I have been slacking off for awhile and falling behind on some of our content on RDP lately. I have had a lot going on with the development of the new site, kids going back to school and a host of other things going on in life. For the last month though every night when I go to bed, and every morning when I get up, I can't help but think about this boat that I filmed a little while back. So I give to you this weeks feature boat.
I have always been curious about the 26 RPM, there's not many of them around, and the ones that are around are in extremely high demand. That in and of itself is the proof in the pudding as they say. Generally if a company only makes a few, they are generally "unknown" or they go the other way where they become the "legends." These are extremely rare boats, and when they come up for sale, they command all the money and they are generally short lived on the market, with most being sold to friends or family that are lined up to purchase.
The RPM was a combined effort between the infamous Doug Wright and company founder Steve Tripp. It's a smaller boat at 26', but shares no traditional lines of a West Coast 26, and nothing about the bottom of it resembles anything I've seen before. It's a center pod boat, with a snub nose pod that starts right at the bow.
Aesthetically speaking they are beautiful, with their proud flat decks, and full wrap around windshields. RPM tends to break away from every other boat in this size range with their own unique look. Large rounded (but blunt) tips on the forks, and a massive flat deck that stretches the entire length of the boat are some of the unique features to them. As mentioned earlier, they are pretty rare, but it's still difficult to mistake an RPM for a different brand even if you only see a portion of the boat in a photo.
Before we get into how she actually runs, I'd like to dive into what the biggest surprise for me on this boat. The under cabin has a full on single sleeper bed under there! On top of the usable sleeper, there is a TON of room down there.
*Note : Now I'd like you to remember this isn't a new boat, and is in fact 8 years old. In the pic the pads are bent from the gas shocks which is a little unfortunate for the article. As I said though, these things are rare, so if that's what we have to deal with then so be it. God knows Steve build all his boats to save every ounce. (This is not the same way that Joe Malich is going to be building them now so I wouldn't expect that to be a problem in the future.)
Generally speaking the cabins of a 25-28' (or even bigger) Cats are all about useless unless you are a six year old. I'm not sure how they pulled this off while maintaining some very sexy lines, but the cabin in this boat is HUGE.
There's giant storage compartments under each cushion, and what you aren't seeing in the pic, is all of Rick and Carey's coolers and towels are actually off to the sides down in the sponsons! The amount of storage this boat has is unbelievable. The fact that is has an actual "functional" sleeper in the front of it, is something I can say I don't think I have ever seen in a lower profile cat in this size range before.
My only gripe is they never really instituted a real door system into the RPM's. Most of them just have a kind of "zippered" flap (or in some cases snaps) that closes the area off. I don't believe Rick's boat had anything here, but it's a Havasu boat, so it's to be expected that he wouldn't be overnighting in it anyways.
The interior of the boat is fairly telling. You can tell that it was designed by two different people, an Engineer, and an Industrial Engineer (If you don't know what that is, look it up). The dash is flat, and honestly a little boring to look at (even though the Carbon Fiber is a nice touch). You can tell it is all about function, and no form. The removable and very replaceable panel fits all the gauges nicely an everything is easily visible and most importantly "replaceable" I suppose if you drop different power and require a different gauge cluster. *Note the Livorsi Gauges and Throttle / Shifter!
When you go through the rest of the boat though, and take a look at the interior side panels, and other features. There's a lot more "flow" and "features" in the boat, that an add an element of style. It's pretty evident that whom ever did the side panels, and inserts isn't the same guy that did the dash. The dash is all function and no form, and this is a combined effort of form and function. (Note the extremely comfortable elbow rest with a pad behind the throttle / shifter. As well as all the radii and shapes throughout this panel alone)
Moving further back you can see more evidence of the same hand. Somebody spent a bit of time incorporating this side panel into a speaker holder / cup holder (x2) with all the curves and motion going on here.
Looking behind you there is a blend between a "Poker Run" style interior and a traditional. The seats are extremely wide, and comfortable. They still have the side bolster and bolsters on the base cushion, but they aren't going to suffocate you like some of the interiors. I believe this is one of the things that is actually different from boat to boat, and the customers could order however they wanted. Obviously with Joe's new venture you can pick what you want.
Now one of the things that made RPM famous as soon as they came on the scene was the "cleanliness" of rigging. You can literally see nothing in the engine bay. Everything is run immediately down and behind false floors and fascias. RPM's have without a doubt one of the cleanest engine bays in the industry. No matter how many times you see one of TCM's big power motors it never gets old.
Everything is hidden behind the trim pump.
The only wiring you can see in the whole boat is right on the back of the bulkhead
These Rick actually had made by his friend Jeff Herman. For those that remember or have a long history on the boards Jeff used to go by Three Days Only back in the day.
That wraps up the tour of the boat, but the most important part is how does it run? The answer is simple, this boat flat RIPS. By rips I mean the boat was clocked in the 130's when it was at the factory. The fastest Rick has run it to date is 127 on a pretty hot day here in Lake Havasu.
It's sporting a Teague 985 hooked to an IMCO SCX - 4 with a 1.35 ratio, spinning a 5 Blade 38 pitch Herring.
It will pin you in the seat from 50 MPH into the triple digits. There's other cats out there that are known for accelleration as well, but I have to say I have never been in a more stable platform at these speeds than this RPM. Not only does it feel "planted" but it responds extremely well to steering input. This boat is one of the hardest (If not the hardest) turning Cats I've ever been in. It takes a set leans in and begs for more. It's an amazing ride, and if you ever get a chance to go in one or drive one I'd highly recommend it!
While we are waiting to refilm the boat, I'll leave you with the uncut footage that I got from that day.
<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/228504806" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="">RPMUncut</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user3595599">River Dave's Place</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
written by : RiverDave
Pics by : RiverDave