By Captain Steve
Regal Boats went on a mission to completely redesign what a deckboat should be. By taking their proven FasTrac sportboat hull and mating it with an innovative deckboat layout, the design team at Regal has come up with a one-two combination that is bound to give the competitive deckboat market a shot of adrenaline. The new boat comes in two versions, the 24 FasDeck and the 24 FasDeck RX with additional standard watersports features.
There are several distinguishing features that separate this 24 FasDeck from the crowd:•
Innovative Aft Sun Pad.
The aft sun pad can accommodate up to six different positions in order to enjoy reclining, lounging and cruising either facing forward or aft.•
Gas Assist Struts on All Storage Hatches.
This makes for easy opening and no need to hold the hatch open while loading up the compartment.•
Massive Head Compartment.
Not only is the head area huge but it's finished to perfection. Probably one of the nicest heads I've seen in class.•
Fusion Marine Stereo.
Rather than follow much of the industry and just drop in an automotive stereo into the boat, Regal went with a Fusion stereo built specifically for the marine industry.•
One of the weak points of many deckboats has been their low freeboard which can make them wet in choppy, windy conditions. Regal solves that problem with a high freeboard that has been carefully camouflaged with graphics and color to look lower than it really is.
Performance and Handling
Long experience testing Regal boats has shown that their patented FasTrac hulls handle well, and this 24 FasDeck RX is no exception. Her stepped hull offers quick acceleration with a nominal 16-degree bow rise which causes no loss of visibility to the horizon. Regardless of how aggressive I got in the turns, the 24 FasDeck hung on as if she were on rails with no sign of annoying chine walk at the top of the roll. When operating at flat-out speed I did notice just a little bit of chine walk.With an empty weight of 4,580 lbs. (2,077 kg), three quarters fuel, two people and test gear we had a test weight of 5,142 lbs. (2332.4 kg). Powered by a 300-hp Volvo Penta 5.7 Gi we reached a top speed at 5000 rpm of 48 mph. At that speed we were burning just over 24 gph for range of 75 miles. Best cruise was found at 3000 rpm and 24.3 mph. At that speed I measured a fuel burn of 8.55 gph for a range of 107 miles.We reached planing speed in 2.8 seconds, 20 mph came and went in 4.9 seconds, and we continued accelerating through 30 mph in 7.4 seconds.
Let's start our look at this innovative boat as we step aboard from the swim platform. The walkthrough entryway is over to the starboard side so the helm allows the captain a clear view of the swim ladder. In the center of the transom is a mount for the optional pedestal table ($538), significantly adding to the functionality of this aft space. A Flexiteek swim platform deck is standard on the RX version and offered as an option ($1,000) on the non-RX. Tucked neatly into the transom are trailering brake lights. By plugging a patch cable in from the tow vehicle to the bow of the 24 FasDeck, these brake lights will be activated at the same time as the trailer brake lights, adding to trailering safety. This is a terrific feature and Regal is the only builder I know of who does this.
The Ultra Lounge
This is a very cool feature that adds a lot of versatility to the 24 FasDeck. It can pretty much be thought of as a sun pad on steroids. Either lie flat, recline in chaise lounge position, sit facing forward, aft, blend in with the wraparound seating and pretty much simply adapt it to the heart's content. What I think is the most notable feature is that the sun lounge can now be used even while the boat is underway as it has that forward facing functionality. Naturally there's storage underneath.
The wraparound arena seating is really what makes this cockpit so functional. It allows a large number of people to enjoy the boat while still maintaining an intimate conversational atmosphere. There's dedicated storage for a trash receptacle and a 25 quart (23.7 L) cooler. Our test boat was fitted with the optional refreshment center ($923) just abaft the helm, which is plumbed to the 11 gallon (42 L) water tank, along with the optional transom shower ($508). Regal accommodates three standard interior color packages, all featuring the soft touch vinyl, diamond stitched side panels, and french stitched seams. I would give serious consideration to the optional cockpit carpet ($423).
The aft seat lifts with the aid of two gas assist struts for effortless access to the engine compartment. I found the installation to be more than adequate for extended maintenance and certainly daily engine checks are a nonevent. I’m happy to see that an automatic fire suppression system was installed, as it is on nearly all Regal boats, as standard. All wiring harnesses use weather resistant Deutsch connectors.
Regal does a nice job with their hand–stitched dash. We've seen time and again where a company will wrap a sun shroud in vinyl and call it hand stitched, but in this instance it truly is a soft feeling dash shroud. The panel is aluminum which provides a nice contrast to the vinyl and fiberglass console. In my operations, the one gauge that gets the lion's share of my attention is always the depth gauge, and on the 24 FasDeck it's supplied as standard equipment.
