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Robalo R250 (2023-)
2 x Yamaha F150XCA
New for 2023, the Robalo R250 continues Robalo’s tradition of providing lots of functionality for fishing and family watersports, for a reasonable price. She falls nicely between the builder’s twin-engine R272 and the single-engine R230. She can be powered by a single outboard or twins, giving buyers an option that they don’t have with the larger or smaller boats.
|Person Capacity||12 persons|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||6.2 seconds|
|0 to 30||11.2 seconds|
|Props||15.25 x 18|
|Load||3 persons; 165 gal. fuel; 50lbs. gear|
|Climate||89 deg., 69 humid; wind: 0-10 mph; sea: calm|
2 x Yamaha F150XCA
2 x Yamaha F150XCA
Report by Eric Colby
The R250 is designed to fill the gap between its R230 and R272. For those who plan more offshore work, or would like a bit more deck space than offered in the R230, this boat could be the answer. She is all powered by twins, unlike Robalo’s smaller center console. Her bow seating area is deep and comfortable and her head compartment is one of the most spacious in class. With a 23-degree deadrise at the transom, she will make the ride as comfortable as possible.
Robalo R250 Major Features
- Fiberglass hardtop w/powder-coated frame
- Rocket-launcher-style rod holders
- Overhead electronics box
- Twin or Single Outboards
- Full glass windshield with opening vent
- Hullside-entry door
- Private head w/forward entry
- Fore and aft insulated fish boxes
- Fold-in transom seats
- Kevlar reinforced construction
Robalo R250 Features Inspection
We’ll start at the stern and work our way forward. There are swim platforms on each side of the stern and a four-step ladder to starboard. Six rod holders span the transom with a pumpout cap to port. The splashwell extends forward to the transom but the aft deck is finished in nonskid and wide enough to walk on. Anglers fishing the shallows should enjoy this perch.
A 1' (.03 m) wide passageway to the cockpit closes with a gate. With the gate closed, there’s access to a locker that contains two battery switches and circuit breakers. There’s also a pull-out shower in this area.
New for 2023, Robalo’s designers pushed out the R250’s gunwales to create a 94” (238.76 cm) wide cockpit that measured 49” (124.46 cm) front to back. Deck height in this area is 29” (73.66 cm) and the cockpit has 3” (7.62 cm) diameter drains in each corner.
A removable inspection hatch in the cockpit deck provides access to fuel-tank fittings and outboard on each side are under-deck fish boxes that we measured at 48” (121.92 cm) long and 10” (2.54 cm) deep with an opening that’s 10” (2.54 cm) wide.
Across the stern, a bench seat folds in from the transom on easy-to-use, heavy-duty stainless-steel hinges. In the aft port corner is a 30-gallon (113.56 L) livewell with an acrylic top that opens on tension hinges, blue finish and rounded corners. In the base of the livewell is a plug for the battery charger.
The hullside door has a rugged stainless-steel latch and hinges and opens inboard. The receptacle for the boarding ladder also looks and feels heavy-duty.
Stepping up to the R250’s helm, there’s a stainless-steel tilt wheel with a spinner knob and two columns of accessory switches flanking the optional dual 12” (30.48 cm) Simrad multifunction displays. We like that Robalo includes a compass atop the console, but would like to see it in line with the steering wheel. There are also shallow trays on the top of the console.
Just beneath the MFDs and ahead of the wheel, working left to right, our test boat had an optional cell phone charger, two USB plugs, a 12-volt outlet, LENCO trim tabs with indicators built into the switch and the remote for the Clarion stereo. Across the bottom of the panel are the Yamaha engine screen to the left of the wheel and to the right are the keys, the shift/throttle levers and a locking glove box.
Overhead, the standard hardtop has overhead storage, upgraded JL Audio speakers, LED courtesy and spreader lights and rocket launcher-style rod holders. New for 2023, tempered glass makes up the full height windshield and side panels. There’s a vent at the top that opens electrically to let in air.
An upgrade on our test boat was the fold-down backrest for the 47” (119.38 cm) wide-leaning post that had individual fold-up bolsters. There’s an anti-fatigue mat and a two-position angled footrest. With the backrest down, passengers can sit facing aft to watch lines or kids playing. In the powder-coated leaning-post base, there’s a dedicated rack for the 70-quart (66.24-quart) cooler.
