By: Rick Huckstepp

Families after a high-end bowrider should consider Glacier Bay’s Renegade 2240 SX catamaran, says Rick Huckstepp

There seems to be a never-ending procession of bowriders rolling through the marine market.
At the high end of the market is the Glacier Bay Renegade 2240 SX, from Monroe near Washington, USA.
Going through the spec sheet of one of these boats, one has to wonder if they were really designed for the family to cruise around in, or for running an oceanic marathon to the South Pole.
The 2240 is a catamaran with a lot of difference. Rather than being designed as a planing hull, it is in fact a fast semi-displacement type built for use by master mariners.
The deepest part of the pontoons on these boats is in the forward third of its length. If you look at the pontoons bow-on while they are on a trailer, you will see they are not symmetrical and in fact have similar dynamics to aircraft wings.
And they behave the same way in the water. The forefoot of the hull opens the water, which closes as it travels astern. With the upswept rear hull acting, the water also closes vertically and the result is minimal drag, minimal wash, and very slick travel through the water at all speeds.
A couple of other innovative designs are built into these boats. A flat tracking board runs almost the total length of each pontoon and sits 40mm below the rest of the hull. This allows the hull to cross seas and chop either head-on or at an angle with no chine walking effect or change of direction.
With three adults standing against one gunwale, you could leave the helm at speed when crossing this sort of water and the boat would still track in a straight line.
Because this hull system rarely sits on top of the surface, it looks very deep in each pontoon. In fact, the tunnel in between is about 40 per cent deeper and wider than the average catamaran.
The increased depth allows more downward travel (suspension) in heavy seas before water reaches the top of the tunnel. The increased width allows more wake, chop, air, and spray to enter, which increases the cushioning effect during travel.
The lack of wave slap is immediately noticeable when travelling in rough seas. Also, the chine system on each hull is staggered either side with about 100mm difference in the levels.
This allows the chines to systematically break the downward travel speed rather than stop it suddenly.
While these aspects of the hull do reduce noise, a lot of noise reduction would come from the fact that the hulls are laid up with seven layers of fibreglass and there are seven thwart bulkheads in the system set in place with fibreglass.
You would be excused for thinking that the build level of this hull is overkill, but remember it was built for anglers and boaters that like to be in far away places such as Alaska without the hassles of things going wrong with it.

Cosmetically, you would be hard pressed to find a better finished fibreglass boat with such attention to detail.
All cushioning is covered with high UV stabilised vinyl with mesh backs for easy drying.
Threads for sewing upholstery are military specified in strength and simple items such as stainless steel press studs on cushions are chromed for extra durability.
Any hatches that have gutters to prevent water intrusion have sloping rebates, so no water sits there creating mould over time.
Hatches are fitted with heavy-duty stainless steel struts and the lids have waterproofing rubber seals.
The bowrider section is huge and an optional sun pad fills the leg well, making the area large enough for use as a double bed.
For the fisherman, a large anchor well is easily accessed from the bowrider section. An optional teak table may be mounted in the deck here to convert it to a dinette.
The helm is neatly laid out and has ample room for large cabinet electronics.
Behind the helm is a livebait tank of 135lt.
What looks like a typical dash assembly in front of the L-shaped passenger lounge opens up into a huge area within the portside hull, in which a portable toilet could be installed.
There are fishing rod racks on the cabin liner. Beneath the passenger lounge is a large stowage area. Aft of this, between it and the transom bulkhead, there are two large fish kill tanks that are insulated for use as an icebox or wet beach gear stowage.
Appeasing the angler again, the manufacturer has installed a bait cutting board on the starboard corner. It has slots in it for knives, mounted on the transom bulkhead over the battery compartment within.
Inside the battery compartment is a tube fibre-glassed in with a drain hose astern. An overlong transom boarding ladder is a welcome sight, considering most these days are simply too short to be used comfortably.
Taking practicality and customer demand further, the Ezi Loader trailers are equipped with a full ladder with hand rails on the draw bar for getting in and out of the boat at the ramp. Another bonus not seen on Australian trailers from the manufacturer are hub-oilers rather than typical greaser cups such as Bearing Buddies

Taking the 2240 out through the Seaway on the Gold Coast, all the hype from the founder and designer, Larry Graf, proved to have substance.
At speed, the boat tracked in a straight line over chop and swell even when approaching from an angle and with no one at the helm.
The ride was as soft and very silent. With no hole-shot due to the semi-displacement design, big seas could be traversed at various speeds in foul weather. Even with 20kt of wind over the forequarters, the Glacier Bay design kept spray off the face and windscreen.
There was no yawing or broaching at all.
For a fishing family that also wants a social boat, this would be one of the ‘must see’ ones if contemplating purchasing from the high end of the trailerboat market.
There are a few manufacturers that could learn a lot from the R&D that has gone into this and other boats in the Glacier Bay range.
This boat offers the lot and you would be hard pressed to break it!

Soft, stable ride
Exceptional attention to detail
High quality fittings throughout.

Bronze drain bungs in the hull had a square head nut, requiring a shifter to remove.


Specifications: Glacier Bay Renegade 2240 SX

Price as tested:    $132,971
Options fitted:    Extended swim platform, teak table, front sunpad, stern seat assembly, carpet set
Priced from:    $128,126

Material:    Fibreglass
Type:     Twin pontoon catamaran
Length overall:   6.76m
Beam:     2.58m
Draft with legs up:   0.38m
Weight:    1454kg dry hull
Weight on trailer:   3000kg

Fuel:     567lt
People:     8
Waste:     20lt

Make/model:    Suzuki DF115
Type:     Four-cylinder DOHC EFI
Rated HP:    115
Displacement:    1950cc
Weight:    189kg
Gearbox ratio:    2.59:1
Propeller:    2 x 19in    

Mustang Marine Qld.,
247 Bayview Street,
Runaway Bay, Qld, 4216.
Phone: (07) 5577 2666
Fax: (07) 5577 4555

Originally published in TrailerBoat #204


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