We’ll start our tour as we do most of our walkthroughs, at the boarding area. In this case, boarding is from the stern via the swim platform. The platform itself as an extension of the main hull and its addition not only makes boarding more convenient, but swimming is safer as one will be diving in well past the outdrive’s protruding sharp edges. An optional Flexi-Teak deck is offered (add $1,164), a re-boarding ladder is mounted off to the port side.There’s a sun pad on top of the engine compartment and with the center cushion removed, a Flexi-Teak decked walkthrough to the cockpit is revealed. This time the Flexi-Teak is standard. The sun pad to either side of the walkthrough opens up gull-wing style to reveal cavernous storage on either side of the engine compartment. The storage areas are so large it was easy to picture securing milk crates with bungee cords and filling them up with all the necessary supplies. A standard transom tilt switch is over on the starboard side, and the corners of the transom are outfitted with Regal’s integral trailer lights. These lights provided outstanding supplementary lighting to the regular trailer lights which have a tendency to fail after being submerged repeatedly. The 2500 will come with a wiring harness that will attach the boat's lights to a car.
The engine hatch opens from the stern and there are two ways to do it. One is the lifting latch at the aft end of the walkthrough. Naturally this will require some finger strength, but a more comfortable way of opening the hatch is to lift the gull wing sun pads, and push on them to open the hatch. The hatch is supported by two gas assist struts, and as stated the center mounted engine is flanked by cavernous storage areas accessible by the gull wing pads.Eleven engine packages are offered from both MerCruiser and Volvo Penta ranging from 300 to 380 horsepower.
Once inside the cockpit, U-shaped seating will not only offer abundant passenger comfort but additional storage options. Lifting both the port and starboard seats reveals storage underneath, with the starboard side also accommodating a carry on cooler. The storage on both sides carries back to the storage areas on either side of the engine, so long items from skis or wakeboards to fishing poles will easily fit in these areas. The seats are 3'3" (.99 m) apart from each other. As is typical with Regal, anything that opens is supported by a gas-assist strut. Underneath the portside storage was the optional air compressor (add $152) for inflating water toys. Regal has made several options available for the 2500's cockpit area, among the more notable is the cockpit carpet (add $462), a teak cockpit table (add $585) that has a side mount base at the stern of the cockpit as well as at the bow, and a rail mounted grill (add $323).
As this is a watersports boat, Regal built the boat to specifically take best advantage of the optional sport tower (add $4,308). Not only is this tower beefy and solid, resisting any tendency to wobble as we hopped across the chop on our test ride, but it is also mounted on an electrically actuated hinge that will lower the entire tower with the touch of a button. This makes a great feature when trailering one's boat and especially when storing it in the garage.
The Bucket List
Moving forward, both the captain and the observer are treated to two very comfortable bucket seats. Both seats feature wide open backs for improved ventilation, and wrap around for added stability. Additionally both seats are adjustable fore and aft, swivel, and accommodate flip-up bolsters. I found visibility while seated in the helm seat to be excellent with my line of sight looking directly through the windshield. When sitting up on the bolster I was high enough to be looking over the windshield with my head in the breeze. This is an area where so many others seem to feel that it’s just fine to have one's line of sight looking directly at the windshield frame. Speaking of windshield frames, the Regal 2500's windshield frame is solid stainless steel, very beefy, and able to support my full (180 lbs./82 kg of mostly water) weight at the walkthrough.
The 2500's helm leaves little to be desired, save for a flat recessed area for laying stuff in. To the port side is a depth gauge, then a multifunction gauge with a fuel, voltage, oil pressure and temperature, a GPS map 650 with touchscreen display (add $1,485), and to the right a tachometer, and a trim gauge. Just below are electrical rocker switches with the horn all the way to the left, then the switches for the blower, NAV lights, and bilge pump switch. To the starboard side… docking lights, cockpit lights, and an arch tilt. A switch to activate the pressurized water system is added if the buyer decides to add that option (add $638). Our test boat also featured the high-performance stereo package (add $1,077).
