ROBALO

R302

Boating - - CERTIFIED TESTS -

With a rel­a­tively af­ford­able base price of around $154,000, I was anx­ious to see the R302’s qual­ity and per­for­mance. I’ll tell you now, I was im­pressed. Boast­ing the smooth-rid­ing Robalo Hy­droLift deep-V hull of its pre­de­ces­sor, the R300, the R302 is de­signed for fam­i­lies that fish and boat to­gether. The hard­top in­te­grates with the con­sole and lean­ing post/ seat­ing mod­ule. A full-height bonded glass wind­shield pro­tects the helm.

In a de­par­ture from most cen­ter-con­soles, the wheel and con­trols are lo­cated on the star­board-side to give the co-pilot el­bow room to port. The twin helm seats of­fer in­di­vid­ual flip-up bol­sters and fold-down arm­rests.

Our test boat fea­tured twin flat-mounted Sim­rad NSS evo2 12-inch mul­ti­func­tion dis­plays on the dash. A nook to the star­board-side se­cures a cell­phone, and a glove box hides a 12-volt DC re­cep­ta­cle and dual USB ports. You can also stow items in a pair of cub­bies atop the con­sole.

The back side of the seat­ing mod­ule fea­tured a 20-gal­lon livewell and a stain­less-steel prep sink with a fresh­wa­ter shower noz­zle, and tackle draw­ers. A 72-quart Igloo cooler slid out from be­low.

Six gun­wale rod hold­ers, a 25-gal­lon cov­ered livewell, two huge in-sole fish lock­ers, un­der­gun­wale rod racks, stain­less-steel toe rails, and a tran­som door in the star­board quar­ter mean this boat is ready for an­gling ac­tion.

To ac­cess the neatly rigged bilge, a hatch lifts up­ward from the tran­som. A 5-foot-wide tran­som bench­style seat flips up from the tran­som. The R302’s an­chor locker con­ceals a wind­lass and a fresh­wa­ter wash­down.

The step-down head com­part­ment fea­tures an elec­tric porce­lain marine toi­let and a van­ity with sink and faux-gran­ite coun­ter­top. U-shaped seat­ing in the bow con­verts to for­ward-fac­ing loungers. Three fish lock­ers re­side un­der the bow seat­ing.

Pow­ered by twin Yamaha F300 out­boards, the R302 popped onto plane in 4 sec­onds and reached 30 mph in 7.5 sec­onds. Han­dling proved out­stand­ing as the Kevlar­rein­forced hull carved turns at speed with con­fi­dence and pre­dictabil­ity. In a cross-sea it re­mained sta­ble thanks largely to the R302’s 10-foot-6-inch beam.

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