BOAT TEST: REGAL 42 SPORT COUPE

By: JOHN ZAMMIT

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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The Regal 42 Sport Coupe razzles, dazzles and dances to the entertainer’s tune, says admirer JOHN ZAMMIT

BOAT TEST: REGAL 42 SPORT COUPE
Regal 42 Sporte Coupe

Confession: I've become a fan of Regal boats. I liked what I saw after visiting its headquarters in Orlando, Florida (USA), late last year and getting a close-up look at the organisation and the people behind the brand.

Regal's range of bowriders, cuddies, deck boats, express cruisers and sportsyachts from 19 to 52 feet is innovative, the quality is top notch and the people behind the brand are active boaters, who live the lifestyle and know from firsthand experience what's important in a boat.

So, when the opportunity presented to test the first new Regal 42 Sport Coupe to land in Australia, I jumped at the chance. This all-new model is the third in Regal's lineup of four sport coupes, the others are the flagship 52 (already tested), the 46, and the 35. Interestingly, on my factory visit last November, I saw this actual 42 in production on the factory floor so climbing on board again felt like déjà vu.

The 42 Sport Coupe has a distinctive, bold, racy appearance. That's because it's designed in Italy by T4 Design. It's a look that quickly grew on me, sort of Alpha Romeo-ish, both in styling and performance. Another thing that soon becomes obvious is that it's a well thought-out boat.

There are lots of clever design elements, but they aren't hastily executed. It's all about quality, from the stainless steel windshield through to the gas struts on just about everything that opens and shuts. The attention to detail… well, how many other manufacturers do you know that have LED lighting built into the anchor well?

Duane Kuck, president of Regal Marine Industries, speaking on the release of the 42 Sport Coupe said: "Our goal was to take everything that we learned developing the Regal 52 and the 46 Sport Coupes and distill what we ascertained into the perfect 42. We did everything possible to pack a wide range of features into a more compact envelope and still deliver strong performance."

 

 

TOP DRESSING


An entertainer, a fast coastal cruiser or a family getaway machine, the 42SC delivers with features and performance. The hardtop is standard and, while it's not unusual for a sportscruiser to come standard with a sunroof these days, Regal takes the concept one step further.

Its hardtop is full beam and slides back at the touch of a button to create a 3.53m² roof opening. More a coupe rather than a sunroof. Add a centre-opening walkthrough windscreen and you've got true open-top boating. Should the weather deteriorate, shut the roof and the windscreen, close the optional rear sliding door or aft curtain, crank up the 24,000 BTU reverse cycle air-conditioner and you have a year-round boat for anywhere in Australia.

Of course, it's the cockpit where people spend most of their time in this style of boat. The single-level sole, with plentiful seating, places to lounge about and room to move freely, gives this cockpit a relaxed and social ambience. This is a confident entertainer.

The helm, to port, looks good and works well ergonomically, too. There's a comfortable dual helm seat, electrically adjustable with inbuilt footrest, and a fully adjustable mahogany sports steering wheel. A clever platform that flips down from below the seat allows the skipper to stand for an elevated view underway. With the roof open, it's real wind-in-the-hair-type boating.

A carbon fibre instrument panel houses electronic engine gauges and twin 12in Garmin touchscreens. Regal has made Garmin electronics standard and a Garmin technician is permanently assigned to its factory. The test boat came with GPS-plotter, fishfinder, autopilot and radar, as well as a VHF radio and Fusion stereo controls with inbuilt iPod dock.

 

 

PENTA POWER


Power comes from twin 300hp Volvo Penta D4 engines with IPS400 pod drives incorporating joystick docking. These match perfectly with the OceanTrac hull, which from the beginning was designed around the IPS400 system. Paramount in the design process is Regal's commitment to ensuring that all of the key features came not at the expenses of strong performance.

To this end, it was essential to keep the boat's weight within set limits, a feat achieved by incorporating high-strength and lightweight cored material where appropriate, and extensive use of resin-infusion techniques. Balancing the 42SC was another important factor, hence the fuel tank's location on the boat's centre of gravity.

