The new model Regal 53 Sport Coupe comes in three possible main deck layouts and three different accommodation layout options, one including three staterooms. In addition, Regal makes available a wide variety of fabrics and materials for the interior. All of this is due to the careful analysis of owner feedback garnered from the Regal 5260. We think these changes make an exciting yacht much more functional for a wider range of owner applications.
- Aft patio seating
- Glass cockpit enclosure
- Transom seating
- Upper salon seating
- Dual commander helm seats
- Overhead accent lighting
- Central vacuum system
- Full-beam master stateroom
- 6'11'' headroom in salon
|Length Overall||53' / 16.2 m|
Currently no test numbers
2 x 550-hp Cummins Diesel 6.7L Zeus
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Regal created the 53 Sport Coupe as a natural evolution of product improvements over 5260 as well as expanding the boat's utility based on customer feedback. Instead of simply creating another version with new upholstery, Regal is building a new model that greatly expands the boat's capabilities for both entertaining and cruising. Perhaps most important, the company has sub-contracted all interior cabinet and bulkhead joinery work to one of America's best custom cabinetmakers. By eschewing veneer facings, using solid wood, and by taking advantage of skilled furniture-makers, the Regal 53 not only has a yacht-quality interior, but also raises the bar in class.
Technology is Present.
Regal took advantage of several advances in technology and applied them to the 53 Sport Coupe wherever possible. Two examples… a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer, and the ability to communicate and control the systems of the boat remotely through the Maretron Vessel Monitoring and Control System.
All systems can be monitored and owners can be alerted via text when bilge pumps come on, shore power is interrupted, or a whole myriad of other factors take place, all specified in a settings menu. The generator can even be started, and power switched over, from across the country.
• Solid Hardwood Cabinetry and High-Grade Joinery Work. Here is an impressive distinction where most builders economize. To the untrained eye, a plywood or pressboard cabinet covered with a glued-on veneer looks just as good as a premium cabinet. Check the edges of these cabinet doors and it is easy to see where a thin strip of veneer has been glued onto the edge of a plywood core and feathered into the veneers on the front and back of the panel.
Looking closely reveals the economic expediency of this construction method, it flaws and the likelihood of delamination over time. This treatment looks cheap, because it is cheap -- but since yachts are so expensive, it is a place many builders have economized without hurting the structural integrity of the boat. All boats are a compromise, and this is a place most of them do.
However, Regal has chosen not to compromise here. Rather, it outsources all of the cabinet work on the 53 Sport Coupe to a custom cabinet making company that does work for megayacht builders and for other high-end applications. All the wood used in cabinets, doors, and bulkheads is solid hardwood. The millwork and finishes are executed by furniture-making craftsmen, not by boat builders.
Fully Accessible Engine Room.
We think Regal really nailed it with access to the engine room on the 53 Sport Coupe. Here the aft end of the cockpit opens up like a massive garage door to provide unlimited access to the compartment. The installation also allows unrestricted access to all sides of the engines.
Forward Stateroom Options.
The forward stateroom can be fitted with a queen berth, or opt for a double berth and a bunk.
Optional Third Stateroom.
The 53 Sport Coupe comes with a fore and aft stateroom but a third stateroom placed just across from the galley is also offered. It features twin bunks, offering more flexibility for how many guests can spend the night and where they can be accommodated.
Single-Level Cockpit Sole.
Having a single level to the cockpit eliminates any tripping hazards, an important factor when traversing the deck on a moving boat.
Dual Salon Seating Choices.
Choose from either a wraparound sofa for the salon, or a shorter sofa and forward facing observer’s seats. This is quite unusual and offers consumers a real choice on how to layout the helm deck.
Glass Salon/Helm Enclosure.
With the salon and helm fully protected from the elements, climate control is certainly less of a concern. Greenhouse effect is eliminated with air conditioning, but what about those who like boating with the wind blowing through the cockpit? No problem, just open the glass doors, retract the adjacent glass wall into the bulkhead with the push of a button and roll back the electrically actuated sunroof and voila… the outdoors is blended with the indoors.
Optional Outdoor Seating Venue.
The aft deck has wraparound seating for al fresco gatherings. An optional bar with stools and a transom bench are offered to extend the entertainment capabilities of the 53 Sport Coupe even further.
The 53 Sport Coupe is among the most impressive yachts to come out of the Regal factory to date. She exhibits quality materials with what we feel is an attractive design and functional layout, making her well suited for entertaining and cruising.
