Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
The 33 Express from Orlando, Florida’s Regal boats makes a statement wherever she goes. Steeped in a near 50-year family run tradition of quality craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, the 33 Express features top quality materials from bow to stern and throughout every nook and cranny of her expansive cabin and incredible cockpit.
Our test boat arrived at the dealership mere days ahead of our scheduled date and we couldn’t wait to get her out on the water – after we completed an in-depth review of the seemingly endless features on board.
Resting at the dock her large hull side windows align beautifully with the sculpted lines of the hull sides themselves. The swim platform is very generously sized with a massive lounge seat looking down on all the action. The optional hard top on our test boat connects perfectly from a visual perspective to the stainless windshield header and the eyes sweep naturally forward with the stainless bow rails that flow from the windshield forward. In a word she is quite simply - stunning.
Arriving early in the morning she was still fully dressed with her black factory canvas (there are four colour options) and wind screens. She looks fantastic even with all this buttoned up. The canvas installation is, in a word – perfection as every seam is carefully sealed and every zip is perfectly matched. The forward windows between the stainless windshield header and our hard-top model were meticulously installed and simple and easy to see through should the need arise.
The swim platform allows plenty of room to move around, and a nicely stowed 4 step reboard-ing ladder available at your fingertips. You’ll also find a remote for the Fusion sound system, stainless pop up cleats, fender cleats, fresh water inlet, power plugs and a shower nozzle. Power cords and a variety of other accessories will store readily in the ample storage under the UltraLounge. The very large stern UltraLounge is complemented with multiple cupholders, a multi position backrest for facing forward, aft or can be laid out flat for even more lounging and sun soaking space. The Slide Away seating feature affords flip of a switch adjustment which moves the entire UltraLounge a full 11” giving you even more space where you need it. With the bracket for the teak dinette table attached here, this feature adds another great option for space and leg room when dining with family and friends.
From the swim platform we find another switch which opens the engine hatch to expose one of the cleanest engine rooms I’ve ever seen. Another switch turns on two banks of LED lights which lights up the space to show the incredible attention to detail of wiring looms, harnesses and conduit systems. Our test boat features a pair of Volvo 300 HP gasoline engines with EVC (Electronic Vessel Control), duo stainless props and joystick controls. The optional Westerbeke 6.5 kw generator is tucked neatly here as are all battery management systems, waste water tank, fire suppression systems and I noted that virtually everything was neatly labelled for ease of any required future servicing.
As I went up 2 easy transom steps and walked thru the easy to use cockpit door the first thing I noticed was there were no further steps into the cockpit. Regal calls this their ‘Single Level Cockpit Sole’ and this layout keeps everyone on the same level, with the same views at all times. Rarely will you see this in a 33’ design and I immediately appreciated the comfort of this layout. All cockpit seating features Regal’s master craftsmanship with diamond stitching over exceptional quality vinyl’s using multiple colours and textures as well as a variety of underpadding to keep you comfortably in place.
The refreshment centre features a couple of drink / bottle holders, stainless sink, an enclosed trash receptacle, marine grade fridge, smooth top cutting surface (optional smokeless grill would go here) and I appreciated the neatly tucked away pair of 110V plugs for any electric appliances you may need here.
Port side seating is extremely comfortable and safely stows the dinette table when not in use. Main power switches for the batteries are easily accessible from the dining area and the backrest here moves readily to allow guests to face forward or aft.
The helm features a double wide seat with flip up bolster, hand wrapped steering wheel, well positioned toggle switches, trim tabs, VHF radio, Fusion sound system, switches for the Marinco spotlight, Xintex fume detector, twin binnacle controls, the Volvo joystick control and an optional 12” Glass Cockpit & auto pilot system. The Glass Cockpit system contains navigation, engine data, warnings, alarms and EVC easy boating features in a customisable touch screen design.
The cabin below has an endless array of exceptional features;
• Convertible twin beds – simply zip them together and voila you have a king-sized bed in your 33 Express! Very generous headroom is also in this space along with multiple lighting options, 110V plugs and storage lockers
• A cedar lined hanging locker
• Amtico flooring which won’t damage from wet feet
• A remote for the Fusion system and two more speakers as well as the main electrical panels for all on board power systems
• A generous in floor locker
• Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
• Convertible forward berth with 6’ of legroom
• Hand crafted cabinetry with top quality hinges
• 32” LED TV
• A 4.2 cubic foot fridge
• Central vac hook up
• AC / Heat vents in all the right locations
• The head offers a full 6’ 3” of headroom, fixed overhead shower head, electric head, stainless towel rack, vessel sink, smooth top surface and more storage
• The salon door featured a screen option or the ability to close fully if running AC or heat and of course this door is lockable
• Three ceiling ports all equipped with screens and blackout curtains
• Exceptional amounts of daylight thanks to those massive hull side windows
Gaining access to the bow area was simple thanks to the integrated steps in the salon door. There’s room here for the optional bow cushion, the one-piece stainless bow rails are 24” high at the bow which is where you’ll find an enclosed anchor locker. Our test package was nicely equipped with a foot pedal-controlled windlass and the Marinco spotlight.
Heading out to the water the 33 Express eased gently away from the dock with the joystick control. Once safely in open waters we had opportunity to run a variety of performance trials. Our water was calm with some 3 – 4 foot waves created by oncoming boat traffic and ambient air temperatures were hovering around 29 degrees C. We had 3 of us on board and a full tank of fuel to set us on our way. It was a perfect day for a boat ride and I admittedly appreciated the shade of the hard top at this point. We found the twin Volvo’s handily put her on plane in 7.60 seconds. Cruising speeds of 20.5 & 27.0 MPH at 3,600 & 4,000 RPM respectively seemed to be our sweet spot for the day. With open waters in front of us we nimbly climbed to a very respectable top speed of 43.5 MPH at 5,720 RPM. I loved the sound and feel of the Volvo drives on this package.
With performance trials and data on hand we had some time to simply run the 33 Express and see how she performed. When attacking oncoming wake from other boat traffic she was strong and stable, the boat really never missed a beat. In a variety of turns she was graceful and firm. Simply put this boat runs awesome.
The Regal company is a family run, Orlando, Florida based brand that is steeply entrenched in a passionate commitment to creating exceptional products built by exceptional people which will yield exceptional customer satisfaction. They welcome new and future owners to schedule a visit to their facility where you can see for yourself just how committed they are to this promise.
The 33 Express is a true statement of that commitment.
|Dry weight:||12,650 lbs||5,738 kg|
|Draft:||2'11" Drive Down||90 cm|
|Fuel Capacity:||150 US gals||568 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Twin Volvo V8|
|Engine HP:||Twin 380|