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This article first appeared in  Sportsboat Magazine

Paul Glatzel rides the edge!  

 A blustery unsettled day with the threat of gale force winds promised to put a damper on our test of these two new attractive looking Regals – or perhaps those gales were to spice up the conditions (depending on who you listen to!). Hot off the production line the 2250 Cuddy & 2200 Bowrider are the first of their type in the UK having caused a bit of a stir at the London Boat Show.

 Regal is a family owned & run boat building business based in Orlando in that boater’s paradise ~ Florida.  Regal have been building boats for 34 years now with a range that runs from an 18ft bowrider to an imposing 42ft motor yacht.  From among the multitude of US manufacturers Regal have come to be recognised as manufacturing attractive, well built craft at the upper end of the price/quality scale. 

 So what are the 2200 and 2250 like in the flesh? These craft represent the first of the new style of Regal that the brochure refers to as having ‘aggressive edge styling’. Leaving the copywriters aside for a moment, irrespective of what you call it, it is a visually distinctive style with firm angular lines merging into stylish curves and some beautiful touches that are quite ‘retro’. The enormous integrated bathing platform on both models works well to create a smooth line from bow to stern. Sitting on their moorings initial impressions were positive, nice clean lines coupled to a slightly higher than average bow gives these Regals quite a forceful presence.

 Essentially the two boats are identical except for the obvious inclusion of the cuddy on the 2250. Boarding at the rear is easy as the size of the bathing platform presents an easy target for even the clumsiest of boaters. Once on the platform the first thing you do is stare, to find a ski pole attractive is frankly rather bizarre but I must confess to being rather smitten with the beautiful stainless item Regal have attached behind the engine. The engine cover on both boats makes for a substantial sunbed with a nifty little contraption for a head rest.  L-shaped bench seats provide accommodation for 3-4 whilst helm & navigator seats give the option of folding up the seats to provide a bolster seat. The cuddy version boasts a sink, BBQ and in the cuddy a portaloo for those all important moments. Steps lead up through the screen with rails giving some good handholds should you go forward to anchor. Deck fittings are neat with pop up cleats (including midships) more normally associated with larger craft.

 To say these Regals have plenty of storage space would be a crass understatement. On the 2200 Bowrider I counted at least 10 good size lockers one of which was large enough to get a 6 foot boat salesman in! The lockers are secured by means of neat little catches and held up with hydraulic struts.

 In the engine compartment sits anything from a 5.0L Mercruiser powering through an Alpha One drive to a Volvo KAD 32 Diesel driving through a Duoprop. For the petrol options the available horsepower ranges from 220 to 330Hp which should give them a real turn of speed. The diesel comes in at 169Hp which in a craft this size/weight is unlikely to give anything special in the performance terms but then you don’t buy a diesel for outright performance so this is unlikely to be a real issue. The engine compartment is sizeable with everything laid out neatly and the pipes & electrics properly secured.  The battery switch and main fuses are located to the right of the transom when entering the boat which makes them easy to get to in contrast to some craft. The single battery is secured in a battery box in a large locker under the transom gate. The location & size of this locker and the fact that it has a drain hole tempts its use as a wet locker (ski gloves, swimming gear etc), given the multitude of available lockers locating the battery in a totally dry area might be more sensible.

 So what of the handling? A choppy force 5 blowing across Poole Harbour promised some lively conditions as we ventured out past Poole Quay. Regal’s Fastrac stepped hull is claimed to give far more precise handling in the turns and straights than its competitors and be quicker to get onto the plane. Without putting boats head to head in a test this claim is very difficult to substantiate however even in the tightest turns at high speed I couldn’t induce any cavitation and the boat handled neatly and tracked accurately throughout the test. The boats come quickly and strongly onto the plane and whilst we didn’t get to test the top speed this didn’t stop us getting the 2200 up to read 50mph on its speedo as we raced back in using the lee of Brownsea Island to get some flat water.

 So what do I think? These are classy boats that will attract attention both when at rest and at speed.  They are well specced and have amazing amounts of storage. Handling is good and there is plenty of power available from the various engine options with the inclusion of the diesel option being a useful addition to the range. These are not cheap craft but then you do very much get what you pay for these are premium products that will bring many a smile to the faces of those that own them.

 

Prices range from £28,000 to £33,000 (inc VAT) for the 2200 and from £31,000 to £36,000 for the 2250. The 2200 LSR we tested was priced at £33,946 (inc VAT) whilst the 2250 LSC came in at £37,175 (inc VAT)

The boats were supplied for this test by Oceanique in Poole (0700 70 10 700 & www.oceanique.co.uk) and are imported by Gibbs Marine (01932 242977 & www.gibbsmarine.co.uk)

Paul Glatzel runs Powerboat Training UK in Poole

 

Author: Paul Glatzel
Contact: www.powerboattraininguk.co.uk
 

 
 
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