While the bow may not be a prime gathering area, for the sun worshipers it’s ideal. Two optional foredeck sunpads ($2,395) have beverage holders to the sides and both can easily convert to chaise lounges. The high side rails make the transition to the sidedecks from the bow a safe one.
Fully forward, Regal includes a windlass as standard. Access hatches provide an easy way to manage the anchor rode in addition to accessing a separate compartment for storing lines. A foredeck washdown is standard.
The aft deck is four steps up from the swim platform and Regal refers to this area as the “aft patio”. It’s fully exposed to the elements and as such it is built on a self-draining, fully fiberglass lined deck. Snap-in carpet is included as standard.
The Standard Package.
In the standard version of the aft deck Regal offers standard face-to-face seating, with the transom bench seat facing a wide seat on the port side facing aft. This seat shares a backrest with the settee on the helm deck. By inserting a table between the forward and aft facing seats a dining "booth" can be created. This can be an enjoyable place to have a morning coffee, breakfast, or lunch.
Several options are available to both the seating arrangement and the addition of sun protection. The first option creates U-shaped seating ($1,850) by putting a seat into the portside gunwale between the fore and aft-facing seats. Now a table can be inserted and guests can sit on three sides of the table on built-in seats. Owners wanting to have large dinner parties can actually have two dining venues -- one inside and one on the aft deck.
A cockpit pillow package is offered ($335) along with three upholstery choices. Add teak decking ($6,035) to complete the high-class effect.
Raising the Bar.
The second option involves eliminating the aft-facing seat in the cockpit and in its place putting a raised bar counter and bar stools. This option plays to those owners who are more likely to have cocktail parties aboard and are less likely to have large dinner parties where two dining venues are needed. It also signals and informality that many people enjoy aboard an otherwise somewhat formal yacht.
can be had from two different fronts. Above the aft deck, an electrically actuated extendible sunshade ($9,050) can be brought out to add shade to the area. To the sides, go ahead and lower the optional cockpit blinds ($8,250).
Dining is essential
on the aft deck and as such Regal offers two choices for tables. Both are waterproof, high gloss, mounted on hi-lo pedestals and include filler cushions to convert the deck into a sunning area. The difference between the two options is one is manually raised and lowered ($4,300) and the other is electrically actuated ($5,400).
A second seating option
is offered for the cockpit deck as a way of meeting the needs of the customer, again based on customer feedback. For a more lounge-type atmosphere, Regal offers an alternate seating arrangement for the cockpit deck that includes a bar with stools forward and a bench seat across the transom ($5,400). An icemaker ($1,486) can be installed in the cabinet to the starboard side.
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How About Grilling?
Some people like to cook on deck rather than have to traipse all the way forward, and below, to the galley. Plus, sunny days are all about grilling and that shouldn’t be reserved only to home functions. Since one of the optional tables will likely be added anyway, Regal offers an electric grill for the cockpit ($1,557), making al fresco lunch preparation a quick and easy affair without ever leaving the social gathering. It installs just above where the optional icemaker is.
The swim platform is accessed from a set of stairs to starboard and optional teak treads ($3,150) are offered. At this lower level there’s the usual aft facing transom seats and this makes for one of the most popular spots on the 53 Sport Coupe, particularly when she’s not underway. We’ve always found this to be one of the most relaxing spots for enjoying the view from just above the surface of the water. Add teak decking ($6,830) for an even classier look.
Regal has built-in a handy place to store a dinghy and that’s why we’d consider the optional launch/retrieve system ($2,520). It consists of a set of tracks that run over the top of the engines, and it is here that the dinghy will be positioned, out of the way and clear of the swim platform. Regal even offers a rigid dinghy as an option ($9,995) that includes an electric outboard motor. In this way Regal keeps gasoline from being stored in the engine room.
The helm deck is without a doubt one of the most exciting we’ve seen in class, and most of it is thanks to the protection the full glass enclosure provides. There would be no other way to provide this level of luxury were this area open to the elements.
A well-appointed refreshment center
is to starboard directly across from a comfortable C-shaped sofa that wraps around an expandable pedestal table. The refreshment center can be fitted with either a side-by-side refrigerator or a single refrigerator and a wine captain, either at no additional cost.
Entertainment comes from
an optional 50” (127 cm) TV on an electric lift ($3,995) that can be added, and this could work in conjunction with the premium sound system ($900) for the full theater effect. Catch the shows from satellite reception ($8,849) and if that route is chosen, then go ahead and select the second connection ($1,325) for the master stateroom TV. And if the plans contain destinations that are often out of radio range, or if the idea of commercials is unappealing, then consider the satellite radio package ($375) but this also requires a monthly fee. Otherwise, everyone has MP3 players as an alternative.
