Regal knows that people accustomed to larger boats have come to expect more amenities in the boats they buy, even if they are smaller boats. That’s why it created the 2800. She’s designed to appeal to the yachtsman that needs to downsize, but does not want to compromise on quality and amenities. The 2800 has an expanded and convertible social area, as well as big-boat performance. She’s also got the built-in economy of Regal’s FasTrac hull design, which the company says provides better fuel efficiency and faster speeds.
- In-mold gelcoat boot stripe
- Bow walkthough doors
- Double-wide companion seat with flip-up bolster
- 2 insulated built-in coolers
- Fusion 700i marine stereo
- Hand-wrapped steering wheel
- Optional PowerPlatform
- Pop-up stainless ski tow
- Bimini top
|Length Overall||28' 8'' / 8.74 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.3 sec.|
|0 to 30||9.9 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, 41/100 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||88 deg., 72 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm|
1 x 380-hp Volvo Penta V8
Contents of Report
- Mission Statement
- Major Features
- The Helm
- Features Inspection
- The Cockpit
- The Bow
According to Regal, the mission of the 2800 is to provide the best 28’ (8.53 m) bowrider on the market with no shortcuts taken anywhere. Regal describes the theme they were going for as “day-yachting.” The customers looking to buy this boat have the ability and the means to buy much larger boats and therefore are accustomed to the amenities, fit-and-finish of those larger boats, but need to scale down for whatever reason to a smaller boat.
Items that Appeal to Up-Market Customers
For example, the model we tested had a “power platform” that extends an underwater platform below the extended swim platform. This is great for easing the entry and egress to and from the water. It is also something that everyone will enjoy when sitting half submerged on the platform on hot summer days.
Other Up-Scale Options.
She has an option for a bow thruster. This is probably the best optional feature money can buy as it makes docking by anyone as easy as with a far more expensive joystick system. The helm seat electrically adjusts fore and aft with an option for up and down. We had a refrigerated cockpit drawer on our test boat along with coolers for each of the individual areas onboard. The large head is very well finished off with a vessel sink atop a solid surface counter.
Seating is all convertible so when rafted up, or lounging with the bow on the beach, there’s a huge cockpit seating area available with the ability to add two tables. Additionally, Regal wanted to take the upholstery level up a notch from anything the company has ever done. A lot of time was spent on where to put the colors, how many colors to use, what colors to use and even what threads to use in the stitching.
Ergonomics play a huge part in the design of the 2800. This can only be felt through the angle of the seating, foam density, foam thickness and general shape of the seats. There’s a pronounced level of comfort that we just don’t usually see in boats of this size range. For example, the aft sections of the side seats are curved inwards. Regal calls this a “comfort curve” and it allows a person to fully and comfortably sit in the corner of the seating group, thereby maximizing the use of space of the seating area as a whole.
Lastly, Regal focused on a very stylized boat. The discriminating buyer for the 2800 is not going to buy just any boat. Looks are just as important as functionality. If the customer doesn’t like the exterior look of the boat, they’re never even going to bother to see the interior. The extended swim platform also has an extension that continues forward and creates an appealing match to the color of the forward angled sport arch. A little more detail could have been paid to adding color bands to the topsides, but the result is still a class act.
• FasTrac Hull. No report on Regal’s sportboats would be complete without a mention of the FasTrac hull design. This is Regal’s version of the stepped hull. By drawing air in from the sides of the hull the friction between the hull surface and the water is broken resulting in an improved ride with better speed and less fuel burn.
• A Cooler for Every Area. The bow has a built-in self-draining cooler. The cockpit has dedicated storage for the included carry-on cooler. The transom has another built-in cooler. No need to move to another area of the boat just to get a chilled beverage.
• Four Double-wide Reversible Seats. Both the forward and aft seats have flip backs to convert from forward facing to aft facing.
• Twin Aft Chaises. Both aft seats flip to become aft facing chaise lounges. A filler cushion creates a sun pad.
• Standard Power Helm Seat. The helm seat is electrically adjustable fore and aft. An optional up-down adjustment is also available, and was a welcome addition on our test boat.
The Regal 2800 has an empty weight of 6,700 lbs. (3,039 kg). With 43 gallons (163 L) of fuel and three people onboard, we estimated our test weight at 7,563 lbs. (3,431 kg). Our test boat was powered by a Volvo Penta 380-hp V8 6.0L "small block" sterndrive. This is a 50-mph boat and she delivers that speed with a 29.9-gph average fuel burn. Her most economical cruise came in at 4000 rpm and 30.1 mph. That speed turned in a 13.5-mph fuel burn providing a range of 171 miles and an endurance of over five hours and 40 minutes while still holding back a 10% reserve.
Both that top end and cruise speed are fairly high for a boat of this size and weight. Obviously the FasTrac hull contributed to this fuel performance.
The handling characteristics of the 2800 have everything to do with the proprietary FasTrac hull. The main feature of FasTrac is the full beam step that draws air in from the sides and disperses that air under the hull. In this manner, the surface friction of the water is broken up and the result is more speed with less fuel burn. This is a representation of how Regal's FasTrac hull works. Air is sucked under the hull through side vents thereby reducing surface friction.
Furthermore, each FasTrac model is specifically engineered to match the hull and power. A look across the multiple platforms employing the FasTrac hull clearly shows how the geometry changes from one model to another.
