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September 21, 2007

Glacier Bay 2640 Renegade

Glacier Bay's latest version of its popular 26-foot catamaran is a split console, walk-through design. This layout should prove versatile enough to suit everyone from hard-core tournament types to weekend family fishermen and cruisers. There's something for everyone!

Consider the bow area; it has lots of room, and serves equally well as a casting platform or a sun lounge. A large, deep anchor locker at the bow holds all ground tackle, and the shallow tray aft of that is ideal for dock lines. Farther aft, in front of the twin consoles, you'll find a large transverse fishbox to hold the day's catch.

The stylish, swept-back, tempered-glass windshield opens in the middle for bow access, but provides great protection and visibility when closed. The seating around the bridgedeck consists of a lounge seat that wraps around aft. The aft portion of this seat on our test boat housed the optional 18-gallon live well.

The spacious head compartment is accessed through the portside console. Inside, you'll find a true 12-volt marine head attached to a 15-gallon holding tank. Aft of the head is a huge, wide-open storage area.

Helm and Cockpit Amenities

Back on deck, the helm area boasts a clever use of space. The helm seat sits atop another insulated box that can be used for fish or dry storage, and there's also an optional refrigerator that fits in here. The helm itself tilts aft for rigging and wiring access.

The 2640 has a very spacious cockpit that serious fishermen are sure to appreciate. There's a rigging station at the aft end of the bridgedeck, complete with a fresh water sink and a large flat surface on which to rig baits. The molded unit contains plenty of shelves, too.

A diamond non-skid pattern is molded into the cockpit sole to provide sure footing, and there is lots of room for fighting fish. Four rod racks are located beneath each gunwale, and there are four Lee rod holders in the covering boards. At the transom bulkhead, corner boxes hold the boat's batteries on one side, tackle drawers on the other. A walk-through area on the centerline lets you easily access the engine platform, and this space is just the right size to accommodate a 94-quart Igloo cooler.

We tested the boat off South Florida, courtesy of Len Renn┬┐ of Seven Seas Yacht Sales, Glacier Bay's Ft. Lauderdale dealer. The test boat sported twin 130-hp Hondas, and the ride was exemplary. Glacier Bay has cat hulls down to a science, and we spent an hour running the boat hard into the short offshore chop. No matter what we did, we couldn't make it pound, and we didn't get wet. What more do you need? The big Hondas pushed us along at 25 mph at 4000 rpm, and hit 34.3 mph wide-open at 5600 rpm.

The 2640 exhibited Glacier Bay's usual excellent level of fit and finish, and its solid construction will provide years of reliable service. Glacier Bay also piles on the standard equipment, including goodies like cockpit coaming pads, the head, a fresh water system, tilt helm with hydraulic steering, rod holders and a Bimini top. The cherry on top is that this is a good-looking boat. It appears that the days of bulky, boxy cats are over!

Glacier Bay Catamarans, Monroe, WA; (360) 794-0444; www.glacierbaycats.com.