Ready to run for dozens of miles, fish hard, and come back to the dock looking more like a class act than a canyon commando? Then Robalo’s R265 is your kind of fishing machine. This boat not only performs like a thoroughbred, it looks like one, too.
Touches like a recessed bow grab rail, lighted rocker switches, and a polished stainless-steel strike plate at the bow are sharp, and they also show just how smartly the boat is put together. Take that strike plate, for example. Unlike those found on less intelligent boats, this one is removable. If it ever gets dinged or scuffed, you can take it off, order a new one, and swap it out so the boat looks pristine once again.
Hold on a sec—don’t think for a moment that the R265’s smarts are only skin deep. Check out that livewell located in the transom: it’s baby-blue inside, so your baits remain calm and don’t beat themselves up. The hatch seals tightly on a gasket, so water doesn’t slosh out in rough seas. Red LED lighting makes it possible to scoop out baits in the dark, without blasting your night vision. And the dedicated pump is backed up by the washdown pump; if one pump ever fails you can flip a lever to use the other pump for whichever purpose serves you best at the moment.
Anyone who’s familiar with Robalo’s no-holds-barred reputation won’t be surprised by such top-end equipment and detail work. But we learned one thing on test day that was a totally unexpected eye-opener: we shut down one of the twin Yamaha F 250 powerplants, and tilted it up in a simulated engine failure. Running on the single outboard only, we reached and maintained a 36.2-mph cruise. Most twin-screw boats of this size are lucky to even plane on one powerplant, much less run that fast.
Ready to kill some fish? all of the foredeck boxes are insulated and can be used to ice down the catch, but the deep box in the boat’s belly is big enough to swallow up a 100-lb. tuna, and is fitted with a diaphragm pump that can evacuate scales, slime, or whatever is necessary, without burning up like lesser pumps tend to do when challenged. Just remember to rinse away all that fish blood before you hit the dock, to preserve that classy appearance. On second thought…
LOA – 26’1” Beam – 9’0” Draft – 1’8” Displacement – 6,340 Fuel capacity – 175 Max. HP – 500 Price: A klick over $70,000 with twin 150’s.
Observed performance notes w/ 2 people and half load fuel, twin 225-hp Honda BF225 outboards swinging 15” x 21” three bladed stainless steel props:
Speed in MPH
Gallons per hour
Miles per gallon
Wide open throttle/5900
Bonus Notes: I tested a Robalo R235 for an entire season both in the bay and offshore just after Chaparral took over Robalo, and discovered that they had upgraded and improved many facets of the boat. Since Robalo has been owned and built by several different companies through the years - and some were less then stellar - I'd encourage anyone looking at a used Robalo to make sure it was built by Chaparral.
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