Built because you asked for it
By Dave Moran
Tony Hembrow the CEO of Rayglass and his team listen to their customers. They take on board feedback from existing customers and their suggestions are all considered when the Rayglass R & D team get around the design table.
The Rayglass Legend 850 was well established in the market place and had an enviable reputation as a no nonsense boat but boaties wanted all that the Legend 850 offered plus some extra room to make overnighting just that little more comfortable, and the ability to travel further in comfort – the Legend 2800 was born!
As Rayglassâs Sales and Marketing Manager, Adam Wickes, pulled up to the boat ramp I could not help but think what a beautiful looking boat to be taking out on a perfect, golden day on Aucklandâs Waitemata harbour.
Over the years I have tested many boats. Most have been of aluminium construction and in the four to six metre range. Testing the Legend 2800 was going to be an exciting experience.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Rayglass is that the brand has a reputation that is highly respected locally and internationally due in part to the enormous exposure Rayglass received when the 8.5m Protector was the chosen support vessels for the America âs Cup. As you step on board you know you have quality under your feet. As Adam motored out into the Gulf I started to wander around the boat.
The large cabin area is well designed providing facilities that encourage the owner to spend more time out on the water and to consider over-nighting (weekends away). Full length port and starboard bunks which can be easily converted into a huge double bunk by placing an infill into the central V between the bunks.
Wide shelves accompany each bunk for stowing gear that you use on a daily basis. A great place for stowing lifejackets. The cabin is fully marine carpeted with the flooring carpet dome studded for easy removal, ie to be washed.
They say a crew, fishes/dives on a contented stomach! The galley has all the fixtures to make your time in the galley a pleasurable experience: Large sink serviced by a pressurized fresh water tap – no hand pumping this baby! Large, flat, working surface with an extra lift-up teak extension bench if required. The two hob gas burner will have your coffee ready in no time! Plenty of storage below and above. The 65 litre stainless steel refrigerator has ample room to hold a weekendâs perishable food supplies.
The toilet (see picture) is a ladies dream! Flick switch flushing, fully plastic moulded self draining flooring extending up the walls – very easy to clean. The toilet door, when opened, can be used to seal off the whole cabin area for added privacy and to also enable the cabin area to be locked, while the crew are ashore enjoying a beach barbecue. Note, some insurance companies will not cover your boating property if left on board unsecured. To cap off the cabin, there are a couple of stereo speakers to keep you entertained!
The skipperâs helm seat can swivel a full 360 degrees and has side bolsters that would impress a formula one racing driver! The fully moulded blueish â grey (non sun reflecting) console is at an angle that provides excellent viewing of the Mercury SmartCraft motor monitoring gauges and the Raymarine navigation/chart plotter C120 which provides us with enough info to fly to the moon and back – technology how did we go boating without it? The Mercury Digital Throttle Control (DTS) is fixed into a slight recess placing it out of the way but at the skipperâs finger tips. The auto capstan winch is switched via its own purpose circuit breaker switching system – great protection for the winch motor if your anchor or chain fouls. Twin six circuit breaker switchboards are installed either side of the steering wheel. Forward visibility is amazing! This is due to Rayglass once again going the extra mile by having designed a two section wrap around toughened glass windscreen that is manufactured in Ireland! So in your 180 degree view there is only one central screen support. When skipping along the water, itâs like being in an IMAX movie theatre! â maximum visibility, a huge safety factor. Toughened glass sliding windows port and starboard allow for the skipper and crew extra ventilation when required.
Deck and transom area
The deck area is huge! Four divers could be gearing up without falling over each other! When viewing the deck area picture you will notice the wide teak capping on the gunwales – great for diverâs bums! The padded sides of the gunwales also protect your thighs when leaning over the side retrieving dive gear or pulling a fish on board. The deck is self draining. The transom is full of toys! … live bait tank, saltwater hose facility, self-draining bait board, sink with fresh water hose. Lower deck lighting is also available – great for night fishing. Deck lighting is also supplied by a powerful spot light mounted on the cabin top. Great at night and for helping you sort out gear and washing down once you arrive home after a big day out. Under floor are two 250 litre fully moulded storage bins, ideal for your dive gear, or your days catch. Keeps the blood and guts all in one spot. Once home, just lift out and wash clean – simple! Full length side storage shelves for holding your spearguns, fishing rods, gaff etc.
