By the Numbers
By Jason Y. Wood
Certain boat brands have built real cachet in some ports of call, and the result is a heavily tilted numbers game as you motor through the anchorage. Regulator Marine plays the game as well as anyone. The company has built handsome, seaworthy center consoles in Edenton, North Carolina, since 1988, and is refreshing its line with some new models. One of them is the Regulator 25, which matches a classic profile with sporty performance.
One big reason that center consoles skyrocketed in popularity is all-around access, and the Regulator 25 does not disappoint. The deck is flush from bow to stern, so there’s no step to trip you up when you’re focused on fighting a fish. A forward seating area with built-in benches and a recessed grabrail has cavernous lockers beneath the seats: Port and starboard fishboxes offer dry stowage to the tune of 160 quarts each, while a bow locker holds 140 quarts of volume. Between the benches in the sole there’s another locker that holds 408 quarts and has a built-in rod rack.
The console itself is large, at 52 inches tall, as it would have to be to have a head inside, but it’s not overbearing—the best way to describe it is that it fits the space. It has a two-person seat forward over an insulated cooler box. The head compartment is a bit tight getting in and out for a guy of my average stature at 5-foot-10, but it has 74 inches of overhead height once inside and would work just fine.
Behind the console is a leaning post with helm and companion seats that easily flip up to bolsters, or should I say, bolsters that flip down to seats, since that will be the default position. My first impression is that this leaning post is tall and doesn’t take up a lot of fore-and-aft space—there’s 40 inches of cockpit space abaft. Our test boat had a built-in tackle station featuring cabinets with integrated tackle-tray stowage, cupholders, another matched tubular rocket-launcher rod holder smartly integrated with a grabrail, and a rack to hang lures, pliers, knives, and more. When kitted out for fishing, all the gear will be stowed yet easily accessible.
There’s a clever transom bench seat that folds out of the way, but adds to the seating options, though it doesn’t offer much of a view forward, due to the leaning post. The transom also has a plumbed 23-gallon livewell and 120-quart dry stowage locker side-by-side under matching lids. Bilge access is through a deck hatch in the cockpit.
Regulator builds what it knows, which is hand-laid fiberglass, using the signature Fiberglass Grillage System of stringers to add strength and rigidity to the hull. While she may not be a showpiece for innovative new-wave construction techniques, the Regulator 25 is built in the finest Carolina tradition by craftsmen using top-quality materials ranging from the resins, gelcoat, and glass in the hull, to electrical components and wiring, deck hardware, tanks, and plumbing. Run your hand along a hidden edge or two, and you’ll feel the finish.
Naval architect Lou Codega designs all Regulators and they share the same basic running-surface design—no surprises there. The 25 also has an Armstrong bracket, which the company uses on its new designs, the 28 and 34, and the rigging couldn’t be neater. Regulator’s 24- and 32-foot boats have Euro-transom designs.
A close inspection of the optional T-top revealed gleaming fiberglass all around setting on beefy powder-coated tubes. That shelter offered some additional options on the test boat, including a matching powder-coated rocket launcher aft, and molded-in LED lights.
The best thing about Regulators is that they offer no surprises in terms of performance. At one point during our sea trial the twin 200-horsepower Yamaha four-stroke outboards managed to get us a one-way speed of 53 mph (we use knots in the table below), and the boat was responsive to the helm and tracked like a champ. Rough conditions were hard to come by, but we found some wakes on Long Island Sound and the modified-V hull slid right through them.
If you’re looking for a center console with good speed, a solid feel, and smart use of onboard space, think of the number 25.
Regulator, 252-482-3837, www.regulatormarine.com
: 6,200 lb. (dry)
: 160 gal.
: 21 gal.
: 2/200-hp four-stroke Yamaha F200XCA outboards
: Yamaha 1.86:1 gear ratio
: 14 ¼ x 18 Reliance Series SDS, polished stainless steel
T-top with molded-in LED lights ($11,995); Raymarine electronics package with single E125 display, B260 transducer, Ray 55 VHF, and 8' VHF antenna ($9,895); Deluxe tackle center with seatback rocket launcher ($6,195).
Air temperature: 73°F; humidity: 74%; seas: 1-2'; wind: 5-7 knots; load: 80 gal. fuel, no water, 2 persons, 40 lb. gear. Speeds are two-way averages measured with Garmin handheld GPS. GPH taken via Yamaha engine display. Range based on 90 percent of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.