Features for everyday comfort and versatility make this coupe stand out.
The trick to enjoying success in a niche that’s filling up with competition is to give potential buyers a reason to remember one product over the others. Accomplishing that comes down to memorable features, but where does a boat builder start? Technology? Hull colors? Windows? Propulsion? Yes, to all of those. Regal, with its 42 Sport Coupe, has hit upon another category: The Everyday. And by that I don’t mean drab and run of the mill.
I wasn’t there during the design phase, so I can’t say for sure this conversation happened, but I have to imagine it went something like this. “What are people going to do on this boat?” “Cruise the harbor, head to the islands, spend the weekend in a marina.” “Then let’s wow them in the social and living spaces — the spaces our owners are going to enjoy every day.” And that’s what Regal did, aft, middle and fore.
Everyday & More
The feature I noticed first during my walk-around of the boat was the enclosure. Many express boats or sport coupes use only canvas to enclose things, which works, because owners want the boat to be open when they’re running it and zipped up when it’s in the slip. Regal gives owners the option, which our boat had, of a glass enclosure. It consists of a three-panel window to port that slides open, a door in the middle and a full-height glass panel to starboard, which is where the door slides open and secures behind. When the door and windows are open, the main deck is one unbroken space from the sun lounge to the helm. The enclosure’s frames are stainless and the glass is tinted, to add some cool factor.
Passengers will find port and starboard access to the cockpit, up a couple of steps from the swim platform, where, depending on the chosen layout, there is room for up to eight people to sit, on a bench settee against the bulkhead, on a settee to starboard and on the forward section of the sun lounge. Our test boat had the optional ice-maker and electric grill console in place of the starboard settee, so seating was lessened but entertainment potential was increased. Owners know how they’ll use their boat, so it’s buyer’s choice. The aft cockpit will definitely be a gathering spot, given its seating capacity, its proximity and access to the main cabin, and the sun lounge — an expanse of cushioned versatility that serves as seat, chaise and bed. An adjustable cushion on stainless steel arms serves as a backrest for forward-facing seats, a backrest for a rear-facing lounge, and a tilted pillow or a lay-flat headrest for the full sun lounge. It shifts manually between all these positions in seconds.
Through the door of the enclosure is the forward half of the cockpit, which includes a doublewide seat at the helm station (twin Garmin 7612 MFDs in a glass bridge, engine gauges and displays, a Garmin VHF, engine throttles and joystick, Fusion stereo and more), a dinette with a settee for four to port, a day galley that can be outfitted with a sink, a refrigerator, an electric grill and more, and a drop-down TV in the aft starboard corner. The forward portion of the dinette settee has an angled seatback that turns it into a rear-facing chaise lounge, for those times when keeping the captain company is a more casual affair.
The star of the show in the forward cockpit area, though, is the convertible hardtop sunroof. It’s electrically controlled, and at the touch of a button it slides from the windshield to just behind the helm seat, to open up a large area and essentially transform the indoors into the outdoors, especially if the aft enclosure is also open. If the weather permits it, I can’t imagine a time this feature would be closed.
On the bow, the double sunpad is composed of two halves that are independently manually adjustable. Each side has the ability to lie flat, lift a little at the head or lift a lot at the head, for versatility from full supination to cocktail-sipping uprightness. But the feature that leads to this feature is the one that is going to turn heads. The 42SC has a full windshield walkthrough to facilitate foot traffic from the bow to the main cabin — no need to use the sidedecks, which is a huge safety bonus for owners with children. The molded in fiberglass steps to the walkthrough are very much part of the layout and unobtrusive, not an afterthought at all. With the sunroof open, passage is fully upright, even for the tallest boaters.
Not bad for everyday spaces.
Cook, Eat, Relax & Sleep
Down a set of centerline steps is an amidships space that includes a salon to starboard and a galley to port. The salon consists of a C-shaped settee around a table that has two fold-out sections for maximum versatility. Overhead cabinets supply storage and a 36-inch LED TV provides viewing options. The settee converts to a berth.
