While some builders seem to feel that some lipstick is all that is needed on the same-old, same-old given hull to create a new model, Regal begs to differ. It’s challenged that mindset by creating a 32’ (9.8 m) boat with some of the cleverest uses of available space that we’ve seen lately. These innovations stretch the limits of how this versatile boat can be used.
- In-mold gelcoat boot stripe
- Courtesy blue LED lights
- Slide-Away cockpit seating to extend the cockpit
- 4 Fusion Marine Sound cockpit speakers
- 5-position tilt steering wheel
- Digital depth sounder
- Convertible twin beds
- Amtico birch flooring in cabin
- Salon includes 32'' LED TV
- Hand crafted cabinetry in salon
|Length Overall||32' / 9.75 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.2 sec.|
|0 to 30||9.5 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, full fuel, 5/9 water, 541 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||60 deg., 59 humid.;wind: 10-15 mph; seas: calm|
2 x 300-hp Volvo Penta V8 300 EVC CAT Joystick
6 twin MerCruiser engine options from 520 to 640-hp
7 Volvo Penta engine options from 440 to 760-hp
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The mission of the all-new 32 Express is to provide the maximum amount of entertaining and living space in a 32' (9.75 m) yacht. In order to do that the builder had to challenge the mindset that the interior is limited to the dimensions of the exterior.
By creating expandable and movable seating both on deck and below Regal has enhanced the entertaining possibilities of the boats without driving up the cost. Below, Regal has created a bed that serves both that purpose but also creates more seating at the same time. In this way Regal has expanded the utility and functionality without having to add length or much more cost to the boat.
Versatile Seating –
All of the seating is multifunctional, having either reversible seatbacks, electrically actuated sliders, or both.
Single Level Cockpit –
This keeps the guests all on the same level, and even on the same level as the captain. That also means everyone enjoys the same views of the surroundings.
Wraparound Salon Sofa –
provides more seating than the typical bench seat, or even booth style seating that we usually see.
Full Beam Mid Cabin.
Not uncommon, but the layout certainly is. We usually see this as little more of a crawl space, but here it houses a pair of twin berths that convert to a single king size.
Impressive Standards –
Regal includes some real standouts in its 32 Express. We noticed things such as a hot water heater, battery charger, automatic discharge fire extinguisher, and a unique water fill valve to top off the 36-gallon (164 L) pressurized water system.
The Regal 32 Express has a length overall of 32’ (9.75 m), a beam of 10’4” (3.15 m), and a draft of 35” (0.89 m). With an empty weight of 13,600 lbs. (6,169 kg), half fuel and three people onboard, we had a test weight of 15,756 lbs. (7,147 kg).
With a pair of 300 Volvo Penta V8 300 turning Duoprop outdrives with FH-4 propellers, we reached a top speed of 46.2 mph at 5100 rpm. At that speed we were burning a combined 44.0 gph giving us a range of 142 statute miles.
was found to be at 3500 rpm and 28.6 mph giving us 1.43 mpg. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 20.0 gph which the 32 Express could keep up for 6 hours and 45 minutes and 193 statute miles, while still holding back a 10% reserve.
We reached planing speed in 4.2 seconds, hit 20 mph in 5.2 seconds, 30 came and went in 9.5 seconds.
She presents a bow rise of roughly 12-degrees upon acceleration, which caused me to lose sight of the horizon from the seated position but not when up on the bolster. When turning she leans about 12-degrees into the turn and doesn’t seem to have a tendency to bleed off speed when doing so.
Regal went with a doublewide helm seat, and we always take note when a builder accommodates a second set of eyes looking forward. Plus, it’s always a hit with families. At least one of the kids will have a vested interest in the operation of the boat, and this allows a comfortable way to cultivate that interest and to build a youngster's confidence. (It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that many of the boaters on the water today started out riding shotgun next to dad on the family boat.)
Regal also seems to have a knack for nailing down the ergonomics of its helms. (We have found over the years that this is a detail that should not be taken for granted by consumers -- even aboard so-called "gold-plated" brands.) Sightlines are excellent and the placement of the sterndrive joystick, controls, and tilt wheel are all right at easy reach. Naturally the panel also accommodates a moving map display.
More Power To You.
Naturally there are a number of power options available for the 32 Express, but most seem to revolve around the twin 300-hp range from either MerCruiser or Volvo Penta, and of course these will include either the Bravo III or Duoprop outdrives.
The highest horsepower
option is a pair of 380-hp Volvo Penta V8 engines. Those boaters who enjoy pulling along side brand X or Y, then showing them what a "real" boat can do will want to invest in a pair of these Volvo Penta V8s. Since we have only tested the boat with a pair of 300-hp Volvos, we don't know for certain how fast she will go with 160 more horses. However, our guess is she'll be going over 50 mph.
Pricing and Engine Options to Consider
The Standard Engines.
Regal sets a base price of just over $230,000 for the 32 Express. That price has her powered with a pair of catalyzed 270-hp Volvo Penta engines. Note that these are only 60-hp total less than the pair of Volvo engines we tested. What difference will that make in her performance? Just as we can't say for certain what a pair of 380s will do, we don't know precisely how the twin 270s will perform. However, again our guess is that a WOT in the high 30s is probable, and a best cruise in the mid to lower 20s. That is fast enough for most people.
