Retro rad. That’s our impression of the Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boat and, at least as far as classic runabouts go, this brings back the best of the past and combines it with the techy advantages of today.
For instance, there’s no wood in the 23 — none, except the polished teak dash and console boards and the rails of coaming compartments beside the port and starboard front seats. Well, there’s a mahogany wheel, stouter, firmer and sporting more gloss than the best finishes of the ’60s could produce. In fact, all the building components in the 23 are of the most modern boatbuilding materials, like the polished stainless-steel windshield frame, cleats and composites — materials never available back in the day of this nostalgic runabout design are all incorporated into the modern but retro look of this vessel.
There is little to criticize in the classic lines and beautiful interior.
These are all reasons Rossiter’s 23 is ready to create new memories and make a new legend, but with a twist: Unlike yesterday’s classics, this one will be around in 50 years on somebody’s hoist or davit, not in a museum. Rossiter guarantees it to the first owner and will allow them to transfer that warranty to the next owner for the balance of 10 years.
Inside, the Rossiter has facing picnic-bench seating separated with a teak table. Walkways throughout the cockpit are wide for easy passage. An entry to the cuddy gives access to a small V-berth and a hidden flushing china head.
The Rossiter ride is memorable too. Built to take the chop of the Great Lakes, it sports a variable-deadrise hull, 22 degrees at the transom but with a pad hull. The pad is a planing surface running along the last few feet of the keel and meeting with the transom. The pad gives the 23 the ability to sustain on-plane handling at 16 mph but tackle offshore waves with comfort. We know. We did it. Our test runs were outside the inlet at Stuart, Florida, and right at the surf point just before the waves begin to build. We slid through and over them with comfort, leaving the water cleanly and re-entering on the deep-V hull with the soft landing of an experienced paratrooper.
* Deep cockpit offers security and safety in choppy Great Lakes waters.
* Square-ish windshield is reminiscent of Century’s Raven model of the early ’70s.
* Self-draining design of the outboard motor extends the season by eliminating the danger of early freezes.
Price: $131,421 (with test power)
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha 250
Drive/Prop: Yamaha SDS 15.25″ x 19″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 40 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Rossiter Boats – Markdale, Ontario; 866-251-3280; rossiterboats.com