Hull design and construction
The shape of the Rayglass hulls were developed in the 80s and 90s and their design has been a proven winner. If itâs not broken donât fix it! Over the years there have been subtle changes accommodating improved fibreglass, new glassing techniques and improved resins providing a lighter stronger construction than previously possible. Slight hull changes have been made to allow for changing motor configurations, such as allowing for the extra weight of four stroke outboards – requiring extra stern buoyancy and flatter planing strakes. Basically some fine tuning has been performed over the years. The boat comprises three separate moulds: hull, cabin bunk unit and one deck mould which comprises bow, cabin top, cockpit deck and transom. The hull is fully hand laid fibreglass, no core matt is used in the bottom section of the hullâs construction. Once the three moulds are joined together Endurathane (see side bar) is injected, locking and stiffening the complete hull into one solid boat!
To be on a boat that you know is virtually unsinkable is reassuring knowledge when you are taking your loved ones or mates for a day out on the water. The 2800, as with all Legend models, has had Endurathane (see side bar) injected, between the hull, deck and cabin moulds. To prove how good the buoyancy system is Tony Hembrow took a Legend 850 out on the water with the stern drive removed which left a rather large hole. Then his team added 500 kg of lead and to further prove a point he then invited 14 of his team to join him on the floating boat! The boat floated very high with the stern boarding platform well out of the water! – the guyâs shorts never got wet – amazing!
While Tony was at it he then decided to stand 10 big guys all on the starboard side to check out the boats stability when her decks were awash! The boatâs hull stayed glued to the water – only a slight list to starboard! Rayglass puts a lot of value on the safety of its customers.
Put the hammer down
Donât you just love technology! It was the first time that I had been on a boat fitted with the new outboard motor technology. The complete Mercury system of twin,175 Verado outboards, SmartCraftâs Total Vessel Intelligence System and the Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) unit.
The conditions on the water were in a word, flat! So we would not be able to smash through a confused sea – but I know Rayglass have already proven a point or two in that department. I have been used to gently easing a boat up on to the plane and having a throttle that requires a little âpushingâ and the usual âclunkâ when moving from neutral to forward or reverse. The DTS throttle is a marvel in technology â your commands are electronically fed into the motor – the operation is as smooth as slicing through melting ice cream with a sharp knife!
I look at Adam and said, âthatâs weird – the boat just sort of took off!â
âMateâ, he says, âitâs the way youâre driving – no cables remember – you are driving twin motors which are super charged – just put the hammer down and this baby will just get up and go – no messing around – it could pull four skiers out no problem!â
The throttle even had a button you just push and the engines would be in neutral, push another and youâre trolling at a pre-set speed automatically!
The hydraulic steering is like driving a European car. It really is finger tip steering. There is no noticeable âpullâ on your hands as you drive this baby through a few tight turns. In fact you could take your hand off the wheel and the boat would continue on its course. In the calm sea conditions we easily hit 47mph at 6000 rpm and the motors seemed to be just humming, enjoying their play! To be behind the wheel of such a boat and such a motor system is pure boating pleasure!
Rayglass have a simple philosophy
They build boats that fulfill the majority of what people are looking for in a boat. They know boat design is a compromise and at Rayglass they build boats that have the minimum compromise for the majority of people.
Going by the number of awards over the years that Rayglass has received at various New Zealand Boat Shows and also by the number of Rayglass boats you see on the road and on the water you have to concede they have a winning formula. The other thing Rayglass pride themselves for is providing a complete package: boat construction, complete fit-out to the ownerâs requirements, motor installation and full after sales service – including the motors. When you buy a Rayglass you became part of the Rayglass family!
