By the Numbers
Boaters can count on the Regulator 25 to fall right into a line of great-running, good-looking center consoles.
Regulators on Display at Bluewater: http://www.bluewateryachtsales.com/new-models/164/
Certain boat brands have built real cachet in some ports of call, and the result is a heavily tilted numbers game as you motor through the anchorage. Regulator Marine plays the game as well as anyone, with droves of them turning up in mooring fields from North Carolina to Connecticut to Cape Cod and beyond.
The company has built handsome, seaworthy center consoles in Edenton, North Carolina since 1988, and is currently working to refresh its line with some new models. But don’t worry, you’re not going to see anything outlandish. Case in point, the Regulator 25 has a classic profile and the same sort of performance that buyers have come to expect.
Regulator builds what it knows, which is solid hand-laid fiberglass, using a signature Fiberglass Grillage System of stringers to add strength and rigidity to the hull. While this may not be a showpiece for innovative new-wave construction techniques, the Regulator 25 is built in the finest Carolina tradition by craftsmen using top-quality materials ranging from the resins, gelcoat, and glass in the hull, to electrical components and wiring, deck hardware, tanks, and plumbing.
Naval architect Lou Codega designs all Regulators and they share the same basic running-surface design—no surprises there. The Regulator 25 also incorporates an Armstrong bracket, which the company uses on its new designs, the 28 and 34, and the rigging couldn’t be neater. Regulator’s 24- and 32-foot boats have Euro-transom designs.
A close inspection of the optional T-top revealed a gleaming fiberglass top and bottom and a beefy set of powder-coated support tubes. The top came with some additional options on the test boat, including a matching powder-coated rocket launcher aft, and molded-in LED lights.
One big reason that center consoles skyrocketed in popularity is because they have all-around access, and the Regulator 25 does not disappoint. The deck is flush from bow to stern, so there’s no step to trip you up when you’re focused on a hard-running kingfish or dolphin on the end of your fishing line. Regulator has shelved its open-foredeck layouts on all models, so a forward seating area with built-in benches and a recessed grabrail is the only choice. Beneath the cushions are cavernous lockers: Port and starboard fishboxes offer dry stowage to the tune of 160 quarts each, while a bow locker holds 140 quarts of volume. Between the benches in the sole we found another locker that holds 408 quarts and has a built-in rod rack.
The console itself is large enough (52 inches tall) to have a head inside, but it’s not overbearing—the best way to describe it is that it fits the space. The front of the console has an integrated two-person seat with an insulated cooler box underneath. A powder-coated tubular T-top frame is secured in various locations, helping the entire amidships area feel of a piece. Inside, the head compartment is a bit tight getting in and out for a guy of my average stature at 5-foot-10-inch, but it has 74 inches of overhead height once inside and works just fine.
Behind the console is a leaning post with helm and companion seats that easily flip up to bolsters, or should I say, bolsters that flip down to seats, since the former will undoubtedly be the default position. My first impression is that this leaning post is tall and thin, simply because it doesn’t look like it takes up a lot of fore-and-aft space, and it left 40 inches of cockpit space behind it. Our test boat had a built-in tackle station featuring cabinets with integrated tackle-tray stowage, cupholders, another matched tubular rocket-launcher rod holder smartly fitted with a grabrail (few builders do this as well), and a rack to hang lures, pliers, knives, and more. When kitted out for fishing, all the gear will be out of the way yet easily on hand when the action heats up.
There’s a clever transom bench seat that folds out of the way, though there’s not much of a view forward, due to the leaning post. The transom also has a plumbed 23-gallon livewell and 120-quart dry-stowage locker side-by-side under matching lids. Bilge access is through a deck hatch in the cockpit.
Thanks to the shared hull design through the range, Regulators are Regulators. And that’s a good thing—they’re a delight to drive. As we exited the mouth of the Five Mile River in Rowayton, Connecticut, on our sea trial, Ted O’Neill, sales and business manager at All Seasons Marine Works (www.allseasonsmarineworks.com) stood at the helm and just pushed the throttle levers forward. “There are no surprises,” he said, and glanced at me with a shrug and his best you were expecting something different? expression. Shortly thereafter, the twin 200-horsepower Yamaha F200 four-stroke outboards managed to get us to 46 knots on a one-way speed run. The boat was responsive to the helm and tracked like a champ. Rough conditions were hard to come by on Long Island Sound at the time but we found the wakes from some commercial fishing boats and the Regulator’s modified-V hull slid right through them with nary a bump.
If you’re looking for a center console with a nice turn of speed, a solid feel, and some smart use of onboard space, you may want to think of the number 25.