Does anybody have experience/comments on the FastTrack hull of the Regal cruisers? I'm interested in the Commodore 2860. Regal claims that it is very efficient, therefore a smaller engine can do the job. Oponents claim that this is only good for lakes, which we do not have, only ocean with average of 3'-5' wakes. All I want is to get a smoother ride or else, my wife will abandon my ship!!! (I have a 1996 Chaparral Signature 24' that shatters everytime I go up/down a wave).All comments are welcome and appreciated.
I have never run a FasTrac hull, but I have seen them. They are pretty much stepped and ventilated hulls that are more commonly used on performance boats. Regarding only good on a lake, tell that to the guys running stepped or double stepped Fountains and Outer Limits boats off shore in big waves at 80mph.
The specs for the 2860 show a sharp entry and a lot of deadrise terminating with a 21 degree deadrise at the transom. Sounds like it would be a better riding boat. A lot of deadrise (over 18 degrees) gives a better ride, but has more friction, which burns more fuel. The vented step introduces air under the boat, which helps reduce friction. There is no magic, just engineering. You do have to watch a few things. Through hull transducers may see aerated water, which is bad for your speed, depth, etc sensors. Water pickup for the generator and AC have to be carefully located too so that they don't suck air when running them and the boat.
Regarding better ride... The best riding boats are heavy, narrow and long with a sharp entry and a deep V hull. The best riding planing boat that I have been on, so far is a friend's Sonic 358. But that's 35' long, 8'6" in beam and has a sharp entry with 25 degree degrees of deadrise. Nice ride even way past 60 knots. It even has 6' of headroom in the cabin.
Best regards, Frank C
[This message has been edited by FC3 (edited 09-18-2002).]
This past Spring we purchased a 2002 Regal 2665 which has the FasTrac hull which we love. We moved up from a 1986 23' Regal with a traditional hull. There is a big difference in the way the boats handle, but we still get bounced around (Upper Chesapeake Bay)when the water is choppy or there are large wakes. The new boat corners better, gets on plane faster, has better fuel economy and does slice through the waves better but that is partially due to it being 3' bigger. When the water gets a little to choppy for the wife and kids (3, 5 and 7yrs. old)I just slow down and lower the trim tabs all the way to plow through the waves.If you are really worried about being bounced around you'd be better off getting a boat over 30' or just going out on calmer days or during the week when there is less traffic.
A neighbor of mine has one with twin 4.3's/Bravo III's. The boat runs well. The FasTrac hull is relatively quick to plane with this power set up and runs in the mid 40's under typical loads. Nice cabin and cockpit. Fit and finish are very nice overall. Seems to be sensitive to crosswinds though, but is corrected by a little trim tab adjustment. The 2865 is "taller" than most cruisers similar in size, which may explain the problem.
In other areas the boat appears dated. For expample, the windshield wiper is mounted on the upper frame which looks like an after thought. In addition, the wiper motor also blocks the operator's line of sight. Other shortcomings include a bi-fold door. Most competitors now feature a solid one-piece door and some even have molded in steps, providing easy access to the forward deck. The swim platform uses braces for support. Other manufacturers use ribs or braces above the water line for support, including Regal on some other models like the 2765. This is a much cleaner design and the potential for water transom water intrusion is lessened. Finally, the boat has a very noticeable starboard list at rest unladen, even though the generator is located on the port side. Hopefully, not every 2865 has this problem. Refrigerator is a 12V unit only. A boat in this class could also use a third battery. It should also have a full transom with a transom locker instead of an aft seat over the transom.
Regal has addressed some of these shortcomings in other models like the 2765. I have never been aboard a 2665, but have seen one on the water. In my opinion, it is one of the best looking 26's on the market. My guess is that Regal will redesign the 2865 shortly and address most of these flaws. Overall it's a fairly nice boat with some annoying attributes. Take care of some of the after thoughts and you would have a very nice one.
[This message has been edited by SeaRide (edited 09-18-2002).]
Thanks to all for taking from your time and answering my post. Another fellow boater told me that the boat handles well but the v-bunk is very, extremely small, it only fits one mid size adult instead of two (I'm 6' tall and the admiral 5'9"). If your wife is claustrophobic like mine and can not get her in the coffin, I mean, in the aft cabin, and sleeping separated is not an option, then this represents a serious shortcoming for the Regal. Small details like this makes a lot of difference when it comes to pick the boat that fits your needs. Again, thanks to all for your comments.
While I have a smaller Regal - a 23' bowrider - the FasTrac hull is very satisfactory for performance and stability, particularly in rougher water than I want to be in. I have the Merc 350 mag mpi V8 w/Bravo III drive which performs well, but I just experienced a coupler failure (spin) after 52 hours. I bought the Regal vs. a comparable Sea Ray because of easier access to the engine and the head. At delivery, the dealer had to realign something in the drive; the Lowrance digital depthsounder was improperly bonded and thus gave intermittent readings; access to the AM/FM/CD system is horrible, but otherwise it is a good boat.
My brother in law has a 2003 2765 with a 496. We went to Cape May from the the upper Chesapeak in 4 to 5 ft waves, his boat cut through it pretty good. I have been at the helm a couple of times on his ride & I got to say I was impressed. I thought the single drive was going to be a problem for him with a full load. He uses a little tab to get up & takes off. I personally like twins. Gets rid of any plaining problems. His aft is a little on the small side for me. The 2665 has a much bigger aft entrance.
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