Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Regal boats of Orlando, Florida stands as one of the few remaining fully independent boat manufacturers in the marine industry today. Under the watchful eyes of the Kuck family, Regal have been crafting quality boats since 1969.
The 36 Grand Coupe is a statement vessel in its category, blending exceptional daytime adventuring with overnighting capabilities for family and friends.
Resting dockside at our 1,000 Islands test location, the 36 Grand Coupe has the sleek lines of a Regal that superbly blends style and performance. Knowing she was powered with a pair of Volvo Penta V8 380 EVC2 engines and drive systems, and loaded with today’s latest technologies, I was anxious and eager to get started.
We eased off the docks, immediately appreciating Volvo Pentas Glass Cockpit at the helm which pulls all systems diagnostics and navigation together across a pair of 16” touch screens. The joystick control made dock exit a breeze in crowded quarters, and the silent shift of these drives had me reminding myself that we were in gear. Remember clunky shifting? Those days are gone -- this technology is glorious.
Our waters were calm in the morning but grew choppy as the day wore on, with lots of recreational boaters intermingling with multiple tour boats. This made for a good variety of boat wakes during our testing.
The 36 Grand Coupe is a beautiful watercraft to run – the unimpeded view from the helm demonstrates great attention to detail in the design process. She likes to cruise in the mid 20’s and, keeping in mind that we had five people on board, a full 200 L freshwater tank and over 200 L of fuel I would rate this combination with the Volvo Penta power as excellent. Adding our on-board weight to the 18,600 lb boat and pushing her to 44.8 mph was fantastic! If your cruising habits have even more desire for speed, you can always order the 36 Grand Coupe with Volvo Pentas 430 HP drives.
There are seemingly endless innovations on this boat. The following are my personal favourites:
The bow lounging area. With an easy-to-use port side walk-thru windshield and durable bow safety rails, getting to the lounging area is safe, secure, and simple. Arriving there is like arriving in a dream. The lounger is enormous with pillow top foam and actual built-in pillows for an afternoon of stretching out in the sun. There are well placed cup holders and USB chargers to keep your youngest and oldest guests happy. When it’s time to sit up, the forward sections of the lounger readily create a luxurious, multi-position seating area for your guests.
The helm – so much attention to detail here. Flip-up bolster, generously sized seat, drop- down raised teak step for those who need a little boost, footrest, trim tabs with gauge, hand-stitched vinyl wrapped dash, wireless charging pad, Fusion sound system, sliding window, and more. Add to that the port side ‘social seat,’ a double-width seat with reversible backrest and powered height adjustment for your co-captain. All of this is nestled underneath an easy-to-use, incredibly functional, and retractable hard top. Our test day was a hot one and bringing the sunshine and summer breezes into the cockpit was so simple with this feature!
The salon galley – the cook in our home (c’est moi) loves this design feature. Electric grill, single burner stove, waste receptacle, sink with hot and cold water, multiple storage drawers, and a ‘customer choice’ fridge/freezer/storage configuration. All this meaning the cook gets to be part of the entertainment. Think about how often house parties end up in and around the kitchen, this salon galley is the answer! And yes sports fans, there’s even a hidden TV mounted in the ceiling.
The aft seating area brings as much room as you desire. A side-facing lounger to port faces a near full-width lounger to the stern – said lounger is on a power-driven slide, meaning at the push of a button you can readily create additional leg room for guests in this section or move the lounger forward to experience the action on the transom. You can then kick it up another notch with the multi-position backrest that faces aft or forward.
The systems compartment – clearly Volvo Penta & Regal engineers worked together to ensure that maintenance matters could be handled with ease. On the Regal side, there is easy access to the main distribution panel, battery charger, house and main batteries, along with the generator. On the Volvo Penta, side maintenance items like impellers, oil fill & drain, and the serpentine belt are all readily accessible. I really appreciate the Volvo Penta EZ Drain feature which, at the push of a blue button, drains water away – meaning a longer boating season for you.
The enormous swim platform – Regal swim platforms have sun lovers and beach goers in mind. There’s ample room for multiple guests to hang out and certainly if the kids want to swim – on the boat, off the boat, on the boat, off the boat, as all kids are apt to do, this section of the Grand Coupe answers the call. Our test boat featured the optional underwater power platform – push the button and getting on or off the boat for family, friends, and pets just got a whole lot easier.
The sliding salon doors – these tinted, stylish doors are sure to keep the hot or cold air indoors when needed. Another push button reveals a starboard side window aft of the galley that lowers to create a seamless blend of the cockpit & galley, with the aft seating zone now having zero separation.
The beds & heads zone – with the galley up top, the Grand Coupe provides ample room for an exceptionally well-appointed lower birth. The V birth features an innerspring mattress that is accessible on both sides and underneath is one of the largest storage lockers I’ve ever seen. Cabinetry is supple with fine attention to detail, and the V birth also features a large flat screen TV. The aft cabin features side facing loungers with a center filler cushion that creates a queen-size bed, and there’s another flat screen TV for family or friends. The head itself features a porcelain sink, and the shower has a drop-down teak seat, teak flooring, and teak lined wall.
Regals’ 36 Grand Coupe builds on years of exceptional craftsmanship and decades of actively listening to customer demands and desires. The marriage with Volvo Penta power creates a powerful combination of quality and reliability that any owner will benefit from for years to come.
|Dry weight:||18,600 lbs||8,436 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||200 US gal||37 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Twin Volvo V8 380|