Release 301 RX Boat Test

This boat punches above its weight on a price-to-value basis.

Release 301 RX running shot
LOA: 30'1" | Beam: 9'6" | Draft (max): 2'5" | Displacement (approx.): 7,500 lb. | Transom Deadrise: 22.5 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 9'0" | Max Cabin Headroom: 5'10" | Fuel Capacity: 220 gal. | Max Horsepower: 600 | Available Power: Twin outboard motors to 600 hp total | More Information: releaseboats.comCourtesy Release Boats

I started liking the Release 301 RX seconds after throttling up. It transitioned to plane easily, without loss of sightlines. More, I coaxed it to stay on plane at just 12.1 mph. Two great attributes.

Of course, discerning boat buyers seek more than just a good ride. Take, for instance, the 301 RX’s ­wood-free ­construction with fiberglass stringer system and hand-laid hull. Rigging exceeded my every expectation, with neat, well-supported ­wiring and plumbing consisting of quality hoses, double clamps, and pumps located for easy service.

Comfort and style? The helm seat featured two-tone, pebbled vinyl, folding armrests and footrests, and a commanding view for the captain and mate. A handy catch-all tops the helm, and switches, instrumentation, and big-screen, flush-mount electronics exist in ergonomic splendor. Overhead, the T-top’s brawny pipework refused to wrack or shake underway and also boasted an underside colored to match the hull. (A variety of hull colors are available.)

Release 301 RX helm electronics
Big-screen, flush-mount electronics make watching systems and navigating easy.Courtesy Release Boats

Inside the console hides a standard electric head plumbed to a holding tank, one of many niceties that populate the 301 RX’s long standard-equipment list. It’s a bright, glossy, gelcoated space with an opening port for ventilation and a nice, handy vanity and sink.

Read Next: Check out our test of the Release 301 RXS...the sistership with forward seating in the bow

On deck, there’s a fold-down transom bench, both fresh- and saltwater washdowns, a generous swim platform with room to walk across the boat in front of the engines, a transom door and a swim ladder. The RXS version of this boat comes with V-seating in the bow.

Release 301 RX helm seating
The helm seat features two-tone, pebbled vinyl, folding armrests and footrests.Courtesy Release Boats

Fishing? The Release 301 RX offers a standard ­43-gallon livewell with a blue-painted interior to keep bait calm. Ten gunwale-mounted rod holders come standard, as does undergunwale racks for four rods per side, and a trio of in-sole fish boxes totaling 321 quarts of insulated stowage. The recessed bow rail and six standard pop-up cleats, while not fishing equipment, per se, enhance fishability by allowing for a rod to be held lower while in the bow, minimizing line snags.

The best advice? See your local dealer, where you can run and inspect the boats for yourself.

High Points

  • Easy-planing boats make softer work of rough seas.
  • Incredible number of standards, some true niceties and a great price.
  • Open a hatch, and you'll find it finished on both sides.

Low Points

  • Compared to glass, the Plexiglas windshield is fine for a few years, but eventually crazes and becomes an aesthetic, if not functional, eyesore.
  • We wish the nicely upholstered coaming pads had grommets installed on the undersides to allow water to drain from within.

Toughest Competitor
Check out Cobia's 310 CC (starting at $174,049 with twin F300 Yamahas).

Price: $176,090 (base with twin F300 Yamahas)

Available Power: Outboard

Release 301 RX performance data
Release 301 RX Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engine: Twin 300 hp Yamaha F300 outboards
Drive/Prop: Outboard/SWS 15 1/4" x 19" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 85 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.

Release Boats - Opa Locka, Florida; 305-953-9335; releaseboats.com