Robalo 266 Cayman Boat Review

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Overall length: 26 ft 6 in; Beam: 9 feet 4 inches; Weight: 4,500 lbs (with motor); Draft: 1 ft 5 in (engine up); Transom Deadrise: 18 degrees; Fuel capacity: 110 gal. ; Max HP: 425 hp; Price: $169,430 (Robalo’s Reel Deal price as tested with Yamaha 425 XTO outboard and other options)
Courtesy Robalo Boats

Most boats seem to shrink once they’re out of the trailer and onto the water. Yet as I launched the Robalo 266 Cayman around the vast San Diego Bay in California with the help of local Robalo rep Tim Walters, the size of this bay boat still impressed me.

As well he should. The 266 represents the largest model to date in Robalo’s popular five-boat Cayman series with an overall length of 26 ½ feet (with swim platforms) and a beam of 9 feet 4 inches. This results in the range and stability of a micro aircraft carrier. Walters and I were both standing on the aft port gunwale, and the 266 was barely listed.

Robalo makes good use of all that space with a layout that includes a deep center cockpit tucked between the raised bow and stern casting platforms. Leading to the 6ft wide foredeck, raised pods wrap around the forward cockpit. I have found these serve as handy steps up to the bow area, but they also house plentiful storage which includes a rod locker under the port side, a fish box under the starboard side, and a additional storage and a battery compartment in the middle.

Robalo 266 Cayman bar storage
The 266 Cayman’s center console interior offers 5 feet of headroom, plenty of room to stow gear, and rigging access behind the dash.
Courtesy Robalo Boats

Luxury touches

On days when fishing isn’t the top priority, padded cushions and removable backrests turn this space into a relaxing lounge. You can also add a dining table to maximize the social factor. When not in use, the table stows inside the center console, accessible via a front companionway that doubles as a front console seat.

I found the interior of the console to provide 5 feet of headroom, plenty of room to store gear and access rigging behind the dash. My test boat also came with an optional electric marine toilet inside (with an 8 gallon holding tank).

Back to fishing. The forward casting platform includes a 20 gallon launch well and an anchor locker below deck. An optional Minn Kota Terrova Riptide 36-volt trolling motor graced the bow of my test boat.

I loved the 7ft 5in wide aft deck, which is flanked by a pair of 30 gallon livewells, each with clear acrylic dividers to separate different species of live bait. At the back of each well are compartments designed to hold 5 gallon buckets for gear such as cast nets.

My boat’s aft deck featured an optional powder coated rail with a center watersports tow point just ahead of the splashwell. Since I’m not a fan of watersports, I considered it a hindrance until we headed out to sea. That’s when I realized this was a great way to prepare for stern fishing, especially when battling fish in rough seas.

Fishing Robalo 266 Cayman
With a Yamaha 425 XTO Offshore outboard, the 266 reached a top speed of 52.3 mph at 5,800 rpm in the Sport Fishing test, although in previous Yamaha tests it reached a top speed of 52.3 mph at 5,800 rpm. peak of 55 mph.
Courtesy Robalo Boats

Max power

Two crew members can be seated by folding out a padded bench seat from the aft deck. The entire seat also lifts up for easy access to starter batteries, battery charger and other bilge rigs. On days when you wish to swim, there are swim platforms either side of the outboard motor with a telescoping, fold-out boarding ladder on the starboard platform.

Speaking of outboard motors, a Yamaha 425 XTO Offshore V-8 outboard power package powered my 266. It’s the most powerful outboard available for this boat, and it was mounted on a Standard Atlas jackplate to optimize boat capabilities in shallow water. The jackplate is bolted to the ultra-thick and strong cast ceramic crosspiece. The optional Lenco trim tabs on my test boat helped compensate for any heeling while underway. I observed that this boat features a motorwell with a built-in outboard bracket; according to Robalo, the well minimizes the risk of the next sea falling on the deck.

Curious about the performance? Me too. The Yamaha came with a 20-inch stainless steel XTO three-blade propeller. The 266 jumped into the plane in 5 seconds and hit 30 mph in 9.5 seconds. With 53 gallons of fuel on board and two crew members, the big bay boat reached a top speed of 52.3 mph at 5,800 rpm during my test, burning 37.5 gallons per hour for 1.4 mpg at full throttle. In previous tests performed by Yamaha in different conditions, the 266 reached a top speed of 55 mph.

