I’m sure that we all have the same dreams as anglers – unlimited resources to fish for whatever we want, whenever we want. Some of us work hard enough to be able to live out these dreams. Others buy a lottery ticket each week.
Either way, the Robalo 260 would have to feature pretty highly on any offshore angler’s wish list. Big enough to be uber-comfortable. Fast enough to do more fishing than travelling. Good looking enough to turn heads at any boat ramp across Australia!
So we were smiles from ear to ear when we got the opportunity to take out the Robalo R260 Centre Console out for a drive on a windy day on Port Phillip Bay.
Meeting Robalo’s Australian dealer – Scott O’Hare from Aussie Boat Sales at his Anchorage Marina – we took the opportunity to talk about Robalos in general and the 260 Centre Console in particular (scan the QR Code hereabouts to watch the full interview).
Scott is definitely Australia’s Robalo expert, having sold hundreds of Robalo and Chaparral boats through his dealership over the years. He’s the man you need to talk to when you decide to put the 260 on your wish-list.
So, what do you get for a couple of hundred grand? You get a kick-ass fishing boat that’s had decades of refinement in the design and manufacturing process.
You get a Kevlar-reinforced hull, built with abundant closed-cell foam flotation. You get premium gelcoat that resists fading and you get the latest in resins that keep your pride and joy looking fine for years to come.
But most of all, you get yourself an ultimate fishing platform that has the range and speed to get you fishing in places you’d only dreamed about in the 15ft aluminium tinny.
From bow to stern, there’s no wasted space and it’s the little things that make the boat a joy to fish from.
“All Robalo boats are designed for ocean fishing,” Scott explained. “They all have self-draining decks and bronze through-hull fittings. All of the kill tanks drain overboard, the live bait tanks are huge and there’s storage for over 20 fishing rods – and some of this storage is lockable.”
Under the deck, all wiring is tinned and there’s 715L of fuel. Combine this with a 2.7m beam and you’ll need a truck like an F250 to tow it – as well as complying with local regulations for oversize towing. Scott said that a lot of owners opt to put these boats in dry storage or on a pontoon, adding that this makes them very popular in the northern parts of Australia.
One of the real advantages, however, is the fishability of this rig. Most cabin-based 26-footers only fish four people comfortably, whereas the R260 has room to fish at least six anglers in comfort.
So, get out your calculator and work out where 715L of fuel gets you (Scott calculates a range of 680km at 3000rpm), and you can imagine all of that awesome fishing on your doorstep that this Robalo could open up for you. With petrol prices as low as they’ve been for years, maybe there is room in your budget for an R260?
Let’s face it – you’re thinking about it, aren’t you?
The best way to get a feel for this boat is to test drive one yourself. Call Scott on 03 9397 6977 or visit www.aussieboatsales.com.au.
• Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.
The test day was too rough to take boat to WOT RPM of 6100 and speed of 98km/h.
Time to plane 5.0 seconds (tabs-up), 4.1 seconds (tabs-down)
OPTIONS AS TESTED
• Vacuflush head with macerator and overboard discharge.
• Aft seat back rest (removable)
• Stainless pull-up cleats
• Windlass pack
• Power assisted hydraulic steering
• T-Top outriggers
• Console cover
• T-Top and enclosure
• Garmin VHF Radio
• Battery charger
• Canvas pack
• Australian spec aluminium trailer
• Twin 225 Hondas