altAs the flagship of Regal Boats lineup, the 52 Sport Coupe was designed to embody both the design philosophies and the quality values that the Kuck family strives for in their boats. Regal is a family business (in spite of its size) and brothers Duane and Tim Kuck and their families are behind every boat.

When you own the business, you can have it your way. Now it seems that Regal's goal is to serve up their boats so that you can have it your way too. If you are lucky enough to choose the Regal 52 Sport Coupe as your new boat, you can choose from five hull colours accented by one of five different bootstripe colours. Inside, you can select one of four interior colour schemes and choose from two wood finishes for the cabinetry.

Of course there is the equipment option page to further personalize your Regal 52 Sport Coupe. You might never see another one quite like yours…and that’s a nice feeling.

On the other hand, everyone has twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 pod drives with joystick docking and a host of other features. This yacht was built around the IPS units.

Frank Stoeber, who is Regal’s factory captain and delivery specialist, met me to demonstrate the Regal 52 Sport Coupe’s performance and features. Regal Boats feature what they call their OceanTrac hull design created by the naval architects at Donald Blount and Associates. They have taken advantage of the parallel propulsion thrust (compared to inboards that have a shaft running at an angle) delivered by the Volvo Penta IPS pod drives; in real world running, this yacht achieves a flat fuel consumption curve of 0.7 to 0.8 miles per gallon throughout a wide speed range.

That is impressive economy for such a lavishly equipped 52-footer. Frank told me he has been in 15-foot waves and with the minimally sized lifting strakes, it has a very smooth entry through the waves. Frank claims you can always find a comfortable speed making 22- 23 mph even through 4-6 foot waves. In beam at sea, the IPS design drives the hull flat, so you don't get rudder stall, adding to a feeling of confidence. Autopilot is part of the IPS steering system, and the Regal 52 will hold a course in a beam sea while the common rail diesel engines are electronically controlled to maintain steady speed and rpm.

Another interesting feature (that I was not able to see) is a “stern box” that is part of the hull and fills up with 80 gallons of water to level the boat at rest. It also offers some damping benefit to reduce motion when moored. As you accelerate, the box empties, reducing weight.

This system may contribute to especially nice sleeping conditions in the full beam aft master stateroom where the queen-sized berth is fore and aft right on the centerline. This is a great owner’s stateroom with standing headroom, abundant storage in high-gloss cabinets up both sides, two large, fixed portholes on each side and we especially liked the separate head and shower arrangement.

The test boat had the optional washer/dryer combination built in here as well as the standard two-zone 36,000 BTU reverse cycle heat and A/C system that keeps things comfortable. It is pleasantly bright and very spacious for a 52-footer. A great feature!

The salon is up a step from the aft master or down six steps from the cockpit. In our test boat, the optional high-gloss cabinetry helps reflect light that enters from three large, hull-side windows on each side as well as deck skylights. It is bright during daylight for an express cruiser and of course, at night a host of interior ceiling lights and footlights make it very livable and elegant.

As you enter to starboard there is a cabinet revealing the ship’s electrical panels. This cabinet stretches up the side to the bulkhead offering generous overhead storage. The C-shaped settee includes a fold-down armrest and dual recliners and there’s an entertainment centre with a 26” flat screen and Bose sound system.

The headroom is 6’11” for an almost home-sized feel. Opposite on the port side is the galley with electric two-burner stove, exhaust vent, convection microwave, double stainless steel sink and loads of storage. We really liked the big, double-door refrigerator and the fact that Regal includes dishes and flatware as well as fitted storage.

The guest head is the one that everyone will use and it features a clear acrylic shower enclosure, silent flush MSD, full-length mirror and 6’3” headroom. There is a port light with screen and shade as well as windows with blinds. The vessel sink is elegant and we liked the teak grate shower floor.

Another excellent choice Regal offers the 52 Sport Coupe buyer is his or her choice of berth arrangements in the forward stateroom. While an island berth is customary, Regal also offers an angled berth setup with an upper single to port and a double lower berth to starboard. This would be ideal for the kids, accommodates various guest groups and would also be a nice choice for a crewed boat.

Some people want a crew with a captain to do the planning and navigation while the owner relaxes but Regal has laid out the cockpit and helm for convenient owner-operation and entertaining even while underway.

Of course, the IPS with the joystick docking has revolutionized docking, making that a simple exercise. For navigation, Regal has turned to Garmin 7212 displays that now include integrated NMEA tab indicators and the Garmin remote control that eliminates the need for a touch screen; you can stand off in rough water and still use the displays. It's very cool and all interact together for ease of use.

The double-wide helm seat moves up and down as well as fore and aft, has flip up bolsters and armrests, too. There is a big footrest, wooden steering wheel and slide-open side glass for docking and fresh air.

Speaking of fresh air, there is a 41” by 78” powered sunroof to open the boat up nicely; huge windshield sections offer great forward visibility for everyone. We were pleased to see Regal designed the dashboard to include a great chart area with storage bins underneath.

Down the port side is a huge sun lounge that has a unique electric lifting seat back. Drop it to make a flat tanning bed or a surface for people to do things like playing games together. Press the button and you have a forward-facing double companion seat – another appreciated feature!

We liked the genuine teak floor and decking; it's a nice thickness. Even better, to starboard is a refreshment centre with a smokeless Kenyon grill under a teak cover. The underside of the smokeless grill is shaped to drape over top of the electric elements preventing fires and flare-ups. There's also a refrigerator, sink, storage and trash locker. Plus, you can get a big screen TV mounted there, making this an almost total second galley and living area.

The optional teak continues all the way out to the swim platform for a visually unifying effect as it surrounds the big sun lounge at the stern. For convenience, there is an inspection hatch for the engine room down through that but one of the most unique features of the Regal 52 Sport Coupe is the dinghy garage in the stern. The whole aft section lifts electrically to reveal a space big enough to winch in an Rigid inflatable with an 8 hp outboard! This is a great way to carry the “dink” and if you press the button again, that whole section lifts to completely open the engine room from the stern!

The Regal 52 Sport Coupe is what designers call “content-rich” with a host of design and equipment features that really challenges the competitors. With impressive fuel economy and joystick docking as well as everything else, this 52 really lets you have it your way!

By Andy Adams

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

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