Of all the boats entered in the Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show's annual Boat of the Show awards, Rayglass has been, by quite some margin, the most successful.
Almost all of the company's current models have won awards in their categories and a significant number have also come away with the highly-coveted Boat of the Show: Overall Winner gong.
One of the company's best-selling boats has long been the Legend 2500. Launched in May 2006, it was an almost instant success. The company was forced to create a second mould very quickly to keep up with demand - a NZ first for a boat over 7m.
The Rayglass team then designed and built a smaller, lighter model to fit under a 2.5m garage stud and which could be towed by a family car. The result was the Legend 2200.
"It was something that we felt both our customers and the market needed," says sales manager Scott Little. "A boat with all the advantages of the Legend 2500, but slightly smaller and considerably more affordable."
A steady stream of sales since its launch at the boat show suggest Rayglass has the design and price about right. Like its older, larger siblings, the 2200 is a hardtop with teak trim in and around the cockpit and a raft of practical, innovative features, many of which have been suggested by previous owners.
Rayglass actively seeks feedback from clients; asking what they like; what, if anything, annoys them and what they want to see improved. So, every model is better than the ones that went before. Rayglass' clever new rod locker is a great example.
Using otherwise dead space under the side decks, these 2m-long lockers are ideal for safely stowing rods, gaffs and the like. Protected by an attractive, moulded lockable hatch, they also provide safe stowage when the boat is unattended.
The Rayglass team has been around long enough to know that most people who buy a GRP hardtop are probably keen on fishing. Therefore, while ensuring the model has everything needed for safe, comfortable boating, it has included several features to enhance the fishing experience. For instance, a live bait tank is built into the starboard transom. There is also a large underfloor cockpit locker, with twin removable plastic bins.
There is also no need to use that innovative rod locker when out fishing. There is plenty of handy rod stowage around the cockpit. As well as the integral low profile rocket launcher on the rear of the hardtop, there are four more rod holders in the coamings and four on the baitboard. The baitboard is also nice kit. It attaches to a single, sturdy, centrally-mounted bollard, and can double as a ski pole.
Other good cockpit features include a large spotlight below the rocket launcher; a washdown pump; extra high cockpit coamings with thigh padding; teak coaming tops and transom hatches to break up the white GRP.
Under the hardtop are Rayglass' trademark "king and queen" seats. The rear-facing latter lift for access to really big dry stowage, while the former are fully adjustable and give great all-round visibility. Both helm and front passenger seats swivel 180 degrees aft and have teak footrests.
A convenient cubbyhole beside the forward passenger seat is a great place to keep mobile phones, keys and wallets. Its twin ridges ensure items stay still when under way.
The 2200 is designed to be driven by outboards, from 175hp to 300hp. Rayglass' demonstration model is fitted with a new Mercury L4 200hp Verado. This is a four-cylinder version of the supercharged Verado range. The L4 propels the 2200 to a top speed of 40 knots, with a comfortable cruising range of 18-20 knots.
The Legend 2200 is certainly no "cheapie". However, for buyers unwilling to compromise on quality it is a popular choice.
Rayglass Legend 2200
Deadrise: 23 degrees
Height on trailer: 2.65m
Trailerable weight: 2000kg
Engine: Mercury L4 200hp Verado
Top speed: 40 knots
Cruising speed: 30 knots (approx)
Fuel capacity:250 litres
Want to know more?
Check out Freddy Foote's boat review on the Rayglass Legend 2200 in the March/April issue of Pacific Powerboat magazine.