The phrase of the day is power turn. As in bringing the speed up to 40 mph and cutting the wheel hardover. On sporty boats with well-designed hulls, you'll experience a smooth, leaning turn and a bit of an adrenaline rush. It's fun, but it also has a real-world application-think emergency evasive maneuvers on a crowded weekend at the lake. On certain boats (bowriders or muscle boats) you expect a zippy response, but on a cuddy? Don't count on it. Adding that weighty cabin saps some sportiness from its runabout roots. But on Regal's new 2750 Cuddy, I felt no such loss of agility.
So the 2750 Cuddy has the function, but what about the form? Few, if any, boats can do everything an owner asks of it. But if a boat buyer just happens to be looking for a cuddy cabin boat that still has enough cockpit space to entertain and provides performance akin to a straight-up runabout, the 2750 Cuddy is up to the challenge.
INTELLIGENT DESIGN. One of the reasons for the 2750 Cuddy's sporty feel is Regal's FasTrac hull design, the bread and butter of its small boat line. Regal employs a full step amidships, which creates flowing air that reduces the hull's wetted surface area and diminishes friction and drag. The step makes for a more efficient hull with a flatter running attitude. The 2750 Cuddy's step is more forgiving than the more drastic ones found on performance boats, so it's not as tricky to handle-any boater should be comfortable driving this boat.
The 2750 Cuddy planed in a respectable five seconds, with no appreciable loss of visibility at the helm. Deploy the trim tabs and it planes a half-second quicker, with barely any rise at all. For towing sports and rough-water handling, the boat can hold plane at 14.5 mph and 2100 rpm-12.2 mph and 2000 rpm with the tab. So you'll be able to maintain steerage at slow speeds.
The 2750 Cuddy is also an excellent rough-water boat for its size, thanks to its deep-V and 24 degrees of deadrise at the transom. Compare that to the Crownline 275 CCR ($88,367 with a 375-hp MerCruiser 496 MAG Bravo Three), another stylish and sporty cuddy cabin. It has a flatter 20-degree deadrise, more typical of the category. The Crownline weighs about 600 more pounds.
The Crownline's lines are also more standard cuddy fare, with a domed bow and a stainless-steel bowrail. The 2750 Cuddy has a flat profile that looks more like a bowrider from the side and no bow rail. The 2750 Cuddy accents its sporty lines with graphics that are inlaid into the gel coat. The result is a deep, rich coloring that's less likely to fade over time and won't peel off like sticker graphics. The result? A sharp-looking boat that will turn heads at the dock or the launch ramp.
INSIDE EDITION. Is there a drawback to that sleek profile? It depends on how you plan to use the boat. Because of the flat bow deck, the cuddy has less headroom below than a boat like the Crownline 275 CCR. With 4'1" of headroom, it's hard to sit fully upright. I'm 5'11" and my head brushed the ceiling while sitting. Is this a problem? I don't think so. I agree with Regal that most people will spend a minimal amount of time in the cuddy during real-world use. It's more of a place to nap out of the sun, use the head (which stows under a cushion that lifts on a gas strut to starboard), stow stuff, or maybe overnight on occasion. Should you decide to sleep onboard, the settee's side cushions unhook and serve as V-berth filler cushions. The Crownline's cuddy has a full galley with a wood veneer finish and a separate head, more in tune with cruising sensibilities.