Captain's ReportA Dedicated Offshore Natural Has A New Family-Friendly DesignBy Capt. Bob SmithI recently traveled to Edenton, North Carolina to visit Regulator Marine, tour the plant, and test the new 26FS. The FS stands for “Forward Seating,” which turns this fishing veteran into a family-friendly offshore boat. Fishing Layout and FeaturesThe wide Carolina flare on this model helps deliver a dry ride even in rough conditions. The broad gunwale tops on this boat is really what Regulator considers the deck. The gunwale tops are large enough to easily and safely get around and have aggressive grip on the surface. There is a pop-up light and two pop-up cleats that keep the area clear when working fish. Surrounding the entire boat are standard coaming pads, which can also be used as seat backs. The forward seating model features two facing benches with three connecting cushions for comfort at the bow. Under these cushions are twin 143 quart insulated fish lockers. Each lid has a locking latch, which is resin transfer molded providing a sturdier lid with top and bottom finish. When it’s time to haul in the fish, there is a forward 700-quart in-sole locker that doubles as a rod locker.The center console has a bench seat forward, and beneath the hinged seat bottom is another 64-quart insulated cooler. Step storage is located on both sides of the console, and provides a convenient place to keep the cleaning supplies and brush ends. At the Console The helm is laid out logically, with controls and gauges right where you need them. The standard Yamaha gauges clustered at the top right of the panel, Lenco trim tabs and switches protected by breakers are just below the gauges. A large panel located just behind the hydraulic steering wheel stores the flush-mounted electronics. The optional fiberglass T-top comes with a Lee Sidewinder Outrigger base and LED dome lights. It also adds extra room for more electronics, and gives protection from the elements. The only complaint I have on this boat is the way the stainless steel bracing is set up at the windshield. It creates a bit of a blind spot where the bars are located. I would compare this to a blind spot from the side frame of a car windshield. It doesn't prevent visibility, you just have to lean or tilt around it. The positive side to the bracing design is that it adds extra strength to the T-top and can sustain years of offshore abuse, and hard running. The HeadThe battery switches are located just inside the door to the head. Panels inside also offer convenient access to the electronics connections and batteries. The fully enclosed head has stand-up room, and is complete with mirror, net storage, lighting, and a marine portable toilet.Cockpit FeaturesUnder the gunwales are both fresh and salt water washdown connections. Thick bolsters surround the gunwales and provide good protection as you lean into the fish during the fight. The leaning post seat comes with a footrest, and has drawers on the side for loose tackle and tools. It also has knife and lure holders across the back, and below are 10 Plano tackle organizers. The cockpit on the 26 is quite large and offers premium casting space. In the sole is an opening to a 32-gallon livewell, and just behind it is access to the bilge. Built into the stern are three hatches with 17-quart bait boxes on each end, and a 16-gallon livewell in the middle.SpecificationsThe 26FS measures 25’10” length overall with a trailerable beam of 8’6”. She tips the scale at 5,000 pounds without the outboards, draws 24” with the outdrives up, and 31” with them down. The 26FS can be equipped with a maximum of 500 horsepower. This model carries 176 gallons of fuel, but an auxiliary tank can be added for another 34 gallons if you regularly travel offshore or long distances.Performance and RideOn test day we had some wind and good waves to work this fishing machine. The ride was smooth and dry, and the boat cut turns with ease and without pounding. Hull noise was well dampened (86 dba at cruise) and the center console offered good protection from the wind. The 26FS was on plane in 3.9 seconds and passing 30 mph in only 6.3 seconds. While she topped out at 6100 rpm giving us 57.4 mph, she cruised best around 4000 rpm doing 36.7mph, which will give you a range about 332 miles on a full tank. Regulator has built handcrafted boats for many years, and the success of this design shows in the company’s attention to details, fit and finish.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Regulator 26 FS (2006-) is 57.4 mph (92.4 kph), burning 44.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 168.43 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Regulator 26 FS (2006-) is 36.7 mph (59.1 kph), and the boat gets 2.09 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.89 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 332 miles (534.3 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 250-hp Yamaha four-stroke (outboards).
Standard and Optional Features
|Trim Tabs||Standard Lenco|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|