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.
The Robalo 246 Cayman Sky Deck (SD) brings a new point of view to this versatile bay boat, with an upper station.
The flagship of the Robalo Cayman fleet, this 246 Cayman SD is a bay boat that can double as a family cruiser. While the hull was designed to fish the various depths and conditions found in estuaries, the 246 Cayman SD has a versatile interior design with a combination of features that would allow you to fish on Saturday and take the crew to the sandbar on Sunday, with very little compromise.
The 246 Cayman SD adds a sky deck with an upper station and plenty of fishing features. The added height allows for better sightlines for fish-hunting anglers or boaters who want to find their way in the shallows.
The max horsepower rating for the transom is 300. Our test boat was powered with an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboard which has a gear ratio of 1.85:1 and was propped with a 20” (50.8 cm) diameter by 15 1/8” (38.42 cm) pitch 4-blade stainless steel propeller. This setup provided an average top speed of 46.5 mph.
Fine Tuning Your Control
Fly-by-wire digital controls provided effortless shift and throttle. The E-TEC G2 steering feedback can also be adjusted to fine-tune the driver’s control at the helm. Precise RPM adjustments can be made by pressing the + and – button on the top of the throttle binnacle housing.
• Aluminum panel with weatherproof stainless steel toggle switches and circuit breakers
• Upper station
• Pre-wired for bow-mounted trolling motor
• Forward-opening front console door
• Stern seating that folds into casting deck
• Three plumbed livewells (insulated)
• Bow seating with backrest
• Locking rod storage
• Four-step telescoping boarding ladder
The interior layout of the Robalo 246 Cayman SD blends the function of a fishing boat with features the entire family will enjoy.This rendering depicts the position of the upper station and its bench seat in relation to the deck layout beneath.
At the Controls
The steering on the console is just to starboard of center. This helm location puts the observer to the port side of the console and centers the driver between the steering wheel and the throttle control. The layout may look a little different when compared to other center console boats, but the ergonomics of it work.
The dash of the center console can accept flush-mounted electronics, flanked by dual switch panels to control functions. The top of the console has molded-in storage trays, while a footrest at the base adds to seated comfort. Other standard features on the helm include a lighted compass and a 12V DC receptacle.This optional leaning post has padded cushions that allow the captain and passenger to stand or sit independently.For longer runs, the helmsman can rotate the bolster down to form a comfortable seat.With the bolster in the up position, the helmsman and companion have additional support for standing securely while underway.
For structural integrity, the upper station supports incorporate a truss design which eliminates the need for angled leg supports that can impede the view from the helm.
Typical bay boats have the upper-station operator stand on top of the center console, through the T-top. With the Robalo 246 Cayman SD, the top of the console is 3’6” (1.07 m), and the height of the upper station deck is 6’7” (2.01 m) above the main deck.
Robalo reinforced the cockpit’s deck to compensate for the added weights and moments of the upper deck, including the operator and a companion.
The built-in ladder steps on both the port and starboard sides of the hardtop stanchions simplify access to the upper station.There are gates in the safety railings on both the port and starboard sides of the sky deck.
Both gates are mounted with tension hinges that keep the gates from slamming down. They also latch securely in the closed position.
The upper station features bench seating for two.The bench seat can be adjusted to create leaning-post-style seating.A lift-and-lock latch reveals a glovebox-style locker in the upper helm console.
The door is mounted with tension hinges so it won’t close without being closed. This is especially convenient when the operator needs to reach for something inside with one hand while driving with the other.
On the helm panel, Robalo mounted a 7” (17.8 cm) multifunction display. To the right of the display is the digital fly-by-wire engine control.On the port side is the stainless steel steering wheel with steering knob. To the right are control switches for the engine start and stop (green arrow), station selector (red arrow) and the horn (yellow arrow).
The stainless steel wheel is mounted on a fixed base. Robalo reports that on future boats of this model the wheel will be on a tilt base.
The 246 Cayman SD comes with two stainless steel beverage holders built into the upper station control panel.The all-round navigation light (purple arrow) is mounted behind the bench seating. There are four rocket-launcher style rod holders mounted on the back of the helm seating (red arrow) and on the top of upper station deck (green arrow). Robalo reinforced the deck to mount outriggers (yellow arrow).