The galley is somewhat L-shaped and includes six overhead cabinets, a sink, a microwave/convection oven, a refrigerator/freezer, a two-burner stovetop and a couple of drawers under the microwave. LED lights are abundant in the space, but two long port windows let in natural light, and the windshield overhangs the space, so sunlight seeps in from above, too, alleviating any sense that passengers are buried belowdecks.
If you’ve ever watched “House Hunters” or “Property Brothers” (or any of the thousand other shows that share the formula), you know that home buyers only want one thing: everything. And they want it within their sometimes laughable budget. That malady can affect boat buyers, too. It seems the holy grail for a lot of boat buyers is two staterooms and two heads on a boat between 40 and 45 feet, and Regal delivered. The forward stateroom includes a full island queen bed, a 22-inch TV, under-berth storage, a cedar hanging locker, two portholes and an overhead hatch, and a split en suite head. To port is the electric toilet and sink and to starboard, separate from the other side, is a standup shower stall.
The second stateroom, situated beneath the helm and dinette and between the engine room and the salon/galley space, includes twin berths that become a queen with a well-placed filler cushion, an armoire, a vessel sink in the living area and a separate space for the shower and the electric toilet. One can stand up in the shower and at the sink near the door but not down where the berths are, but since that’s for sleeping anyway, not being able to stand up isn’t a big deal.
Regal decided to install pod power on the 42 Sport Coupe. Our test boat had the standard twin 300 hp Volvo D4 diesels coupled to IPS 400 drives (twin D6 370 hp diesels with IPS 500 are optional). The far aft placement of the engines is what makes the second stateroom and head possible, and those pods make dockside maneuvering video-game easy.
After making our way out of Newport Harbor — a busy, busy place on Newport to Ensenada race day — we got clear of race traffic and put the boat through its paces, which gave Michael Vrbas and JR Wills of Alexander Marine the chance to get to know the yacht better, too.
We doubled the Volvos’ load from their 700 rpm idle to 1500 rpm, which yielded 10 knots and a 5.2 gph fuel burn, for a range of just more than 470 miles (with a 10 percent reserve), in case there’s a long coastal run that needs to be made slowly. More realistically, people are going to cruise in the upper 20s, or even the low 30s, on this boat. At 25 mph, which we reached at around 3000 rpm, the twin diesels were burning a combined 22.8 gph, yielding a 270-mile range. When we cranked the rpm count to 3250, speed went to 29 mph and fuel burn to 25.6 gph. Wide-open throttle pushed the yacht to 35 mph and 31 gph, for about 1.13 mpg. Range at the upper two speeds was 280 miles. (I’ve seen other tests of the 42SC that achieved a top speed of 37 mph.)
I set the speed at 27 mph and pulled the wheel hard over, which resulted in a fun sportboat-like inward lean — Sport is in the boat’s name after all — as the pods powered the 42SC through the complete circle of the turn. We lost less than 2 mph from our speed during the turn, which isn’t always the case; I’ve been on boats that lost 5 mph or more during similar maneuvers. Coming around the last arc of the circle put us on course to cross our wake, which had a small trough behind it before a two-foot ocean swell — the biggest challenge we could find for the boat on an otherwise pleasant day. The semi-hard landing was handled easily by the 42SC before it went about its business.
Looking around the 42 Sport Coupe as we made our way back to the harbor, I could easily envision a family motoring off to spend a weekend at an island getaway. A couple could island hop for weeks with proper planning for fuel stops and provisioning, though there is plenty of room for provisions for two people to last a while. Regal planned and executed this boat well, aiming at buyers who want a versatile, feature-rich, easy-to-handle weekender that could either be a step toward a larger yacht or a move toward more self-reliant boating by a couple with a large yacht who don’t want a captain anymore.