To see what kind of range the Cayman offers, I went back to 3,500 rpm and 28.5 mph, where the 425 XTO achieved a peak burn of 11.1 gph for 2.57 mpg. How far will it take you? Approximately 254 miles, based on 90% usable capacity in the 266’s 110-gallon fuel tank.

Robalo 266 Cayman tiller
The helm of the test boat featured a pair of recessed 12-inch Simrad multifunction displays to monitor and control the chartplotter, sonar, Halo radar and engine instrumentation.
Courtesy Robalo Boats

deluxe helmet

The 425’s all-electric steering made handling easier in my test. While the tilting and locking wheel is in the center of the helm area and the digital cockpit control of throttle and gearshift resides on the far starboard side, this design leaves plenty of room for the helmsman and its companion perched in the lean-to post-style helm seats with flip-up bolsters. The helm seat comes with a 70-quart cooler underneath and a backrest with built-in rod holders. A two-tier footrest at the base of the console allows me to brace my feet while seated or perched on the flip-up bolster.

Tim and I were well protected behind three-sided bonded glass windows in the powder-coated aluminum frame of the hardtop. A vent at the top of the windshield opens to bring in cool air on sweltering days.

My test boat featured an upgraded electronics package that included a pair of 12-inch Simrad multifunction displays to monitor and control the chartplotter, sonar, Halo radar, and engine instrumentation. Both screens are recessed into the 30-inch-wide dash, which was flanked by two- and three-way push-button accessory switches. The helm also featured a Yamaha multifunction engine display and an audio controller powering six coaxial speakers throughout the interior.

Robalo 266 Cayman close to shore
With 18 degrees of deadrise at the transom, the 266 features Robalo’s Hydro-Lift multi-angle running surface and a Kevlar-reinforced hull that tapers into sharp cutting water at the bow to slice through waves. .
Courtesy Robalo Boats

Utility drive

In relatively flat sea conditions, Robalo’s 266 Cayman can venture offshore, and that’s exactly what we did on test day. We shot the blue Pacific for several miles and I marveled at the seakeeping and stability of this great bay boat. It sliced ​​smoothly through waves and carved turns with predictable ease. I think the 266 would be ideal for hunting blue water species such as mahi, sailfish, tuna, wahoo and more. You can also take it out to wrecks and reefs to fish for cobia, grouper and snapper. It will also serve west coast anglers who wish to fish offshore islands for calico bass, rockfish and yellowtail flounder.

Robalo designed the 266 with 18 degrees of deadrise at the transom using a Hydro-Lift multi-angle running surface and a Kevlar-reinforced hull that tapers into sharp cutting water at the bow to slice through waves. He also created a deeper center cockpit with padded bolsters to improve crew safety and comfort, especially when fishing offshore. With that in mind, the 266 clearly falls into the category that many boat anglers know as a hybrid.

Read more : Robalo R272

Offshore aside, the 266 retains the features that make it an efficient inshore fishing machine. Drawing 17-inches with the outboard raised, this bay boat can weave through shallow bays, coastal rivers and coves to target bluefish, rockfish, snook, striped bass, tarpon and more.

Ultimately, Robalo’s 266 Cayman is a muscular bay boat that doesn’t seem to shrink once you’re out on the water, and that translates into great versatility – a great inshore fishing rig that will keep you on your toes. also allows you to venture offshore to fish blue water and wrecks. when conditions permit. On top of that, it offers creature comforts that invite anglers and non-anglers alike to get out and have adventures afloat.

Performance

Engines: Yamaha 425 XTO Offshore V-8
Load: 53 gal. fuel, two crew
Time at 30 mph: 9.5 sec.
Top speed: 52.3 mph at 5,800 rpm
Best MPG: 2.57 mpg @ 28.5 mph (3,500 rpm)

shell

Length: 26 ft 6 in (with swim platforms)
Shine: 9 feet 4 inches
Disorganized: 1 ft 5 in
Fuel: 110 gal.
Water: 13.5 gal. (optional)
Deadrise transom: 18 degrees.
Dry weight: 4,500 lbs (without power supply)
Max HP: 425 hp
Price: $169,430 (Robalo’s Reel Deal price as tested with a single Yamaha 425 XTO outboard motor and other options)

Robalo Boats – Nashville, Georgia

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