Tested by Capt. Brandon DeNatale
All Rampage boats are designed for serious anglers who want to fish for billfish or meat far offshore in as much comfort as possible. While all convertible builders might say that, the fact is that the Rampage 45 has probably the fishiest cockpit on the market these days in class. Because she is light and has a relatively low dead rise at the transom of 12-degrees, she can be driven with reasonable power and does not need huge engines to get her into the 30-knot range. She is the largest boat in the Rampage line, so the builder has loaded in every feature imaginable from larger battlewagons into this powerful 45-package.
The 16' beam gives this boat a wide cockpit which can easily handle a fighting chair if you are out for big game, or two or three anglers if you are meat fishing. Forward you have a conventional bait prep console and freezer. Aft is a double-sided bait well and their are two fish boxes with macerator under foot. The combing is padded all the way around for added comfort when fishing, and on the transom, the door will let you bring in that prize winning catch, or easily board your tender. Forward in the cockpit to starboard is tackle storage with drainable compartment above. The cockpit is as fishy as they come with plenty or drawers for gear and all of the usual amenities.
When it’s time to check on the engines it’s just a quick step down. I found there to be plenty of room to get to all parts of the twin 800-hp Caterpillar engines. All the fuel filters and sea strainers were within reach as were the generator and electrical panels. Rampage has done a good job of laying out the engine room to make everything handy as possible. The builder offers three engine options: Twin CAT C-12, 715 MHP; C-15, 865 MHP; or, the C-18, 1,015 MHP.
The ladder leading to the bridge is a bit steep, but that is one of the compromises we're happy to make. Once on the bridge you’ll notice the helm has been designed to accommodate loads of electronics. This boat had electronic Caterpillar displays, which saves space so you have more room up high for large chart plotters and other electronics. And over to starboard there is plenty of room available for anything you want to outfit your boat with. On the port side is a long bench seat and forward of the helm another seat, so you can handle a small crowd on the flybridge. There is also ample room for rod storage here.
The side decks are wide and getting up to the bow is easy with the handrails and non-skid. A Lewmar windlass and protected foot pedals make safe, easy work of getting the tackle out of the water. There is a sturdy stainless steel railing and there is plenty of room on deck to mount a dinghy, davit and life raft.
The cabin features a galley-up layout and wide open living quarters. The area is well lit with recessed overhead lights and plenty of windows. This L-shaped sofa turns into a double berth in less than a minute. (We timed it.) Under the seating is the central vacuum unit, which makes cleaning up a cinch. Just behind this area is the AC control unit and below, the ship’s electrical panel and an icemaker. The galley is located to port and features a large island countertop and plenty of storage. There’s a sink, coffee maker, stovetop and microwave, along with storage below. Under the island there are 2 large SubZero refrigerator drawers and freezer.
Down the steps and to starboard is the day head with shower stall, electronic toilet, sink and storage below. Across to port is the guest stateroom with two twin bunks and an athawartship Pullman. I like this clever use of space and the ability to sleep an extra angler or child. The master is forward with the conventional island berth. There are steps on the side so making the bed and getting in and out is easier. I found there to be good storage under the bed and also in the hanging locker. Over to port is where you’ll find the combo washer/dryer -- great for when on a long cruise or when your only pair of pants got soaking wet. Every boat going offshore should have this set-up.
There is also a TV, VCR, and stereo here for entertainment. The ensuite head features a separate shower stall with bench seat, synthetic teak and holly flooring, electronic toilet, and sink with cabinets.
The day we tested there was a brisk wind as you can tell in the video. The deep-V in the boat's forefoot sliced through the waves and that Carolina flair kept the spray down. With the keel skeg she tracked very well without a tendency to wander. Her 16' beam gave the boat good stability in a swell. We found her top speed to be 40.3 mph at full throttle running the engines at 2330 rpms, and her best cruise was found at 1750 rpms cruising along at 29.2 mph. With a full 700 gallons you can expect to travel over 332 nautical miles with a 10% fuel reserve at best cruise.
I like to run a boat at about 20 knots because it keeps the navigational math easy. At that speed you will be burning about 37 gph which is relatively economical with a boat in this class.
The Back Story
As you've noticed, I have not found much to criticize in the Rampage. There are several reasons for that. First, Rampage is over 25 years old and its boats are built in Oconto, Wisconsin by craftsmen who have been building large boats for many years. Second, as I pointed out in the beginning, Rampage has listened carefully to its owners and has installed the features and equipment that they want. Because Rampage started out in New England, then were built in North Carolina, input from the America’s East Coast offshore anglers from different fishing cultures have gone into making the Rampage 45 user friendly for all types of fishing.Finally, while the folks at Rampage are fishing nuts, their sister company is Cruisers Yachts -- and they specialize in high-quality cruising yachts. The result has been a happy cross pollination of cruising features that has warmed up the Rampage 45 and made it a lot more cozy and comfortable than many “hard-core” fishing boats. This is one of the important things that set her apart from other, more Spartan, convertibles in her class.
We think that the Rampage 45 has a lot to offer in class. Her light displacement compared to most other boats in the 45’ range along with her 12-degree deadrise will make her as easy to push as any boat on the market. She should also be more stable than more narrow, deep-V alternatives. With a 16’ beam she is wider than all but one competitor which should give her more interior volume. All things considered, we think she is a very good value in this class.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Rampage 45 Convertible (2010- ) is 40.3 mph (64.9 kph), burning 76 gallons per hour (gph) or 287.66 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Rampage 45 Convertible (2010- ) is 29.2 mph (47 kph), and the boat gets .65 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.28 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 381 miles (613.16 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 800-hp Caterpillar 3106 - Diesel.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!