Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
Over the last 10 years or so the market share of deckboats has doubled despite the fact that many of them are wet and pound in a chop and were not really made for saltwater applications. Obviously they have other attributes that consumers like, and today most major sportboat builders are trying to solve the problems of the early models and improve on the concept. One of the latest builders to do that is Regal Boats.
Regal 27 FasDeck Mission
Regal Boats decided to start with a clean piece of paper to completely redesign what a deckboat should be. First, they would maximize the room inside the 8'6" (2.54 m) wide boat by carrying its max beam as far forward as possible. Second, it would utilize its proven FasTrac hull that has a sharp entry, doesn't pound, is dry, and has a higher top speed with equivalent power than non-stepped hulls. The new boat comes in two versions, the 27 FasDeck, and the tricked-out 27 FasDeck RX which has additional standard watersports features for the boaters who want to go all out.
There are several distinguishing features that separate this 27 FasDeck from the crowd.•
Regal's version of the stepped hull concept is called FasTrac and it is worth a knot or so at the top end. More importantly, the hull has a sharp entry so it won't pound and a 21-degree deadrise at the transom to make her comfortable in a chop. •
Innovative aft sunpad.
The aft sunpad can accommodate up to six different positions so you can 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 with one hand while you load the compartment up with the other.•
Massive head compartment.
Not only is the head area huge but it's finished off to perfection. Probably one of the nicest heads I've seen in class.
Our test boat was powered by the Volvo Penta 5.7 GiC 300-hp engine driving an OceanX outdrive. The OceanX lower unit has been specifically designed by Volvo Penta to resist the riggers of saltwater. This one aspect alone makes the 27 FasDeck a better boat to have in saltwater over an outdrive not designed for the conditions.
Top speed came in at 5050 rpm and 46.2 mph. At that speed I measured a fuel burn of 22.9 gph while getting just over 2 mpg for range of 112 miles.
Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 23 mph. At that speed the fuel burn was measured at 8.65 gph, which meant we were getting 2.65 mpg for range of 148 miles. The Regal FasTrac hull did its thing and got us on plane in only 3.6 seconds. We reached 20 mph in 5.6 seconds and continued accelerating to 30 mph in 9.6 seconds.
The handling of the 27 FasDeck was exemplary. She responds very well to the steering, and any adjustment to the engine control is met with an immediate and quick response. Upon acceleration bow rise was roughly 16-degrees and there was no loss of visibility to the horizon. When you take power off, she seems to settle in flat, so you won’t lose visibility when slowing either. Even though the 27 FasDeck is built with a stepped hull, I found no adverse characteristics in turning performance. In fact, she turns like she's on rails. Another nice characteristic of her turning performance is that she was completely absent of the annoying chine walk that we sometimes see in a stepped hull when you enter a hard turn. Don't be afraid to get aggressive on the trim, as I found that bringing the needle up to just under the halfway mark on the indicator is right about where the 27 wants to be.
Let start our features walk-through of this roomy sportboat from the stern. The swim platform is exceptionally large and makes a great staging area for putting on your board. The reboarding ladder is mounted to the starboard side, directly in line with the helm, and a convenient grab handle is mounted to the transom to aid you in hauling yourself out of the water.
The swim platform has a subtle V shape which adds to the racy look of the boat. A Flexiteek inlay is offered as an option ($792). An interesting addition, that we only see with Regal, are brake lights added to the transom. These are made to connect to the tow vehicle and will illuminate, in addition to your trailer brake lights, to add another level of safety to your towing. The transom also had a mounting bracket for an optional table ($585).
The Ultra Lounge
This is a very cool feature that adds so much versatility to the 27 FasDeck, that you might never want to leave. You can pretty much think of it as a sunpad on steroids. You can lie flat, recline in chaise lounge position, sit facing forward, aft, blend in with the wraparound seating and pretty much adapt it to your heart's content. What I think is the most notable feature is that you can now use the sun lounge even while the boat is underway as it has that forward facing functionality. Naturally there's storage underneath.
The cockpit walk-through is 14” (35.6 cm) across and the nonskid deck is actually a hatch over a roomy storage area. Immediately to starboard is an optional refreshment center ($1038) which faces Regal’s arena seating. The seating begins with a lounger to port and wraps around to a bench seat at the stern that also makes up part of the ultra-lounge. Under the lounge seat is storage for a carry-on cooler and a trash receptacle. A snap-in cockpit carpet is also offered as an option ($462), and it really adds to the finished off beauty of this cockpit area.