Features for the Crew
The bow of this boat is focused on the family. The U-Shaped settee is the perfect picnic spot with the optional bow table. For easy cruising, the port and starboard lounges have forward-facing backrests.
The bow table stows in the center console when not in use for picnic lunches.The bow table can also fill in the U-shaped seating. Add the optional cushions and this area becomes a sun pad.Removable backrests allow passengers to face forward on twin lounges.Coaming pads wrap around the bow to create a backrest for the seating area.A front seat on the center console door allows for additional forward-facing seating.
Storage and Convenience
Beneath the bow seating are hatches that provide access to lockers for stowing gear, and, in the smaller, center compartment, there are dedicated brackets to stow the bow table pedestals.
The bow seating hatches are held open by stainless steel gas shocks. Hatches that open forward make it easier to stow gear while the boat is on the trailer.The entire face of the center console swings open to access additional stowage and a head. Note the removable bow table has its own dedicated rack inside the console.Built into the starboard aft corner is a hatch that opens to grant access to a telescoping, four-step swim ladder.Just to the side of the swim ladder is a fitting for a freshwater washdown, handy for bathers to rinse off as they climb back into the boat. The fill is located right next to the fitting.
A bench seat is built into the aft casting deck. When not in use, it folds flat and latches in place to give anglers more casting area on a level surface.
The aft bench-style jump seat is wide enough for two passengers and its central location tends to be a drier place to sit compared to side jump seats.In the folded position, the aft seat adds to the total area of the casting deck.Speakers for the sound system are flush-mounted in the face of the aft deck. To either side of the cockpit sole are stainless steel drains.
The aft casting deck has twin 30-gallon (114 L) insulated livewells, each with a dedicated pump. Either one can double as a fishbox. A hatch on the port corner opens to a locker sized to stow a bucket. With the outboard in the down position, a filler piece can be placed to cover a portion of the splash well, giving anglers more room on the casting deck, and more confidence in their footwork when fighting a fish.Each stern livewell is insulated, and has a side overflow drain and built-in LED lighting.The dedicated bucket locker can stow a castnet, cleaning supplies, or a chum bag.The gunwale rod holders also double as cup holders.Under-gunwale horizontal rod racks on both the port and starboard sides keep fishing gear off the deck.Five rocket-launcher-style rod holders on the back of the leaning post keep gear organized and within easy reach.The multi-level bow casting deck gives anglers choices: Stand far forward for the added height to throw a castnet, or step down and away from the edge for more security when conditions are rough.Built into the bow casting deck is an anchor locker and an additional 20-gallon (76 L) insulated livewell.
Additional Performance Numbers
Our test boat was equipped with a 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboard and had an estimated test weight of 4,480 lbs. (2,032 kg). We hit a top speed of 40.4 knots (46.5 mph) at 5500 rpm. Best cruise was 24.6 knots (28.3 mph) with a fuel burn of 3.6 mpg. The boat was up on plane in less than 5 seconds and hit 17.4 knots (20 mph) in 4.6 seconds and reached 26.1 knots (30 mph) in 7.2 seconds. The model tested was without the tower.
Ride and Handling
The hull has a stable ride and was comfortable navigating the medium chop of the bay. The bow flare kept us dry. Turns were smooth and the boat didn’t need a lot of attention to engine trim from planning off to high-speed runs.
• Colored hull
• Dual battery charger
• Underwater lights
• Console head
• Bow filler cushion
• Bow table
• Leaning post with five rod holders and flip-up bolsters
• Freshwater shower
• Hydraulic jackplate
• Bow fishing chair
• Sound system
• Trim tabs
As bay boats go, the Robalo 246 Cayman SD is on the larger side, which adds to crew comfort while exploring the far reaches of the backcountry. Higher sheer and greater hull flare make for a better ride in open water.Added comforts like bow and stern seating, plus a head in the console, means the family can enjoy the boat just as much as the serious fisherman.
Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Robalo 246 Cayman SD (2019-) is 46.5 mph (74.8 kph), burning 24.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 90.84 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Robalo 246 Cayman SD (2019-) is 28.3 mph (45.5 kph), and the boat gets 3.6 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.53 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 246 miles (395.9 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2.
Standard and Optional Features
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!