Before there were so many dual console boats, before the tri-hulls, deck boats, or the now trendy pickle-fork designs, there was the classic runabout. In today’s parlance, the bowrider. Sleek and pointed at the front, wide and accommodating in the aft section. The longer you could make it, the more comfortable it would be for the kind of boating most people enjoy: day boating.
Despite the onslaught of new designs, the big runabout has remained a mainstay in many manufacturers’ portfolios, and for good reason. People still like the classic design. And if it happens to be bigger, so much the better.
Most of the kids will want to be up front in the bow, which is large and accommodating thanks to the boat’s 9-foot-plus beam. The bow lounges are nice and wide at the rear, and because of the way Rinker delays the taper on the hull sides, it’s still roomy at the front. The 276 has a cavernous anchor locker, which can be fitted with an optional electric windlass with 130’ of rode and 30’ of chain.
The console area features a bifolding wind dam. Opposite the wind dam is a stowage cabinet that also conceals the stereo control head. On the port side, the console also conceals a head compartment that comes standard with a portable MSD, with an option for a vacuum-flush commode, something we think a boat at this price point—base MSRP is $86,100 with a 300-horse Volvo-Penta V8 and single-prop drive—should offer as standard. Canvas also is optional, but should be standard.
Nearly every runabout offers in-sole locker stowage as standard, but the 276 has two of these compartments, each with a hatch supported on a gas strut. The driver and passenger seat also come standard with flip-up thigh bolsters, which are great for visibility during docking and maneuvers in tight quarters.
The helm itself is designed to accommodate everything the skipper needs, which includes space for an optional chart plotter. It’s laid out intelligently, with all rocker switches to the right, except for the bilge blower, which is fitted right next to the key. Smart. The switches for the standard trim tabs are mounted above the accessory switches, out of the way of getting inadvertently bumped.
Just behind the helm, the 276 comes with a service center that includes a freshwater sink, a stowage compartment and a removable trash receptacle all tucked beneath handsome Corian counter tops. A cooler is standard, but a refrigerator is a nifty option.
The cockpit features U-shape lounges with ample stowage underneath, however, it’s at the stern of the boat that Rinker displays a little showmanship. For example, the walk-through to the swim platform goes up and over the center of the sun pad, but if you lift the cushion on the port side, you’ll find a concealed bolster that flips up and over on hinges to create a full sun pad.
|Fuel capacity||68 gal.|
|Water capacity||10 gal.|
Under each of the sun pads there’s ample stowage in positive-molded gelcoated fiberglass, and just aft of them are two permanent aft-facing seats that let parents keep an eye on swimmers behind the boat. What’s really cool is that there’s a lot more stowage under them than you expect, thanks to the molded-in swim platform design.
Those are the kinds of features you get when take a runabout and make it big. They’re also the kinds of things that make this boat design so endearing and enduring, regardless of the latest trends.
Other Choices: Some prime bowrider contenders that run in similar waters include the Cruisers Sport Series 278, and the Cobalt R7.
See Rinker Captiva 276 BR listings.
For more information, visit Rinker.