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Rampage 38 Express: Fishing Focused

Some call bluewater fishing a “rich man’s sport,” but boats like the Rampage 38 Express prove this doesn’t have to be the case. With pricing ranging from $269,000 for a 2006 model that was refit in 2014, down to $99,000 for a 2002 model with 1,800 hours on the engines, these offshore fishing machines cost no more than many new boats with a whole lot less LOA.

The Rampage 38 went into production shortly after the turn of the century, and particularly between 2001 and 2006, quite a few were built. Today, over two dozen are on the brokerage market. The one seen here is currently listed in East Rockaway, NY.
The Rampage 38 went into production shortly after the turn of the century, and particularly between 2001 and 2006, quite a few were built. Today, over two dozen are on the brokerage market. The one seen here is currently listed in East Rockaway, NY.

That the Rampage is designed for one thing in specific—offshore fishing—there can be no doubt. The cockpit has a pair of integrated macerated fishboxes in the deck, a 55-gallon livewell, a built-in tackle station with eight drawers, a rigging station with sink, a bait cooler, and cockpit bolsters ringing the 100-square-foot fish-fighting arena. While a tower or half-tower, outriggers, and upper controls weren’t included as standard features on the 38, the vast majority of the boats out there today have them. Some boats you find will have a fighting chair in the cockpit and others won’t, but all had an aluminum reinforcement plate laminated into the deck, if you should want to add one.

Caterpillar C-9 510 HP diesels are the most commonly seen powerplants, though there are a few boats on the market with slightly larger or slightly smaller powerplants. Cruising speed is commonly in the mid to upper 20’s, with some boats outfitted with twin 575 HP Caterpillars claiming up to a 30-knot cruise. Due to the age of these boats it’s common to see some with relatively recent engine rebuilds, and on occasion, complete repowers.

The helm deck features a centered steering station, with a large L-shaped settee to port and the cabin entry plus a passenger’s seat to starboard. On some models the helm deck is also air-conditioned. A nice feature not always found on boats of this size and cost is the electrically-opening center vent window in the windshield. Just behind the helm chair there’s a quick-access hatch to the engineroom. The main way of servicing the powerplants, however, is to raise the entire bridgedeck, which is mounted on hydraulic rams. This makes accessing service points quite easy, and provides plenty of room to work in.

The use of satin-finish cherry and teak-and-holly in the cabin give the 38 a fairly traditional look belowdecks, where you’ll find a double berth in the bow, a galley, dinette, and enclosed head. The settee converts into a berth to increase sleeping accommodations to four. Hanging lockers are cedar-lined, and countertops are solid-surface.

If you’re in the market for an offshore fishing boat and have been looking at makes like the Cabo 38 Express, the Pursuit 3800 Express, and the Bertram 360, you should also take a look at the Rampage. There are plenty on the brokerage market today, offering a more affordable alternative to offshore anglers who don’t want to break the bank.

See all the Rampage 38 Express listings.

Specifications: LOA: 39’6” * Beam: 13’9” * Draft: 3’8” * Displacement: 24,000 lbs. * Fuel Capacity: 400 gal. * Water Capacity: 90 gal.

Written by Lenny Rudow

Written by: Lenny Rudow

With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.

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