After a steady release of new Legend models over the last number of years, an all-new model has joined the Rayglass stable, a boat born from customer and market demand. Freddy Foote checks out the new Rayglass Legend 2200.
One of the first questions I asked is what is the Legend 2200? Is it a smaller version of the Legend 2500, or a bigger version of the Legend 2150 with a hardtop?
Well, the answer is that the Legend 2200 essentially shares a little bit of DNA from both, though it is actually a new hull and not a shortened 2500 nor is it a lengthened 2150. It follows the traditional formula that has been successful for Rayglass for so many years. A deep V hull with a transom deadrise of 23 degrees, with the height of the hardtop balanced with the hull length.
The hardtop design has given internal headroom of 1.88m, still providing good vision from the helm, and all the while keeping the height on trailer to 2.65m.
“The Legend Rayglass 2200 has all the advantages of the Legend 2300 and Legend 2500 but is slightly smaller and considerably more affordable – something we felt not only our customers wanted, but something the market needed, too,” says Rayglass’ general manager, Dave Larsen.
Well Thought Out Layout
Like I’ve found with all the other Rayglass boats I’ve tested and been on, the helm position is perfect. The helm seat is in an adjustable bucket configuration, giving you a comfortable ride and placing you in perfect proximity to all the controls.
The seating configuration comes as moulded units for both port and starboard sides of the boat. Both the helm and front passenger seat will also swivel 180 degrees to face aft if you need. The bolsters of the helm seat keep you nice and comfortable, and a footrest is provided below. Sliding windows on both sides keep the helm area airy and fresh while underway. Above in the roof are the stereo systems and VHF radio.
The dash is a modular unit made from GRP, and is dark grey in colour – something uniquely Rayglass. It works well to break up the vast amounts of white throughout the boat. The Legend 2200 comes with a large 12-inch Garmin GPS Map 7012 multifunction display as standard unless you specify otherwise.
A convenient cubbyhole is located next to the forward passenger seat, and is a great place to keep mobile phones, keys and wallets. Rayglass has put two ridges into the fibreglass moulding of this cubby hole in an effort to keep items in one place and not have them sliding around while underway – a nice touch.
Lift up either of the aft-facing passenger seats and there is truly cavernous storage available underneath for miscellaneous gear.
The forward cabin area, for a boat of this size, was quite staggering. More than enough room for all your gear and the kids’ gear, plenty of storage under the big V-berth and full-length side shelves. The V-berth is long enough for a lie down, or somewhere for the junior anglers to retire to when boredom sets in.
There is an electric toilet under the forward squab of the double V-berth; privacy can be achieved by fitting the clip in curtain. There is even a toilet roll holder built into the side of the berth in the cabin sole.
A large deck hatch above provides light and extra ventilation, and access to the forward anchor locker – though anchoring is performed from the helm. Should you ever need to, access to the foredeck around the cabin sides is via a wide non-slip side walkway, made easier with the stainless handholds along the cabin top.
As with any model in the Legend range, the Legend 2200 has a cockpit that is well set-up for fishing and diving. The cockpit will provide enough room for a few anglers; we fished two of us on test day, and being a family boat, there will also be enough room for mum, dad and a couple of junior anglers too.
Above, a large spotlight is fitted below the rocket launcher on the hardtop, providing night time illumination of the cockpit area. Besides the rocket launcher for rod storage there are four rod holders located around the cockpit as well as a further four built into the removable bait board.
Incidentally, the bait board mounts down onto a sturdy bollard, which is also the ski pole if you’re into water sports too. In the port corner there is a walk-through to the swim platform and the fold-down boarding ladder.
A centre locker in the transom houses all the onboard systems and batteries and is accessed via a stylish teak locker door – another nice touch that breaks up the white of the GRP.
Rayglass has always been very innovative with its internal designs and very cleverly managed to use all the space available.
Two large under-floor cockpit lockers are a great feature and are matched with a pair of removable plastic bins, easily pulled out with the day’s catch, washed out and put back onboard for the next trip. They can also accommodate larger and bulkier items such as dive gear, bags and dive bottles.
These two large underfloor storage lockers are possible due to the fact that Rayglass mounts the 250-litre fuel tank aft, under the transom.
At the boat’s release at the 2011 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, the Legend 2200 won All Purpose 6-7m Boat of the Show and the Aquatech Marine Most Innovative Local Product award for its Rod Locker – a new feature of the Legend 2200 and an innovation that now features in other Rayglass models.
Utilising all the onboard space available, Rayglass designed moulded hatches forward of the side pockets in the cockpit. Once opened, these lockers reveal two cavernous lockers that reach forward 2m towards the bow. Lockable, they are a great place to store all of those expensive rods, or simply to just get them out of the way if you were doing some general boating or water sports for the day.
Like the rest of the boat, the transom has been built around anglers’ needs, with a fully plumbed live bait tank built into the starboard corner of the transom. A washdown pump lets you clean up the self-draining cockpit after a day’s fishing. The cockpit coamings are extra high and have thigh padding on the sides for angler comfort and stability.
This Legend 2200 was powered by the Mercury Verado L4 200hp four-stroke outboard, accompanied by Mercury Marine’s digital throttle and shift. This was my first experience with an L4 Verado, prior experience largely being around the widely known L6 models.
Hardtops are generally prone to some engine noise reverberating throughout the hardtop and once the throaty L4 got underway you could certainly hear it, though we were able to converse easily enough. The L4 shows that we certainly have been spoilt with the L6 Verado.
Finding a short stretch of calm water, we put the throttle down, let the supercharger on the L4 do its thing, and we managed to get a top speed of 46mph @ 5850rpm.
Harbour conditions for our test day were quite varied, an outgoing tide provided some good chop in most places as we explored around the back of Rakino Island looking for some spots to fish.
On our trip home we found a comfortable cruise speed of 20-25mph and punched our way back into the chop. Trim tabs were needed as with the water conditions and wind, small adjustments made allowed us to really get the best out of the boat and optimise its ride.
The auto retract trim tabs are a standard feature on the Legend 2200. Every time you turn the ignition off, you’ll hear them retract into the transom, essentially setting them back to a neutral position.
On the trip home we kept up with, and outperformed other boats on the water that were bigger than us by a metre or two. The way that the Legend 2200 performs you could easily be mistaken in thinking you were in a bigger craft – its bigger brother, the Legend 2500, for instance.
The L4 200hp Verado and the Legend 2200 were a good package, one that was responsive, soft riding and re-assuring. Some further questioning to Rayglass revealed that the boat was almost designed to suit the L4 200hp Verado. It was a fine balancing act of getting a good power to weight ratio, balancing the weight distribution of the hardtop forward, the aft fuel tank, and the outboard further aft. All in all, it was a tight package. Though I spent just one day onboard, I get the feeling it’s the kind of boat that requires a lot of use before you’ll know what its limits are.
Rated for plenty of horsepower, you can power a Legend 2200 with anything from a 175hp outboard, right through to a staggering 300hp – if you can handle it, the boat certainly can!
The 200hp was a good option, maybe go to the 225hp if you want to crack that magic 50mph mark purely for bragging rights to your mates.
I would however be most intrigued to see how the equivalent horsepower Verado L6 motor stacks up head to head.
So who will buy one? Well if current sales are anything to go by, those who have always wanted a Rayglass Legend hardtop, but thought they were limited to the 2500 and 2800 models. Now they get all the features and design elements of a bigger vessel, but in the form of the new 2200. Priced from $120,000, you certainly get a lot of big boat features in this awesome under-7m package.