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Robalo R222EX Explorer (2017-)
(w/ 1x 200-hp Yamaha 4-stroke)

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Brief Summary

For 2018, Robalo has updated the R222 ES to the R222EX Explorer.
The Robalo R222EX Explorer is a center console fishing boat first, and she has all of the necessities including an aerated livewell, 5-gallon-bucket storage, fishbox with overboard drain and plenty of rod holders. But add a few options and she's also a large and comfortable family day boat suitable for towsports, harbor hopping or a picnic on a remote beach. Top speed with a Yamaha 200 four-stroke was 43.4 mph in our test runs, and best cruise was at 3500 rpms and 21.4 mph, where she got 4.1 mpg.

Key Features

  • Premium White Gel Coat on Hull and Deck
  • Cockpit LED Blue Courtesy Lights
  • 10 Year Limited Hull Warranty
  • Three-Step Telescoping Boarding Ladder with Handle
  • Stainless Steel Cockpit Grab Rails
  • 30 Gallon Fish Box and Storage with Overboard Drains
  • Dual Battery System with Crossover Switch
  • Aluminum Panel with Weatherproof SS Toggle Switches and Circuit Breakers
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 21' 6''
    6.55 m
    Beam 8' 6''
    2.59 m
    Dry Weight 3,700 lbs.
    1,678 kg
    Tested Weight 4,255 lbs.
    1,930 kg
    - Draft Up 18.00''
    46 cm
    - Draft Down 34.00''
    86 cm
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 21-deg.
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance 6' 11''
    2.11 m
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 90 gal.
    341 L
    Water Capacity 9 gal.
    34 L
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power Not available
    Tested Power 1x 200-hp Yamaha 4-stroke
    Opt. Power Mercury Four Stroke 150XL 25" Mechanical 150HP
    Mercury Verado 200XL 25" Digital 200HP
    Mercury Verado 250XL 25" Digital 250HP
    5 Yamaha Engine Options from 150-250-hp

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    600 3.1 2.7 0.3 10.2 8.8 824 716.1 57
    1000 4.8 4.2 0.7 6.9 6.0 555 483.0 58
    1500 6.7 5.8 1.3 5.2 4.5 417 363.0 73
    2000 7.7 6.7 2.1 3.7 3.2 297 258.3 76
    2500 9.0 7.8 3.3 2.8 2.4 223 194.0 79
    3000 13.5 11.7 4.2 3.2 2.8 260 226.4 83
    3500 21.4 18.6 5.3 4.1 3.5 330 287.1 85
    4000 27.1 23.6 7.2 3.8 3.3 307 267.0 84
    4500 30.8 26.8 8.6 3.6 3.1 290 252.3 92
    5000 34.7 30.1 11.7 3.0 2.6 240 208.6 92
    5500 38.7 33.7 15.0 2.6 2.3 210 182.3 91
    6000 43.0 37.4 18.2 2.4 2.1 191 166.4 95
    6100 43.4 37.7 20.3 2.1 1.9 173 150.6 95
    RPMNMKMKPHLPHKPLdBA
    600 716.1 1326 5.00 1.14 4.34 57
    1000 483.0 893 7.70 2.65 2.93 58
    1500 363.0 671 10.80 4.92 2.21 73
    2000 258.3 478 12.40 7.95 1.57 76
    2500 194.0 359 14.50 12.49 1.19 79
    3000 226.4 418 21.70 15.90 1.36 83
    3500 287.1 531 34.40 20.06 1.74 85
    4000 267.0 494 43.60 27.25 1.62 84
    4500 252.3 467 49.60 32.55 1.53 92
    5000 208.6 386 55.80 44.29 1.28 92
    5500 182.3 338 62.30 56.78 1.11 91
    6000 166.4 307 69.20 68.89 1.02 95
    6100 150.6 278 69.80 76.84 0.89 95

    All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 2.8 sec.
    0 to 30 7.7 sec.
    Ratio N/A
    Props 15M -14 1/2 Reliance
    Load 2 persons, 1/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
    Climate 79 deg., 68 humid.; no wind; seas: calm

    Captain's Report

    Robalo R222EX Explorer
    The Robalo R222EX Explorer has an LOA of 21’6” (6.55 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m), and can accommodate 10 passengers onboard.

    Mission

    Robalo is very clear about their mission for the R222EX Explorer —“Family, Fishing, Value.” More specifically, they’re looking to combine the practical features of a fishing vessel with the comfort and luxury demanded of a family excursion boat. A boat versatile enough to feel at home catering to the fishing or family utility, and back to the other when the situation demands it. Let’s take a look at how she stacks up.

    Robalo R222EX Explorer
    The overhead view of the layout of the R222EX Explorer. Note the simplicity of design, and the space it affords.

