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November 10, 2010

Glacier Bay Renegade 2740

Glacier Bay Catamarans' Renegade 2740 offers a surprising amount of fishing space.

The new Renegade 2740 is designed around Glacier Bay Catamarans' venerable Canyon Runner hull, so you know this is one smooth-riding cat. Our test day couldn't have had more perfect conditions for a hard-core sea trial, with a 15 to 20 knot wind whipping up the Atlantic. Up-sea, down-sea and across the seas, I was able to nail the throttle and blast over the waves at 40 mph with a whole lot of yee-haw and not one bit of ouch!

If you choose the power-assist steering option for this boat, slinging the wheel lock to lock takes zero effort. When you turn that wheel, you'll notice that the Renegade remains mostly flat in sharp turns instead of tilting outward, a strange quirk some older cat designs exhibited. Now play with the trim a bit, and discover that the hull has a dramatic reaction and tabs are completely unnecessary. The biggest handling surprise dawned on me in the last seconds of our sea trial, while backing into the slip. Those outboards are spaced so far apart that spinning this boat is incredibly easy, even easier then pivoting some twin-screw inboards. Halfway into the slip a gust blew us out of kilter, but a quick opposition of the power plants got us right back on track, and what could have been a disastrous docking was instead a piece of cake.

But why would a die-hard angler want a boat with a dual-console layout in the first place? Because in the real world, if mama's not happy, no one's happy. And the DC design pleases all types of people with all types of missions in mind. Your mission - catching big fish - won't be hampered much at all by accommodating mama's desires and choosing this layout. Yes, it will be challenging to work a rod around the hardtop pipe work when taking fish to the bow, but you can still do it. No, the 10-gallon livewell isn't huge, but it is big enough to get the job done 99 percent of the time, and on top of that, it's a high-quality well with a baby-blue interior and an overflow drain instead of one of those rickety standpipes that's always in the way. You may not have quite as much deck space because of that passenger-side console, but you do get a fully enclosed head with room to stand. You won't have to make any other real sacrifices. The hardtop supports three rocket launchers on each side, and the gunwales each have a pair of flush-mount rod holders, so setting a healthy trolling spread won't be a problem. Flip over the top of the sink in the entertainment center/rigging station/wet bar, and you'll discover a cutting board, and the back of the unit houses four tackle/stowage drawers. Reach forward, grab a handle and pull, and a drawer refrigerator slides out from under the L-shaped settee. You can load it up with food and drinks when the family is on board or use it to chill ballyhoo.