Winning the 2015 Boat of the Show Award, the Rayglass 2800 has finally been given the recognition it deserves, as over 200 owners can attest too. We thought it was fitting to see just how much has changed in 8 years and why Rayglass’s flagship is now more popular than ever.
Rayglass released the Legend 2800, a replacement for the immensely popular 850 model in 2007 and since then have built in excess of 200. While the Legend 2800 has always been a popular boat in the Legend range, it is undergoing somewhat of a growth spurt and is Rayglass’s biggest selling model. Current production is around two boats a month.
Changes over recent years have seen the hardtop shortened to give more overhead space when fishing and also to improve the overall lines of the boat. All the electronics, lighting and machinery, has been updated as new products are released and then there’s the power options.
When the Legend 2800 was first released, it was offered with both twin outboard and single diesel or petrol sterndrives. While that is still the case, it’s now almost 100% in favour of the diesel sterndrive, namely the Mercruiser, VW 3 litre V6 based 260 TDI or the V8 370 TDI.
Scott Little, Sales & Marketing Manager for Rayglass, says clients are now more fuel conscious, both in the price of petrol as opposed to diesel and also the accessibility of petrol when away boating.
“Legend 2800 owners are more inclined to go further offshore for their boating and fishing trips so need range and easy access to fuel, which is something that the diesel engine package can offer.
“Today the majority of the boats are sold with the Mercruiser 260 TDI, which offers around a litre per nautical mile, so it’s really economical boating”, adds Scott.
While a popular option 5-6 years ago, the twin outboard engine package now accounts for a very small percentage of sales, with the big shift also away from petrol sterndrives in favour of diesel.
Scott points out that the new VW based diesel engines are lighter, more compact, smoother, quieter and more fuel efficient than the older diesels and offer exceptional reliability and low maintenance.
However, Rayglass will still sell you an outboard powered Legend 2800, with options from twin 150hp-200hp. While they have never built a single outboard version, Little says if they did, the new breed of 350hp-400hp outboards would be suitable.
One of the major selling points of the previous 850 and now the Legend 2800 has always been the big cockpit, which certainly attracts the fishing fraternity. However, there is more to the Legend 2800 than just that. Inside you’ll find a separate enclosed head, decent size galley, generous double berth and all the necessary comforts for weekend cruising.
When the 850 became the Legend 730 back in 2007, there was particular attention put on the layout, to make the best use of space. This seems to have worked excep[tionally well as the design of the cabin and helm area really opened up the cabin, and gave more space for a larger galley – two people can now easily stand together. The galley offers a variety of features, such as a moulded condiment rack crockery storage, a 65-litre fridge, a fold-out teak table that extends the working space, a two-burner stove, and a set of drawers below.
The head is located on the starboard side and features a macerator for the disposal of waste. A pull-out shower hose is aft, where the free draining cockpit comes into use, or you can simply stand on the boarding platform.
A true weekender, provision is made on the stern section of the sterndrive model to mount a small inflatable tender, or given the size of the hardtop section, and availability of grab rails along the roof line, you can easily mount one above.
The cabin berths, with the addition of the in-fills to make a double, and is easily able to accommodate a tall adult. There is plenty of storage space under the squabs, with smaller compartments along the sides, and a larger locker in the middle. Further open storage is available via the full-length side trays.
In the cockpit, there are twin 260-litre plastic moulded lift-out bins underfloor in the outboard version, and a 260-litre and 130-litre in the sterndrive model. They’re ideal for dive gear and are also designed as fish bins.
The cockpit coaming sides are high with deep toe kicks and padded front panels and wide flat side decks that have all been designed with fishers and divers in mind.
A sizeable live bait tank is built into the transom on the starboard side, while a moulded freshwater hot/cold sink unit is over to port.
If you want more seating for general family boating, then bin seats are available as an option. The forward seats are on moulded bases and enable the passenger and helm seat to swivel a full 360 degrees and face aft.
The Legend 2800 shares the same dash as the smaller Legend 2500 model and has been designed to fit up to a 16” MFD screen, while still leaving ample room for all the necessary instruments, switches and onboard controls.
Also like the Legend 2500, the Legend 2800 has a neat option for shutting off the cabin for privacy. Two moulded panels are located under the forward berth and clip into place over the top of the companionway, and then by opening the head door outwards it can be securely locked. The larger panel also doubles as the cockpit table, which can be easily mounted into the cockpit sole.
On the sterndrive option, an internal hatch provides access to the engine from within the boat, while a smaller hatch opens up from outside the boat, just ahead of the boarding platform. With the new TDI diesel engines, the already very short engine box is even shorter. In te case of the TDI V8 option, the engine box also includes an added bench seat.
While Rayglass don’t build too many outboard versions anymore, there are still a number available on the used boat market. If you find one with a pair of Mercury Verado 175hp outboards, then you can expect around 51mph. With the more modern twin Verado 200 package you should see the speedo around ???mph.
With the Mercruiser 260hp TDI the Legend 2800 is good for around 40 mph and with the upgraded Mercruiser 370 TDI expect somewhere around 50mph.
