The Highs: Ride matches or beats that of any monohull in this size range. Huge glass windshield is far more protective than most. Hatches are fitted perfectly – drop them and they shush shut.
The Lows: Anchor locker hatch folds forward and hits the deck. You’ll have trouble finding a 29′ center console that costs more – load it with options, and you could break $160K.
Toughest Competitor: Southport’s 28 is another center console that’s built to last and rides with bigger boats. It’s also one of the few that sets you back as much as the Regulator, at $151,000 with twin 225-hp Honda four-strokes on the transom. The Regulator has a sharper bottom at 24 degrees compared to 22 degrees, but the Southport’s fishbox is bigger at 728 quarts.
There’s a kingfish chewing on the port long rigger bait and a mahi-mahi ripping drag from the starboard flat line. The only reason we have live baits in the water is because Regulator’s 29 is a hardcore fishboat that cuts no corners. Flashback to the early morning – I throw a cast net over a school of live ballyhoo. I turn on the 30-gallon livewell and the pump cartridge turns out to be a dud. On many alleged fishboats that would have shut down our game plan. But instead of using the common pump-share arrangement you’ll find on lesser boats, the Regulator 29 has separate dedicated pumps for the livewell and washdown. I fire up the raw-water wash, drop the end of the hose in the livewell, and spend the day live baiting as intended.
Other features the diehard angler will appreciate: an 84-quart bait cooler in the transom, a leaning post tackle station with 10 tackleboxes, knife/pliers/rig holders, four rocket launchers, grabrails, locking forward rodboxes, two sidedeck lockers sized to hold five-gallon buckets, a molded-in transducer pocket, and a gaping 520-quart integrated fishbox in the forward deck. You’re planning to back down on billfish until you bury the transom? No problem – the huge glassed-in scupper tubes evacuate water as quickly as any I’ve seen on a boat this size.
Any picky angler who wants the best of the best will also be interested in the construction touches found on this boat. Regulator vacuum-bags the T-top for maximum strength at minimum weight, backs hinges with Whaleboard plates, and resin-transfer molds the hatches for a perfect finish (and they sport a nifty Regulator logo on the underside). The major parts of the boat are through-bolted together before being bonded, and the molded-fiberglass stringers are glassed in place and filled with foam after rigging tubes and hoses are run through them. A bonus for anglers who want their boat to look good years down the line: Regulator uses 963 gel coat, which can be buffed back if you ever mar the picture-perfect finish with a swinging weight or missed gaff shot. You’ll be thankful for it when the mahi and kings attack at the same time and mayhem breaks loose in the cockpit.
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Draft: (max.) 2’7″
Displacement (lbs., approx., w/o power): 6,800
Transom deadrise: 24°
Bridge clearance: 7’8″
Max. headroom: 6’0″
Fuel capacity (gal.): 285
Water capacity (gal.): 20
Price (w/standard power): $135,000
Price (w/test power): $135,000
STANDARD POWER: Twin 250-hp Yamaha F250 four-stroke outboards.oPTIONAL POWER Twin outboards to 500 hp total.
TEST BOAT POWER: Twin 250-hp Yamaha F250 V-6 four-stroke outboards, with 204.6 cid, swinging 153?4″ x 19″ three-bladed ss props through 2.0:1 reductions.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT: (major items) Aluminum windshield; 3 batteries w/switches; head compartment w/electric commode, lighting, mirror; hydraulic steering w/tilt wheel; 64-qt. insulated cooler; Ritchie compass; recirculating livewell; 4 gunwale rodholders; 20-gal. freshwater system; raw-water washdown; transom and in-deck fishboxes; Lenco black trim tabs.