Glacier Bay 2640: Everybody Wins

How fun is done.

Before having kids, I never would have noticed it, but the bow on Glacier Bay's new 2640 Renegade is perfect for the family that fishes. Including the rail, there's 2'6" of protection around the sides. Toss the kids up forward and let 'em yank the lips off sea bass all day long. When you - and they - have had enough, drop them off and head for bluewater; the cockpit's ready to take on more serious prey. When you return to the dock, bring some friends aboard and enjoy a mellow evening on the bay. Yup, this boat does that well, too.

Unlike most boats that try to fill more than one niche, the 2640 Renegade does prove itself master of many domains. And it doesn't chintz on comfort either - we popped over one-foot chop without spilling any coffee, and we crossed a tugboat wake at WOT as if it were a mere ripple in a lake. How can a boat that accommodates the family be so good at charging waves? The 2640 Renegade's semi-displacement dual-hull design mirrors that of Glacier Bay's Canyon Runner, a boat I've handled in 10-foot seas. Yeah, this cat can take on the tough stuff.

Family needs are accounted for with the enclosed head in the port-side console, a Bimini top that shades the deck, and a wetbar with a refrigerator behind the passenger's seat. It's a great addition to the split-console layout for lazy cruising/swimming days, and the cost is relatively low - a few feet of cockpit space. Fortunately, there's enough room aft for running a full six-line spread or drift fishing a quartet. Other angling features are also present and accounted for: a four-tray integrated tacklebox, two cutting boards, dual rodracks under the gunwales, and twin gunwale-mounted rodholders.

The rails around the bow are through-bolted, not screwed in, so you'll never see spider cracks. The rest of the boat is just as hardy. Competitors? Grady-White's X-26 Tigercat, another catamaran with seating on the sides, is tilted more toward the serious angler ($81,925 with twin 200-hp Yamaha outboards).

Performance on the 2640 Renegade is right up there with most planing catamarans. Our test boat was rigged with twin 150-hp Suzuki EFI outboards, and it topped out at over 44 mph and cruised at well over 30.

What's there to beef about? With regard to design and performance, there's little to say. But I did notice that the tilt-away helm station didn't have a gasket. To give the wiring back there more protection from the salt water, I'd like to see one added. But all in all, the 2640 Renegade's a clear-cut winner.

LAST WORD. The 2640 Renegade does many jobs at once - and does 'em all well.

LOA.........26'0" ** **

Beam.........8'6" ** **

Draft.......1'10" ** **

Displacement (lbs., approx.).....5,100 ** **

Bridge clearance .............5'6"

Minimum cockpit depth....2'5" ****

Max. cabin headroom........4'11" ****

Fuel capacity (gal.) .............180

Water capacity (gal.)......22 ****

Price (w/o power) ..............$47,400 ****

Price (w/test power) ..............$65,220 ****

STANDARD POWER: None.

OPTIONAL POWER: Twin outboards to 300 hp total.

TEST BOAT POWER: Twin 150-hp Suzuki EFI V-6 outboards, with 164.3 cid, 3.31" bore x 3.19" stroke, swinging 14 1/4" x 18" three-bladed ss props through 2.08:1 reductions.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items): Bimini top; MSD w/15-gal. holding tank; wetbar w/refrigerator, sink, stowage, and cutting board; pressure water system; hydraulic steering; integrated bow pulpit w/anchor roller; courtesy lights; 4 under-gunwale rodracks; 4 gunwale-mounted rodholders; compass; 4-tray tacklebox; pop-up cleats.