Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofTwo years ago the Regal 5260 took the boating industry by storm and within the space of a few short months 56 people had plopped down deposits to secure their name in its production line. Regal is still building this exceptional boat as fast as it can -- which is two units per month. Long awaited, the new Regal 44 SC is the younger sister to the 5260 and she does not disappoint. Regal has not thrown out the baby with the dishwater, keeping the basic hull and deck, but modified or changed elements that clearly could be improved. For example, the hull was modified to optimize for the IPS pods, the sport coupe hardtop has been completely changed and joins the windshield. The cockpit has been changed to have two distinct seating areas and to be more in touch with current trends. Down below the boat looks completely new and much more up-scale, even though the basic layout is the same. The wheel wasn’t broken, but it sure has been fixed up.
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Regal 44 Sport Coupe (2009-) Line Drawing
Regal 44 Sport Coupe Capt. Report
Capt. Steve Larivee
Regal seemed to have their customer feedback list firmly in hand when they went to the drafting board for their new 44 Sport Coupe. If this alone isn’t the top selling point, the price will be. Read my full report first, and at the end I’ll give you the price… and no fair skipping to the end! You’ll be just as surprised as I was.
The boating industry pretty much has the below-deck accommodations plan of an express cruiser figured out. Master forward with a queen bed, mid cabin aft tucked under the bridge deck, and settee and galley in the middle. The 44 SC has two heads, which we like, as many express boats this size have only one. There are some noteworthy details below, but I’ll get to those later. First let’s get to the important aspects of the boat.
A Windshield Done Right..
I showed a picture of this boat to no fewer than five people who knew me, and then asked them the same question. “What do you think is the first thing I noticed about this boat?” Not surprisingly, they all had the same answer… “The windshield.” Go figure. I have two pet peeves about the new breed of Euro-styled hardtop and coupe express cruisers that have been appearing the least three or four years: 1) The windshields only go 80-90% of the way up to the hardtop. Sure, in the ads, they show the guy at the helm with a smile on his face and wind in his hair with the wide open space above the windshield, but I mean, really. Virtually everyone fills in the space with isinglass and leaves it there forever. Why don’t they just bring the windshield up to the overhead like everyone wants? 2) Even worse, some builders are manufacturing boats in this size range where you can’t even stand at the helm without poking your head through the open sunroof! You’ve seen the pictures– the helmsman looks like a WW II tank driver poking his head out a hatch to see. These boats can only be steered sitting down or by standing up with the sunroof open. But there are times when the helmsman must stand because of rough sea conditions, to reach controls or nav aids, or he just wants to stand for a while – without his head in the sun, wind or rain. This is a boat, after all, not a Lamborghini!
There is full standing headroom at the helm and great 360-degree visibility. Note steps and teak-tread walkway through the windshield. The huge helm seat is fully adjustable.
Regal must have heard me, if not the rest of the boating community. The glass windshield reaches all the way from the deck to the hardtop which is 6’5” off the deck with the sunroof closed. In my book, the most important aspect of any boat is the helm and Regal has done it right. Add 10 points. There are also electrically operated side window vents that open from forward to scoop air in, and each has a separate control for port and starboard.
And What a Top It Is...
And speaking of tops, this boat has a unique overhead. This sunroof actually goes full beam, not just a rectangle in the center...but full beam! When this baby retracts, you’ll enjoy a full 38 square feet of sunlight and fresh air coming in. Very cool. And once the roof is pulled back a bit, you have access to the walk-through windshield, and the bow chaise lounge. Because of the easy-access walk-through, Regal made the side decks rather narrow, which gives you more room inside the boat. Makes sense... all the side decks are for, really, is line handling. Why cut back on cabin space for that? Owner feedback is overwhelmingly for the centerline walk-through vs. wide side decks. Add 10 more points for Regal listening to its owners rather than cranky old traditionalists.
Note the courtesy lights in the work area and the bow cleats outside of the bow rails. We’d like to see a little larger anchor rode cleat on the centerline, but otherwise this bow is quite well designed for its class of boat.
Take a Bow...