Lifting the aft bench seat allows you access to the engine compartment, and your mechanic will appreciate the fact that the compartment opening comes down right to the deck. Naturally there was plenty of room for the daily engine checks, and while the side bulkheads were mounted rather close to the engine to allow for storage to either side, they are removable should more aggressive maintenance be required.
The helm features a hand-stitched, vinyl covered dash that has a nice feel to it. The panel has a carbon fiber finish and the gauges are black and gunmetal gray which gives a contrasting look. A depth sounder is to port and is part of the standard equipment list. Toggle switches are illuminated and waterproof, and the Fusion marine grade stereo is mounted at the helm as well. On the starboard bulkhead is the switch to activate the pressure to the 12-gallon (45 L) water tank. I was very happy with the all-around ergonomics of the helm, and had no problem with visibility from either the seated position or up on the standard bolster.
One of the most significant available options has to be the RegalVue display. This screen lets you monitor a number of different parameters and includes a moving map display. There is a version for a Volvo Penta installation ($1831), a MerCruiser installation ($2446) and a 3rd version that adds cruise control ($2862) with parameters that can be saved into any number of user profiles. If you decide not to opt for the RegalVue, at the very least you may want to consider the Perfect Pass cruise control ($1677) that will take a significant workload off of your driving when towing.
Of course I would be remiss if I strayed too far from the discussion of watersports without bringing up the subject of the Power Tower. This is a very well-built tower that electrically lowers at the touch of a button at the helm. It's standard on the RX version, and in this version it’s offered as an option ($4308). You can add swivel board racks ($1154), and premium speakers ($1377). Blue courtesy lights are underneath, the tow-point above also serves as your all around nav light.
It seems ridiculous to get excited about a head compartment, but the fact is this is an extraordinary head compartment. It's quite roomy and surprisingly good-looking with a cherry wood veneer, plenty of storage, mirrored doors, stainless sink and an opening portlight. Options for the head include pump-out fittings ($177) and a macerating head with pump-out ($1531). To be sure, the compartment only offers sitting room with 4’ (1.22 m) of headroom.
As this is a deckboat it is not surprising to see that the bow is exceedingly roomy. The lounge seats offer more than enough length for me to stretch my legs and both sides have flip-down armrests as opposed to flip-up armrests. This means that you can deploy and stow the rest with one hand. There is a base mount for the optional cockpit/transom/bow table ($462). There is storage under both seats, but the starboard seat has the added benefit of having its storage continue all the way back into the starboard side console, with added access from the seatback and a hatch in the side of the console. Between this compartment and the 21” (53.3 cm) deep sole storage, you can pretty much guarantee that if you fill this boat to capacity you'll still be able to have everyone bring their own boards, and gear, and have a place for all of it to go.
Fully forward, the bow offers a large nonskid platform. Our test boat had foot controls to port for the optional anchor windlass ($2300) and a bow shower. Underneath the hatch in the deck is access to the beach-reboarding ladder, which lies atop the anchor. With the optional windlass the anchor is positioned through the stem and can be deployed without interfering with the reboarding ladder. This is a neat set-up and I like it.
Pricing and Options
The 27 FasDeck is offered with an assortment of catalyzed engines for the U.S. market ranging from 300-hp to 380-hp. Base price with a Volvo Penta 5.7 Gi Catalyst 300-hp is $76,249 with Duoprop. Moving to the maximum of a 380-hp Merc 8.2 Catalyst will take you to $90,284 with a Bravo III lower unit. Some notable options that I haven't yet discussed include dock lights ($231), bow cushions ($300), bow doors ($385) to block the wind on the chilly mornings, and a caprail mounted grill ($323).
Observations on the Regal 27 FasDeck
It's no secret that I love a big bowrider. Most of my boating time is spent on the water for the day, possibly into the evening, but back home at night. That means that a large boat that I can invite a lot of friends on is a big plus. Throw in a sporty ride while keeping everyone comfortable, a high freeboard that will keep everyone dry, and a sharp entry that will keep the boat from pounding and what more could I ask for? I would be a good candidate for the 27 FasDeck.If you are more inclined to have friends and family aboard for lots of watersports, then go whole hog and get the Power Tower, board racks, tow mirror and a number of other options I have mentioned and the bill will be about $13,000 higher. For that money you put on a three ring circus for your friends.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Regal 27 FasDeck (2012-) is 46.2 mph (74.4 kph), burning 22.90 gallons per hour (gph) or 86.68 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Regal 27 FasDeck (2012-) is 23.0 mph (37 kph), and the boat gets 2.65 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.13 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 148 miles (238.18 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Volvo Penta 5.7 GiC Ocean X.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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