You have to like it when a builder comes out with a new model and doesn’t try to make it appeal to every kind of boater for every kind of boating scenario. Too many boats that are built to be crowd-pleasers wind up being fraught with compromise. This is not the case with the new Regal 3200 Bowrider, a day boat built with focus.
In designing its stylish new 3200 Bowrider, Regal had the epiphany that most people in the market for a large family runabout are buying it for a specific intent — to have fun on the water during the day. So instead of messing around trying to fit in a cuddy or day room, Regal focused its efforts on maximizing space and comfort abovedecks. The results are evident.
They start in the bow, where Regal traded the horseshoe lounge typical on bowriders for double-wide forward facing seats with backrests built into the consoles. A full bench runs abeam along the tip of the bow. This allows up to six people to sit and talk comfortably up front. Use the filler cushions to create a full lounge or tanning bed. A recessed grab rail rings the bow so there’s always a place to hold on. The anchor locker at the stem features nonskid on the hatch, and the rode for the stainless-steel anchor routes underneath through the stem, rather than over a pulpit, creating a seamless look. The topsides on the dual consoles also feature molded-in diamond pattern nonskid to make stepping into the boat easier while side-docked.
With no cuddy squeezed in, the in-sole stowage is cavernous, with ski lockers forward and aft. Open the hatch for the starboard console (all hatches are resin transfer molded double-finished parts) and follow the steps down to the storage area, with dedicated spots for the twin tabletops and a rack for hanging life jackets or wetsuits and towels. The tables can be moved to six spots throughout the boat. The standard Fusion 700 stereo is also housed in here.
The trade-off with having no cuddy cabin is, well, having no cuddy cabin. Boaters who want a big bowrider with the capability for overnighting or just for a napping room will consider the Chaparral 327 XS ($221,363 with twin 300 hp Volvo Penta 5.7 GXi DPs), which has a cabin with an entertainment center and a private head. Plus, it has an extended hardtop for more shade. It’s also far more expensive because of that interior, so the question remains, what kind of boater are you and what do you need?
For a more direct comparison, Cobalt also offers a large day boat sans cabin, its 302 ($189,455 with twin 300 hp Volvo Penta 5.7 GXi DPs), which has a large extended swim platform. Cobalt’s 336 ($230,045 with the twin 300 hp Volvos) is slightly larger and offers an interior cabin.
The main cockpit of the Regal 3200 is all about seating and open space. Both the helm and the passenger seats are double-wide. Each has a flip-up bolster. For the captain, all of the controls are easily accessed and viewed, and I particularly liked the stylish molded part for the throttles and optional joystick that makes for a great armrest. The entertainment center behind the helm is easily accessed without compromising the cockpit flow.
A plush head resides in the port console and doubles as a changing room should you need privacy. The faux-granite counters mated with cherry cabinetry and a stand-alone glass vessel sink add style points. Since this is not intended for overnighting, there’s no freshwater shower nozzle that would inevitably soak the toilet paper.
My favorite feature on the 3200 just might be the twin UltraLounges that sit on either side of the transom walk-through to the swim platform. They easily adjust to six positions. So if two passengers want to tan and two want to do something else, there’s the space and means to do it all. A centerline walkway provides access to the swim platform, where a recessed ladder hides under a hatch.
The PowerTower is another signature Regal element. The one-piece aluminum component can be lowered with electric rams for transiting under low bridges, trailering or storing in dry dock. When fully recessed, it lowers the bridge clearance by three feet.
Performance? This boat has it in spades, with its Hunt-designed OceanTrac hull, a conventional deep-V (compared with the FasTrac stepped hulls on other models) engineered for efficiency and stability. We found both traits easily provable: I topped 50 mph with twin 300 hp sterndrives — some competitors in the large bowrider category require 320s to hit that speed. And, for a big boat with a wide beam, the 3200 proved incredibly agile. I made several lock-to-lock turns at speed and couldn’t get it to blow out or lose track. It also fared well in key performance indicators such as time to plane (four seconds), 0 to 30 mph (8.1 seconds) and holding plane (16 mph at 2,300 rpm). Midrange acceleration felt crisp.
Overall, the Regal 3200 Bowrider is a boat designed to carry your crew and gear and, most of all, your day.