The salon seating
has some options to consider as well, and this is another way that the design allows for accommodating varying customer needs. For no additional charge, customers can choose from either the usual wraparound seating configuration across from the refreshment center, or go with slightly shorter seating and add forward facing observer’s seats. This is actually a clever idea that others don’t even bother to offer.
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Visibility is outstanding
with the entire area surrounded in glass. A canvas package ($1,325) will cover off the area for when the boat is unoccupied, or for when the salon gets used for sleeping. Greenhouse effect will be a small concern as the area can be completely opened up by rolling back the electrically actuated sunroof, opening up the aft doors and lowering the glass partition next to the doors into the bulkhead at the touch of a button. But for those times when the outdoors is just as uncomfortably hot as the indoors, cockpit air conditioning can be added ($10,380). Add teak decking ($11,950) to complete the picture.
The helm is well laid out on the Regal 53 Sport Coupe. A non-glare panel was utilized and that’s an essential component in a helm surrounded by so much glass. Regal included a de-fog system for the massive windshield. Air conditioning vents are to either side so the operators will have no concerns about greenhouse effect. DTS controls and the Precision Pilot control pad allow a wide range of optional features. Standing at the helm is made comfortable with 6’5” (2 m) of headroom. A Fusion stereo is located at the lower left of the panel. The steering wheel is hand wrapped in leather.
At the control sticks
are single lever, cruise mode, dock mode and engine sync to name a few of the available options. Our favorite option at the Precision Pilot control is Skyhook, a GPS based positing keeping feature that holds the vessel in a fixed position at the touch of a button.
The Lenco tabs are mapped to the engines and the boats performance so they self-adjust for peak efficiency. Regal’s senior test captain tells us that this system performs better automatically than he was able to do manually, which can be a humbling statement for a career captain.
Behind the helm
, Regal included a pair of bucket seats with flip-down armrests and flip-up bolsters. Both are adjustable fore and aft and optional electric lift pedestals ($862) add vertical adjustments. A teak footrest completes the comfort level.
The technology on the 53 Sport Coupe is no more evident than at the helm. Regal went with a glass-dash centered on a single Garmin 8212 12" (30.5 cm) multifunction display. With this unit, even a non-tech savvy captain can easily manipulate the menus to view everything from the engine data, ship’s systems readouts (fuel and water tank levels…etc.) and boat conditions (speed, heading, position…etc) to a hi-definition level moving map and radar display. There’s even an app to download to an iPhone or iPad that will allow remote viewing and controllability.
The Garmin display is NMEA2000 compatible, which means the list of items that can be connected to it is nearly endless. For that reason, it would be wise to divide up the screen load by adding an optional second 8212 ($7,745) display to further increase the functionality. Additional functions that could be added to these displays include a camera monitoring system ($3,685), a depth/fishfinder ($875) and satellite XM weather ($1,483).
Moving below decks feels like walking into a luxury apartment. The open layout, abundance of natural light, and 6’11” (2.11 m) of headroom give the area a warm and inviting atmosphere, while at the same time, eliminating any feelings of being in an enclosed cave. Huge hull-side windows are a pleasant addition and Regal adds storage cabinets above with accent lighting across the tops.
Entertainment comes from a 32” (81 cm) TV coupled to a Bose CineMate GS series II Theater System. As airflow is a bit more limited on this deck, Regal includes a 36,000 BTU air conditioning system as standard. A standard central vac system makes it easy to keep the 53 Sport Coupe clean.
There are Upholstery Choices.
The sofa is built-in and can come upholstered in either Leather Touch or King Sand fabric material at no additional cost. This is an interesting offering, as all too often we only see Ultraleather, or similar material offered. But that is a delicate material in terms of it being able to stain and be hard to clean. Also, we often get nervous about items in our pockets before we sit. And then there’s the “perspiration” factor on hot days. Some of us prefer to simply go with fabric that is less worrisome, easier to clean and much more breathable. Here, at least Regal thoughtfully added a choice.
The seating area is huge
, and there is a fold-out bed under the sofa for the extra guests that occasionally pop up. For the guests that are planning to stay longer, an alternative is offered. Regal will be happy to shorten the sofa in order to add the option of a third stateroom ($10,150) with over/under bunks to greatly increase the flexibility of the 53 Sport Coupe’s ability to accommodate more overnight guests in private staterooms. The trade-off will be that dining will likely be relegated to the salon above or aft deck.
is well equipped with plenty of storage and the usual cast of appliances. But it’s the décor that grabs the eye. Standard cabinetry is covered in a Satin Black Cherry finish adding richness to the area and Regal pre-loads it with dishes and silverware. For even more zing, go for the High-Gloss Black Cherry ($13,255) to really drive home that classy look.
