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Boat Review - Robalo 242 Explorer

Boat Review - Robalo 242 Explorer
Seating for the whole crew is found throughout the entire layout on the Explorer 242.

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The need for a hardcore fishing machine may be a priority for some boat buyers but often a more realistic scenario involves entertaining the entire family. A family friendly boat requires amenities that transcend the needs of a pure fishing fanatic. In a real world situation, you're going to notice the more comfortable everyone is on the water, the more enjoyable the experience becomes and subsequently, the longer your outing lasts. If you fall into the group who needs to make everybody in the family want to enjoy a day on the water. Robalo may have the answer. Built on the foundation of their R242, a more serious fishing platform, Robalo offers a luxury edition with loads of creature comforts added to soften the edges on those long days while still retaining enough of the fishing roots to let your inner “Fish Head” make an appearance when necessary. Enter the 242 Explorer.

Essentially, the Explorer is a family edition that offers lots of room to relax onboard, plush comfortable seating everywhere, a stylish design sense, and a smartly intended deck plan for mixed use boating. The forward deck arrangement allows you to configure the seating several ways. A wraparound U-shaped seat plan leaves the center deck open for some elbow room for fishing. A removable drop in table which stores away neatly in a pocket door within the transom creates a comfortable picnic setting. Add a filler piece to the center and it becomes a sun lounge. And finally with the filler in place and cushions removed you have an elevated casting deck. Beneath the easy lift hatch seats to port and starboard are insulated 144-quart cooler/fish boxes that are accessible without the need to remove the plush cushions. An additional large storage compartment is located beneath the center deck. All of this is trimmed out stylishly in a high quality Three-Tone color pattern with contrasting stitching that adds a luxury appearance throughout the boat.

The forward opening console is very roomy inside for a 24-footer with an electric head and storage room to spare under 5' 5” headroom. The console is framed nicely by a flat bar powder coated Hard Top frame that fits within the outside diameter of the helm and allows plenty of room to walk around on a rocking boat. The Helm Face is trimmed out in black acrylic with leather like accents and visibility is exceptional through the glass windscreen. Robalo has improved the visibility noticeably on this model by lowering the console height enough to allow an unobstructed view even while seated, while also bringing the helm seats forward enough to make running from this position pleasant. Below the Helm Seats lies an adjustable cooler frame which allows the use of a wide range of cooler sizes.

In the cockpit of the 242 Explorer they have included an L-shaped molded fiberglass bench seat that you won't find on the R242. The seating offers a separate, more comfortable place to sit while underway if the ocean kicks up. Remembering the angler in the family, they've included an oval live well to starboard under the bench and two more storage holds to center/port. The Explorer also features a much wider and deeper transom platform to access the water and a folding 4-step ladder that fits into a pocket hatch with friction hinges to prevent slamming on a swimmers bare foot. A freshwater shower is located at the entry point next to the ladder.

Robalo really did their homework when they designed this model and proved you can build a safe, seaworthy, stylish center console that each member of the family regardless of their interests on the water, can enjoy together.

Robalo 242 Explorer specifications:

Length: 24 feet

Beam: 8 feet, 9 inches

Draft: 20 inches (up), 35 inches (down)

Deadrise: 22-degree

Dry weight w/power: 4800 pounds

Maximum horsepower: 350

Fuel: 156 gallons

Capacity: 12 (1725 pounds)

MSRP: $66,595

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