There were four boats and six people keeping the dock humming when the Regal 2300 showed up at our tests. A front office rep from one of Regal's staunchest competitors took a long look and asked, "How big?"
"Twenty-three feet, minus the swim platform ," he was told.
"No way," he said.
That's what we thought the first time we ran the 2300. We first confused it with Regal's updated 25-foot model because the interior is so vast. The designers accomplished this by trimming back the consoles and gunwales, and then losing the sun pad that typically infringes on cockpit space.
You'd think the bow would come out on the losing end of this plan, but because the anchor locker is streamlined and there's no ladder housed at the nose, we were able to lounge as usual.The slim consoles mean the 2300 is not offered with a head, which is underused in boats 23 feet and under anyway. This also fits the schematic of wraparound seating from the stern all the way to the aft-facing passenger, reminiscent of high-end wakeboard boats. You will not find storage like this in a boat with bucket seats — but they're available.
Our boat came blinged with the optional $4,300 sport arch. The torque capacity can handle a monstrous tube and its riders, and the whole unit collapses electrically when the boat has to fit in a garage.
We tested with a 300 hp Volvo 5.7Gi, topping out at 51 mph. Regal uses a honeycomb-cored deck, foam composite stringers and infusion molds on fiberglass parts to reduce weight. This leads to another 23-foot surprise: A 5.0-liter motor would provide enough power while saving cash.
• The transom lounge is "the spot" at the beach, with sloped headrests and a profile that fits the boat's sports appeal.
• Fusion stereo with eight speakers and amp will boost customer satisfaction numbers.
• Stitched coaming pads eliminate any hint of fiberglass in the cockpit.
• Sturdy gas-assist struts provide hands-free access to compartments.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Volvo 5.7Gi 300 HP * Test Prop: F5 Duoprop * Test Load: People (380 LB.) Fuel (45 GAL.) * Top Speed: 51 MPH @ 5,200 RPM * Time to Plane: 3.8 Sec. * Time to 30 MPH: 7.3 sec. * Most Economical Cruise Speed: 33.2 MPH @ 3,500 RPM, 9.9 GPH Vital Stats * Length Overall: 24'( w/ platform) * Beam: 8'6" * Dry Weight: 3,840 LB. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/1,800 LB. * Fuel Capacity: 54 GAL. * Max HP: 320 * MSRP: $61,984 (as tested) * NMMA Certified: Yes