It's hard not to appreciate the Fusion Marine stereo. How often have we all seen an automotive-type Sony stereo plopped into a panel on a boat? While I always see the boats fresh from the factory, the longevity of these installations always comes into question. In this instance, the stereo is waterproof with an internal iPod docking station that keeps the handheld device dry as well as fully charged. The unit is also connected to six marine-grade speakers as part of the standard package. As if that weren't enough Regal also offers a high-performance stereo package on the non-RX version ($977) that includes an amplifier, subwoofer, transom remote, and two additional speakers. With both the regular and RX models, a Sirius satellite tuner is also available ($246).
RegalVue and Watersports
The coolest option on this helm is undoubtedly Regal's proprietary RegalVue display. It's a touch display screen that provides a wealth of information at a glance and it's highly customizable to suit one's own needs. When coupled with Volvo Penta installations, one can also have a programmable cruise control and any number of operational profiles can be dialed in and named according to the person at the end of the towline. It's a very cool system and we've seen variations of this on other brands, but Regal takes it one better by adding a diagnostic page that will allow the boater to diagnose fault codes and receive directions on fixes. While one won't be seeing labor-intense instruction such as "replace timing chain" one will see "inspect water strainer" as well as other more user-friendly guidelines. In my opinion, the display is not only very cool, but very intuitive and user-friendly and most will need no instruction on its use.
The RegalVue is offered as an option in three different versions. A Volvo version for $1,885, a Merc version for $2,500, and a Volvo-only cruise control version for $2,915. If the boater plans on using the 24 FasDeck as just a playing-around family fun dayboat, then I would categorize the RegalVue in the "nice to have" category. But if one is into watersports, and plan on doing a lot of towing then I would relegate it into the "must have" category. As an economic compromise, Regal also offers the Perfect Pass cruise control for $1,731.And certainly if one falls into that latter watersports category, they'll want to give serious consideration to the PowerTower ($4,900). It's a very cool, and very strong, wakeboard tower that retracts at the push of a button so that the 24 FasDeck will still fit into a garage or boathouse. The tower also has available options such as swivel board racks ($1,154), and tower speakers to replace the transom speakers ($1,377). Of course all of this is standard on the RX version.
A Head of its Time
While this head may not be exciting enough to make someone want to drink a six-pack of soda before getting onboard, it is by far the nicest that I've seen in any boat in class. Regal really went all-out with cherry cabinets, a Corian counter, sink, and raised edges to the counter. There's a surprising amount of storage in the cabinetry, so beyond a couple of rolls of TP, I suppose a library of magazines could be added, if it's desired. A chemical head is standard and pump out fittings are offered for $177. The entire head compartment is lockable so go ahead and toss in tote bags full of incidentals while making the way to the dockside restaurant.
As we make our way to the bow, the walkthrough windshield is held open by a magnetic catch, which means that it can be opened and closed on the fly and with one hand. For all that Regal offers as standard features, I was surprised to see that lower walkthrough doors were not on the standard list, but they are offered as an option ($362) and I would highly recommend them to anyone who might find themselves operating on chilly mornings. While the windshield frames are certainly beefy in their own right, these are also supported by heavy duty stainless steel supports that easily held my weight.
The bow area itself is nothing short of massive, as one would expect in any deckboat. To the starboard side the generous storage begins under the helm console and continues all the way to the forward end of the starboard seat with no bulkheads interrupting the space. Thanks to this storage area, the boater not only can fill the sole storage with boards but this compartment as well. To the port side, the storage is only under the seat as the head occupies the console space. Both seat cushions are hinged from the back and open with the aid of gas struts.
When sitting in the lounge position both the port and starboard seats have flip-up armrests, and while this is a wonderful feature for both comfort and security, I would rather see the flip-down armrests that are offered on some of the other Regal models as they can be deployed and retracted with one hand.The seat position fully forward has a backrest and I find this to be an equally comfortable position for an observer watching the end of the towline as it puts them in direct line of sight with the operator. The seat cushion removes to reveal a nonskid step that will then take one to the nonskid foredeck. A hatch on the foredeck covers the self draining anchor locker, and a bow reboarding ladder is standard.
Pricing and Options
The Regal 24 FasDeck RX has a base price of $79,957 when equipped with the catalyzed 300-hp Volvo Penta V8-300 with Duoprop outdrive. There are six other engine options. Aside from some of the options mentioned previously, I would consider docking lights ($231). Since my boating usually has me anchored out into the wee hours of the night I would definitely opt for the underwater LED light bars ($654).
The 24 FasDeck models are clearly boats built by boaters for boaters. Not only does everything onboard just fit ergonomically but she's equally comfortable to operate. Obviously Regal's designers took a look at everything on the market before designing this deckboat. Clearly, their aim was to do the competition one better in each critical area. It is for that reason that if one is in the market for a deckboat they should see the Regal 24 FasDeck.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Regal 24 FasDeck RX (2014-) is 48.0 mph (77.2 kph), burning 24.05 gallons per hour (gph) or 91.03 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Regal 24 FasDeck RX (2014-) is 24.3 mph (39.1 kph), and the boat gets 2.84 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.21 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 107 miles (172.2 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Volvo Penta GiC DP.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|