The R242 is an example of how Robalo continually evolves to improve its product line, and this new boat is expected to be an equally hot item on any anglers’ wish list. The quality of build is still ever-present with the transom having poured composite coring and extra flotation provided by encapsulated foam. Stainless steel is used throughout, and we’re happy to see that it includes the anchor roller and chafe guards. All interior compartments are completely finished off and even a cursory glance as the rigging shows well secured and orderly wiring runs.
One feature that distinguishes Robalo from the rest is the Hydro-Lift hull. The Hydro-Lift reduces the resistance of the water on the entire running surface with wider reversed chines. The benefits are several:
Quicker Planing Times.
Our tests have shown that Robalo boats consistently come up on plane quicker, which creates a direct correlation to lower fuel and operating costs.
With the quicker planing times, we also have better economy thanks to the running surface itself.
Lower Planing Speeds.
With this hull combination, we can stay on plane at lower speeds, and therefore operate more efficiently. It’s also a great benefit to have when watersports come into play. Towing a tube full of kids is certainly safer at a lower speed than a higher one. Here, it’s easier to maintain that lower speed without having the boat settle back into the water.
We’re consistently impressed with the handling we find in Robalo boats. The transitions across chop are always smooth with little to no hull slap at high speeds. Turns are pretty much the hallmark though. Where we would expect some amount of “chine-walk” during a performance turn, we get none of that. The turns are stable with just enough slide to keep everyone comfortable while still having a good balance of solid tracking.
All this is augmented with a variable deep-V hull with a 22-degree deadrise at the transom. The hull is also reinforced with Kevlar, providing added strength and impact resistance.
At the transom, there is a divided 30-gallon (114 L) insulated fishbox and cooler. Below, the usual flip-out seat holds three adults, and Robalo has nailed the concept of the easy stow. Lifting the entire seat assembly gives access to a rigging compartment with the battery charger, holding tank, pumps, and fuel filter. We’d add the two drink holder/rod holders ($241) that mount in the corners of the caprail. The cockpit offers plenty of open space for working the deck, and toe rails add an additional measure of safety when fishing in a seaway. Under gunwale rod storage supplementing the rod holders allows the R242 to carry 14 rods total. Raw and fresh water washdowns are standard.
The console of the Robalo R242 is a little smaller than the R240, on average about 18” (45.7 cm), and, therefore, offers more room to move about while fighting a fish. Additionally, the console is actually lower, making it easier to see past top for shorter captains and kids. The wheel is connected to standard SeaStar hydraulic steering. Power assist is also available ($2,244). In the panel, Garmin electronics are offered on the options list and there’s enough real estate for two 12” (30.5 cm) displays but only 7” (17.78 cm) ($1,394) or 10” (25.4 cm) ($3,119) are offered from the builder. An upholstered brow just above knocks down glare and makes the screens easier to read. Instrumentation is now totally handed over to the Yamaha Command Link display, providing selectable information. Rocker switches are grouped to both sides of the panel. For the windshield, Robalo chose tempered-glass instead of acrylic, which tends to distort at the curves. Trim tabs are fitted not so much to provide a better ride, but augment the ride during uneven loading or unruly sea conditions. With head seas, a little down tab will give a more aggressive slice while in following seas, up tab will keep the bow high as it approaches the backside of the forward wave. In beam seas, split tabs maintain an even keel.
Overhead the optional hardtop ($5,744) comes with the usual electronics box with tensioned hinged latch, LED spreader lights that throw off massive illumination without the battery drain of regular lights, and rod holders. Underside coloring can be added ($506). Supports are in place for optional Taco Grand Slam outriggers. Under the seat, there’s storage that includes a pair of Plano organizers.
With the console being smaller than we usually see, we expected that the head area would suffer, but the creative access from Robalo’s patented door really makes that difference hardly noticeable. The front seating area of the console swings open to access the head inside. This offers the user-friendliest access to the inside of the compartment, and, in fact, Robalo has a patent on this door system. Inside, a Porta-Potti is standard and a pump-out VacuFlush toilet is optional ($1,835).
The bow is another area enhanced for overall comfort on this new model. Bow V-seating converts to a sun pad with the addition of a filler deck and cushion. Optional backrests ($744 ea) turn the flat seats into chaise lounges. With cushions removed, the bow presents an elevated casting deck, and underneath are a pair of 30-gallon (114 L) overboard draining fishboxes that can, of course, serve as storage. There’s a second livewell here. Another sizable storage space is in the deck, and it includes a mount for a 5-gallon (18.93 L) bucket that cast-netters will love.
The rails are recessed to inhibit any snags of lines or nets. For the same reason, we’d opt for the pull-up cleats ($228). Plus they look nice with the Robalo logo. Since we focus primarily on bottom fishing here in the Northeast, we’d also add the anchor/windlass package ($1,969).
With a pair of Yamaha F150 XB outboards powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 45.6 mph at 6000 rpm. Best economic cruise seemed to be reached at 4000 rpm and 28.1 mph. At that speed, the fuel burn was 11.6 gph giving us a range of 284.4 nm, all while holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 150-gallon (568 L) fuel capacity.
Robalo boats typically have quick plane times with minimal, if any, bow rise thanks to the extended V-plane hull. Thanks to her 22-degree deadrise and sharp entry, she had that cut well through chop. And turns are equally predictable with a firm track as she comes around with no chine walk and an aggressive hold. During a quick run offshore, we found her skipping across waves with a clean re-entry and, try as we might, experienced no pounding or hull slap as we encountered the head seas at full throttle. This really is an exciting boat to drive and a well-mannered boat when the seas start to build.
Power and Pricing
The Robalo R242 comes with a base price of $65,535 when powered with a single Yamaha F300 outboard. Maximum pricing is $80,758 with a pair of Yamaha 200 4-strokes. Since we’ll be bringing the family along for fun-days, we’ll add the tow rail ($1,231) that surrounds the top of the engine(s) with a raised tow point. Fully loaded “our way” brings the price point closer to $85k.
The standard hull color is, of course, white. Add a wide band graphic for $818 in one of five colors. Five solid gel colors are at $1,013.
Robalo is a company that listens to its customers and constantly keeps improving based on that feedback. It’s also a company that stands behind its products. The Robalo R242 comes with a 10-year warranty thanks to her rot-free Perma Guard Structural System.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Robalo R242 (2016-) is 45.6 mph (73.4 kph), burning 30.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 114.69 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Robalo R242 (2016-) is 28.1 mph (45.2 kph), and the boat gets 2.4 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.02 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 327 miles (526.26 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 150-hp Yamaha F150 XB.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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