The first thing you’ll notice about the Release 301 RXS, after you admire its stunning finish, is a gorgeous hardtop with powder-coated supports. It’s clean, not clunky, and a significant upgrade from the earlier 301. Both the top and the interior sport LED lighting, which is available in various colors.
Another great feature finds a front door to the console rather than a side opening. This makes getting in and out an easier task. A head and shower also reside in the standing-room console.
With the bow seating, Release created backrests molded into a curved radius. The low-profile handrail looks smart. The forward area is spacious and deep. The obligatory table fits on a removable pedestal or rests on the seat edges to serve as a casting deck. An RX version of the boat has no front seating.
In the cockpit, we admired the transom door, raw- and freshwater washdowns, plus a large baitwell. There are stowage compartments around the cockpit and in the leaning post, as well as rod stowage under each gunwale to augment standard rod holders on the gunwales and across the back of the T-top. In-deck fish boxes stow your catch.
The helm seats have folding arms as well as thigh supports that rise to form leaning-post supports. The seating glowed with a rich-looking, saddle-tan vinyl.
The expansive helm can easily fit two 15-inch displays.
Test day served up 1- to 2-foot seas on Biscayne Bay, which the 301 RXS promptly ate up. It dryly carves through head seas and runs down-sea with grace. Drifting beam-to, the 301 exhibited a modest roll moment with gentle transitions. It turns like a jack rabbit but without moving the crew outboard. In reverse, it changes direction without locking into “quarter steer.” Overall, the Release 301 RXS displays not a single handling idiosyncrasy.
The 301 RXS’s bow rose modestly when we punched the throttles. It planed in three seconds and reached 30 mph in five, qualifying it as enthusiastically responsive. That was with three crew members, 110 gallons of fuel and no water aboard. Optimum cruise is 27 mph at 3,000 rpm, but we might forego ultimate efficiency and operate this fine ride at 33 mph and 3,500 rpm, burning just a tenth gph more than optimum.
Comparable Model: Sailfish 290CC