BOAT TEST: ROLCO PARAGON

By: Ben Wilson

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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The Rolco story is a passionate tale about a small Aussie company taking on the big guns and triumphantly changing the skiboat industry forever. And it’s not over yet, says Ben Wilson.

BOAT TEST: ROLCO PARAGON
ROLCO PARAGON

ROLCO PARAGON

Up until a few years ago Kincaid Marine Rolco was best known for being the place to go if you needed spare parts for an inboard skiboat. The business is one of the leading inboard suppliers to Australian boat manufactures, and has been so since the '60s.

However, Rolco has in recent times been making waves in the industry - real waves. Five years ago Rolco started building quality boats and today it has over 300 craft on the water. The latest addition to the range is the Paragon, a new model first unveiled at the Melbourne Boat Show back in July this year. Based on the popular rear-mount Tsunami crossover boat, the 20ft Paragon is Rolco's first mid-mount model with walkthrough access to a large open bowrider and enough space for 10 people who will be fighting over who drives next.

 

 

WE HAD IT ALL

Our test day was held on a beautiful spring day out on the wonderful Lake Eildon, in southern Victoria. The sun was shining, wind was minimal and the water was like a pane of glass - perfect conditions to test a ski/wakeboat.

With me on the day was TrailerBoat's illustrious editor and photographer Bazz, Hugues the videographer, fellow scribe John Willis, as well as Tania and Lloyd from Rolco Boats.

I was excited to get behind the wheel of this new model and as we cruised out of the lake's maze of houseboats and passed the five-knot sign I opened up the throttle flat out.

The Indmar engine did not disappoint as it rocketed out of the hole with smooth transition and plenty of grunt. The throttle tension was quite firm and took a little bit of getting used to; however, once I did I really enjoyed it. It had terrific acceleration and excellent control. Maintaining the desired speed was easy, as was adjusting the speed by small increments.

Despite the lovely weather on the day the water was still icy cold, so naturally I jumped in behind the Paragon to have a ski, where I was particularly impressed with the wake.

The Paragon is an ideal boat for the family that loves to ski in style and comfort. It features an incomparably flat and smooth wake, while the optional ballast for wakeboarding will certainly aid in the transition from one style of watersport to another.

The Paragon is also jam packed with standard items that most manufactures have as options. It's not only visually spectacular and a treat to drive, but is great value for money.

 

 

POWER

Powering the Paragon is the previously mentioned Indmar 310hp fuel-injected V8 engine with forward, neutral and reverse gearbox. It throws a three-blade CNC-machined propeller driven by a 1 1/8in propeller shaft that gives it plenty of power out of the hole and a maximum speed of 39kts (74.3kmh).

It is equipped with two brass centre-turn fins to optimize hold and tracking, thus preventing the boat from being pulled off line. Driver comforts include a leather steering wheel, adjustable swivel helm seat, and smooth rack and pinion steering. The simple looking helm is well-laid out with stainless steel gauges and plenty of room for the driver, and all controls and instruments are within easy sight and reach.

Other features include removable plush heavy-duty cut marine carpet; a huge rear ski locker that will fit a kneeboard; a massive and easily operated fold-down rear fibreglass boarding platform; and nine large stainless steel drinkholders.

The Paragon comes complete with a centre-mount competition skipole, as well as a rear stainless steel tow-point. One of my favourite standard features is the GPS-installed speedo. With one of these you won't need to worry about blocked up speedo pickups or failing paddle wheels. I would have liked to see an air and lake temperature gauge but they're not super important. Even so, I'm sure Lloyd could fit one as an option.

 

 

THE WRAP

A Formula 1 car on water, that's how I'd describe it. Not that I've ever driven one, but this has to be close. It "drives like it's on rails" thanks to the tilt-adjustable rack and pinion steering, as well as an exceptionally responsive throttle. Seriously, I was blown away, as was everyone else on the day.

Rolco has always manufactured great boats and this one is no exception, thanks to its finish, interior trim and stunning overall impact. Ferrari red with beige upholstery - yep, that does it for me!

There are plenty of standard comfort features to ensure a satisfying, fun and action filled day out on the water. The Paragon is a huge step in the right direction for the team at Rolco, and it's a great boat for anyone looking to upgrade a mid-mount skiboat without having to sell a kidney. Stay tuned for the next Rolco chapter. Who knows where it will take us?

 

 

 

On the plane...


Beautifully presented

Exceptional value for money

Sporty looks and colour

Comfort throughout, including helm

Locally made

Great handling

Fun, impressive package

 

 

Dragging the chain...

Air / lake temperature gauge would have topped it

 

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Rolco Paragon

 

 

HOW MUCH?

Priced from: $54,990

Options fitted: Clarion sound system

Priced as tested: $56,185

 

 

GENERAL

Type: Mid-mount skiboat

Length (LOA): 6.1m

Beam: 2.3m

Weight (on trailer): 1900kg

 

 

CAPACITIES

Fuel: 150lt

People: 10

Rec. min. HP: 310

Rec. max. HP: 340

 

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Indmar 310hp

Type: Fuel-injected V8

Displacement: 5.7lt

Gearbox ratio: 1:1

 

 

MANUFACTURED & SUPPLIED BY

Rolco Boats

15 Foden Avenue

Somerton, Vic, 3062

Tel: (03) 9308 0755

Web: www.rolcoboats.com.au

 

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 264.

 

Find Rolco Paragon boats for sale.

 


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