Once on the bow, the lounge is wide enough for 2 people and the upper part props up in chaise lounge fashion. The rails are high enough -- 31-1/2” at the bow -- for walking around safely. The working part of the deck at the pointy end is a step down and it is a flat surface, not crowned as you find on most boats. Here you will find a hatch to the forepeak where the ground tackle is stowed. This design is very clever for a couple of reasons. One, it adds to the rail height in the working area, and therefore the safety factor, without messing with the profile. Secondly, it separates the windlass and anchor locker from the rest of the deck so any messy lines can stay in that area for easy rinse down without muddy runoff contaminating the rest of the bow. There are three hatches in the working deck forward – in the center as I’ve mentioned for anchor and rode, then two others, one port and one starboard. These are ideal for lines, small fenders, or fender boards. As you can see in the picture above the bow is designed so the plow anchor enters through the stem and its shank lives in a deep channel in the deck. Again, it is easy to clean the anchor and not have to wash down the whole foredeck. Because the stern has so much rake, the anchor can be carefully dropped and retrieved without worrying about scratching the fiberglass on the bow. This is the first time I have seen this thoughtful design on this class of boat. 10 points more!
On this day the operator has chosen to have the walk-through gate on the starboard side and the “C”-shaped seating to port. Alternatively, the corner seat may be moved to the starboard, then using the port gate for access. The backrest for mez seating flops forward for al fresco dining in the cockpit.
Totally Spaced Out...
For spaciousness, the 44 SC gets very high marks, starting at the swim platform, which is large enough fore and aft to mount a PWC or tender. The tender can be placed on “V”-type brackets and not rest on its side, which is unsightly. There’s an option for a hydraulically actuated platform for lowering tenders or toys into the water. The 44 has “mezzanine” seating facing aft, which is becoming more and more popular since the stern is often the main attraction at anchor. Access to the cockpit is from either side. Regal accommodates this by having the aft rounded corner seats removable and transferable to either the port or starboard. Also, you can remove the corners entirely to leave both sides open for a cocktail party or to avoid a jam up when everyone wants to get to the stern action at once. Add 10 more points.
The spaciousness continues into the cockpit and the bridge deck which are both on one level. There is a large settee to port with a removable table, with dedicated storage behind the seat back, and the helm seat is doublewide (for you and your navigator) and electrically adjusts fore and aft and up and down. The helm has three, count ‘em three, footrests. The lowest is actually a flip down platform that helps the vertically challenged captains see over the bow, as well as having another for tall folks. It’s amazing that it has taken this long for boat builders to figure out that not all of their buyers are the same size. 10 more points for Regal.
Step into the salon and you won’t believe how open it is. Three things make this possible. First, the table is removable. And why shouldn’t it be? No one eats down there, you eat up in the cockpit in the fresh air. Now the cabin is open from galley to settee and there is room for everyone to move around, doing their own thing without bumping into each other. The headroom is 6’6”.Next there are two full staterooms and two ensuite heads. The forward stateroom is accessed through a wide pocket door that really opens up the space. The aft cabin is also accessed via a pocket door, and it has 6’2” headroom in the “stand-up“ area by the head. There is 38” over the mattress at the foot and 32” at the head of the bed to the overhead. It’s as if the whole lower deck is one wide-open space. The sofa has not one, but two footrests -- just like the Laz-E-Boy in your living room -- that pop out with the touch of a button. Normally, that would mean sacrificing the fold-out bed option, but not with Regal. You get both.
The queen bed in the master is canted slightly to port in order to make the head almost as wide as the foot. This is out-of-the-box design thinking that solves a problem which many express cruisers have. Note storage lockers port and starboard above the valances, a good use of space that typically goes to waste on most boats.
At Regal Marine, they’re very conscientious about not having any of their stuff take up your storage. For example, the table in the salon has dedicated storage under the foot of the hinged forward berth, but you still have your clothes storage drawers. There are examples of this all over the boat. Under the galley sink, there’s a storage cabinet, and in that, a storage drawer taking up a little area that would otherwise be empty space… storage within storage! And another pet peeve of mine, those covers for the stove tops. I argue that they should be hinged since there’s no place to put them once removed from the stove. Regal, however went one better. Their stove lid slides to the side and retracts under the counter, and then it even activates a safety switch that allows you to turn the stove on. 10 points for that clever safety device! Regular readers know that I always complain about the lack of fiddles on galley counters. The galley counter doesn’t have any fiddles, but Regal has recessed the stove below the counter so the counter actually holds the cookware in place. I’ll deduct 5 points from the Regal 44 SC for not having counter fiddles, and give it 5 points for having the stove design that retains pots.
The compact galley to starboard has a cooktop, a microwave and lots of storage. Pocket door at right leads to the mid cabin.
