Regal increasingly tosses around the term “power of choice,” a reference to the fact that numerous models, including the new 21 OBX that is the subject of this boat test, come in both sterndrive and outboard versions. Aside from the obvious difference in engine type, the outboard version also offers substantially more stowage. With the engine hanging off the transom, much of the space reserved for that sterndrive engine becomes a lazarette. The space formerly occupied by a V-8 now lies vacant and waiting for tow tubes, inflatable stand-up paddleboards, beach chairs, and all manner of maritime miscellany. The swim platform does get bisected by that outboard, much to the chagrin of many a sterndrive enthusiast. But it’s also substantially larger to port and starboard, wrapping around the engine while including a covered boarding ladder on the starboard-side.
Within, the cockpits of both the outboard and sterndrive models are identical. Behind the windshield, a U-shaped bench wraps invitingly around most of the perimeter, starting behind the helm seat and culminating in Regal’s “social seat,” an extra-wide passenger perch with flip-over backrest for facing aft. Bench corners boast another special term, the “comfort curve.” Rather than abrupt angles, the port and starboard corners curve at a 45-degree angle and feature notches in the base cushions to more comfortably accommodate seated crew members’ legs. A full-width sun pad invites those who want to soak up some sun. When boarding, the starboard third pivots upward to reveal a transom walk-through.
Regal has long featured the patented FasTrac hull, a design pairing a chop-busting deep-V forward with a full-beam step, reverse chines and large lifting strakes. The step promises better speed and fuel economy by introducing air bubbles beneath the latter half of the hull to reduce drag and friction; reverse chines and large lifting strakes aim to enhance stability and cornering. With a Yamaha F150, the smallest offering available, we achieved a 42.9 mph top speed. Time to plane was a brief 3.5 seconds. Cornering was aggressive yet predictable in all conditions.
* Standard Garmin GPSMap 742xs touchscreen replaces nearly all gauges; includes chart plotting.
* Fusion audio system includes six cockpit speakers, Bluetooth, and the enclosed, water-resistant Uni-Dock to accommodate smartphones and media players.
* StoreMore bow lockers feature hinged seat backs in the bow, opening to reveal large storage lockers within both the port and starboard consoles.
* Giant-size stowage where the sterndrive engine isn’t.
Price: $39,070 (with test power)
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F150
Prop: Reliance 14 1/2″ x 15″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 40 gal.
Crew Weight: 355 lb.
Regal Marine – Orlando, Florida; 407-851-4360; regalboats.com