The Regal 53's cabinets are manufactured by Richardson Yacht Interiors of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. All joiner work is made out of solid wood and Richardson's craftsmen add a level of fit-and-finish and attention to detail that is above what one might expect from most hourly workers in a boat factory. Look closely and the difference can easily be seen. Dovetail joinery and a more solid feel indicate a premium level that looks better, lasts longer, and simply adds enormous value to a yacht of this size.
We would consider including the optional gray water system ($650) to add to the ability for storing waste for pump-out back dockside. Then we’d go for the optional dishwasher ($1,855) and the washer and dryer ($2,495) for keeping the clothes clean on the longer trips.
Keeping with Regal’s policy of offering customers the ability to customize their new purchase, the galley is offered with two choices of finish for the cabinetry and six choices for the counters. There are three choices that carry no additional cost, and another three priced as an upgrade ($8,150).
The Regal 53 Sport Coupe is a two-stateroom yacht, and as we’ve discussed, there’s an option for a third in the main salon area. Four different “pillow packages” are offered at no additional charge.
The master stateroom
is full beam and a queen berth is mounted on the fore and aft centerline to maximize comfort. Regal went with an innerspring mattress and courtesy lights run around the perimeter of the berth, right at deck level. Bedding is offered in either Dawn or Pearl.
There are chests of drawers to either side and they are the low-profile type. Their low height and proximity to the hull side windows make them ideal candidates for sitting on while enjoying the waterfront view. For that reason, Regal offers cushions for the dresser tops ($550), an attractive idea and one that we’d seriously consider. Alternatively, a settee ($1,150) can be added to the master in lieu of one of the bureaus.
The forward stateroom features a queen island berth as standard. The usual accommodations for storage are under the berth and to the sides. We’re pleased to see that Regal took advantage of the space above the berth, against the sides of the bow, for additional storage. This is an area that, all too often, we see poorly utilized. An optional LCD TV ($2,195) can be added to the mix.
An optional layout
for this forward stateroom is offered and adds even more sleeping space. In the optional version ($1,350), the double berth is angled with one side flush against the starboard bulkhead. The storage above, and along the port bow, is replaced with a raised bunk bed. In this manner, three can now sleep in this single stateroom. It’s a clever alternative and shrewdly adds to the functionality of the 53 Sport Coupe and her ability to further accommodate even more guests.
2 Heads Are Better Than 1
There are two heads on the 53 Sport Coupe. The forward wet-head doubles as a day head with a separate door leading into the salon. The master stateroom head is split, with the water closet to one side and the shower to the other, both just behind the aft bulkhead, which further insulates the master stateroom from the noise of the engine room.
This split-head arrangement is a functional concept as it allows two people to get ready for the evening at the same time. Both the fore and aft heads feature vessel sinks that sit atop the counters, and electric flush toilets that are silent flush, especially when compared to the noisy VacuFlush heads. The aft shower, being separate from the toilet, has a teak floor and seat.
Regal offers a long list of color choices for everything from bedding to flooring to countertops.
Counters - The fore and aft vanities can be finished in a Radiant Shimmer as standard, or upgrade to granite in three different colors ($4,585 for aft, $2,095 for forward).
Decking – both the fore and aft staterooms can be ordered with three decking choices. Two match the choices for the galley, Birch with Rosewood or plain Birch. These upgrades run $2,700 for the master and $895 for the forward VIP. We’ve always found that hard surfaces in yacht staterooms often take away from the cozy effect of soft carpet. Hard wood can also be slippery. Carpeting also doesn’t carry an up-charge and multi-million dollar megayachts have it, so why not the Regal 53 Sport Coupe?
On Board Stabalizer
Stabilization can be a problem, not only underway but also at the dock next to a busy waterway like the Intracoastal, or on the hook in a busy roadstead. Having the glasses go sliding off the table every time a large cruiser goes by just won’t do. Regal’s solution is to offer the option of the SeaKeeper gyro system ($115,000). This is a high-speed gyro that counters the pitch and roll of the boat with a heavy flywheel spinning at over 10,000 rpm.
this model ourselves, and have been on several large yachts that also have this system, and it works remarkably well. They’re mostly mounted in engine rooms simply because there’s more available space for them there. However, that aft location decreases the effectiveness slightly, so on the 53 Sport Coupe, Regal mounts it forward, right on the center of buoyancy where it belongs and makes it most effective.
