Originally designed and introduced by Dick Lema back in 1984, the first Rampage line offered a limited number of boats, all of which inspired almost fanatical loyalty among owners. The new Rampage 30 quite successfully incorporates the latest in design and construction to introduce a boat at the top of the market in quality.
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.
Rampage didn’t premiere this boat until it was absolutely ready, and that meant that every fishing feature was considered and thoughtfully placed. No other 30-footer has as good a
rigging station, with numerous large tackle-
storage drawers. The cockpit works well with a large fish box and plenty of storage space.
Trolling at 8 mph in seas that were very close together, the ride proved stable and smooth. The 30 exhibited a super-clean wake with only slight chine turbulence on the surface right at the transom and very modest subsurface prop wash back as far as the second wave.
The removable cockpit bolsters met me at mid-thigh, with my center of gravity well in-board even when leaning over to revive a sail. The in-transom, 38-gallon baitwell held enough goggle-eyes for a full day of fishing, and rod storage around the cockpit, both in rocket launchers and on the hard top, kept everything close at hand.
This Rampage drifts almost abeam of the wind with a very comfortable roll moment even in steep 6-footers. When you do occasionally meet a larger wave broadside, the boat rolls to a comfortable point, then slides sideways slightly, eliminating the snap back in the opposite direction.
I’ve never seen a larger anchor locker on a 30-footer. Those who like to travel out to the Northeast canyons and spend several nights at anchor will have no problem carrying enough rode.
Design and Construction
Both new Rampages represent a significant improvement over the loyalty-inspiring models of yesteryear. With almost twice the deadrise angle at the transom, slightly deeper draft and somewhat lighter displacement than her 31-foot predecessor, the Rampage 30 performs better and will surely impress your significant other.
Today’s construction includes a vinylester resin barrier coat with polyester resin combined with bi- and triaxial stitched fiberglass and pre-impregnated end-grain balsa coring. This laminate makes the hull and deck, with its double-stringer bulkhead construction, strong without being overweight.
As you’d expect from a boat touting unsurpassed quality, the engine-room layout makes maintenance a breeze. All hoses and engine exhausts receive double clamps, each hose and wire is individually run and labeled, and grommets line their passages through bulkheads to prevent chafe.
The Rampage 30 will impress the distaff side, which – statistics show – make 60 percent of the boat-purchase decisions. The very roomy interior features beautiful cherry wood finished in satin varnish, Corian countertops and push-button latches. Even the cabinet louvers and air-conditioning vents are custom-made of cherry – and I don’t mean veneer. Cedar-lined hanging lockers, simulated leather upholstery and plenty of out-of-sight storage space throughout the belowdecks area assure Mama will be happy. Accommodations include berths for four via a foldout salon settee and an angled double berth in the forepeak. A stand-up head with shower and galley to port complete the layout.