Most of the engine upgrades revolve around twin 300s and that will add between $4,000- $20,000. The most cost-effective upgrade will be the catalyzed Volvo Penta V8 300s that bring the 32 up to $234,990 before adding some other options. When considering the up-charge on a monthly payment, that extra $4k for the 300s won't come out to much, and with our test (with a full load of fuel by the way) should give a fair idea what can be expected.
The Joy of Joystick Docking.
A joystick can be had as an option from either engine maker. The one we used on the test boat, of course, was from Volvo Penta. For those who just entered the room, Volvo was the first engine maker to develop a joystick system over 6 years ago and it has more boats in the water world-wide with its software and hardware. This concept revolutionized boat handling and the concept has spread to most types of propulsion.
Joysticks from any engine maker are not inexpensive, but their up-charge seems to be a fair trade-off for most boaters we know, particularly those moving up in size, those concerned about docking, or those who want to get a deep boating "buy-in" from mom and the kids. (When it comes time to trade up or sell the boat, a boat with a joystick will sell for more, and probably sell faster.) To find out more about the Volvo Penta joysick click here…
The Regal 32's versatility is no more evident than in this cockpit where the port side seat allows multiple seating arrangements, be it four-across, aft facing chaise, forward facing chaise or even taking advantage of the reversible aft seat back to convert that spot from forward to aft facing. In this way, with the addition of an optional table, a dining booth for four people can be created in the cockpit.
Electric Aft Seat.
At the push of a button, the rear bench seat slides aft 12” (30 cm) creating more space in the cockpit. This will of course come at a sacrifice to the space at the swim platform, but the two areas typically do not get used at the same time so we think it is a good way to create cockpit space without having to add a very costly foot to the boat's overall dimensions. Its both nifty and economical.
Entertaining is a key aspect of the new 32 Express and the single level cockpit keeps everyone on an even conversational level, and that includes the captain. To the starboard side of the cockpit there’s a sizable wet bar that goes well beyond the minimalist sink and counter that we’ve typically seen in class. The useable space is much larger and the solid surface counter houses the single basin sink, optional grill, and a cockpit TV if desired, but we’ve always found that last item to be a questionable purchase decision. Below is housing for the trash receptacle and cockpit refrigerator.
Of course, the aft seating also serves to make the swim platform/sun pad more functional and versatile. The seat back flips here as well converting from forward facing cockpit seating to aft facing swim platform seating. It also lays flat to increase the size of the sunpad.
Down below, Regal created a stunning living area that exemplifies the company’s clever use of space. There is more seating on this 32' (7.8 m) boat than any other in class that we can think of. The salon becomes a place for the large crowd on deck to retreat if it begins raining. At the end of an active day on the water, it turns into a cozy place for drinks and good fellowship.
Full wrap around seating gives way to a forward berth that immediately appears short, and for good reason. It is short. However, lift the seatback at the foot of the bed and a full-length queen-sized berth is revealed. This is another way that Regal has increased the utility of the 32 Express.
The head is also well spaced with plenty of room for moving about, and Regal even added high shelving to hold all of the many items that a bathroom seems to take up. The galley is small, but no smaller than others in class, and it accommodates all of the usual cast of characters needed to create a meal, if cooking is even desired while onboard. Of course the joinery work is first rate.
Full Beam Mid Cabin
Looking aft there’s a full beam mid cabin, and while this isn’t exactly new, it is well executed in its layout and certainly in its accessibility. Dual twin sized berths can come together to form a king sized berth with port and starboard hull side window. And while access to this berth usually takes the form of a crawlspace, here the access is much more open and user-friendly.
Standard Equipment Galore
In addition to the standard equipment noted above, we find many other items of standard equipment on the Regal 32 Express that is often optional on other boats in class. While most of these items are not as flashy as the ones pictured above, they nonetheless add important value and utility to the boat. Here is a list of standard equipment that caught our eye--
SS windshield header
5-position tilt steering
Transom trim switch
Amtico Birch decking below
Silent flush head
While she’s well laid out with standards features, there are always options that we would consider on our boat. Among them…
We tend to spend a lot of time away from the dock and we’ll need climate control to follow us along. Which of course brings us to…
Air Conditioning ($3,962).
…and it includes reverse cycle heat for extending the season in the northern latitudes (or Florida in the winter of 2014!).
Bow Thruster ($3,000).
This will certainly aid in a dicey docking situation and it’s significantly less costly than the joystick options.
Remote Controlled Spotlight ($915).
We don’t stop boating when the sun goes down so this is a must have for us.
Electric Grill for Wet Bar ($1,931).
While it’s pricier than the $208 for the cabin alcohol/electric stove, we’d rather be cooking our steaks on a grill, and on one located where the guests are. We would also ask the dealer about a propane grill which will be less expensive.
Cockpit Refrigerator ($1,538).
No sense letting the steaks spoil before we have a chance to eat them.
Extended Swim platform ($1,846).
We’re on the water and half the fun is spending it in the water. This allows for more of that fun. We think this is a very reasonable price for all of that extra fiberglass, hardware and utility.
Regal offers Garmin electronics and the whole enchilada consists of radar, VHF and a 7212 chartplotter.
Regal has a solid reputation for building good boats and with this 32 Express it is self-evident that Regal's attention to detail extends to the interior as well. She’s a remarkably versatile boat that offers ingenuity that others in class simply cannot touch. This added utility means that not only can she entertain as well as any boat in class in day boat mode, but she can also be a cruiser for a family.
This category of express cruiser is extremely competitive and we think Regal has pulled out more than the normal share of "stops" to garner new business.