Rayglass Legend 2800 TDi Review

By: Peter Elliott, Photography by: Peter Elliott

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  • Trade-A-Boat

Rayglass Five Engine Rayglass Five Engine
Rayglass Four Rayglass Four
Rayglass nine Rayglass nine
Rayglass one Rayglass one
Rayglass seven Rayglass seven
Rayglass six Rayglass six
Rayglass Three Rayglass Three
Rayglass two Rayglass two

Three is the magic number aboard the diesel-power Rayglass Legend 2800

Rayglass Legend 2800 TDi Review
Offshore, the Rayglass Legend 2800 shines

With more than 30 years’ success in boat manufacturing reflected in more than 50 ‘Best of’ awards at New Zealand boat shows, Rayglass Boats is enjoying growing demand for its purpose-built Legend-badged boats.
While the local market is strong, there’s also demand from offshore for its Protector range, including the likes of the US Coast Guard and European police forces.
Rayglass boats also appear at the America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Trophy as on-water umpiring vessels, so it is hardly surprising that Rayglass stands proudly at the forefront of boating in New Zealand.


In 2015 the big 2800 won the GRP Fishing Boat Open, a tough school to win accolades in, and then scooped the biggest prize of all, the coveted Boat of the Show – Overall Winner at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show.
At 8.7m long, this is probably the biggest legally transportable trailerboat on the road, meeting the maximum trailer width of 2.5m with micrometer accuracy while still maintaining its delicious lines.
On its trailer in the showroom the Legend 2800 is impressive, if a little daunting, dominating the view like nothing else. I had a good clamber around, opening everything and checking out the head and galley areas for working space. It’s great to do this before you’re bouncing about in a seaway, and ergonomically everything falls well to hand with impressive and friendly elbow room.

 Rayglass Nine

Although this 2800 is configured primarily as a big weekender, she is a seriously capable fishing platform. There is storage galore under seats, under bunks, in the transom and underfloor, while rodholders in the side walls of the gunwales provide safe stowage for quality rods and reels away from weather and salt spray.
The self-draining cockpit is damn near as big as your average dancefloor. There are great fishing stations on the outer boarding platform, where an Icey-Tek esky can be housed on the rear engine coaming, and a baitboard can be mounted off the duckboard if more fishing space is required.
In the transom is a livebait tank with lid, and you’ll find a basin and hose-down tap sitting snugly inside a lidded compartment opposite.
The battery switches live inside the engine box that ingeniously forms part of the transom moulding, with minimal intrusion into the cockpit. The engine hatch folds down and lies flat on the deck when you need access to the fuel filters or engine. Clipped with four cam hinges it sits snugly against the transom leaving the dancefloor uncluttered. Immediately ahead are two hatched and generously rotomoulded fishbins, centrally positioned and great for salt ice and catch-of-the-day storage.
The cockpit sidepockets are generous and deep for holding rods and tackle, and the aft-facing passenger seats lift on hydraulic rams to give access to the cavernous storage beneath. The two forward seats pivot 360 degrees and allow viewing to the rear for trolling while occupants remain comfortably seated. The toughened glass windscreen offers excellent vision while two wipers keep the view pristine up front in heavy weather. Sliding side windows allow both air flow and communication forward to the foredeck.
Above the helm, the radio and stereo are mounted in a teak strip fixed to the white gleaming hardtop – out of the way yet easily to hand.

The helm station is comfortable and access to instruments is simple, uncluttered and instinctive. The helm has the usual sports wheel, light to command and accurate, and for instrumentation the terrific Simrad 16in touchscreen does the business.
I like this unit very much; it’s flat, flush, bright and simple to use, while its split screen is easy to negotiate and configure. Engine information is provided by digital gauges and the layout is pleasing to the eye. Dash-top storage is good and useable.
The Maxwell winch hauls a generous rope and chain combo attached to the Sarca Excel anchor snugly homed between the double-roller bowsprit. The strapping stainless steel bow and grab rails look terrific and are sturdy. On the aft edge of the hardtop is a six-pot rocket launcher, with places for four more rods on the baitboard, in this instance mounted on the tall boarding platform rail.