    Major Features

    Robalo R222EX Explorer
    The bow section with the optional table installed. Note how the presence of the table brings the forward-facing console seat into the space.
    • • Adjustable Bow Table/ Casting Deck. A microcosm of what the R222EX Explorer is trying to accomplish, the bow section can be outfitted with an adjustable cocktail table in the footwell of the seating. Lower it down to be flush with the seating, and the area is now a perfect bow casting platform for fishing. Family, fishing, value.
    • • Yamaha Command Link Gauges. Yamaha’s digital gauges provide real-time, accurate readouts on information like engine function, fuel consumption, trim levels, and battery voltage. Intuitive design and created to weather the elements.
    • • Center Console Day Head. A long day on the water with the family basically requires bathroom facilities for all on board, and the R222EX Explorer takes that concern away ably with a simple, effective head accessed from the forward side of the center console.
    • • Aft Livewell. The aft bench seating section lifts to give access not just to 5 gallons of bucket storage and service for the engine—there is also a 16 gallon livewell that is a huge plus when fishing.
    • • Hydro Lift Extended Running Surface. The R222EX Explorer’s hull design utilizes an extended running surface, which allows the “v-plane” to continue aft of the transom. This creates superior stability under nearly every driving condition. The quick plane time it provides helps with fuel consumption, and the tight aft hull corners gives the boat precise cornering abilities.
    • Inspection

      Bow

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      The bow section with optional filler cushion and adjustable forward-facing backrests installed.

      Many bow sections contain some level of versatility in their design, and the R222EX Explorer is no different. What is different is that very often the tools of this versatility—removable cushions, tables, and so on—are only available as add-on options. Not so with the R222EX Explorer. The bow has a “U” shaped seating section, and the removable seating cushions and removable backrests are both standard.

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      With the footwell space filled in and the seat cushions removed, the bow can become a casting platform as well, a key fishing amenity in the R222EX Explorer’s design.

      There is further versatility that falls under “add-on option” as well, however. The cocktail table that can mount in the footwell of the “U” shape is optional and highly recommended, as it can lower to be flush with the seating, which creates a great forward casting platform when fishing. An optional filler cushion can be installed along with all the seating cushions to make this into a lounging sunpad as well.

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      A view of the bow stowage capabilities, including the below deck locker in the footwell.

      Storage in the bow comes via port and starboard lockers under the latched seating as well as a below deck storage space and forward a large anchor locker. The bow is lined with plush bolsters and guiderails along the gunwales as well. Stereo speakers and cup holders further refine the space and its capabilities.

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      The center console forward-facing seat, in the bow section. Note that this seat makes up a hinged door that opens to reveal the R222EX Explorer’s day head.

      Just aft of the bow seating section is the center console, with its forward-facing jumpseat. The seat has plush cushioning, making it a bit more comfortable than other more perfunctory console seats. The front and sides of its base have heavy-duty grabrails as the jumpseat is part of the outward-swinging access door to the R222EX Explorer’s head.

      The jumpseat is also a perfect distance away to participate when the bow cocktail table is installed, expanding the entertaining space nicely in design.

      Head

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      A view of the day head on the R222EX Explorer. Note that it is not fully-enclosed, and not likely to be a comfortable experience with the door closed behind you.

      The RR222EX Explorer’s head is not expansive, nor is it a fully walk-in space. Instead, the door opens to reveal a step-down for access and use, with just the head itself inside. The head is electric and comes with an 8 gallon holding tank with your option to include overboard discharge or not.

      Helm

      Robalo RR222EX Explorer
      The helm dash on the RR222EX Explorer. Note the Yamaha gauge readout to the right side of the front panel. This panel can mount any of the optional electronics Robalo offers, or options you may wish to install.

      Moving aft we noted the bolster cushions in the gunwales continue the length of the boat, which is a great feature when leaning over and wrestling with a catch. On the aft side of the center console is, of course, the ship’s helm.

      The dash is simply and concisely laid-out, with a compass at the top of the console, space for touchscreen readouts just below, stainless steel and weatherproof toggle switches flanking these, the Yamaha Command Link gauges, stereo system control just to port of the steering wheel, digital throttle just to starboard. The steering wheel is stainless steel and can be optionally upgraded with a control knob as well. Just below the dash is lockable glovebox storage.

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      The R222EX Explorer’s leaning post, with flip-up bolsters flipped up.
      Robalo RR222EX Explorer
      The captain’s chair with bolsters flipped down.

      The captain’s chair is more of a leaning post, with double-wide bench seating and two flip-up bolsters. The upholstery is soft but weather-resistant. On the aft side of the leaning post are five rocket-launcher style rod holders above a 72 qt cooler that sits in a cooler slide—dedicated storage to keep it from rattling around while the boat is underway and a slide for pulling it out from under the helm seat and easily accessing.

      Robalo RR222EX Explorer
      The leaning post from the aft side--note the five rocket launcher rod holders on the back frame. The dedicated cooler storage below is on a slider for easy access.
      Robalo RR222EX Explorer
      An illustration of the cooler’s slider—note the tracks just behind it and under the helm seat.

