Jump to content
Chinook Serves

R265 Robalo Lots of Issues Brand New

Recommended Posts

Brand new Robalo r265 purchased in May. I'm posting this so others will know what I'm experiencing.  When I purchased the boat I looked at this forum and there was not many negative posts.  Lots of other forums had nothing but good to say.  That is what made me buy into Robalo.  Seemed like a reputable product that many others had positive experiences with.   After my experience I feel that it is my due diligence to let others know what I am currently experiencing.  This is the largest purchase I've ever made and saved a lot of my hard working money to have. Still have yet to reward myself on the water with a working boat.    I will update this thread immediately once I receive any response  my dealer or Robalo.  The boat was a dealer demo and purchased as new.  Purchased with 12 hours on engines.  

I contacted Robalo on 9-16 and sent the same list.  They responded to me by saying a Dan Osborne from Robalo would contact me.  He never contacted me and there was no follow up.  I just now contacted them again on 12-4-17 (today) and they said the same thing (still no response from Dan Osborne)"


I have sent your correspondence to Dan Osborne, Robalo Boats Customer Service and Warranty Manager, for review.  I handle situations with out-of-warranty boats.

Robin Keller

Robalo Boats


 The boat is currently at the dealership closest to my house (not original Robalo dealer) .   I've had possession of  the boat for 6 months now.  The boat has not been working since the purchase.    The toilet/head and water system are still not working.  After being in the shop for one month there is no progress.  Many other issues as well.

This is a brand new boat and should be sitting in my garage  where it is dry and not exposed to freezing conditions.  This is why I bought brand new, to avoid down time, and keep the boat in top shape.   I understand a few issues, but my issues are more severe.  I did not agree to purchase a boat that inherited these problems.  The boat is currently sitting outside at dealer and the water system including the head has not been able to be repaired or winterized. This is very concerning considering the freezing temperatures and that the weather is going to be below freezing the next 10 days.  The water systems on the boat cannot be winterized  and I'm concerned that more damage will result due to the boat being worked on out side.  The dealer does not have a building where it can be worked on inside.  This may be the original problem, the original dealer may of not winterized the boat the winter before I purchased? 


All I want is to be able to bring my family on the boat I purchased for them and my self.  I have not been able to bring them on the boat becuase of the the head and water not working.  These features were the key features of why we purchased this boat, to be able to bring my 3 kids and enjoy boating with an area for the little ones to use the bathroom and wash up.  It is very embarrassing spending this kind of money and having to tell everyone that comes on the new boat to not use the bathroom.  And to not use the sink or you will regret the horrible smell.  


Did not bring boat on any summer trips with kids because of head/water issues, missing out on winter crabbing and salmon fishing, water systems unusable since purchase, unresponsiveness from Robalo,   still paying my monthly payment and not happy what so ever.  


.  I'm running out of patience.   Here is the list of issues.  