On the portside and adjacent to the helm is L-shaped seating around a removable table, while aft of the helm is a wetbar incorporating sink, optional electric barbecue, icemaker and refrigerator. Concealed in the hardtop ceiling is a drop-down TV, descending on gas struts at the press of a button. It highlights the clever and efficient use of space all over this boat.

The test boat was fitted with an optional bulkhead and sliding door that fully enclose the bridge or helm deck area under the hardtop. Back outdoors aft is more seating and a huge sunlounge with a four-position reclining backrest. Storage space under the sunlounge is ideal for water toys, fenders, lines, and so on.

For those who prefer a more open boat you could omit the bulkhead and opt instead for the removable canvas option that encloses the cockpit farther aft. That's what I would do. I felt the bulkhead divided the cockpit unnecessarily, But therein the beauty of options and customers can spec their boat dependant on how they use it.

Beside the aft sunlounge to port is a walkthrough leading down to a large swimplatform. If you're entertaining a group, swimming off the stern, coming and going in and out of the cockpit, the starboard corner seat pad can also be removed providing an additional transom walkthrough.

Day access to the engineroom is via a hatch in the cockpit sole. For greater access, the aft section rises electrically to reveal a cavernous engineroom. It laid out really neatly. As well as the twin Volvo's there's a Westerbeke 5.7kW generator, Racor fuel filters, hot-water service, battery boxes, battery charger, and so on. It's all easily accessible, with plenty of room leftover. 

Meanwhile, you have a choice going forward to the bow. Either take the safe sidedecks, which are a little narrow but assisted by plenty of handholds, or head through the opening windscreen.

Either way, the foredeck is nice and wide and features high rails, the winch is recessed under a cover (with gas struts, of course), and there's a cleat. Twin chain lockers and freshwater washdown are made even more useful at night thanks to the LED light.

By day, the large foredeck sunpad has twin inbuilt backrests that rise to create a chaise lounge. The multi-density foam pad is secured by sail track, ensuring it stays put underway.

 

 

ROLE MODEL


While the 42 Sport Coupe is geared towards entertaining, the boat also suits a couple or a family keen on coastal cruising. Similarly, it's primed for some just-add-water Sunday R&R. As with the above-deck areas, the living accommodation is roomy, comfortable and fitted out with just about everything you could possibly need.

The saloon features a large foldout table surrounded by plush three-sided seating, high-gloss cherrywood cabinetry, and cherry and holly timber floor. There is Bose surround sound and a premium LED TV. The portside galley has long and wide Corian bench tops, abundant storage and the full spectrum of modern appliances. All cutlery and crockery is included and Regal even supplies a coffee machine as standard.

At day's end, retire to the luxury of the master stateroom with walkaround queen-size bed, abundant storage and cedar-lined hanging lockers. The en suite is split with the toilet and basin to port and a separate shower room to starboard.

One of the advantages of IPS is more space amidships, as the engines are fitted so far aft. Regal has taken advantage of this to incorporate a large mid cabin. Spacious and wide, it comes with twin beds and an infill to convert to a queen. There's plenty of storage and hanging space, with a vanity station incorporating basin and a mirrored cabinet within an alcove near the entry door, plus a separate shower room and toilet. 

Every room has portholes and/or skylights or hatches for natural light and ventilation and, of course, air-conditioning comes standard. In fact, there is so much that is standard with this boat that it would be difficult to list it all - cutlery, crockery, bedding, towels, coffee machine and even a water hose, for instance.

Regal has a firm commitment to customer satisfaction. That commitment is borne out by the number of times it has been awarded the National Marine Manufacturers Association CSI award for excellence in customer satisfaction. Yep, 24 times in all. And of they keep coming out with boats like the 42 Sport Coupe you can bet they'll keep on satisfying customers for a long time to come.