Between the two consoles is sole storage that can only be accessed by un-snapping the snap-in carpet. I’d like to see a hole in the carpet so that we don’t have to lift up the carpet to access the hatch’s latch. However, by un-snapping the carpet I was able to notice that all of the snaps are stainless steel, and the deck underneath this is textured with non-skid.
The boater is able to close off the walkthrough to the bow with two smoked Lexan doors that secure in the middle with a flip-down latch across the top. Closing off the walkthrough windshield will block off any breeze on those cool days. The stainless steel windshield frame is supported by solid and beefy stainless steel supports that, as I said, are strong enough to hold my weight.The bow seats are quite comfortable in that they are contoured to give additional support just under the backs of one's knees when sitting in the reclined position. Flip-up armrests complete the comfort picture.As the seat cushions are hinged from the forward end, storage underneath the seats is accessed by lifting the seat cushion from the aft end, allowing one to lift the entire length, giving better access to the storage beneath.
To portside is a head that is tight to be sure, but since it is such a rarely used item in a boat in this class it serves its purpose well. I found 44” (112 cm) of headroom inside, which is sitting room to be sure but still left me slightly hunched over. To be fair, adding any more headroom would only serve to impede the visibility of the portside observer. The head also features a sink, a feature not usually found until getting into larger boats. As there is no entertainment center/wet bar on board, this is where the optional pressurized water system will come into play (add $638), as will a gray water system (add $231), and pump-out fittings (add $177).
Performance and Handling
Regal’s hull design is called FasTrac, and it consists of multiple lifting strikes leading to a reverse chine and a stepped hull. The purpose of a stepped hull is to allow air to enter the running surface and break the friction that bonds the hull to the water. The result is an increase in performance and top speed. Occasionally we have seen instances where the downside of this more slippery running surface results in poor turning performance. Regal’s engineering and design team seems to have found a way around this, as the 2500 exhibited no slippage in the turns. In fact, performance turns can only be described as exhilarating, as the boat turn as if it were on rails.
When entering a performance turn in the 2500, the bank level increases until it reaches roughly 12 degrees. Once that apex has been reached, the bank comes back down slightly and that is when the boat starts to dig in and crank around the turn. At this point, the operator wants to either make sure that everyone is hanging on, or more likely they'll just be entering turns at a more sedate pace than we do when testing the performance envelope. However one chooses to enter their turns one will agree that the myth surrounding poor turning performance and stepped hulls is exactly that in the Regal realm… a myth.Our test boat measured 26'3” (8 m) in length, had a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m), and with full fuel and three people onboard we had a test weight of 5,608 lbs. (2,544 kg). Test power was a catalyzed 300 horsepower Volvo Penta 5.7 Gi driving a DP outdrive with stainless steel F5 props.Top speed was reached at 4850 rpm and 50.6 mph. At that speed we were burning 22.3 gph and getting 2.27 mpg for a range of 139 miles. Pulled back to a more economic cruise speed of 3000 rpm and we were running at 29.9 mph and getting 10.2 gph for 2.95 mpg. This translates to a range of 180 miles. Our time to plane was 4.2 seconds, we reached 20 mph in 7.3 seconds, 30 mph in 10.2 seconds, 40 mph in 15 seconds, and accelerated through 50 mph in 23.4 seconds.Time and again we see how Regal excels at maximizing space. In the Regal 2500, the team at Regal also seems to have been able to combine that trait with very exciting sportboat handling. Adding a tower to this package, and increasing the watersports capabilities while still keeping the roomy entertaining platform is a win-win combination.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Regal 2500 (2014-) is 50.6 mph (81.4 kph), burning 22.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 84.41 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Regal 2500 (2014-) is 29.9 mph (48.1 kph), and the boat gets 2.95 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.25 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 180 miles (289.68 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Volvo Penta 5.7 GiC.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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