The Robalo R200
It’s hard to know where to start on this boat. The Robalo R200 provides such an incredible bang-for-the-buck in so many ways! It is obviously a great offshore fishing and dive boat. It is now becoming very popular on small inland lakes and rivers as well. Some buyers will use the boat specifically for fishing, but others prefer to use it as a pleasure boat first, with a little fishing on the side. Lets look at some of the features that make this one of the best selling 20′ center consoles in the industry.
This is a BIG 20′ Boat!
Step inside a Robalo Dealer’s showroom, and the first thing you will probably notice is how impressive the overall size of this boat is. Most people have a hard time believing this is only a 20′ boat. The overall length of the boat is 20’7″ (plus motor), so it is actually larger than 20′. Besides the length though, the thing that stands out is the depth of this boat. The hull of the Robalo R200 is extremely deep. It’s clear that this boat would handle rough water very well. In fact, when comparing this boat to traditional family bowriders, it actually sits higher out of the water than most 24-25′ boats!
Obviously the Robalo R200 was designed as a fishing boat first. Therefore, it is equipped with many great fishing features. In the bow of the boat, remove the seat cushions and you have a large, wraparound casting platform. Under this platform are 2 compartments that open exposing the large insulated fish boxes. If you need a little higher viewpoint, step up on the deck. It is finished in nonskid and wraps around the entire boat. It is also nice and wide to allow you to step with a good sense of security.
As we move back towards the aft of the boat, the sides of the Robalo R200 are very high. This gives us such a good sense of security when walking about the boat, especially in rough waters. Side note: This is a great boat for bringing the kids fishing, especially due to the safe design throughout on the R200. You will also find rod storage in the side gunwales, along with a toe-rail to help you stabilize when fishing in the rough stuff.
In the aft of the boat, you will find dual rear jump seats. By folding these seats down, you will create a large nonskid casting platform. Robalo did a great job of eliminating all the tripping hazards on this boat despite all the storage compartments & seating. In the center you also will find a 15-gallon livewell.
Windshield & T-Top Option
The center console on the Robalo R200 was extremely well designed. The boat comes standard with a windshield with a very sturdy frame that can be used for a grab handle. Most R200’s will be equipped with the T-Top option though, which has an anodized aluminum frame and multiple great spots to use for holding on. The T-Top includes a canvas top and looks great on the boat. The top itself is very large and provides the leaning post and forward console seating with a good amount of shade. If shade is a top priority to you, the T-Top is a must have. It provides quite a bit more shade than the optional bimini top.
Center Console Features
From the drivers position, you will find a compass front and center on top of the console. On either side, Robalo equipped the helm with recessed storage areas including a soft mat and drain. These are great spots to set your phone or other small items you want to keep a close eye on.
On the main surface of the console, the Robalo R200 boat is equipped with stainless steel switches on each side for boat functions such as the livewell or electronics. In the center, the boat will come standard with dual Yamaha Command Link Gauges (if the boat is equipped with a Yamaha). Most people typically add the stereo option with speakers. We also recommend the steering wheel & control knob upgrade. This wheel has a great feel and the control knob is a nice feature.
You will also find dual stainless-steel cupholders, a stainless steel grab handle, and a storage door below for the battery switch and small items.
The main surface area in the center of the dash comes blank from the factory. Robalo offers some GPS options such as the Garmin 742 XS. This is a great GPS for a reasonable price. If you prefer a different brand or model than the factory offerings, the blank setup will allow you to install the GPS & electronics of your choice.
The Robalo R200 is rated for 8 passengers, and it has plenty of seats to accommodate those passengers. In the bow of the boat, the seating actually resembles a family bowrider! It has a wraparound seating area with seat cushions and a full wraparound backrest. By adding the forward facing backrests, you can lean back and stretch out your legs as well.
In front of the console is a built in seat with room for 1 or possibly two. This seat also has built-in grab handles below.
As we move back, the main seating for the driver is the leaning post. This is a double-wide seat that can be used for sitting, or leaning and locking your feet into the footrest on the console. The leaning post can be upgraded to the dual flip-up bolster seats which we highly recommend. These bolsters work independently of each other. The driver can stand or lean and the co-pilot can sit back and relax. You can also upgrade the leaning post to add the rod holders & cooler. The cooler stores underneath for easy access.
The aft seating consists of the rear corner jump seats. These seats have stainless steel grab handles below for extra security. You can can also reach forward and grab the handle on the back of the leaning post. There is plenty of legroom in the aft seating area. You won’t feel cramped anywhere on the boat, even at full capacity.
One of the features on the Robalo R200 that is very hard to find on a 20′ boat is the enclosed head/privacy compartment. If you are more familiar with bowriders, you will typically have to get into the 24′ range or larger to find the boats equipped with a head. If you have small children, this might be a must have option for you. Finding a 20′ boat that offers an enclosed head changes everything.
The head compartment itself is very roomy. You enter from the door in front of the console. You then step down into the room. This makes it much easier to use than the small heads on some mid-size open bow boats. The porta-pottie is an option. If you don’t intend to use this room as a head, it can also serve as a great changing room or huge storage compartment.
The Robalo R200 is a 20′ boat with big water capability. This means you might want to explore different bodies of water or coastal areas. This is why Robalo decided to include an aluminum trailer as a standard feature. The standard trailer is made by Coyote and comes packaged with the boat right from the factory. It is a tandem axle trailer with standard LED lights & a folding tongue. We like the spare tire and load guide options as well.
The Robalo R200 is a boat that really does it all. It can be a great fishing boat, family boat, or both. It’s capable of handling offshore conditions, but not too big to use on small lakes & rivers. It is built to the high quality standards of all Robalo Boats. And for 2018, the Robalo R200 starts at $36,925 including trailer! Its easy to see why the Robalo R200 is one of the top selling center console boats in the entire industry. For more and videos on this model, we recommend starting on Robalo’s website at www.robalo.com. If you would like to learn more on center console boats, check out our article Introduction to Center Consoles.