The Robalo R260 is the ‘velvet sledgehammer’ of centre-consoles

Jaws dropped when the Robalo R260 rolled into Portland’s seaside streets. It’s not just big, it’s damn beautiful. Like most things that come out of the Robalo factory, the R260 performs as well as it looks. You’d expect that from a company with almost 50 years of boat-building pedigree.

One step on the R260 and you know you’re on a fish- hunting machine. The boat is crafted around fishing gestures. Reach out and there’s a grab rail waiting for you. There’s a heavy-duty stainless toe rail, 24 rod holders, tackle storage and lockable gunwale storage. Down aft you’ll find a tough, but comfortable transom seat that cleverly folds down, giving access to a 125 litre, insulated live-well. The bait prep area features a cutting board and removable fiberglass bait box. It’s easy to keep this baby clean and tidy.

Storage is only an arm’s length away and everything is easy to operate, with flush-mounted latches. Robalo claims the R260 has three times the cooler/fish box capacity of its competitors. This was good news for Jack who travels with every lure he’s ever owned, plus the 2646 he borrowed from me. There’s plenty of deluxe features that resemble apartment living – but Jack and I were more interested in tuna barrels.

On the water, this thing turns into a velvet sledgehammer, eating up 4 to 5 metre rollers coming in on the head as we passed Point Danger. The hull is Kevlar reinforced, with a 23-degree variable dead-rise and extra wide, reverse chines. Robalo call it Hydro-lift, but Jack prefers ‘tungsten reinforced steak knife that soars like a flying fish’. The dual helm is more comfortable than a Matt Blatt couch with adjustable cushions. On the back sit twin 225 Honda 4-strokes. I couldn’t think of two better mates to take to the shelf. They don’t drink too much, they never interrupt and they’re always there when you need them. And they punch hard when it gets rough. Twice.

Tech Specs:

Length– 8.05m (overall)
Beam– 2.74m
Bridge clearance with t-top/riggers – 2.49m
Deadrise– 23 degrees
Seating capacity – 12 people
Holding tank capacity – 23 litres
Water capacity – 83 litres
Fuel Capacity – 719 litres
Max HP – 500hp
Priced from – $164,500
Price as tested – $197,500