With the 2800, she has the comfortable feel of a heavy boat and that translates into solid performance on the water. She cuts through the wakes cleanly, and we noticed no tendency to pound into them, rather than launching over them. Turns are sedate and equally comfortable with just a slight 10-degree lean into each. She’s got a natural 5-degree bow high cruise attitude. She has minimal bow rise on acceleration and when taking power off she settles into the water slightly stern first.
The control station on the 2800 is artfully implemented with a soft touch dash in Mocha-brown tones that are themed throughout the boat. Titanium is offered as a second color option. The RegalVue display is in the center and its touchscreen can be used to control the speed and stereo. There’s also a GPS map display and a digital readout of the engine systems.
Our test boat had the optional bow thruster installed ($2,580) but we had no trouble maneuvering her without it. What we did come to appreciate, especially our “vertically challenged” test captain [He is 5' 8'' (1.7m). --Ed.], was the electrically adjustable helm seat. Standard is a fore and aft adjustment. Optional is the up and down adjustment.
As this is clearly a social boat, let’s start our look at the features with the seating amenities. Regal has a continuing theme of creative use of space and here it is even more evident as the 2800 has a 9’ (2.74 m) beam as opposed to the traditional 8’6" (2.59 m) beam. This allows an expanded gathering area in the cockpit, which means more of an open feel to the space.
Seating wraps completely around the cockpit with both the forward and aft seats being convertible thanks to flip seatbacks. Due to the wide 9’ (2.74 m) beam, 12 people can easily sit in comfort in this 86” (2.18 m) wide cockpit with seats 44” (1.12 mm) apart. With the addition of a pair of optional tables, a welcoming cocktail or snack atmosphere is created. Storage is under both side seats with the starboard seat also containing a carry-on cooler, the first of three coolers onboard, one in each social area.
The aft sections of the side seats also features Regal’s “comfort curve.” By curving in the seat, just a bit, Regal has made a more comfortable use of the aft corners, which in turn maximizes the use of space even further.
Both forward seats are 36” (91 cm) wide and include flip-up bolsters and padded armrests to the bulkhead sides. With the seatbacks flipped forward, both become aft facing seats allowing the occupants to enjoy joining in on the social gathering in the cockpit.
The Power Tower is not only a classy piece of workmanship, it’s standard on the 2800. It provides an elevated towpoint 6’8” (2 m) above the deck. Blue LED courtesy lights are underneath. Both sides have lengthy grab rails. A Bimini top is included. Best of all, it collapses with the aid of an electric actuator controlled from the helm. This allows the 2800 to be more easily accommodated in a dry-stack rack room, and certainly lowers the profile so she can fit under a low bridge and still be driven.
The bow has the traditional dual seats, but as Regal has carried the beam so far forward in the 2800 -- and there is 9' (2.74 m) of it -- there’s much more room. Both seats have flip-down armrests. An elongated grab rail is a bit easier for small hands to wrap around than the more basic rails with a rounded cross section. Speakers and drink holders are in a recessed area at the sides so as not to interfere with the back when sitting while facing the center of the boat. Padded bolsters wrap around from one side to the other.
The Bow Seating is Also Convertible. Removing a cushion from the starboard side allows for an individual forward-facing seat that can be used while both feet are on the deck. A pedestal table can also be relocated from the cockpit to the bow area for al fresco snacks. Storage remains accessible under both seats via hinged seat cushions. There is no option for a filler sun pad cushion.
The aft seats are also convertible and transition from forward facing cockpit seats to aft facing chaise lounge seats at the transom. Both are double-wide and there are no latches to lift, and no pins to pull, in order to complete the conversion. This is just as it should be.
We can never figure out why so many manufacturers insist on equipping these aft convertible seats with latches. If the boat were underway, no one would be in the aft facing seats so the seatbacks are flipped back. They’re not going to pop out of position. In the aft facing configuration, the boat shouldn’t be underway anyway so again, no worry about popping out of position. High marks to Regal for seeing this obvious characteristic and making the seats that much easier to convert.
Both of these aft seats have storage underneath, which is another rare commodity. Most simply go with a low profile and rest the seats just above the engine underneath. Here Regal kept the low profile by designing the storage boxes to rest to either side of the engine.
The walkthrough can be filled in with cushions that slide in on tracks. We found this system to be efficient at keeping the cushions in place while underway but a little difficult in getting them to fit properly in the tracks. Once in place a large sun pad is created.
The swim platform was treated with the same Flexiteek non-skid as the walkthrough ($2,070) and it had a nice teak look to it while maintaining the soft feel. It also won’t get hot under bare feet when exposed to the constant onslaught of the bright sun.
Courtesy lights are both high and low at the platform. There’s also a stereo remote and a pair of stainless grilled speakers in addition to a transom remote. A switch to the port bulkhead activates an optional “power platform” ($3,245) that creates an underwater step up to the swim platform. It’s also a welcome place to sit on in the water to catch some cool on a hot day.
The Regal 2800 has a base price of $123,375 when powered with the optional Volvo Penta V8-380 of our test boat. With all the options we saw, the price will jump to $151,155.
We think she’s a well thought-out boat with excellent handling and enough amenities to invite the most discriminating yachting guests aboard. Her FasTrac hull is a definite bonus, as many boats in class don’t have one. We think there is a lot to be said for owning a large sportboat as they are designed for day boating -- which is how most people use their vessels. In that regard, for many people they offer more “bang-for-the-buck” than larger boats.