 

 

Tough to the Core


Regal's proprietary LIFECore construction process allows the builder to identify the critical points in a boat's usage pattern and purposefully place fibreglass, aluminium and composite materials in exactly the right places. This is claimed to minimise stress and increase the boat's durability, while enhancing its usability for an even more enjoyable boating experience.

LIFECore, or longitudinally integrated fibreglass encapsulate core, relies on multiple layers of strategically placed handlaid fibreglass, each positioned specifically for every Regal model built. Its sportboats carry lots of energy into turns and charge out of the hole thereby demanding high strength-to-weight ratios in the keel and hull sides. But Regal says its yachts have a different set of structural demands for standing up to the daily hull punishment of big water and high-horsepower engines. Regal says LIFECore ensures that all its boats aren't just built for looks, but built to last.

 

 

 

(Facts & figures)
REGAL 42 SPORT COUPE

 

 

PERFORMANCE & HANDLING


It seems the hard work has paid off for Regal: the 42SC is well-balanced, produces impressive performance and a smooth, comfortable ride. Couple that with the turning power and fuel efficiency of the IPS and the result is a fast but economical cruiser with sporty handling. She's fun to drive and child's play to dock. Oh, and fast. The engines max out at 3600rpm for a top speed of almost 33kts, claims Regal. But I found the sweet spot at around 2800rpm, which, on the day, produced 22kts, using 74lt/h.

 

 

PRICE AS TESTED


$679,000

 

 

SEA TRIALS


Twin 300hp Volvo Penta IPS400 diesels

RPM       SPEED      FUEL BURN
Idle         4.43kts     3.03lt/h
1000       5.47kts     6.06lt/h
1500       7.39kts     20.44lt/h
2000       8.08kts     49.21lt/h
2200      13.21kts     53lt/h
2600      19.12kts     70.41lt/h
2800      22.42kts     74.95lt/h
3200      27.81kts     87.82lt/h
3400      30.15kts     105.23lt/h
3600      32.76kts     113.94lt/h

Official sea-trial figures supplied by Regal Marine

 

 

OPTIONS FITTED


High-gloss cherry cabinetry, aft cockpit stainless steel enclosure, forward and aft cockpit tables, electric grill, cockpit icemaker, cockpit TV, mid cabin TVw/ DVD, autopilot, and Garmin electronics (depth-fishfinder, HD closed array radar, and second GPS MAP 5212 plotter)

 

 

PRICED FROM


$645,000 w/ twin IPS400 diesel
$619,000 w/ twin 8.1lt IPS550 petrol

 

 

GENERAL


MATERIAL: Vacuum infused hull and deck; hull bottom solid laminate w/ cored topsides
TYPE: OceanTrac monohull with 18 degree deadrise and a fine bow entry.
LENGTH OVERALL: 12.9m
DEADRISE: 18°
BEAM: 4m
DRAFT: 1.04m
WEIGHT: 8.845 tonnes (dry)

 

 

CAPACITIES


FUEL: 1154lt 
WATER: 284lt 
HOLDING TANK: 151lt 
CABINS: 2
PEOPLE (NIGHT): 4

 

 

ENGINES


MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Volvo Penta D4 diesels w/ IPS400 drives
TYPE: Four-cylinder turbo-diesel
RATED HP: 300 (each)
DISPLACEMENT: 3.7lt (each)
DRY WEIGHT:  559kg (each)

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Premier Marine,
Rose Bay Marina,
594 New South Head Road,
Rose Bay, NSW, 2029
Phone: (02) 9328 0999
Email: steve@premiermarine.com.au
Website: www.premiermarine.com.au

 

 

TRADEABOAT SAYS...


This is a premium sportscruiser from a big American yard with a 40-year history of successful boat manufacturing. The company currently builds more than 1500 boats per year, is family owned and run, and completely debt-free. But we also like Regal's creative approach to boatbuilding. There's a lot of great design and even more goodies bundled in the turnkey package.

 

Find Regal boats for sale.

 


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