The Regal 38 SAV is designed as a do-it-all type of vessel. Now whenever something like this comes along, we always have a knee-jerk reaction of a builder cramming too much into too little space in a vain attempt to make it all work. But that’s not the case here. Regal actually managed to pull it off in a way that leaves plenty of room to not only have a crowd aboard but have that crowd move about the boat with room to spare.
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.8 seconds|
|0 to 30||10.7 seconds|
|Props||15 1/4 x 18 SW Series2|
|Load||4 persons; 142.8 gal. fuel; 60 gal. water; 50 lbs. gear|
|Climate||75 deg.; 45 humid.; winds: 10-15; seas: 1|
3 x 300-hp Yamaha 4-stroke
By Capt. Steve
SAV stands for Sport Activity Vessel. It’s intended to allow a family to do whatever it wants to do, whether it’s cruising, watersports, fishing, coving or just about any other activity short of passage making.
Major Features (Including Distinguishing Features)
- Dual hullside doors as standard
- Four across helm seats are accessible from both sides. Two end seats are reversible
- High dockside access
- Adaptable cockpit seating
- Refreshment Island
- Spacious cabin
- Forward berth converts to aft-facing seating
- Outboard powered
- Open bow seating
- Sofa in mid-cabin
- Separate shower in head
- 8 available hull color options
- Standard 7.5 kW gas generator
- Standard Seakeeper 3 Gyrostabilizer
- Standard heat/AC
- Standard Lewmar windlass
The Regal 38 SAV has a length overall of 39’8” (12.09 m), a beam of 11’11” (3.6 m) and a draft of 34.12” (87 cm). With the triple 300-hp Yamaha four-strokes turning 15 ¼ x 18 Saltwater Series II propellers and wound up to 5800 RPM, our speed topped out at 50 mph. Best cruise came in at 4000 RPM and 31.7 mph. At that speed, the 38.4 gph fuel burn translated and 0.8 mpg and a range of 253 statute miles. All while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat's 340-gallon (1,287 L) total fuel capacity.
With the throttles pinned forward, we reached planing speed in an average of 4.8 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 6.8 seconds, 30 came and went in 10.7 seconds and we cruised through 40 mph at 15.7 seconds.
When accelerating the 38 SAV, as with any boat, if you do it slowly, the bow will come up to the point where you will lose sight of the horizon. So, since you’ve got 900-hp hanging off the transom, use it. Hit the throttles and get the boat on plane. That way you won’t lose sight of the horizon and she’ll get into her proper running attitude faster and be more efficient. Once on plane, about half engine trim will put her into where she wants to be for best performance and you’ll see the spray move from the midship area, back to the stern quarters.
When turning, if we hold a hard turn, she will bleed off enough speed to the point where she will eventually fall off the turn, but to be clear, no one does this unless they’re running a BoatTEST. Normal turns show her holding tight to the turn with minimal slippage that keeps the turn comfortable and easily manageable.
On our calm test day, we had nothing in the way of chop to test her seaworthiness other than crossing wakes, which showed nothing of note, not even spray getting on the windshield.
The 38 SAV is powered by triple 300-hp Yamaha 4.2L Four Stroke V6 outboards in White with a standard Helm Master joystick.
Starting at the stern, the 38 SAV lends herself to beaching thanks to her triple outboard power. Swim platforms are to both sides of the engines and there are also standard hullside dive doors…. That’s right, standard, and there are two of them, one to each side. Behind the transom, there’s a platform allowing a transition from one side to the other and gates to both sides of the transom are a welcome feature.
There are no less than four access points to the 38 SAV aft deck. There are two gates to either side of the transom that measure 18” (45.72 cm) wide each and the two standard hullside doors that measure 19” (48.26 cm).
Now with a wide-open deck, we can either entertain a crowd or fish. There are optional fishing features available here, but let’s be clear on one thing. This boat is a dayboat/cruiser that can fish, not a center console fishing rig that also cruises. There’s a definite distinction between the two categories and Regal is not competing in the center console market, which is why anything to do with fishing is optional. That said, the fishing features that can be added are the five transom rod holders, the livewell and the raw water washdown, all as part of the single Fish Package ($1,275). Then opt for the Rocket Launcher style rod holders ($1,715) at the trailing edge of the hardtop and Grand Slam outriggers ($5,735). Additionally, the beverage holders in the caprails are also combination rod holders.
There’s a 63” (160.02 cm) wide seat that deploys from the transom that's electrically actuated. It takes 15 seconds to deploy and is surprisingly comfortable.
