Robalo had a very successful center console boat in its R300, but time marches on and the company needed to grow its lineup. The new R302 is now the new flagship and the interior represents an all new design.
Among her many improvements are:
- • Wider and longer T-top
- • All tempered glass windshield on three sides
- • Redesigned helm console
- • Completely new design for the bow area
- • Upgraded head compartment
Quality in the Build
Robalo is no stranger to building quality boats; they’ve been doing it since 1968. The hull design is where the quality starts, and we’ve long been fans of the company’s Hydro-Lift hull design. Pronounced hull strakes and wide reversed chines provide for a smooth and dry ride in what would otherwise be unforgiving conditions. This, combined with the heavy-duty Kevlar hull with a variable degree deadrise, provides quick acceleration and solid stability.
Strength Built In
The hulls are hand-laid using bi- and tri-axial fiberglass. Adding to the strength is a Kevlar reinforcement, further improving on the power-to-weight ratio. Composite corings create a completely rot-free construction. Add the poured ceramic composite transom, and it’s easy to see how Robalo can provide a 10-year warranty.
Robalo has designed the bow of the R302 to be both versatile and functional. It starts with wraparound bow seating that, coupled with a forward-facing seat just ahead of the console, creates an intimate gathering area for everyone on board. There are storage spaces under each of the seats. A standard full cushion package adds to the comfort level, and a side mount pedestal table increases the functionality.
Further forward, a hatch conceals an anchor locker with a standard windlass. Foot control switches are in the Diamond Lustre non-skid deck and a separate control is at the helm station. The 14-pound (6.35 kg) anchor is secured to a stainless anchor roller. Robalo provides 200' (61 m) of anchor rode.
When it's time to convert to fishing, remove the cushions and lower the pedestal table to create a large, elevated casting deck. The under-seat storage double as fishboxes with a 40-gallon (151.4 L) capacity for each.
The wide cap rails add to the safety factor. Pull-up cleats eliminate snags and a rode locker is located fully forward under a flush mounted hatch. The polished stainless steel anchor is mounted to a roller recessed into the foredeck.
The helm console has the open space to provide a head, but as not everyone wants or needs one, it’s over on the options list as an electric toilet ($470). The compartment is quite roomy, so much so that the door is actually only a 2/3 section of the console front seat. This puts the latch right at the occupant’s back but it’s small enough, and recessed into the seatback padding, for it to not be problematic.
Again, attributing to the abundance of space in the compartment, the head and sink are now moved over to the starboard side. This flies in the face of the industry standard where the toilet is always in the middle, facing the door. This solution actually provides more useable space to the compartment, and that makes the concept of the wet head, with the pull-out sprayer at the sink, even more of a functional addition rather than just another line in the standards checklist.
The helm panel reflects Robalo’s commitment to embrace technology. Two switch panels to both sides of the console flank the center panel that is large enough to house twin 16” (40.6 cm) multifunction displays. Of course, a wide array of options are available for the panel, from both Simrad and Garmin, which include radar and autopilot.
The steering wheel is positioned to the right-hand side of the panel, and there's plenty of room alongside for an observer to participate in the navigation functions. To the right side of the steering wheel are the digital throttle controls. With the hand moved ahead to advance the throttles, the trim tab controls are right within reach of the fingers. The Optimus Joystick, for outboard joystick control, is right alongside the steering wheel and makes maneuvering the R302 around the docks a non-event.
The compass is mounted to the center of the dash, rather than in line with the helm station, and a pair of recessed areas with padded bases for placing “quick drop” items are to both sides. These spaces are also self-draining. A black Sunbrella console cover is included as standard equipment.
The hardtop is standard on the R302 and the supports are integral to the console itself, making for less of an intrusion to the side deck space. White is standard for the supports; black is optional ($744). As for the underside of the hardtop, we can choose from seven optional colors ($525), including Deepwater Black, Deepwater Blue, Sea Foam Green, Ice Blue, Ocean Blue, Shark Grey and Tan. Additional hardtop options include a set of Taco Grand Slam outriggers ($1,995).
The hardtop includes rod holders, an electronic box with wiring, LED spreader lights and dual color map lights.
The back of the hardtop is supported by posts fixed to the top of the leaning post, behind the seats. Seating is doublewide with flip-down armrests and individual flip-up bolsters. Behind, there’s a sink with removable cover and a 20-gallon (75.7 L) livewell alongside. Below is a 70-quart (66.25 L) cooler on a pullout slider. There are storage drawers to the port side, with the lower drawer holding tackle sorters. To starboard is a smaller sorter in a “potato bin”-style holder.
Like the bow, the cockpit is made to be both comfortable and functional. The functionality comes from the wide-open space surrounded by padded bolsters upholstered in premium vinyl with Nano Block Technology to protect against years of continual onslaught from the sun. Stainless steel toe rails add to the safety. A 25-gallon (94.6 L) livewell is in the port quarter. When it's time to ride out to the fishing grounds, a flip-out three-across bench seat easily deploys from the transom. Keep the catch in one of the two 50-gallon (189 L) in-deck fishboxes to port and starboard.
When it comes time to power up the R302, buyers have a choice of engines from Yamaha, Evinrude or Mercury, all at 300 hp.
Choose from the twin Yamaha Four Stroke F300XCA with command link plus, twin Evinrude E-Tec G2 E300XU or twin Mercury Verado 300XL. All will be with 25” (63.5 cm) shaft lengths and all will include stainless propellers. All can be custom painted white. Those engines will be secured to a poured composite cored transom.
The Robalo R302 has a length overall of 29’2” (8.89 m), a beam of 10’6” (3.20 m) and a draft of 32” (81.28 cm). With an empty weight of 8,920 lbs. (4,046 kg), 17% fuel and four people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 10,130 lbs. (4,595 kg).
Our test boat was powered with the twin Yamaha 300-hp V6 4 strokes tuning 19 TL 15 1/4 saltwater series two propellers. When spooled up to 6150 rpm, our speed topped out at 55.2 mph. Best cruise was measured at 3500 rpm and 30.7 mph. It was at that speed that the combined 16.8 gph fuel burn translated into 1.8 mpg and a range of 493 statute miles while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 300 gallon (1,136 L) total fuel capacity.
As for her handling, we came up on plane in an average 3.7 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 5.9 seconds, and 30 mph came and went in 8.7 seconds.
She had the strong feel of a solid build in that crossing wakes and the light chop of our test day showed no hull slap and barely a notice as we transitioned across waves. She has a light touch to the helm and responds well to inputs, especially the engines that jumped to our commands even at the mid-range settings. She has a 21-degree deadrise and a sharp entry that contributes to her good handling characteristics and dry ride. Trim tabs are recessed into the hull, but we didn’t use them at all during our tests. We suspect that they’d be most effective offshore or to counter an uneven distribution of weight, which we did not have.
Robalo continues its solid reputation for building tough offshore fishing platforms with the R302. She’s at once a capable fishing machine and a comfortable family day boat. That combination is usually what it takes to keep everyone in the family happy, and being able to make the conversion with little more than a hose down is just frosting on the cake. With its solid build, Robalo is able to stand behind the boat with a 10-year limited hull warranty.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Robalo R302 (2017-) is 55.2 mph (88.8 kph), burning 52.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 197.58 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Robalo R302 (2017-) is 30.7 mph (49.4 kph), and the boat gets 1.8 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.77 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 493 miles (793.41 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 300-hp Yamaha V6 4-stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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