Nowadays, pocket cruiser could be the term used for a 35-foot overnighter, but the minute I entered the cockpit, stepping across the nonskid steps on our tester, I found myself wanting to spread out — and had an exorbitant amount of room in which to do it. Then, stepping belowdecks, I found three spacious living spaces in the cabin — this couldn’t be a 35-footer, could it?
It is. The 35 Sport Coupe is the newest addition to Regal’s Sport Coupe lineup, which tops out at 52 feet. “Our goal was to offer the same amenities our larger coupes have but in a smaller hull,” said marketing specialist and delivery captain Frank Stoeber. One might expect the scaled-down amenities of a 52 to be Barbie Doll-ish in a 35-footer, but Regal worked the lines to include two generous berths — the aft berth converts from a media room to queen bed — and a spacious V-berth. A full galley nests to port and features an induction cooktop, stainless-steel refrigerator, microwave and more. The 35 Sport Coupe’s rich wood cabinetry has fixed pulls that close decisively for seagoing conditions, foregoing the annoying push-button latches that always seem difficult to grasp. A small thing? We think not. The latches were sourced due to owner input. Regal prides itself on responding to customer requests, and that’s a sign that it pays attention.
Owners also didn’t like dark corners for main electrical distribution panels, so Regal installed the one aboard the 35 Sport Coupe in a well-lit cabinet to starboard. The head compartment is aft of the galley, and a u-shape dinette resides forward, against the V-berth.
Sounds like five pounds of stuff jammed in a two-pound sack, right? While most 35-footers can’t offer sleeping for four and a full galley, when they do there isn’t room to swing a cat. But in the 35 Sport Coupe, I could stand amidships in the cabin and not brush the cabinetry to port or the buffet to starboard with outstretched arms. The wood sole offered good looks and a solid dance floor, but Regal tastefully left out the disco ball.
Convertibility, thanks to ingenious engineering, is key to the accommodations afforded you aboard the 35 Sport Coupe. The V-berth is completed at the touch of a button. The motorized dinette back rises to berth level and extends two feet, making it an honest queen-size berth. The media room aft can quickly convert from dual facing couches to a queen bed facing a flat-panel TV. You might not want to tell your teens the media cabinet features gaming connections.
On deck, the aft lounge can be laid flat for sunning acreage. Or, flip it up to form a fore- or aft-facing lounge with various reclining angles. It took a second to learn to manipulate the hardware, but ultimately it’s easy to accomplish. Even the forward passenger lounge has an adjustable back to let passengers face forward or aft toward the removable dinette table — yep, of highly polished wood. Convertibility and fine woodwork is a theme I found resonating throughout the 35 Sport Coupe.
Like the 35 Sport Coupe, Tiara’s 3500 Sovran LE ($507,500 powered by twin 300 hp Volvo Penta diesel IPS) also boasts a coupe-style hardtop and an aft entertainment room. Its dinette converts to twin Pullman berths, and air conditioning is standard both belowdecks and at the helm. The stern-drive-powered 35 Sport Coupe offers a shallower draft, the diesel IPS-powered Sovran 3500 LE longer range. You can add air conditioning to the Regal cockpit, or just open the sunroof. Both offer joystick maneuverability: the Regal with your choice of MerCruiser’s Axius or Volvo Penta’s EVC sterndrive system and the Tiara via the IPS joystick.
The EVC helped me easily maneuver the Regal while facing fore or aft, as you might do when backing into a slip. The joystick is ideally located for either docking maneuver. On plane, we appreciated the dual-prop drives and 600 horses delivered to the water through them. In hard-over turns the 35 Coupe failed to blow out, though we could lug it down in the tightest turns as one would expect. The boat jumped quickly onto plane while maintaining a reassuring view forward from zero to 20 mph. We doubt boaters will spend much throttle time at 44 mph, but our tests proved one could, satisfying both comfortable cruising and hot throttle tastes.
Comparable model: Tiara Sovran 3500 LE