Gunwale height alongside the helm is 31” (78.74 cm) and on each side there are rod holders with padded mats to keep the reels from banging around. Toe rails provide security when an angler is fighting a fish and there are washdowns in the gunwale as well.
Moving forward, there’s an easy passage on each side of the console to the bow. On the front of the console, there’s a 26” (66.04 cm)-wide seat with a padded backrest, plus stainless-steel grabrails on each side and a plastic one on the front. As we’ve seen on other Robalo models, the console is hinged on the port side and the whole seat pulls forward to provide excellent access to the private head compartment.
Electric Head. Our test boat was upgraded with a pump-out toilet. This is probably not necessary if the boat is to be used by salty meat fishermen. If it's for the family’s use, we’d spring for the option. There are often unmentioned reasons why some members of the family are not enthusiastic about going boating and an electric head might be just what is needed.
Overall headroom is 5’2” (1.57 m) and there’s 44” (111.76 cm) of seated headroom. This is a critical measurement and a good one for this size boat.
There’s a dedicated storage rack for the bow table and a removable hatch that provides access to the helm rigging.
Forward, the bow has U-shaped seating with side lounges that are 5’ (1.52 m) long and have removable backrests on lightweight aluminum frames. The bottom cushions can be unsnapped, creating a nonskid-raised casting platform. Insulated fish boxes in the seat bases are 50” (127 cm) long and there’s an insulated cooler under the center cushion. Under-deck storage in the bow measures 21” x 21” (53.34 cm x 53.34 cm) and is 15” (38.1 cm) deep. Inside we found dedicated clips for the legs of the bow table when it’s lowered to form a sunpad.
On the nonskid foredeck, there are two pull-up cleats flanking the anchor locker that housed the optional Lewmar windlass. The optional 20-lb. (9.07 kg) stainless-steel anchor passes through the stem.
Robalo R250 Performance
The Robalo R250 measures 25’3” (7.7 m) long with an 8’6” (2.59 m) beam and a draft of 21” (53.34 cm). Our test boat weighed 5,626 lbs. (2,551.92 kg) without engines and with three people, full fuel and test gear, we had an as-tested weight of 8,195 lbs. (3,717.19 kg).
Powered by twin 150-hp Yamaha outboards spinning 15.25” x 18” (38.75 cm x 45.72 cm) Saltwater Series propellers, the R250 hit a top speed of 44.4 mph at 5800 rpm. We recorded best cruise at 4000 rpm where she ran 28.6 mph and burned 13.2 gph. This translated to 2.2 mpg and a range of 322 statute miles with 10% of her 165-gallon (624.59 L) fuel capacity held in reserve.
In acceleration tests, the R250 planed in 6.2 seconds, hit 20 mph in 7.4 and ran through 30 in 11.2 seconds. Our test boat held minimum plane at 22.6 mph.
When it comes to the R250’s handling, words like sure-footed and predictable come to mind. She has a 23-degree deadrise, carves through a turn and holds her line well. We think twin 150-hp outboards are a good choice. They get the boat on plane quickly, are economical to run and they make the boat easier to maneuver in tight quarters. Two props are always better than one to get power to the water.
Options Worth Considering
- Single outboard from Mercury or Yamaha up to 300 hp
- Twin outboards from Mercury or Yamaha up to 400 hp total
- Single 9" (22.86 cm) or 12" (30.48 cm) Simrad NSS9 EVO3 multifunction display
- Simrad VHF radio
- Simrad Radar w/20" (50.8 cm) dome
- Simrad autopilot
- JL Audio stereo upgrade with six speakers, LED lighting and six-channel amp
- Blue underwater lights
- Tandem-axle trailer
If we were looking at the R250, we would put much consideration toward how much time we would be spending miles offshore. If that is an owner’s primary interest, opt for the second engine for redundancy. Twin 150s are fine. You don’t need to go 50 mph. Cruising comfortably at 35 mph makes for a more comfortable ride and better fuel economy.
While items like the hardtop and hullside door are standard, the bow filler cushion, cockpit table and electronics at the dash are options. Many dealers will bring a boat with popular options and price the boat accordingly, but when looking at a boat like the R250, look over the options list closely to make sure you’re not surprised when your new boat arrives.
We think the Robalo R250 offers good value for money.