Unlike its offshore sisters, Regulator Marine’s new 26XO reigns plying estuaries and near-coastal waters. In sharp, choppy bay waters our test boat ran dry without pounding at 25 to 32 mph with six people aboard.
Design strength and Regulator’s rock-solid construction make it safe and stable for a family, at rest and underway. This is a long-legged boat for fishing and exploring, with a range over 200 miles. Yamaha’s F300 offers efficient operation in big waters, with plenty of pull for tow sports with an optional, removable tow bar. The hull’s 14-inch draft, moderate deadrise, transom hull pocket and SeaStar hydraulic jack plate make shallow-water operation easy for fishing or sandbar picnics.
The 26XO makes a good island for family, friends or a couple. The hardtop shades the helm. There’s room to roam, with well-placed grab handles, cup holders and USB charging ports. The console holds a vented, lighted compartment with 60-inch headroom for a portable toilet or a permanent model with holding tank.
Seating? The bow’s port and starboard storage compartments convert to lounges. The console cooler seats two, as does the helm’s leaning post/livewell/tackle center. The stern deck offers three cushioned seats side by side, plus storage and a swim platform with retractable ladder and a transom shower. A four-speaker marine stereo with Bluetooth comes standard.
The 26XO might be Regulator’s most versatile boat. For bluewater duties, choose Taco Grand Slam 390 outriggers, a rocket launcher and a Garmin autopilot/radar package. The Garmin 16 XO Fish Package includes a 16-inch plotter/sonar, VHF and Airmar chirp transducer. Forward of the console is a 70-gallon in-sole fish box.
The 26XO also excels inshore, with casting decks fore and aft, optional -36-volt Minn Kota Riptide Ulterra i-Pilot trolling motor, 36-amp charger, and three deep-cycle batteries in a compartment. Hunting Redfish? Snook? Stripers? Even largemouth bass in a tidal river? The 26XO handles all these duties gracefully.
Yep, the 26XO handles multiple -missions. Regulator’s tag line for it is “Go anywhere, do everything.” We agree.