There’s 39” (99.06 cm) of legroom between the deployed transom seat and the aft-facing bench seat just ahead that measures 90” (228.6 cm) across so we have opposing seating and plenty of room for socializing. There’s a large cockpit table ($8,040) that can go in between the two seats and the forward bench includes flip-down armrests. Overhead, a standard 32” (81.28 cm) TV drops down on an electrically actuated mechanism.
The huge deck hatch opens electrically on a support strut. Under the deck is Laz storage that, in addition to lots of open space, houses the main electrical distribution panel, the ships batteries, the standard Seakeeper 3, the standard 7.5 kW gas generator and the water heater.
As we transition forward, there is a single step to accommodate the mid-cabin below. It’s a fair tradeoff and usually problematic, but here it’s so obvious thanks to the teak step that draws the eye, so it virtually eliminates someone missing the fact that it’s there.
In the center of the deck is what Regal calls the Refreshment Island. It’s accessible from both sides, hence the term “island.” It includes a sink, open counter space, an electric grill and a trash receptacle over to the starboard side. Below are refrigerated drawers that can be any combination of refrigeration and freezer desired, plus storage. Just ahead are the four helm seats with the two end seats being swivel so they can spin around to join the party just behind. All four seats have flip-down seatbacks so they become excellent serving areas and under the two center seats is a carry-on Yeti cooler on a slide-out tray. Now the important takeaway here is that the refreshment center is an island, so it doesn’t interrupt the flow as we move about the boat.
At the helm, Regal went with the glass dash concept with dual 16” (40.64 cm) displays. Climate control vents are to both sides. Below there’s a nice wood trim at the bottom that really makes it pop and gives the helm a modern look. The top of the console is soft touch and I'd like to see a compass in line with the helm. A Lewmar bow thruster is standard. Overhead is an opening skylight in the standard hardtop.
As we make our way to the bow through the 19” (48.26 cm) wide side deck, there’s one thing that’s blatantly missing… a step. The deck is a single level and it’s a welcome sight to see. A step is easy to negotiate when moving forward but when moving aft, it seems to be invisible and then it’s a back-breaker when you step down hard on the lower deck. All of that is eliminated on the 38 SAV.
The bolsters are 32” (81.28 cm) high as we make our way up to the bow social zone. It features U-shaped seating with a flip-down armrest to the forward-facing seating with integrated beverage holders. A recessed area to the side bolsters includes beverage holders, connectivity and grab handles. There’s an option for putting a table ($5,875) in the center of the deck. There’s also an optional bow filler cushion ($2,105) to turn the entire area into a sunpad. If the sun isn’t exactly your thing, an optional sunshade ($1,230) can be erected overhead to shade the entire bow area. Once the sun goes down, pop-up LED lights will add a nice atmosphere to the social zone.
The foredeck is treated with nonskid. A lift-and-lock latch accesses the hatch and underneath is a Lewmar windlass leading out to a through the stem anchor roller. The standard rode is chain and rope, all chain is optional ($2,660).
The cabin is accessed from a sliding door to the port side of the helm console. The area sleeps four in cabin comfort. As we come down the steps there’s no need for a galley as we have that covered on the main deck. However, there is a microwave mounted into the cabinetry to port. The vessel’s main electrical panel is also housed in this cabinetry.
A berth is fully forward and a simple push of a button brings up a cushion that converts into a seatback thereby creating a sitting area. Hot or cold days are not a concern as the reverse cycle heat/AC is included as standard.
A head is to starboard and this includes a separate walk-in shower.
Moving aft there’s a mid-cabin. As is characteristic of the genre, it lacks headroom but it makes up for it in space and amenities by taking advantage of the boat’s nearly 12’ (3.6 m) beam. To the starboard side is a sofa making a nice place to catch up on a few pages of a good book before turning in. There’s storage both behind the sofa seatback and across to the opposite side. Under the berth are cushions with their own supports. Slide them out to convert the berth from a twin to a queen size.
The only key ingredient missing from this space is a privacy curtain. It’s wide-open to the rest of the lower deck as well as the occupants of the forward berth.
Options to Consider
- FLIR M232 Pan and Tilt Camera: $7,725
- Bow Cover and Cockpit Seat Covers: $8,625
- Fender Clips (6): $755
- Paddle Board Holders (2): $2,555
- TV for Mid Cabin: $1,175
- Garmin Open Array Radar: $5,150
The 38 SAV has a base price of $752,292 nicely equipped.
Dad wants a fishing boat, mom wants a weekender, the kids want watersports and something that can be beached with the friends…. This is a boat that can do it all and Regal managed to do it with style and elegance. The 38 SAV is not only a good-looking boat but also a functional boat. It’s comfortable to be on. She has the roominess of a much larger boat, but there’s so much to her that the sum of her parts belies the total.