Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
For 2013, Orlando, Florida’s Regal Marine offers a total of twenty-five models from nineteen to fifty-two feet in four series of sport boats, deck boats, and cuddy cabins, plus express and sport coupe models. The 28 Express, subject of this review, is one of three Express models, the other two being 30 and 38 feet.
At almost twenty-nine feet in overall length, the 28 Express has a trailerable 8’6” beam that in Regal’s words, “gives you the freedom to explore.” To help you explore, a single 300 horsepower Volvo Penta V8 300 DuoProp or MerCruiser 350 Magnum MPI Bravo 3 will supply the power for about mid-twenties cruising speed and over 40 mph top speed, or, if you really feel you need it, go for the 380 hp Volvo V8 380 DuoProp.
Regal is known for its attention to detail and it starts with the hull which in this case, is Regal’s proprietary OceanTrac hull design which is individually designed for each model to balance the boat’s load and then strengthened and made lighter with a fully bonded and encapsulated composite stringer system and protected with an additional layer of vinylester barrier coating below the waterline to help prevent blistering. All hull colours (six from which to choose) and even all striping is in-mold gelcoat – not add-on vinyl.
The large full-width and low-to-the-water extended swim platform even has pull-up cleats on its outer edges to assist in boarding without having to climb over mooring lines attached to the traditional locations on the gunwales. The recessed and covered four-step stainless steel telescoping boarding ladder leaves a clean, toe-stub-free swim platform surface whether it is stored or in use. The forward opening electrically actuated engine hatch is accessed from this platform thus allowing easier access for the gelcoat finished engine compartment without cluttering or disturbing the cockpit. A fender and dock line storage compartment is contained within the transom.
Two steps up on the port side leads into the cockpit of the 28 Express which features a more than double wide transom-mounted four-position UltraLounge which can lay out flat for a sunlounge, raise the headrest into a chaise, plus be a fore and aft-facing lounge bench seat. Behind the helm seat on the starboard side is a double-wide seat which faces the UltraLounge for a great conversation area for five persons. Insert the optional composite cockpit table from its dedicated storage for dining and for entertaining.
The forward port side of the cockpit opposite the double-wide helm seat provides a bench seat with backrest allowing a rear-facing lounge. Aft of this lounge is a standard molded cockpit refreshment centre with sink, faucet, stainless steel cupholders and grabrail, and a removable cooler below. A five-position, hand-wrapped, tilting steering wheel faces the chocolate coloured (for anti-glare) dash with burl accenting which houses the standard black faced Faria, fog-resistant, stainless steel-rimmed gauges including digital depth sounder with alarm. Trim tabs are standard as is the Fusion 700 marine stereo remote with ipod or iphone waterproof dock. The centred, molded sliding cabin door contains molded-in steps leading up and through the windshield for foredeck access. Blue LED cockpit courtesy lighting is standard.
Solid wood steps on an open stainless steel frame take you down to the fibreglass inner-liner salon which provides an amazing maximum of 7’2” headroom. Full length salon hull side fixed windows plus two topside opening, screened skylights plus the forward circular deck hatch together provide a most bright, well ventilated and open atmosphere here. All wood cabinetry is grain-matched cherry laminate. The huge U-shaped forward dinette with storage below utilizes its backrest cushions to convert to a full queen berth. The solid wood dinette table has designated storage.
The starboard side galley features a sink, stainless steel refrigerator, microwave, and electric stove. The full fibreglass lined port side head compartment with six-foot standing headroom comes standard with sink, vanity, mirrored medicine cabinet, full length dressing mirror, integral shower, and electric toilet. Regal claims its unique opening to the 28 Express mid-cabin is the largest in its class and the berth is a full queen size with privacy curtain and illuminated hanging locker.
Notable available factory options include cabin air conditioning/heating, generator, anchor windlass, cockpit carpet and refrigerator, foredeck sunpad, remote spotlight, flatscreen TV/DVD player, high performance stereo, underwater lighting, bow thruster, full cockpit canvas enclosure to augment the standard bimini, and Regal’s electric, hinged PowerTower arch which lowers at the touch of a button to below the windshield for low bridges and trailering convenience.
Regal calls its 28 Express, “the quintessential image of the modern mid-cabin Express.”
|Beam:||8' 6"||2.6 m|
|Dry weight:||7585 lbs||3440 kgs|
|Fuel Capacity:||73 US gals||276 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Volvo V8-300 DP/Merc 350 Mag MPI B-3|