Two boating terms that typically don’t go hand in hand are cruiser and trailerable. That’s because putting a livable cabin on board usually means adding weight and extending the beam beyond what are acceptable parameters for towing behind a pickup truck or SUV. But builders have long tried. A generation of “pocket cruisers” came and went, pushed aside a few years ago by the desire for bigger, better and roomier. But now, with people looking to scale down, the trailerable cruiser is making a comeback. And, as the Regal 28 Express illustrates, builders are doing it better than ever.
The 28 Express actually has a waterline length closer to 26 feet — the 28-foot-10-inch length overall comes from the extended swim platform — and possesses the 8-foot-6-inch beam required to trailer boats in most states without a special permit. As stated, getting a livable cabin into those dimensions is a tall order. Regal engineers met the challenge first by shedding weight. They started by redesigning the cored stringer grid, making it leaner and lighter while fortifying it in areas where the boat endures the most structural stress. They also designed lighter cabinets and storage spaces and used resin transfer molding on hatches, which reduces the amount of heavy resin and improves the strength-to-weight ratio. The result is a boat tipping the scale at an estimated 7,585 pounds. That’s still a bit on the heavy side compared with the listed dry weights of other trailerable cruisers, most of which are a bit smaller.
For example, Four Winns builds the V265 ($98,362 with a 300 hp Volvo GiCDP), which tapes a 26-foot length overall, an 8-foot-6-inch beam and a 6,270-pound dry weight. And Chaparral has the 270 Signature Cruiser ($95,952 with the 300 hp Volvo GiCDP), listing at 6,900 pounds dry. The 270 has a 27-foot length overall with its swim platform.