Regal Commodore 3060: Vista Cruiser

The Regal Commodore 3060 offers top-quality construction and a quiet ride.

Regal Commodore 3060

Regal Commodore 3060

Instead of a foredeck resembling a bisected football, the bow arrangement of Regal's Commodore 3060 transitions from a relatively flat, secure line-handling area to a steeply raked cabin windshield made of ¼"-thick safety glass, complete with an overhanging brow. Above and aft of this windshield is a walkthrough helm windshield, typically seen aboard midcabin boats.

This cabin windshield handsomely divides the Commodore 3060's lines, provides a headrest when the sunpad is installed, and when combined with large, oval side windows, gives you something most cruisers this size haven't offered for decades-a view from within.

Plus, like the Campion Allante LX 925 ($118,372 with twin 260-hp MerCruiser 5.0L MPI Bravo One stern drives), the engine hatch opens forward, providing outstanding service access from the swim platform. This is superior to evacuating your crew, dropping down through the cockpit sole, and having no place to arrange your tools when it's time for a filter change. That's the drill aboard most boats with aft-hinged engine hatches.

What's more, my test revealed innovative stowage, top-quality construction, and a quiet ride-as well as a few things that could have been done better.

SHH! Throttle up. At 3500 rpm, the Commodore 3060 runs nearly 32 mph and burns 22 gph. That nets you a nominal range of 191 miles. It responds well to the helm, feels sporty, and is as fast, if not slightly faster, than competing boats, both at cruising speeds and top end. The Mercs turned 4950 rpm at wide open throttle on my digital tachometer, right where they should be at full bore in a lightly loaded boat. There are revs to spare for extra gear, a big crew, and some bottom fouling. Given these facts, I see no reason to spend as much as $11,000 more for a bigger engine package. Either the test power or the equivalent Volvo Penta package (twin 270-hp 5.0 GXi DuoProp stern drives, $131,785) will serve you fine.

Of special note is how quiet the Commodore 3060 runs. Between 3000 and 4000 rpm, my meter averaged under 80 decibels at the helm. Now that's quiet, and I'd attribute it to Regal's sturdy, through-bolted engine mounts and that hinged, forward-opening engine hatch accessed from the platform. This negates the need for a hatch cut in the cockpit sole, a source of extra noise at the helm aboard most boats. Sharp shoppers will see that there's no insulation on the engine hatch's underside. Don't complain. The hatch is balsa cored, which makes it stiff, strong, and good at dampening sound.

NUTS AND BOLTS. Construction and finish details play other roles in the Commodore 3060 story. Its stringers, the backbone of any boat, are fiberglass and hat-shaped in cross section. Not only does this mean they're rot free, but the hat shape is stronger than "edge-set" plywood stringers. And wide flanges-the hat brim-make securing the stringer grid to the boat, and thus the grid's ability to distribute loads, superior to traditional egg-crate stringers.

Hull and deck are conventionally laid up with polyester resin. But there's also a vinylester resin barrier coat that resists blistering better than polyester. The hull-to-deck joint is sealed with adhesives, screwed, and "bolted where accessible," according to Regal. Bolted where accessible typically means aft around the engine compartment and forward around the anchor locker-in both cases as far back, or forward, as a man with a wrench can reach. But when I looked at the joint along the transom during my engine compartment inspection, I saw only screws protruding through the flange. Regal says the prototype I tested was rushed out for photography and sea trials, resulting in the lack of bolts. Check that the boat you inspect does, in fact, have nuts and bolts securing hull and deck.

On the cosmetic side, the Commodore 3060's hull graphics are gel coat, not glued-on striping. That means they'll shine with the same luster as the hull and won't droop with age or in a hot climate. Inside the cabin, you'll note a fiberglass liner, or "pan," rather than carpeted plywood. Unlike "stick-built" boats with plywood interiors, this provides easier maintenance. It also often comes at the expense of poor service access. But aboard the Commodore 3060, you'll have no trouble accessing the shower sump or head fittings.

ABOVE AND BEYOND. Regal also reinterpreted the express cruiser cockpit with the Commodore 3060. Instead of relegating guests to an aft lounge while you and a chosen disciple sit apart at the helm, the Commodore 3060's U-lounge is abeam of the helm. Everyone rides together and everyone has a view of where you're going. On most boats of this type the passengers' view is of the wake. Additional seating is on the aft bench, which folds flush against the transom, clearing the cockpit for fishing or tow toy deployment. Other cockpit accommodations include a light switch inside the transom door for nighttime boarding and dedicated shorepower lockers port and starboard. Note the integral inlet, cord hanger, and gasketed door. Our tester had air conditioning installed ($4,308) and so required dual 30-amp service. Without a/c, the starboard side locker is dedicated to stowage. Stowage beneath the L-lounge is shelved and held all the boat's canvas with room to spare.

Only one wiper was standard; two should be the norm. There were no complaints accessing the foredeck. The split windshield and helm steps made this a breeze. (That's a 20-pound magnet securing the windshield in the open position!) As mentioned, anchor and line handling is secure at the bow. I do wonder how many inadvertent steps from folks wearing sandy boat shoes it's gonna take before that clear cabin windshield becomes a frosted one, though. Only time will tell.

BEDDING DOWN. Slide open the companionway hatch and note that an extra sliding screen is standard. It'll add comfort on cool nights. During daylight hours, you'll be struck by how much bigger the boat feels as a result of those large side windows and the windshield.

I was impressed that the microwave and stove were hidden behind cabinet doors, which has become trendy in fine homes. And the stowage drawers are all solidly built. Furthermore, there are drawers where you'd least expect them: beneath the V-berth. This arrangement makes organizing gear superior to bulk bins under the cushions.

The head is typical, except that it doesn't have a shower stall. But it does have a permanently fixed shower head, mounted high on the bulkhead. You won't fuss with a retractable sink faucet-cum-shower head on the Commodore 3060. In fact, I'll bet the only fussing being done aboard this boat will be by your friends-over you, for choosing it.

Extra Point. Wanna see some cool engineering? Fold the transom bench legs and note how doing so locks the bench in the stowed position.