Test drive one of their seven models and you will agree they continue to strengthen the Rayglass Legend: they build a superb, beautifully detailed, strong, safe boat that has established a sound reputation over many years that as a skipper/owner you know with confidence that your boat will handle various sea conditions and bring you home safely.
Rayglass Legend 2800
Rayglass Legend 2800
Price as Tested:
Blue Water Deep V
Height on Trailer:
250 â 600hp
Single/twin outboard; petrol/diesel sterndrive.
110 litres /80 litres for outboard models
Verado 175 HP Outboards:
2000rpm: 1.0mph 2500rpm: 13.5mph 3000rpm: 21.5mph 3500rpm: 24.0mph 4000rpm: 27.0mph 4500rpm: 35.0mph
5000rpm: 38.0mph 5500rpm: 44.0mph
6000rpm: 47.0mph 6400rpm: 51.0mph
Speeds recorded on a GPS and rounded off to the nearest Â½ mph. Average fuel economy for the Verado 175 was 30 litres per hour.
Notable Standard Equipment:
Full fibreglass liner internal system, self-draining cockpit, 200-litre fish bin, galley with two-burner cooker and large sink with pressure water, enclosed head with electric macerating toilet, transom sink/shower unit and separate live bait tank, wash down hose fitting.
Notable Options on Test Boat:
Raymarine colour C120 GPS/Chartplotter/Sounder, Icom VHF, Maxwell auto winch, anchor pack, CD Stereo, stainless steel refrigerator, wash-down pump, live bait tank aerator, cockpit side pockets, trim tabs, stern shower, cockpit floodlight, baitboard, boarding ladder.
2 x 175hp
4cyl. In-line, super charged
Revolution 4 19â pitch
Hosking: Tandem axle
Multi-roller, self centering Jockey wheel, winch.
Rayglass Positive Floatation (RPF) system
The positive floatation is provided by RPF Endurathane closed cell foam injected into all cavities within the boat not required for storage. Pre-mixed at 1000 psi and injected under pressure as a heated liquid the Endurathane expands to fill the cavity and forms millions of closed cell air bubbles in the process. The Endurathane bonds to the fibreglass, in essence making the boat a one-piece unit. It is not the Endurathane that is important, it is where you put it, how much you put in and whether the engineering has been designed to take it. The difference is that the RPF system encourages the boat to sit level by flooding down the keel line and stopping lateral motion.
Calculated at 60.4 lbs of lift per square foot as the base level for floatation, Rayglass has gone well beyond that to achieve their unsinkable boat.
– Total Vessel Intelligence is far more than a series of gauges and controls, SmartCraft is the only system on the water that actually integrates all of your boatâs controls, systems, etc., into one finely tuned system.
– Digital Throttle and Shift – Maximum Performance and Control. The SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift system was designed to bring digital precision to engine throttle and shift. By offering unmatched, smooth shifting and lightning-fast throttle response and reliable performance.
Check out the complete system at:
Lenco trim tabs
Our Rayglass test boat comes fitted with a standard set of Lenco trim tabs. Anyone who has spent any amount of time at the helm of a planing vessel knows all too well the dramatic effect that an uneven load, rough seas can have on a boats performance. With the greater weights of todayâs 4-stroke engines, a full fuel tank, dive gear you can have up to 100kgs added to your overall passenger load which can make it extremely difficult to balance a boat, Lenco trim tabs solve this problem.
Trim tabs extend the portion of the boatâs hull that comes in contact with the water creating additional lift at the stern. By engaging the tabs the bow is forced down by the force of the water being deflected by the tabs. This gives a more horizontal running position, which increases visibility over the bow, improves steering and overall top speed thus allowing the boat to get onto the plane much faster.
Owners that operate boats with trim tabs generally agree they enjoy experiencing greater comfort and security in challenging seaways, overall boat handling and improved fuel efficiency.