When Freedy Foote tested the Legend 2800 for Propeller magazine in 2007, he was impressed. The seated helm position was very comfortable, with the big side bolsters holding him snugly in the seat and a footrest below adding extra comfort. In the rough water, the Legend 2800 is ‘legendary’ and has that big boat feel about it. One of the reasons that it is still proving so popular amongst serious fishermen who like ‘going out wide’.
With a towing weight of 3500 kgs, many owners choose to dry stack their Legend 2800, but still with a 2.48m beam it is not an issue to tow behind a suitable vehicle.
Overall, the Legend 2800 is a boat that will let you load lots of horsepower onto it and allow you to push it as hard as you like in most conditions. It’s a serious trailerable sportfishing/cruiser, that although it’s taken nearly 8 years to get the top Hutchwilco Boat of The Show award, with such a strong heritage and pedigree behind it, it had to happen sometime.
- Model: Rayglass Legend 2800
- Price as Tested: POA
- Type: Sports fishing/cruiser
- Construction: Solid GRP
- Type: Sports fishing/cruiser
- LOA: 8.7m
- Beam: 2.48m
- Deadrise: 23.deg
- Height on Trailer: 3.020m
- Trailerable Weight: 3500kg
- Power Options: Sterndrive or Outboard
- Engine Capacity: 250 – 600hp
- Fuel Capacity: 300 litres
- Trailer: Hoskings
Notable Standard Equipment
Full fibreglass liner internal system, self-draining cockpit, full sized seat station storage lockers, fully integrated boarding platform, 200-litre fish bin, bilge pump, R.P.F. buoyancy system, galley with two-burner cooker and large sink with pressure water, enclosed head with electric macerating toilet, transom sink unit and separate live bait tank.
Rayglass 2800 – An owners perspective
Yankee Moon is one of the latest Rayglass 2800s to be launched. Passionate owner
Stefan Preston recounts why he brought the boat.
We are a solid outdoors kind of family – we like any sports ending in “-ing” and boating takes its place equally alongside skiing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, cycling etc. After coming from a beach house and a good solid alloy day boat, I was looking for a more cruising orientated boat. I didn’t want to have the upkeep and maintainence of a launch, so need a very big trailerboat I could dry stack. With the dry-stack keeping the boat out of the elements the maintenance hassle drops to an annual service. It seems like 9m is about the max you can squeeze into the dry stack, so that put some restriction on our options.
We also wanted lots of power, speed and great handling, something that would easily get to the Bay of Islands from Auckland and the ability to overnight comfortably. In other words a good way to test out overnight boating. Budget around $250k.
When I eventually sorted out a test run in a Rayglass 2800, my first impression after meeting
Scott Little, Head of Sales and marketing at Rayglass and CEO Dave Larsen was that I would not really be buying a Rayglass so much as joining a club.
Large ferry wakes, chop taken head on and on the quarter, nothing bothered the 2800. Dave
encouraged me to put the hammer down and we were cutting through that sea at 45mph without any struggle at all. That is very fast and in truth a bit of an academic exercise. At 30mph the boat is in its element and only burning (wait for it) one litre per mile.
Another watch-out for me was the strength of the hull. My current boat was one of the toughest aluminium hulls out there and I was not about to sacrifice this. Like other top-end fiberglass manufacturers Rayglass make the hulls out of the base hull mould plus a cockpit/cabin mould and then inject urethane foam into the gap between them in order to make a contiguous composite structure. Later I got to see the process – literally nothing is spared in making the hull tough.
For me it was a case of boat-heaven and I pretty much decided to get that boat on the day. All remained was the job of customising the boat with options and doing a sharp deal.
A boat that can go wide and get to distant fishing grounds and back” or something similar is the organising design principle of the 2800. I also iked the fully enclosed head in under the helm station and an actual internal galley in preference to the hotplates
Overall the interior concept of the 2800 is good for cruising. The afore-mentioned head and galley design got us off to a good start. However if you are away for several days the standard 80l of fresh water is not going to get you far so we increased ours to 200l. No problem, we just gave away a third of the ridiculously generous under floor storage.
We felt that the white-with-black-accent interior scheme was a bit stark out in the sun and
customised by replacing white with a tan to accentuate the teak trims. On top of this we had a designer develop a logo for the boat name and graphic device for stitching into the upholstery.
When cruising you need a way of getting to shore for supplies so we added a small tender and associated davits to the transom. After the addition of a mount for the BBQ, full roof rack for SUP’s and a classic fore-deck “bunny pad” for my wife we were looking much better.
Then came the work on the seating to increase to 8 in the cockpit and the ability for dining for 4 around a table. Add in coloured LED lighting underwater and in the cockpit and you have the ingredients for some decent night dining ambience.
Yankee Moon came stacked with little extras like spare fluids, cleaning products, first aid kit, life jackets and was polished twice with wax for that extra-special new boat feeling. Our delivery ride and subsequent day trips have not disappointed. Now we need to get winter out of the way!