Boat Review: Robin Smith 65

Rapscallion's flat-bottom design leaves a wake that is ideal for fishing.

All sport-fishing boats are designed to be good platforms for fishing, but owner Jim Cleary had a very specific purpose in mind when he commissioned the building of his new Rapscallion.

"What I wanted was a boat that produced a very clean wake," Cleary says. "For years I watched Sam Jennings' Revenge and fished against it. Now, they've got a good crew, but they've got something going for them that most boats don't. If you look at their spread, all their baits are in the clear blue water. It really helps you out."

Cleary set out on a reconnaissance mission and began examining the wakes of many different boats, and came to the conclusion that the cleanest wake he could produce would be via a modified Carolina hull. "I liked the Pescador, built by Sportsman Boatworks, and Robin Smith was the master carpenter on that boat, so I hired him to build a longer version than the standard Carolina bottom," he says. The result is the Rapscallion, a 65-foot boat with a flat bottom (7 degrees at the transom), sharp entry and medium flare.

A byproduct of Cleary's flat-bottom approach is speed and efficiency. The boat gets up on plane at 950 rpm and at those turns runs 14 knots. With her 1,400-gallon fuel capacity, that's a range of about 1,200 miles. Her top speed at 2,300 rpm is right at 40 knots (136 gph), and her cruise at 1,950 rpm is 35 knots (93 gph). Cleary hopes to add 3 or 4 knots at all speed ranges once he re-props (from 31- to 35-inch wheels) and re-shafts (from 1.5:1 to 2:1 reduction) the boat.
Inside, the Rapscallion features a rich look, thanks to lots of raised paneling and figured cherry. The three-stateroom/three-head layout includes a standard arrangement of owner's and guest suites amidships and crew bunks forward. The dinette, however, was eliminated in lieu of extra refrigeration and freezing capacity in the galley.

The cockpit and bridge feature the amenities expected of a boat that intends to compete against the best in the world, and the engine room features a unique air-induction system that draws air from both the boat's forepeak and hullsides and channels it through vents and blowers along the bottom side of the engines. Thanks to the system, engine-room temperature is usually no more than 14 degrees hotter than outside the boat.
After repairing some structural problems Cleary says were caused by an improperly installed tower and port engine, the Rapscallion headed to the Bahamas for its fishing debut. Whether due to the clean wake or just good luck, the Rapscallion made a mark for itself by taking top release boat and top release angler at the Boat Harbour Billfish Championship with five blue marlin releases. They followed that victory with a fifth-place showing at Penny Turtle, and plan on being in the running this fall in St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

For more information, contact:
Robin Smith Boatworks
Beverly Drive
Wanchese, NC 27981
252-473-6944

Specifications:

LOA

65'0"

BEAM

17'8"

DRAFT

4'6"

WEIGHT

65,000 pounds

FUEL

1,400 gallons

WATER

250 gallons

POWER

1,350-hp Cats

BASE PRICE

$1.85 million