- HMS heads out to Florida to test a high quality, pocket-sized bowrider that’s truly built to be driven…
Regal 2000ES Bowrider
If you’re new to powerboating, it won’t take long before you come to appreciate that owning a boat opens up a whole world of experiences and new opportunities – many of which remain completely beyond the reach of reach of most people. But finding the right boat can be quite a task and making the wrong choice can not only be an expensive undertaking but also very demoralising. So as in the case of all our test reports, we’ll endeavour to help identify whether this particular American made sportsboat could be suited to your particular boating requirements. But let me say from the off, that this Regal 2000ES features great build quality and very much lives up to the reputation Regal has established worldwide, as being a premier boatbuilder of great renown. This model, one of the smaller boats in the Regal range, is also not only designed very much with socialising in mind, but is a real driver’s boat too. So, if you want to know more, please step aboard and join me for the ride….
We tested the Regal 2000ES in the balmy waters off the Florida coast beneath a blue sky and in about 40 degrees of heat. To say it was a pleasure to get underway with the wind in your face was an understatement! It was very hot and very humid indeed beneath the afternoon sun. But upon making our way out of the opulent surroundings of the Key Largo marina and idling down through the mangrove bordered waterway out to sea, we were soon greeted by the sparkling azure of the ocean, which on this particular day, possessed just a minimal degree of chop with little or no swell running.
In light of the near perfect conditions, I was therefore surprised when the skipper hosting the trial, suggested the sea was a little on the rough side and asked me to ‘take it easy’ behind the wheel! But once everyone was secure and I had a feel of the hull beneath my feet, I made it my business to ignore the anxious skipper’s leadings and decided to push the boat a smidgen harder on every run made into the oncoming seas. He of course grumbled, but upon making the hull ‘pick up skirts’ and with the prop ‘barking’ its approval, it quickly became apparent that the 2000ES possessed a very fine hull indeed – one that gave every indication of being well suited to our home waters.
Imagine driving a sports car where you had the devil of a job staying in the seat, where the dashboard displays weren’t in your line of sight, where the view ahead was impaired and you had to reach awkwardly for the controls! So many helm positions suffer from these basic flaws and boat owners it seems are just expected to accept that that’s the way it is! There is no excuse for this. Indeed, the key to a great driving experience surely has to start with good ergonomics and a sound driving position? But what of the Regal? Well; I’m really happy to report that I have no such complaints about this particular boat because its cockpit design and layout really does make the whole process of driving an absolute pleasure.
The Regal FasTrack hull performs in a very stable and reassuring manner plus its soft riding too. Super grippy through the turns, nice and dry through the chop, this FasTrack design also produces a good degree of lift thanks to its forgiving chines and spray rails. It’s hydrodynamic qualities therefore aid heightened economy, performance and a reduced tendency for the hull to bury its nose in a following sea. Topping out just shy of 50mph, it would likely be possible to gain a little more top speed if the prop were tweaked or changed, but that said, there were four of us aboard and this was a boat delivered for trial pretty much straight ‘out of the box’.
The powerpack to the test craft was a Mercruiser 4.3mpi 220hp with Alpha one drive felt was well suited in my opion; delivering a sensible degree of power in a very smooth fashion with a weight/installation that gave no signs of disturbing the boat’s good, overall balance. With this particular engine choice, the 2000ES benefits from having a sporty, responsive feel, whilst at the same time not suffering from being ‘over-horsed’ – in my view, a common problem with more and more leisure craft being sold these days. Thanks in part to its inboard engine and the vessel’s 40 gallon underdeck fuel tank, the 2000ES also benefits from a low COG. This results in a laterally stable and generally very surefooted ride at all speeds.
This is a really fun boat to drive but it feels a very safe boat to be aboard too. With comfortable and beautifully upholstered seating for everyone aboard, plenty of grab points, high gunwales and with good access fore and aft; the layout on deck, though relatively simple, is very well thought through for a boat of this size. Of course, having an 8.6ft beam helps to give the boat a sense of uncommon spaciousness and whether you’re up in the bowrider section of the craft or seated in the stern you’ll find storage beneath virtually every seat. One of these contains a 25 quart Igloo cooler whilst another larger stowage area is designed to take skis and other toys.
The internal features of the craft are extensive and rather than listing all the extras that can be added to the specification within this article, it’s probably best to check out the Regal website link direct http://www.regalboats.com/model/2000-es-bowrider/ But essentially, there are enough options to ‘custom’ design your 2000ES to pretty much any extent you wish. Meantime, the forward raked arch mast not only doubles as a ski tower but also provides the means for a Bimini to be attached. Good sized scuppers to clear the deck of water and a super-sized bathing platform are attractive features too.
All in all, the 2000ES is a very likable little boat and is a lot of fun to drive. I have no criticisms to speak of and wherever one looks internally you’ll only find that same degree of quality and fitout that’s displayed in the more obvious areas of the boat’s anatomy. Well done Regal! This is a great pocket sized bowrider that has the ability to handle both flat water and ocean chop with equal style and ability.
High quality fitout and construction
Efficient, soft riding hull design
None to speak of
Mercruiser 4.3mpi 220hp Alpha one: £35,602
- Bow infill cushion: £271
- Cockpit and bow tonneau covers: £706
- Cockpit carpet: £329
- Docking lights: £212
- Power sport tower, white: £3,847
- Seadeck swim platform, teak colour £282
Total package price
All prices inc VAT
Gibbs Boat Sales