Robalo R302: 2018 Boat Buyers Guide

The R302 is primed to tackle any fishing adventure.

Robalo R302
LOA: 29'2" | Beam: 10'6" | Fuel Capacity: 300 gal. | Dry Weight: 8,920 lb. plus power | Max Horsepower: 700 | Certifications: NMMACourtesy of Robalo

Celebrating 50 years as an industry leader, Robalo calls building world-class fishing boats “a passion and a way of life.”

The company has become known for heavy-duty boat construction; a smooth, dry legendary ride; innovation; and superb fit and finish in center console, walkaround, Cayman bay and dual console designs. Our survey respondents agree, rating Robalo high in safety and construction, stability and brand reputation. Then there are those 10 years of consecutive NMMA CSI Excellence in Customer Service awards.

Robalo says its variable-degree HydroLift hull design, with wide reverse chines and pronounced hull strakes, delivers stability and performance, sending spray away. The solid, heavy-duty Kevlar-reinforced hull boasts quick acceleration, stability at trolling speeds, fuel efficiency and thrilling top-end speeds.

Robalo uses robotic routers in fabricating fiberglass hardtops, storage-compartment lids, dash consoles and doors. It installs one-piece labeled harnesses of yacht-quality tinned-copper wiring, and illuminated rocker switches.

Every boat in the 18-model line must pass quality-control tests during manufacturing. Fuel tanks are checked for leaks, gelcoat surfaces examined for flaws under high-intensity spotlights, wiring and electrical systems checked multiple times, and the boat itself tank-tested for leaks, livewell operation, fitting tolerances and electrical connection watertightness.

ROBALO R302

This new center console boat was created to match emerging tastes for family-friendly fishing machines.

Within the R302’s front-accessed console, a fully lined head compartment offers headroom of 6-plus feet, with an electric porcelain marine toilet, freshwater faucet and shower, and even a vanity with sink and faux-granite countertop. Door closed, the front of the console becomes a seat.

A transom bench flips up for seating and down at fishing time. Padded bolsters throughout the boat double as bow-seating backrests. Seating pads, by the way, top three fish lockers, 130 gallons total, further proof of a shared family/fishing focus.

The R302’s hardtop is framed by 22-inch-wide walkways. Its underside houses LED spreader lights, an electronics box and LED dome lights. A tempered-glass windshield provides full coverage.

Behind the helm, with its two-across seat and angled footrests, are tackle-storage drawers, a 20-gallon livewell, stainless-steel bait-prep sink and freshwater nozzle. Beneath is a slide-out 70-quart cooler.

The large, fishing-focused aft cockpit has a 25-gallon livewell, under-gunwale rod racks, stainless-steel toe rails, a half-dozen flush-mounted rod holders and a transom door for boating big fish. Two massive fish lockers await the catch. An interior transom bulkhead provides convenient bilge-area access.

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