With a relatively affordable base price of around $154,000, I was anxious to see the R302’s quality and performance. I’ll tell you now, I was impressed. Boasting the smooth-riding Robalo HydroLift deep-V hull of its predecessor, the R300, the R302 is designed for families that fish and boat together. The hardtop integrates with the console and leaning post/seating module. A full-height bonded glass windshield protects the helm.
In a departure from most center-consoles, the wheel and controls are located on the starboard-side to give the co-pilot elbow room to port. The twin helm seats offer individual flip-up bolsters and fold-down armrests.
Our test boat featured twin flat-mounted Simrad NSS evo2 12-inch multifunction displays on the dash. A nook to the starboard-side secures a cellphone, and a glove box hides a 12-volt DC receptacle and dual USB ports. You can also stow items in a pair of cubbies atop the console.
The back side of the seating module featured a 20-gallon livewell and a stainless-steel prep sink with a freshwater shower nozzle, and tackle drawers. A 72-quart Igloo cooler slid out from below.
Six gunwale rod holders, a 25-gallon covered livewell, two huge in-sole fish lockers, undergunwale rod racks, stainless-steel toe rails, and a transom door in the starboard quarter mean this boat is ready for angling action.
To access the neatly rigged bilge, a hatch lifts upward from the transom. A 5-foot-wide bench-style seat flips up from the transom. The R302’s anchor locker conceals a windlass and a freshwater washdown.
The step-down head compartment features an electric porcelain marine toilet and a vanity with sink and faux-granite countertop. U-shaped seating in the bow converts to forward-facing loungers. Three fish lockers reside under the bow seating.
Powered by twin Yamaha F300 outboards, the R302 popped onto plane in 4 seconds and reached 30 mph in 7.5 seconds. Handling proved outstanding as the Kevlar- reinforced hull carved turns at speed with confidence and predictability. In a cross-sea it remained stable thanks largely to the R302’s 10-foot-6-inch beam.
- At around $150,000, with 600 hp and over 29 feet length overall, this center-console represents substantial value.
- Convertible lounges and table in the bow will appeal to non-anglers in the family.
- Flip-up transom hatch offers easy access to rigging and the bilge.
- Unorthodox starboard-side wheel and controls might feel awkward at first for a center-console, but this offers more companion room to port.
- Console side windows are optional ($663), so you will have to pay extra for this measure of helm protection.
The Cobia 301CC ($174,049 with twin Yamaha F300s) offers 5 inches more length overall but does not offer the full-height bonded safety-glass windshield of the Robalo R302.
Price: $153,795 (base with twin Yamaha F300s)
Available Power: Outboards
How We Tested
Engines: Twin 300 hp Yamaha F300s
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha Saltwater Series II 15″ x 19″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 80 gal.
Crew Weight: 600 lb.
Robalo Boats – Nashville, Georgia; 229-686-748; robalo.com