In typical Regal fashion, the engine room access is well thought out. In addition to a cockpit day hatch allowing a quick pre-departure look-see, the aft section of the transom lifts like a huge garage door to provide walk-in access. There’s over 7’ (2.13 m) of headroom between the engines and plenty of room to get to all sides of the mains as well. We love a clean engine room and appreciate the addition of the standard engine room wash down.
We’d certainly equip
our engine room with the hose reel ($1,795) and the electric shore cord reel ($3,670) for the standard 50’ (15.2m) 50-Amp shore power cord, to make it much easier to deploy and stow these two critical items that get used before and after every trip. As with nearly every other Regal boat, an automatic fire suppression system is installed as standard.
Regal went with a pair of 550-hp, 6.7L Cummins diesels connected to Zeus pods. These engines are turbocharged and aftercooled and the pods provide complete maneuverability with joystick functionality.
Engine Room Tech
The engine room was not left out of the area where Regal took great pains to take care of the myriad of details that can plague a boater, particularly in this class of boat. With four separate air conditioners plus the generator, a lot of water needs to be brought into the boat for cooling the systems. Rather than have an excessive amount of thru-hull fittings, Regal went with a sea chest instead. This creates one thru-hull fitting and all the systems draw water from the enclosed chest. But there’s a catch with this type of system.
The problem with a single sea chest
is that the inflow of water can be high, and like it or not, things can clog water strainers quite easily. In the northeast, mung weed can be as prevalent as salt in the waters during the spring. In the South we’ve spent countless hours in the backs of canals where debris gets trapped for endless periods. With all these systems drawing water from a single source, it’s easy for all to become water-starved in the event of a clog. After customers included this in their feedback, Regal responded with a technological and time proven, solution for fishermen… the macerator.
The sea chest on the 53 is macerated and kicks on every hour to grind-up and discharge any debris to ensure that the water flows freely at all times. There’s even a purge function to override the timed maceration. Simple problem… Brilliant solution. Now there’s no longer any worry about fighting off mold and mildew by leaving the air conditioners on while away from the boat for extended periods.
Another concern was shore power
and the problems of voltage degradation for those stuck at the far ends of the docks. For a boat tied to the end of a long pier, that shore power has been tapped into by dozens of other boats, so by the time it reaches the poor guy at the end, he may have had power drop from say, 240V down to perhaps 200V. For some systems, voltage limits kick in and shuts down underperforming equipment, such as air conditioners. With Regal adding in the Charles Industries IsoBoost system, the power can be increased by up to 15% automatically, and on demand.
The entire 12V system
has been re-thought as well. To reduce the draw on the batteries, Regal went to a complete LED system for lighting throughout. In addition to not generating the heat that halogen bulbs do, these draw a fraction of the power needed to light them. An isolator distributes the power from the alternators to the batteries that need the charge the most, be it house or engine start batteries, to keep the load evenly distributed.
Furthermore, Regal went with the Mastervolt Inverter to convert the 12V power into 110V. So go ahead and shut the generator down and the food will still stay fresh in the working refrigerators and freezers.
Pricing and Observations
The Regal 53 Sport Coupe has an MSRP of $1,335,000, and she’s delivered complete with a full cruise package that includes life jackets, fenders, dock lines, boat hook and first aid kit. (A fully loaded version with most of the options will top out at $1,627,527, MSRP.)
On the 53 Sport Coupe Regal offers a "pre-production" discount that will take over $386K off of the base MSRP. By having a boat of this magnitude ordered ahead, and not requiring dealers or the factory to stock, eliminating trucking, insurance, inventory financing, and product depreciation, significant savings can be made in the building of the boat.
Regal can offer the 53 Sport Coupe at a "pre-production" starting price of $949,000. The folks at the company tell us that this is a "no haggle" price, meaning that since the dealer does not have to inventory the boat, Regal simply pays the dealer a flat fee for selling the 53, and the normal large margin built in for "negotiations" is thereby eliminated. The "pre-production" price is as low as it gets -- otherwise the boat isn't built in the first place.
Regal has tried to build a boat that can carry on a lot of different functions, delivery a high level of quality with premium amenities, and perform at levels expected by today's boating consumers -- doing it all at a very competitive price. There is no boat quite like her in class and she has clearly gotten better in her new iteration.