Skim through the boat reviews on boats.com, and you’ll quickly realize that few boats are built for a singular purpose these days. Instead, multi-use boats rule the market. You’ll also notice that many builders are incorporating similar features in several different styles of boats. Console cabins have become the norm on center consoles, on dual console boats, and even on many outboard-powered bowriders. Similarly, many boats aimed at fishing now have comfy bow cockpits like those of a bowrider, while many modern bowriders have rodholders and livewells. As a result the usual definitions of what these genres are has become a bit blurred. The latest model to combine all of these features into one package is the Regal 33 SAV, an outboard-powered bowrider/console-cuddy boat that marks Regal’s first foray into the world fishing in decades. Let’s take a quick peek at it on video, before we get into the nitty-gritty.
Fishing versus family
As is true with all multipurpose boats, and as you probably noticed from the video, certain trade-offs do need to be made to accommodate both fishing and family features. The biggest is commonly deck space, which needs to be maximized for fishability but often suffers as a builder piles on things like seating and wet bars. In this case, the starboard-side lounger provides a perfect example. It limits landing fish to the port side of the boat, unless you plan on dragging a slimy, bloody fish across your comfy vinyl cushions. On the other hand, lazy fishermen will love the ability to kick back and relax while watching the rod tips. And fortunately, Regal did design a fold-away transom seat that’s completely out of the way when it’s time to fish.
One area in which Regal clearly did some homework is the livewell. This is a place where many builders who are unfamiliar with the fishing end of things fall flat, but Regal made the livewell oval, gave the interior a baby-blue finish (which keeps skittish baitfish calmer, so they don’t bash themselves silly against the fiberglass), and plumbed it with an overflow instead of using a cheaper but problematic stand-pipe. They also get a thumbs-up on the fishing front by adding flush-mount transom rodholders. Both of these items are options that come with the Fish package, which anyone who intends on fishing from this boat will want; it also includes the raw water washdown and a macerator pump for the fishbox. What’s missing here is a brace of hard top rocket launchers (Regal offers a pull-out sunshade, which makes for some interesting mounting problems when it comes to rocket launchers) which would be a great fishing addition to the boat.
Forward in the cockpit where a dedicated fishing boat might have a rigging station and tackle stowage, the 33 SAV has an outdoor galley/entertainment center. It includes a refrigerator, solid-surface counter-tops, a waste basket, a sink, and stowage drawers that can be filled with dishware or fishing tackle according to your priorities. The electric grill which also lives in this unit is an option. One nifty addition which we haven’t seen on competing boats is the flip-down flat-screen television that swings out of the hard-top. It can be used to display either television or the boat’s electronics, so it can be used while fishing or serve as a useful distraction when the kids get too riled up.
From the helm forward, the 33 SAV is all about comfort and the family aspects of boating. The bow cockpit amounts to a giant C-shaped lounge with a removable (optional) pedestal-mount dinette table in the middle. A low-profile grab rail runs down either side, bolsters line the inwales, and optional filler cushions can turn the entire area into a padded play-pen.
Fishing boat, or cruising boat?
The amount of cabin Regal manages to shoe-horn into the boat is a huge perk for family boaters, and is substantial enough that you wouldn’t be out of line calling the 33 SAV a weekender or even a small cruiser. Walk down the companionway stairs and you’ll see a forward V-berth with a backrest that pops up in the middle to form an aft-facing settee; a fully enclosed stand-up head with a separate stall shower instead of one of those cheesy pull-out vegetable sprayers; and a small galley area with a microwave oven and stowage drawers.
Now turn around and look aft, for a big surprise. Behind the stairs there’s a large mid-cabin berth, plus a small center-facing seat and a small hanging locker. The berth is open to the main cabin so there’s no privacy to either of the sleeping areas, but there’s room for an entire family of four to sleep aboard—quite an accomplishment on a fishboat/bowrider with a console cabin.
Including the mid-cabin does, of course, require the helm-deck to be a bit higher than it otherwise might be. This means there’s a single step up from the cockpit and the boat’s center of gravity will be slightly elevated. On the other hand it also means better visibility from the helm, but it’s the ability to go for long weekends and overnighters that will make the incorporation of that mid-cabin a big plus.
33 SAV Performance
Since the 33 SAV was blocked in at the docks at the Miami International Boat Show, where we inspected it, we couldn’t cast off the lines and give it a performance test. In fact, at the time of this publication the boat is so new that no one else has reliable performance data, either. However, this boat is built on the same 34’2” long, 10’4” wide, 21-degree deadrise hull as the existing Regal 33 XO. And both models are powered by twin Yamaha F300 V6 outboards with an option to upgrade to twin F350C outboards. The 33 SAV posts an approximate displacement of just 250-lbs more, so it should essentially mirror the 33 XO’s performance.
With the 300’s on the transom, cruising speed is in the upper 30’s at 4500 RPM, and the boat gets around 1.3 MPG. Cranked up to 6000 RPM, speed breaks 49 MPH and just barely settles in under the 50 MPH mark, while efficiency holds at just under one mile to the gallon. Fortunately Regal recognized an angler’s need for more fuel than a day-boater, and fit 225 gallons into the 33 SAV. That’s 75 gallons more than the 33 XO carries, and provides enough range (over 263 miles at cruise with a 10-percent fuel reserve) to visit far-flung fishing destinations.
So what will it be: a day of fishing, a day of play out on the water, or a weekend of cruising? In all cases, the Regal 33 SAV will do the trick—and then some.
Other Choices: Families looking for a fishier perspective but who still need a console cabin and plenty of comfy seating might be interested in the Scout 355 LXF. The same is true of the Boston Whaler 350 Realm, though this boat shifts slightly more towards the family and cruising aspects of boating. And if you’d rather have a roomier cabin instead of the bow cockpit, check out the Jeanneau Leader 10.5.
See Regal 33 SAV listings.
|Fuel capacity||225 gal.|