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Regal 1900

Regal 1900 Bowrider (April 2008)

The sporty Regal 1900 Bowrider features the award-winning FasTrac hull, an amidships full-beam step that creates a more efficient ride, greater speed and fuel efficiency, writes Bernard Clancy

Riding on air

Every now and again, it’s nice to come across an American boat which hasn’t been mass-manufactured by one of the multi-brand conglomerates that seem to be coming to our shores by the shipload.

The Regal range of boats comes from a family-owned company and its finish is first class. So too, is its innovation, with a radically stepped hull which does more than just look good.

The company claims its FasTrac hull doesn’t push through the water, but flies over it on a pocket of air, creating less friction and drag which equates to more speed, quicker on the plane, less horsepower required (therefore less fuel) and a higher top-end speed.

It’s interesting, but when driving you can almost feel that pocket of air in the seat of your pants. It’s apparently great for skiing and wakeboarding, getting the boat on the plane quicker.

The Regal 1900 Bowrider is very beamy at 2.5m and therefore has a surprising amount of interior space, especially in the bowrider section up front.

INTERIOR DESIGN

Like most US boats of this design the nav. light is in the bow. There is no bowrail, but it’s not really needed. There are a couple of solid stainless steel grab handles which will do the trick right near the in-deck moulded stainless steel drinkholders. Sensibly, there’s a storage bin for anchor and rope under the forward cushion (some bowrider brands completely ignore the need for anchor storage) and two pop-up stainless steel cleats for forward anchoring.

There’s limited storage behind the backrests on the bulkhead both sides and a grey, quality carpet on the floor.

Between the seats and opening into the forward section is a huge wet bin for skis, wetsuits etc.

A five-piece wraparound screen is all glass and held in a solid silver-metallic aluminium surround. It is supported on two pillars either side of the centre panel which swings open for bow access. Surprisingly, there’s no door under that, so don’t wear your kilt McCafferty or you’re liable to have your secrets exposed.

The twin bucket seats are fully adjustable, except vertically, and this position is pretty much like what you experience sitting in the family car. Anyway, if the skipper wants to see over the screen for docking or picking up fallen skiers, he just flips up the bolster on his seat and hey presto, your view’s panoramic.

FARINA GAUGES

Gauges are quality Farina with a combo fuel/volts/oil/temp and two larger for speed and revs. There’s a digital depth gauge on the left and engine trim on the right. Left of the helm is a basic rocker-switch panel above the ignition key and the 12V plug.

There’s plenty of foot room but no footwell which really isn’t needed because of the angle at which you’re sitting. The throttle falls nicely to hand, just above more cupholders — self-draining, mind you.

Naturally the interior liner is fully moulded and all coamings are strategically upholstered and padded. The plastic wood-panel inserts in the dash either side looked a bit tacky and the small three-spoked wheel (one could hardly call it a helm because it looked like a car’s steering wheel) was covered in the same fake-wood look. When wet, I found it slippery, even with just sweaty palms. One lovely touch, though, is the Kenwood stereo control buttons in the wheel’s boss.

You’d have to be very careless to get that unit wet because it’s hidden away in the back of a deep glovebox on the passenger side. There are speakers front and back, and the sound’s very good.

The rear lounge covers three-quarters of the transom with a small step-through section to come back aboard from the very large swim platform. This, too, can form part of the lounge with removable cushions. A removable 23-litre drinks cooler is tucked under the lounge with more cupholders nearby. There’s also another 12V plug in this area too.

The boat is powered by a Volvo Penta 4.3lt V6 inboard. Fire protection is provided by an automatic Fireboy extinguisher in the enginewell. On the port side of the engine is another storage space separated from the engine by a mesh screen. A large sunpad covers the powerplant.


STOPLIGHTS

Outboard, the large swim platform has a telescopic stainless steel ladder under a protective hatch. Low tow hooks are easily accessible through open hand mouldings between the platform and the hull proper. The transom, rather uniquely, has twin stoplights built into it if you care to have them wired to your trailer.

Regal 1900

The test boat was fitted with a bimini but, of course, there are a host of extras you can order, including a wakeboard tower.

The hull is quite beautiful and runs really impressively. The sloppier the water became on the day, the better the Regal handled. Huge reverse chines kept spray completely away and I could find no performance vices at all. We skipped along nicely at WOT for a reading of 87kmh at 5000rpm and the 1900 cruised comfortably at 3500rpm for 50kmh. That’s pretty solid performance for a family dayboat.

Going Boating at Geelong will provide the boat on either a Dunbier dual-axle all-roller trailer or an Easytow sports trailer.

HIGHS

Innovative hull design

Quality finish

Wide beam

Good performer

LOWS

No door under the folding screen to the bow

Helm slippery when wet

Plastic wood-panel dash inserts — yuk!

Regal 1900 Bowrider

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