  1.  Engine warranty concerns.  Purchased boat with 14 hours used as demo from season before.  Engines require 30 hour service or after three months to be serviced as part of the break in. This was not done, as when I did the 100 hour service the stock oil seals were still on place. 
  2. Vacuum flush head (toilet) has been working on and off.  I spent the better part of a day in June trying to fix it.  The toilet bowl was full of you know what when it stopped working.  Very frustrating and embarrassing.   I spent hours and hours trying to fix so we could use the boat more on the trip.  I wiggled wires, checked the fuse by taking apart the instrument panels, tested the switch by piggybacking the wires and NOTHING.  We paid top dollar to stay at a resort and we could not use the boat the entire vacation becuase of the toilet issues.  The very last day I played around with the wiring one more time and all of a sudden it worked.  I used the boat a few times off shore with friends tuna fishing and did not use the toilet.  We just started a 7 day vacation on Lake Chelan yesterday and the toilet stopped working again while we had a boat full of kids needing to use the bathroom.  Very embarrassing for my wife and our friends on our new boat.  I docked the boat and worked on it for several hours with no luck ad missed time with family and friends.  Wont be using the boat much at all again for this trip.  Lots of money wasted on trailering the boat 4 hours each way, launch fees, moorage fees, all a wash.
  3. Fresh water system.  The water has had an odor since day #1.  The pump for the water never had consistent pressure, even with full tank.  It always had air and water mixture, but sometimes would operate okay.   After some research on line I found that the water pump is behind the drawers.  I removed the drawers and casing.  Found the pump and cleaned out the filter.  The filter was not dirty at all.  The water odor is so bad that it makes the whole boat smell horid if it gets turned on.  I was going to follow the owners manual and use bleach to treat the odor.  However the water pressure is so limited I feared that I would be unable to pump out the bleach and it would corrode or ruin the components.  In summary the water system has a foul odor and is producing about half a gallon of water per hour. Its producing a drip with air and odor., and unusable since we pourchased.
  4. underwater lights not working.  When we purchased the boat they said that the underwater lights were left on at a demo event and it ruined them.  Tobler said they would send me new ones but still have yet to receive.  Brent just updated me last week saying that his parts manager is working on it.  Seems like 4 months is okay to them, however I feel that this should be something easy to produce in a timely matter, maybe I'm wrong.  
  5. Difficulty fueling boat.  The fuel builds up and cannot be let flowing when filling.  I have to constantly pull the trigger on nozzle on and off when fueling.  Takes a long time when filling 100 gallons of gas.  I dont know if there is something restricting the flow or if the vent is blocked or not functioning.
  6. Debris in bilge areas.  Found dozens of fiberglass chunks and rusting debris in the bilge areas of boat.  Including metal washers, fasteners, wire connectors, etc.  I tired to clean a lot of it up.  The areas that I cant get to are by the vacu flush and holding tank area of the boat that is impossible to access on starboard side.  
  7. Battery access door had two hydraulic struts that became loose.  The fasteners are now lost in the bilge area near the transom and I cant reach.  They need to be better mounted, especially considering they are next to battery's, electrical breakers, etc.
  8. Trim tab switch is wired wrong.  The right side controls the left side and vice versa.
  9. Cock pit canvas cover buttons are loose on port side.  When installing the cover I noticed a few loose button that could not be tightened done with screw driver.
  10. Live well LED light on starboard side has never worked.  The port side works.
  12. hairline crack near winch cable U hook connector
  13. Anchor light on hard top does not stay in upright position when cruising.  Last off shore trip we had to use duct tape to make it stay up so we wouldnt get stopped by the coast guard
  14. VHF antenna on hardtop falls down when cruising.  It has a lot of play in it when in up right position.
  15. Captain chair has lost 4-5 bolts/fasteners.  They were falling out.  Cant tell where they go, and seat is a little loose. 
  16. Port side engine is moving when at idle.  This makes it hard to dock.  I think this is a minor adjustment
  17. The bed has a panel that fills in where the table goes.  One of the hooks that secures it (starboard side) broke off
  18. There is a sticker on the transom area near swim ladder that is a factory Robalo sticker.  The sticker has Robalo marked with date, name and location of inspection.  It is blank.  Maybe this boat never received a final inspection?
  19. Passenger chair that folds out fell off while underway.  The L brackets that hold the chair are weak and broke.  


 At this point I'm running out of patience and I'm considering taking legal action.  Let me know what I should do?  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your experience with the new r265 sounds like a nightmare. I also took delivery of a  2017 r265 in July with the opposite experience. We love the boat and have no problems with its construction. Only problem is completely filling the gas tank. Not sure whether it’s the gauge or vent. We have a great dealer and are confident he will fix the problem. Other than that everything, including the a/c, water, power steering, etc. is first class. I hope Robalo or your dealer resolves your problems.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly I don't think anyone from Robalo who could help monitors this forum. Rumor has it that joebalo over on the Hull Truth (https://www.thehulltruth.com ) is a Robalo rep and has been know to provide assistance. Might try seeing if doing a PM or posting something there helps.

The dealer is your best chance at getting good Robalo warranty work. Mine has been great and I've had 3 or 4 issues they took care of. Robalo sent the parts quickly and I'm very happy. However, you are not alone in not being happy with your warranty work and it is all dependent on the dealer. I did get to talk to someone  at Robalo when trying to find a part number for trim tabs and he was nice and said he'd call me back with the Lenco number since Robalo doesn't sell them except when ordered with the boat. I"m still waiting for Robalo to call back (really not, got Lenco to give me the part number in about 1/2 hour).

