Regal 53 SC
Although she’s conventional in terms of styling, the Regal 53 SC (Sport Coupe) is a cutting-edge express cruiser, especially when looked at from the standpoint of modern boatbuilding technology. Not only was our test boat equipped with Zeus pod propulsion units and a joystick for easy dockside maneuvering and improved fuel economy, she had a glass bridge courtesy of the folks at Garmin, Lenco auto-adjusting trim tabs, a Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizer, and, among other things, a self-macerating sea chest. I could go on, but you get the idea.
The 53 SC’s interior is a straightforward, practical affair. On the main deck, the helm station is forward and backed by a couple of helm seats. In addition, it boasts a binnacle control and joystick for the standard 550-hp Cummins QSB6.7 diesel engines that energize the Zeus pods. There’s a window-circumscribed upper saloon abaft the helm station, with a lounge (and hi-lo table) on the port side and a credenza-like “refreshment center” with TV, sink, and additional amenities to starboard. A glass door and electrically actuated window open onto a cockpit at the stern. The sole of the upper saloon and the cockpit sole share a single seamless level.
Comfort is the obvious priority on the lower deck. Up forward, Regal offers a choice of three layouts. The first features a single VIP with pedestal berth, the second a single VIP with a double berth to starboard and a single upper bunk to port, and the third a single stateroom forward with an extra stateroom with upper and lower bunks.
The full-beam master occupies the rear of the lower deck and is immense. A queen-sized berth runs fore-and-aft and is fully accessible from three sides, large windows in the hullsides brighten the space, and there’s an en suite head with a separate shower. A lower saloon, with portside galley and dinette (with hi/lo table) to starboard, fills the sizable space between the VIP and the master.
The way the 53 SC is built is relatively mainstream, although it’s certainly worth noting that the hull is protected from osmotic blistering with a vinylester skin coat, a feature that is so reliable that Regal offers a limited lifetime hull warranty.
It’s worth noting, too, that 53 SC’s engine room is loaded with the latest in marine technology. Just a few of the modern highlights on our test boat include the aforementioned Seakeeper gyro stabilizer that seriously diminished the boat’s roll factor, both underway and at rest; and that self-macerating sea chest not only reduced the number of through-hull fittings but also promised to obviate sea-strainer-related maintenance for various systems onboard; and a set of Lenco automatically-adjusting trim tabs that, in league with the tabs that are part and parcel of the Zeus pod system, made boat trim exquisitely adjustable.
Driving the 53 SC was a ball. In modest seas, the running attitudes I measured throughout the rpm range were civilized, with a maximum of six degrees coming out of the hole. Otherwise, via both the auto-tab feature built into the Zeus pods and the automatic trim-tab control system from Lenco, the boat kept her nose down quite nicely, engendering sightlines that were adequate throughout the rpm range. Hardover turns, which seemed to produce a tactical diameter of approximately three boat lengths, whether right or left, were exciting but exhibited no excessive heel or stern slide.
And the speed? A wide-open velocity of almost 31 knots is pretty darn rousing and undoubtedly owes at least some of its verve to the boat’s comparatively lightweight 36,000-pound dry displacement.
Regal Marine Industries, 407-851-4360; www.regalboats.com
: 36,000 lb.
: 450 gal.
: 125 gal.
: 2/550-hp Cummins QSB6.7 diesel inboards w/ Zeus pods
: 11.5-kW Westerbeke
: Cummins Zeus 3800 w/ 1.39:1 gear ratio
*Range based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity.