Captain's ReportA Rugged and Seaworthy CatBy Capt. Vince DanielloTest CaptainThere are plenty of trailerable, outboard powered fishing boats on the market, and lots of family cruisers, and even quite a few boats that fulfill both roles well, but how many offer the reassuring knowledge that the boat’s hull design and construction has been proven by several long-distance ocean passages? Only one I can think of, the Glacier Bay 2640.Expeditions and RecordsOne Glacier Bay record, a 1998 expedition from Honolulu to Midway Island, crossed 1328 miles of open Pacific Ocean unassisted, never before accomplished by a trailerable, outboard powered boat, according to Larry Graf, the company’s President. Two boats, a 26 foot Glacier Bay Canyon Runner and a 26 foot Coastal Runner were fitted with extra fuel tanks and extensive electronics and safety gear, but were otherwise standard production boats with twin 130 horsepower Honda four-stroke outboards. In addition to a couple of fuel stops, the group passed near tiny atolls every few hundred miles (to fish of course,) taking 9 days to make the trip with 70 hours actually underway. At night the boats would run at trolling speed, and in daylight pick up to around 25 knots in seas as high as six feet, with higher seas (up to ten feet) requiring a slightly slower pace. A more recent expedition took a 26 foot Glacier Bay from Nome, Alaska across the Bearing Sea to Russian Siberia, only 256 miles round trip but through ice fields that sometimes formed huge bays, and other times tiny channels. Other notches in Glacier Bay’s belt include a 1999 trip from Seattle to Homer, Alaska, and a 1996 crossing from Virginia Beach to Bermuda.Performance and HandlingWhile the Canyon Runner and Coastal Runner offer different layouts, the 2640 Renegade we tested is built on the same ocean crossing, fuel efficient hull. Our test boat, fitted with twin 150 horsepower Hondas (the same engines as used for the Midway crossing but in a slightly higher-horsepower offering) gave us a top speed of 42.3 miles-per-hour and could travel 2.22 miles on a gallon of gasoline at 26 miles-per-hour. The 26 offered its best economy at 22.7 miles-per-hour, making 2.75 miles-per-gallon for a 445 mile range from standard fuel tanks (allowing a ten percent fuel reserve.)FeaturesWhile this 2640 Renegade has all the requisite fishing features - bait well, fish boxes, rod holders and storage - it offers a lot for the family as well. The split console arrangement takes advantage of a catamaran’s deep hulls to make room for a head, which is tucked beneath the windshield on the port side. The boat doesn’t come with a Porta-Potti as would be expected, but rather an electric-powered marine toilet with a 15-gallon holding tank and macerator pump are included as standard features. On the port side just behind the head, an L-shaped settee provides plenty of seating close to the captain, keeping everyone together while cruising. The split port and starboard console arrangement provides a full beam-width windshield to block the wind and spray, yet allows easy access to the bow through an opening center section.Design and LayoutFor family boating, one big advantage to this layout is that it compartmentalized the boat for different activities. Fishing in the 5 foot by 7½ foot cockpit is separated from the seating area by the back of the settee, keeping blood and guts isolated to the cockpit and small children away from hooks, gaffs, and toothy critters. The bow can either be used for fishing or converted to a large sun pad, depending upon who is on board and what the activities of the day demand, and while two of the boat’s fish boxes are located here, there are two more aft.Catamaran AdvantageAnother advantage of catamarans for family boating, because the engines are located all the way outboard there is plenty of room between them for a boarding ladder. Glacier Bay does a good job here; a platform with stout handrails extends back between the engines and a telescoping boarding ladder is concealed beneath the platform deck. There are also built-in cutting boards and storage by the stern, and the sink faucet extends to double as a fresh water shower.While this 2640 Renegade’s layout maximizes family enjoyment, it does compromise fishability slightly when compared to the company’s center console boats. But every Glacier Bay is built to fish, and when necessary, fish hard. Perhaps the best way to understand the company’s commitment to fishing is to understand the passions of Glacier Bay’s founder, Larry Graf. When asked about his motivations for the long voyage to Midway he talked about “looking for something grand, a real challenge.” But when I pressed the question of why he chose the tiny islets leading to Midway the truth came out, “The fishing is incredible.”
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Glacier Bay 2640 Renegade (2006-) is 42.3 mph (68.1 kph), burning 28.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 109.01 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Glacier Bay 2640 Renegade (2006-) is 22.7 mph (36.5 kph), and the boat gets 2.75 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.17 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 445 miles (716.16 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 150-hp Honda 4-stroke (outboards).
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|