rpm and 24.0 mph. Couple that with the boat's enormous fuel capacity, (175 gallons, which is more like what you'd see on a 27-footer or larger) and you get amazing range. At trolling speed, for example, you could travel 614 miles between fill-ups. At cruise, you could safely run 536 miles. Of course, coughing up the $500-plus it would take for refilling when the tank reads "E" could bring a tear to your eye, but it's going to be a long time between those painful moments.
BAIT 'EM UP
The fishing goodies are all here, in spades. The 35-gallon oval livewell in the transom is lighted, and has adjustable aeration so you can direct the water flow for best circulation. A rigging station is neatly tucked under a flip-up lid at the stern, and the transom door makes it easy to step out on the swim platform to work a fish around the engine or to do a little snorkeling.
A raw-water spigot is handy for washing down the deck, and a stainless toe rail makes it easy to brace yourself when you're wrestling a big grouper or snapper off the bottom. And, in an exceptionally knowing touch, Robalo has added pads on the under-gunwale rod racks so that reels don't get scratched against the inwale. The
90-gallon fishbox up front has two inches of foam around it to ensure that your ice lasts and lasts.
LET'S GET COMFORTABLE
The Robalo R240's UV-protected upholstery features heavy-grade vinyl, extra firm foam pads and a precision fit. The standard leaning post is comfortable enough, but if you're primarily an offshore angler, you might spring for the optional bolster-type seat, which adds $1514 to the bottom line.
The transom bench is a big plus, as this is the smoothest riding spot in the boat. It can be folded and flipped out to provide access to pumps and wiring. Robalo does a nice thing with the wiring, too - all connections are tinned, and where they tap into bus bars, the connectors are waterproofed.
The console head is predictably compact, as it has to be in a 24-footer. Headroom is just less than 51?2 feet, so it's going to be a bit tight for you six-footers. Having that private privy is going to be a big sales point for families, however, and the shower is a nice extra. The boat has a 22-gallon water tank, about three times the capacity seen on many boats where the shower seems like an afterthought. We especially liked the magnetic catch on the console door - this is a better approach than using a strap or mechanical catch. It's clean, simple and elegant.
Overall, the Robalo R240 is loaded, ruggedly built, and looks and runs great. If you think you need a little tough love of your own, we say go for it.
ADDITIONAL TEST RESULTS
* A little slow out of the hole, but lots of punch throughout the midrange
* Tremendous range, thanks to the economical Honda 150s and the enormous fuel tank
* The list of standard equipment is exceptional; this is a true turn-key rig, without adding any options whatsoever
* Robalo's level of quality has clearly increased, but so has the sticker price
* If you subscribe to the heavy-is-strong philosophy, you'll love this boat. It should be bulletproof forever, though at some cost to performance
* Tall freeboard and plenty of flare help keep the cockpit dry, and the 22-degree max on the variable deadrise delivers a soft ride
Deadrise at Transom 22 degrees
Draft (engines up) 20"
NOTABLE STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Leaning post with cooler; battery charger; dual battery switch; hydraulic steering; compass; 35-gallon livewell; four removable tackle boxes; inset trim tabs; fold-up transom seat; bow sunpad; cockpit bolsters; console head, sink and shower
NOTABLE OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
Vacu-Flush head; T-top; windlass; bolster seats; pull-up cleats; trim tab indicators
ENGINES AS TESTED
Make: Twin Honda BF150s
Horsepower: 300 total
Number of Cylinders: I-4
Displacement: 2.4L (144 cid)
Weight (25" shaft): 485 lbs. each
Gear Ratio: 2.14:1
Maximum WOT RPM: 5000-6000
Honda Marine, Dept. TBM, 4000 Marconi Drive, Alpharetta, GA 30005; 770/497-6400; hondamarine.com
TOP SPEED (mph) 43.5
0-30 mph 8.4
SOUND MEASUREMENTS (dBa)
Idle at Helm (600 rpm) 72
Idle at Transom (600 rpm) 75
Cruise at Helm (4000 rpm) 88
WOT at Helm (6000 rpm) 101
Ron Williams:2014 R222 Robalo Boat
Looking at a new R222 in Key Largo. Concerned that its not big enough to handle offshore on a choppy day (2'-3' or 3'-4').
Avast, me buckos! The two best days of a boat owners life be the day ye buy 'er, an' the day ye seller. I still have me 1995 Robalo 2440. She currently be getting a refit, much to the annoyance of the ex-wench that lives across the street said Charles C.
A helm seat that is both ultra comfortable and built rugged to withstand the the harshest saltwater environments. A helm seat can be purchased from your local dealer. We have retrofitted them into the new 2013/14 models R245's and R305's.
Some modifications were made with the seat bases and such to fit
The new R200 Robalo by RB
photo: Robalo Boats