The challenge that a lot of anglers face in their boating life is when they make a family. When you’re young and carefree, you get to buy a boat that gets you to where the fish are. That’s your focus.
Fast forward to later in life, you have a wife and kids and all of a sudden their safety and comfort trumps your needs for the ultimate fishing craft. Historically, crossover boats compromise in all areas, but on a Robalo R207 we tested recently, imported by Aussie Boat Sales, there’s a mix of creature comforts and fishability that we’ve rarely seen.
Now, upfront, let us tell you that this isn’t a boat that’s in the same price range as other, locally made offerings, but if you bear with us you’ll see that the serious features well and truly justify the serious price tag.
We caught up with Scott O’Hare at his marina at Williamstown in Melbourne, at the mouth of the Yarra River – a superbly located family business nesting a fleet of Chaparral fun machines. Aussie Boat Sales is also the dealer for that other iconic American brand – Robalo.
“The 207 is my favourite boat in the Robalo range,” Scott said, as we hid from the wind at the restaurant in his Anchorage Marina complex. “It’s unashamedly a fishing boat, although if you’re getting some pressure to have a craft that can tow a ski or tube, then it does that with style.”
The boat is broadly a bowrider configuration, although when you ditch the creature comforts you’ll find that there’s a very functional casting deck up there. Additionally, although the test boat wasn’t fitted with one, you can definitely add a long shaft trolling motor to satisfy your need for boat control while casting.
Other features are nearly too numerous to name, but again, for the angler, an under-seat livewell on the transom ticks a lot of boxes, as do the Targa rod holders. You are able to fit an electric motor at the bow if lure casting is your deal, and the front gunwales are wide enough to get up and cast off if you feel that you’re standing too low on the front deck. Wet storage for skis or kneeboards is between the consoles.
Naturally, all deck fittings on the 207 are stainless steel and suitable for saltwater use, while through-hull fittings are bronze. This boat is built to last.
Eminently trailerable, the test boat was supplied on an Australian-spec twin axle trailer. This size boat is towable by most twin-cab 4WD utes and larger.
Scott has fantastic knowledge of all things Robalo, including the Kevlar-reinforced hulls and meticulous build process that’s born from decades of manufacturing experience from the brand. Give him a call on (03) 9397 6977 for more information on this boat, or their Robalo or Chaparral brands.
|Weight on water||1588kg|
|RPM||Speed (km/h) Fuel (L/h)|
• 5.6 seconds to plane