I have no complaints here since the Regal 44 SC is IPS powered, as are all Regal Sportyachts. The pivot point is right at the helm, and maneuverability is with the IPS joystick. Underway, turning is sharp, precise, and predictable. The twin Volvo Penta D6 IPS500 diesels pump out a total of 740 horses. She had a top end speed of 38.1 mph (61 kmph) reached at 3630 rpms. At that speed the 44 SC’s 328 gallon (1,246 L) fuel capacity will take her 278 miles (285 km) burning 40.5 gph (153.9 lph). Pull the throttles back to a best cruise of 3000 rpms and 28.7 mph (45.9 kmph), and she’ll burn 25.6 gph (41 lph), and gets 1.12 mpg for 332 miles (531 km) with a 10% reserve.
So What Didn’t I Like...
Well there has to be something, I mean I gotta be me! The switch for the retractable roof is on the port side of the companionway leading below. I’d put that switch at the helm. There’s room for it, so why not. Keep it on the port side so everyone can reach it but the captain doesn’t have to leave his station to use it. There’s also no manual override for the retract mechanism.I love the windows, but the side windows need to be open.,like they do on the Regal 5260. That would allow for added ventilation and the ability to stick your head out helping with docking.
The Regal 44 SC has a WOT that is faster (38.1 mph) than most boats in her class and her IPS500 diesels get the best fuel economy (1.12 mpg) in class that we have tested.
And Now for the Good News...
Regal has managed to make the 44 SC available to you at an incredible price of $499,000. This is a boat with an MSRP of $681,000, yet you can buy her for a base price of $499k! Additionally, the boat is so customizable with regards to items such as countertop materials, fabrics, flooring selections, and cabinetry finishes, that the boat buying process is called the “Custom Fit Program.” Buyers fly to Orlando, FL, and visit Regal’s “customizing showroom” and pick out what they want, just like the buyers of large motoryachts do. How is Regal able to sell a 44’ boat with twin IPS joystick diesels for such a low price, and one that is substantially below -- as in $250k to $460k below – its 43’ to 46’ competitors?
I asked that very question to the folks at Regal. They told me that they do it in three important ways-- First, Regal’s staff has carefully designed and engineered every cubic inch of this boat and taken out all unnecessary weight. For example, the extreme rake you see in the boat’s bow (very much like the one found on the popular Regal 5260) provides a terrific working bow platform on deck in addition to locker space for lines and ground tackle, but because of its 5’ overhang, it saves weight. The boat weighs only 23,600 lbs. which is anywhere from 4,000 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. less than many of its primary competitors. And Regal has done this while still carrying the same 14’ beam that virtually all of the other boats in this class have. Second, because most of the competitors are heavier, they must have bigger engines to propel them at a reasonable speed, which of course is one reason why the boats are so heavy in the first place. When we compare the Regal 44 SC to six of its primary competitors we find that she has a WOT that is faster than all but one, a best cruise faster than three of the six, and has absolutely the best cruise mpg at 1.12 – all of this with the smallest engines![Go to the BoatTEST.com “Compare” button on the Regal 44 SC test and you will see what we mean. —Ed.]
Third, and perhaps most important, Regal is pioneering a new way of doing business. The company started it with the highly successful 5260 three years ago, and it is doing it once again with the 44SC. [Incredibly, none of Regal’s competitors that we know of have copied its successful formula.—Ed.]
Only 14 To Be Built
All Regal 44 SCs are built to order. You will not find them stocked in Regal dealer showrooms. That saves a tremendous amount of money in floor plan financing interest, insurance, freight and dealer mark-up. Dealers still sell and service the boats, and Regal pays them a commission for doing so. But by not requiring the dealer to stock the boat, lots of money is saved and passed on to you in a lower price. It’s just you and Regal, with the dealer taking care of the paperwork and representing you in the transaction.Please recall what happened with the Regal 5260 when she was rolled out three years ago – 56 people plunked down deposits and took their place in line, but only 20 boats could be built per year. People at the end of the list had to wait over two years to get a boat, and each year the price of the boat went up. Between now and May Regal will only be able to build 18 boats – and four of them are already sold. That leaves 14 available slots. A fully refundable deposit of $25,000 holds a place in the production schedule and a $50,000 deposit not only holds a spot but also locks in the current price and protects the buyer from future price increases. First come, first served. If you are interested in a hardtop express cruiser in this size range, then you owe it to yourself, and your purse, to see the Regal 44 SC for yourself. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Test Result Highlights
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Pricing Range: $499,000.00Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Test Results - Change Measurement Unit
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.