Sorry you've had so much trouble. You might remind the dealer he would be held as negligent and responsible for any freezing damage if he doesn't allow you access to winterize the boat or do the winterizing himself.

GOOD LUCK in getting everything resolved.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

8.  Trim tab switch is wired wrong.  The right side controls the left side and vice versa.


I think this is wired correctly. It took me a few trips out to figure this out. From the helm, if you’re vessel lists to the port, and you want to correct it by lowering the starboard side, you press down on the starboard switch which lowers the port side tab which raises the port side stern which pushes the starboard bow down. It gets easier as you get used to it. When at the helm, it’s fairly simple because you simply activate the button based on the side you want correct. The opposite side tab is what makes that correction. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to be a common theme that Robalo doesn't follow through.  I toured the plant with my wife last December, and Robin Keller was the tour guide.  They SEEMED to be very proactive.

We got our R160 in April.  The rub rail in the back was very poorly mounted, not close to aligned, and this seems to be a quality issue with how the molded pieces of the boat went together.  The bilge was full of screws, plastic bags, and wire ties, and filled a 2nd time as more came down.  The two rear seats lost screws in the first few uses of the boat, and a large piece of floation foam fell off wherever it was glued in the back seat area.  Fit and finish in many places was poor, sloppy caulking, etc.  The Yamaha shift cover was cracked, and the bimini cover frame rubbed when the cover is up but not opened, and the rivets gouge the metal on the opposing side.  And the gas tank was mounted (it's portable) backwards, with the fuel pickup on the front, and cannot be reversed because the support system is mounted on the deck and not centered, and would hit the pickup arm if reversed.

When I opened the console to run some wires, after I removed the cover piece I found that the hole they cut underneath it isn't even cut on the black line they drew.  Doesn't matter - except if you're going to draw a line either cut on the line or after you cut clean the line off so it doesn't look like you just made a random cut.  

Our dealer has been great on fixing things, and got Robalo to provide a fix on the bimini frame, but it doesn't look great and is already wearing.  The gas tank issue is still being looked into by Robalo, I told the dealer I wasn't bringing the boat back until late Spring, so perhaps that's why I haven't heard back.

When I complained to the dealer about the fit and finish, and the trash in the bilge, he said that he's been in the industry for a long time and that Robalo is no different from any other company, and whether you spend $20,000 or $200,000 the issues exist.  I told him that when I buy a vehicle, I expect a certain level of quality. He said "a boat is not a car or truck, it's not mass produced."  My response "that's EXACTLY the reason that it should be better, because it's not mass produced. 

I can tell you that if I buy another boat in the future, I will be both looking at other brands and doing a very, very thorough exam pre-delivery, and ensuring that my deposit is 100% refundable if the fit and finish doesn't meet my expectations.  Because of the issues I had, Robalo has me considering other brands for my next boat.  Had they not dumped trash in the bilge, or the dealer cleaned it out at the pre-delivery inspection that we get charged for, perhaps I might not be doing that.  But it sends a message - we don't care enough about our customers to teach our employees not to drop the trash while they work.  

We've enjoyed our first 75 hours on the boat, although we've realized that a 16 footer, despite being heavier than comparable models, gets pushed around quite a bit even on our lake.  Unfortunately, we were sized constrained on width when we bought it.  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, sorry to hear of your experience.  Robalo sounds to have gone downhill in the last decade.  I bought my new R260 in 2007 and it has been a spectacular boat.  I did have one issue with the Ttop and worked with Dan Osbourne who was very responsive.  He may be overworked now if the quality is now this bad.  

Just a comment.  Your trim tabs ARE wired correctly.  think about it.  to push your port bow down the starboard trim tab must be activated. So when you push the port "bow down" switch the starboard tab will be activated.    

I hope you get this worked out.  You spent a LOT of money to enjoy life with the family..  I understand your frustration.  

Try the hulltruth.com forum.  There is a guy on there with the user name JoeRobalo or Joerabalo or joerobalo that might be able to help.  a


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now