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The Re­gal 28 Ex­press was launched in 2013 and this smart modern sportscruiser is still in pro­duc­tion. Like most boats of this size and style, the beam is lim­ited to 8ft 6in as a sop to the Amer­i­cans, who do like to drag them around be­hind their pick-up trucks (it’s the max­i­mum tow­able width al­lowed in most states) but it utilises what it has well.


The in­te­rior is en­tirely con­ven­tional with a dinette for­ward, heads op­po­site the gal­ley, and a dou­ble berth back un­der the cock­pit. All ar­eas are a de­cent size, but max­imis­ing liv­ing space in­evitably com­pro­mises stor­age space, so there are no hang­ing lock­ers for ex­am­ple. How­ever, Re­gal has been quite clever with some of the stor­age so­lu­tions. The sa­loon ta­ble has a ded­i­cated stor­age slot be­neath the mid­dle dinette cush­ion, its leg clip­ping neatly into a locker, and the dinette back­rests are cun­ningly shaped to cre­ate the in­fill re­quired to turn it into a dou­ble bed with­out re­course to more cush­ions.


In com­mon with many of its con­tem­po­raries, the nar­row beam means no side decks, the full width be­ing used for the cock­pit, so ac­cess for­ward is through the smart stain­less steel framed wind­screen.

Like the in­te­rior, the cock­pit lay­out is con­ven­tional but with some nice touches, such as the dou­ble-ended chaise longue and the multi ad­justable aft seat back­rest lock­ing into dif­fer­ent po­si­tions to cre­ate a seat­ing, sun­bathing or loung­ing area. The pow­ered fold­ing arch is handy for re­duc­ing air draught.


The stan­dard en­gine op­tion is a 5.0 litre V8 Mer­cruiser petrol en­gine, but most (like this boat) were up­graded to Mer­cruiser’s 5.7 litre 350 Mag­num mo­tor, which punches 300hp through its Bravo 3 twin prop stern­drive for a top speed of about 33 knots. Volvo Penta is also on the op­tions list, and there is a 300hp diesel op­tion.


For a nec­es­sar­ily tall yet nar­row boat the 28 Ex­press is sur­pris­ingly sta­ble at plan­ing speeds, with lit­tle need of its stan­dard fit trim tabs un­less it’s par­tic­u­larly windy or un­evenly loaded. Rea­son­ably quiet with the V8 petrol en­gine too, it’s a smooth op­er­a­tor.

The ver­sa­tile cock­pit uses the full beam so fore­deck ac­cess is through the wind­screen

The dinette’s back­rests slot into the gap to make up a dou­ble berth at night

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