 Rayglass One


The weekender aspect of this boat is terrific, with human needs taken care of to a fine degree, including the luxury of a hot and cold shower at the stern.
The macerating electric toilet – beneath and forward of the helm station – is a very welcome addition too, as is the manner in which the door swings into the main companionway and is held in place magnetically, assuring complete privacy below.
The forward bunk is large and my 183cm frame fitted without a problem. The galley is fitted with a fridge that’s large for a boat, an excellent two-burner gas hob under a toughened glass top, a sink unit with tap, pressurised freshwater and wooden infill top to make this a great kitchen preparation area. Useful drawer and cupboard space beneath allows storage of all cookware and crockery, and above, at eye height, is a lined shelving unit with double opening sliding doors for pantry and mug storage. The layout works well, allowing for fresh coffee and hot food to be delivered during the journey or at rest.
At day’s end the table can be placed in the socket in the cockpit floor for dining or drinks. With the Cruiser hardtop that was fitted to the test boat, the cockpit would hold bad weather well at bay or equally deliver sun protection par excellence.
Were it configured more for fishing, the standard hardtop might be preferable as being a little shorter it’s less in the way for casting rods.
For Mum and Dad this is a launch-capable home-away-from-home with the looks and performance of a top-end sportsboat that you can hook to the 4WD and take wherever you fancy.


There’s a magic mix in these Rayglass/3.0L Mercury Diesel Bravo-III combos, the 3, 3, 3. Cruising uses about a litre per nautical mile – 3,3,3 refers to 3000rpm, 30mph, at 30L/h.

With 300L aboard that’s 10 hours’ steaming – a good range, though a 400L tank is optional and would really open up some fantastic cruising and fishing options aboard this comfortable and sporty girl.

Rayglass Five Engine

Out on the bigger water this boat really hits her straps, eating up slop, chop and wake with consummate ease. The deep V and long waterline length combine to great effect, smoothing out the roughest patches that 27kt of cold wind against the tide in the channels can produce.
Your crew will welcome the ease with which they slip past others beating their way home in the late afternoon bustle and bounce too. At 28ft you’re moving into bigger boat territory but without the usual concomitant slowing of response to helm and throttle. Instead, the Legend 2800 responds to direction changes like a sportsboat, snicking into turns and tracking accurately and finely, while the digital throttle delivers a good handful of power, and responds with a satisfying leap when nudged.
Shoved to the max there is a microsecond delay as the throaty TDi powerplant takes a second to believe you mean to use that much throttle, and then leans into its work like an Olympic rowing eight overtaking England in the final.
The counter-rotating Mercury duoprop on the Bravo-III sternleg is revelatory. Turns can be held to the tightest angles without breakout or swamping, and even in reverse I managed to swing her about from side to side with alacrity.
Returning to the boat ramp with a strong flood running, we nosed in and the stern got pushed past the head, but a quick flick of the throttle and helm had her trim and tight against the wharf in seconds. Manoeuvrability of this order is invaluable and any owner will have their fatigue eased when docking this girl.
Rising above all of this is the sheer lustrous aura of a stonkingly well-built, perfectly finished, gleaming modern vessel that’ll knock the socks off all who see it, and stay that way for years to come. If you can afford this boat, do it. You’ll feel like royalty at your own maritime garden party. 


Rayglass Seven



Impeccable finish                                                            

Multipurpose excellence




Diesel noise


Sea Trials

RPM          SPEED (KTS)      FUEL BURN (LT/H) 

1000            5.67                 3

1500            7.75                 1.02

2000            12.5                 0.92

2500            18.85               0.90

3000            25.37               0.82

3500            28.85               0.75

4000            34.33               0.67

 *Sea-trial data supplied by the manufacturer.



Facts & Figures

Rayglass Legend 2800


PRICED FROM                   

A$239,000 (ex. trailer)



MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Monohull


BEAM 2.45m

DRAFT 600mm

WEIGHT 3500kg (BMT) 

DEADRISE 23 degrees    




FUEL 300lt

WATER 80lt                        



MAKE/MODEL Mercury Diesel TDi 260 w/ Bravo III leg

TYPE V6 turbo-diesel sterndrive



WEIGHT 380kg

PROP Stainless steel counter-rotating Mercury three and four-blade duoprop  


Available from
Queensland Marine Centre
Unit 10, 71 Shipper Drive, Coomera, Qld 4209
PHONE +61 (7) 5591 7032
WEB sales@qmc.com.au




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