      Cockpit

      Robalo RR222EX Explorer
      A view of the rod holders on the RR222EX Explorer. These are in place both on the port and starboard side, leaving room for four rods total. Note the plush bolster on the gunwale and the toe rail near the deck—both key fishing features.

      The cockpit on the RR222EX Explorer is self-bailing with integrated drain fittings. The decks are “diamond lustre” non-skid and there are stainless steel toe rails in the gunwales. To port and starboard, mounted in the gunwales as well, are stainless steel rod holders, two to each side. The stainless steel grabrails on the gunwales extend back from the bow to about parallel with the helm station.

      Robalo RR222EX Explorer
      A view of the transom bench seating. Note the starboard side transom walk-through door, which rests in place in a notch and opens with a slight lift-and-push.
      Robalo RR222EX Explorer
      The transom seating flips up to reveal an LED-lit livewell, dedicated bucket storage, and more general storage more to port. There is also access to the bilge further aft.

      The transom seating is upholstered, like the rest of the boat, in premium vinyl with “nano-block technology.” The seat extends from the port side across to the start of the starboard stern access door. It lifts to reveal the boat’s 16 gallon livewell, a 5 gallon bucket storage spot, and more general storage space as well. The transom seating backrest hinges up for access to the bilge area. The starboard side of the transom, as mentioned, has a small stern access door that sits in place in a groove and opens with a small lift and push.

      Stern/ Swim Platform

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      The swim platform is not extensive, but has utility, particularly with the optional ski tow-line point, seen here as the stainless steel frame around the outboard motor.

      As an outboard-powered boat the R222EX Explorer’s swim platform is not a large space, but does give enough room to use as comfortable platform for playing in the water. The platform has a three-step telescoping boarding ladder that sits flush under a latch. Raw water washdown access is right on the starboard bulkhead, with two stainless steel grab-rails for lifting one’s self up and back onboard.

      The R222EX Explorer can also be optionally outfitted with a stainless steel tow line for further watersport enhancement.

      Power

      Robalo R222EX Explorer
      The R222EX Explorer comes with a number of options for outboard engine, all of which work with the innovative hull design to create a smooth, sturdy ride.

      The R222EX Explorer comes with the following options in power:

      • • Mercury Four Stroke 150XL 25" Mechanical 150HP
      • • Mercury Verado 200XL 25" Digital 200HP
      • • Mercury Verado 250XL 25" Digital 250HP
      • • Yamaha Four Stroke F150XB 150HP 25" Mechanical
      • • Yamaha Four Stroke F200XB 200HP 25" Mechanical
      • • Yamaha Four Stroke F200XCA 200HP 25" Digital
      • • Yamaha Four Stroke F250XCA 25" 4.2L V6 250HP Digital
        • Performance

          Performance Test and Numbers TK

          Options to Consider

          • •Blue LED underwater lights
          • •Garmin VHF Radio
          • •Steering Wheel Control Knob upgrade
          • •Trim Tabs with indicators
          • •Bow cocktail table with dedicated storage
          • •Bow filler cushion
          • •Freshwater Shower
          • •Stainless Steel Ski Tow
          • •Trailer - Aluminum Tandem Axle with Aluminum Wheels
          • •Trailer - Aluminum Tandem Axle with Galvanized Wheels
          • •Bimini Top with boot
          • •Canvas T-Top
          • •Fiberglass T-Top
          • •T-Top Electronics Box
            • Price

              Robalo lists prices on the base R222EX Explorer boat starting at $42,695.

              Warranty

              Robalo lists a 10 year limited hull warranty as standard on the model’s webpage.

              Observations

              Robalo R222EX Explorer
              The R222EX Explorer has plenty of family-boat amenities, but is largely a fishing boat first.

              Robalo’s mission to appeal to both the fishing and family outing is certainly evident—one can absolutely do both with this boat and be very satisfied. With some option-selection savvy, the R222 shouldn’t short you in pursuit of either type of excursion. That being said, the R222 is definitively more a fishing boat than a family excursion one. The R222 has the somewhat spartan feel that many fishing vessels offer, and the tighter layout means it won’t be ideal for parties of much more than 4 or 5. There is certainly value to be had in looking into the R222, but instead of viewing it as a boat 50/50 split between fishing and family, best to see it closer to 65/35 in favor of fishing expeditions.

              Test Result Highlights

              • Top speed for the Robalo R222EX Explorer (2017-) is 43.4 mph (69.8 kph), burning 20.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 76.84 liters per hour (lph).
              • Best cruise for the Robalo R222EX Explorer (2017-) is 21.4 mph (34.4 kph), and the boat gets 4.1 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.74 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 330 miles (531.08 kilometers).
              • Tested power is 1x 200-hp Yamaha 4-stroke.

              Standard and Optional Features

              Systems

              Power Steering Standard

              Canvas

              Bimini Top Optional

              Warranty

              Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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