Who knew a great Pacific Northwest boat would be designed and built in Florida?
The 2017 42 Fly is a brand new vessel in the Regal lineup. Its thoroughly crisp, modern design, complete with expansive hull windows and a large flybridge, is not drawn at the expense of practicality. The cabin roof extends aft to protect the cockpit in case of rainy weather or blazing sun. The same overhang makes fishing in the rain tolerable. It also means that with the aft deckhouse doors fully open, everyone on board can move seamlessly from inside to outside.
The galley is located at the aft of the deckhouse, opposite the sizable dinette settee and immediately aft of the doublewide helm seat, so meals can be prepared, and served, easily, whether dining is to be inside or alfresco on the back deck.
The interior spaces in this new Regal are made for real people. The two beautifully appointed staterooms have plenty of space for a slightly “husky,” average-height 200-pounder like myself to move around. Many 50-foot boats don’t provide the same space. The heads and shower are also comfortably fitted for adults sized like me. The fit-and-finish throughout the vessel is excellent and all equipment is top of the line, much like on larger yachts. In fact, the sound and entertainment systems are the same make as the ones on the new Ocean Alexander 70, as are the electronics, the engines and the pod drives. Sea Grass mats — soft under foot, stain resistant and rot proof — also lend a high-end feel.
Regal designers obviously know boats can never have enough storage, and the 42 Fly benefits from that knowledge. There’s storage and stowage everywhere, from the forward deck lockers for bumpers and lines to a covered anchor winch with fixed snubber cleats to aft deck lockers for almost anything. There’s plenty of space under the cockpit seating for life jackets and other items.
Each of the staterooms has plenty of storage, and the aft one is a full-beam space that features twin beds that can be converted to a single king. It also features a cedar-lined armoire with drawer storage under. Even the upholstered headboards have storage built in and the dinette settee has built in storage under.
The galley, featuring easily cleaned, solid countertops, boasts a stainless sink, a convection oven and a drawer-style refrigerator and freezer. Instead of the lower galley, owners can opt to add a second head, which we figure will be a popular option, since there is a galley on the main deck.
The flybridge is what distinguishes the 42 Fly from its 42 Coupe stable mates. It’s open to the elements and provides a great view all around. The doublewide captain’s seat fronts a starboard helm station, and a companion seat is to port. A large cushion stretches from the helm to the port side, and the companion seat folds flat to join with the cushion and create a large lounge. Aft is an L-shaped settee with a table. A Bimini top can be deployed to provide shade. On the bow is an interesting sunning feature that includes four rows of cushions in a two-three-two-one layout. All can lay flat to create a sun bed. The two cushions at the head can prop up to create a sun lounge, and the two in the third row can prop up to become backrests, turning the forward single cushion into a seat bottom for up to three people.
With staff from Seattle’s Alexander Marine on board and at the helm, we fired up the twin Volvo Penta D6, six-cylinder, 435 hp engines, which responded instantly without smoking, hunting or clattering. The computer-controlled, common-rail injector system worked perfectly. These engines weigh about 1,450 pounds each, and the block and heads are cast iron, ensuring long life if they are serviced normally. The seven main bearing crank adds to that longevity and contributes to the engine’s very smooth running.
Using the joystick control we easily moved through the crowded docking area and into the fairway. The control system was very precise, an important feature in ever more crowded marinas. At 1000 rpm the 42 Fly moved along at 6.2 knots, well under the 7 knot speed limit in the area. Total fuel burn was 1.7 gph, delivering 3.6 nmpg, excellent mileage, and our noise meter registered 66 decibels. A normal conversation is 70.
At 1500 rpm we moved along at 8.5 knots, burning 6.2 gph, yielding 1.33 mpg. When we tapped the throttles up to 2000 revs, boat speed jumped to 9.9 knots and fuel burn was 13 gph. Advancing the throttle to 2500 revs resulted in a speed of 16 knots and a fuel burn of 22 gph. Wideopen throttle on our test boat, 3620 revs, pushed fuel burn to 48 gph and speed to 32.6 knots.
These engines can cruise all day long at 3030 rpm, where speed on test day was 24.5 knots and fuel burn was 29 gph. All fuel consumption information came from the engines’ onboard computers, and the speeds were measured on an independent GPS.
During our test, two things stood out. The first was expected. This new Regal responded precisely and smartly to the helm at any speed, even when moving dead slow, something that is not always the case with other boats. The second thing was the relative quiet of the boat even at WOT. My noise meter is one used by Occupational Health and Safety officers worldwide, so I know the meter works.
Our test boat hull was solid fiberglass topped by a cored deck. The resin was applied by an infusion process, which results in relatively lightweight but very strong hulls. The downside of lightweight hulls is that they are usually louder, since there is less mass to absorb vibration and pounding. My meter did not show more noise. A phone call to Regal’s engineering department led to a helpful nugget of info: The builder includes sound-deadening material in its hull laminate. It works.
Our test boat was equipped with trim tabs and a Seakeeper 5 gyro stabilizer system. We had them in “neutral” during our test, and the results showed the new 42 is designed to operate comfortably and safely without either system activated.
The new Regal 42 Fly is an excellent vessel by a builder that has been building well-respected boats for almost half a century. The selection of Alexander Marine — seller of the iconic Ocean Alexander brand — as a dealer was an excellent move by Regal, giving Alexander Marine another top-end product to go with its OA models.
The vessel handles very well and is equally at home poking around the local reefs and rock piles while fishing or running at high speed to escape a storm front. When tracking fish at low speeds, the twin Volvos sip fuel, getting 3.6 mpg.
Visibility is excellent all around and truly spectacular from the flybridge. It’s one of those rare boats that is designed and built for fishing, cruising and entertaining — a true triple threat. This new Regal is so full of features a single test cannot do it justice.