We Say: A stepped hull and 18-degree transom deadrise aren’t things we see every day on a skinny-water bay boat. In short, the chine-to-chine step separates the running surface into forward and aft surfaces, giving the hull two smaller planing areas and reducing drag. It makes sense on a deep-V runabout, but a bay boat?
The ride on our stirred-up test bay was no rougher than that aboard the non-stepped bay boat we tested on the same water, and there was no sliding in turns — due in large part to the aggressive deadrise. The boat reached the mid-50s with a Honda BF225, though we’d expect a few additional miles per hour in better conditions. Most telling was the fuel economy. We burned 5.5 gph at 30 mph, about 10 percent better than fuel use in many similar boats and a testament to Honda’s Lean Burn Control technology and the hull design.
Coastal boaters in Texas might recognize the Rinalli name. It drew a strong following a decade ago because of its unapologetic appeal to anglers. Although this marks a relaunch for the brand under new ownership, the mission hasn’t changed. That was obvious when I stepped into a cockpit purposefully made small to allow for a huge forward deck with no toe rail. The idea is to maximize casting space by three inches on each side and invite fishermen closer to the water. That and the boat’s seaworthiness might tip the scales for serious bay fishermen.
Who’d Want One: Guys who want to move economically to fish, fish, fish.
Another Choice: Century’s 2102 Inshore ($46,160 with Yamaha 225) rides on a flatter surface, with smaller fuel and livewell capacities.
Bottom Line: $52,307