The late-spring northerly caught us off guard. When we rounded the jetties in Fort Lauderdale and saw the 6-foot seas packed together like a washboard, we decided to troll for sails rather than go bottom fishing as previously planned.
I had little room to run at top speed between where the calm water in the inlet started and the no-wake zone, but I was able to manage a top speed of 33 mph at 3,650 rpm from the twin Yanmar 300-hp diesels. However, I believe that once the company offers optional ZF two-speed gears, it might be able to squeeze a few more mph out of her. Running beam to the seas, I managed to cruise at a comfortable 28 mph. She lays over nicely into a turn, with a 180-degree course change in about six boat lengths at top speed and with the wheel hard over.
Those who opt for a second helm station on the tower will want to invest in an engine synchronizer, as the side exhausts and effective engine-room insulation make it difficult to hear the engines well enough to synchronize them from the upper station. Speaking of insulation, the Rampage has a fully cored hull, bottom and topsides. Running into a head sea, you get little of the usual hull noise.
I expect that anyone who wishes to forgo the tower will be able to get by quite nicely with twin four-cylinder, 230-hp diesels or the 300-hp MerCruiser gas engines, and they will realize considerable purchase-price savings.
With a full load of fuel and a half-dozen people aboard, the bow felt a little bit high; trim tabs adjusted it down handily. But take off the tabs and, boy, did it ever have an exceptional down-sea ride. I experienced a very cushioned drop when the bow came off a wave at 24 mph and not an iota of bow swerve.
The Rampage 30 backs down with amazing control using just the throttles. Spinning with gears lets you know this boat is still as nimble as Jack.