John page williams
The following review was written by John Page Williams, Editor-at-large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine. John, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been a regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, specializing in environmental issues, nature, wildlife, fishing and boats. He has been testing new and used boats for the magazine's Time-Tested and New Boat News departments since 1998.
AUGUST 2012
 
   
Length overall  20' 7"
Beam  8' 4"
Draft 12"/28"
Weight 3,000 lb  
Deadrise 18 deg.
Fuel 70 gal         
Max. Power 200hp

For a larger boat with more options, consider Robalo’s new R200. She’s longer, wider and heavier than the May-Craft 1900CC, with a deeper hull. She’s large enough to carry a T-top comfortably, and Robalo, whose design team is very good at thinking through details, has built human-sized space for a portable toilet into the console, with a front-opening door for easy access. There are other savvy design touches too, like top-quality vinyl bolsters and cushions all around, a comfortable leaning post and a helm that offers good space for gauges and electronics. The transom includes a bait-friendly livewell flanked by folding jump seats.

At 3,000 pounds, the R200 will be happiest with Yamaha’s bullet-proof F150, which will push her to a top speed around 40 mph, with efficient cruise speeds of 20 to 30 mph. The boat’s "Hydro Lift" hull rides softly at speed but also offers good stability at low speeds. If you want an index of the hull’s quality, look at the photo above, which shows how sharply the broad chines and the bottom strakes deflect spray. That characteristic comes not only from good design but also from painstaking hull lamination.

List price is $44,071 for an R200 with desirable options, like an F150, a powder-coated T-top, dual batteries with switch and charger, a portable toilet, a Garmin GPS chartplotter/fishfinder, trim tabs, digital gauges and a trailer with spare tire. Robalo Boats, Nashville, Ga. 229-686-7481; www.robalo.com. (Note that the "boatbuilder" feature on the website allows a prospective customer to explore other options, beginning with a base boat price of $30,690 with a Yamaha F115 outboard and no trailer.)