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Review: Regal 32 Express

Regal is not only the brand name but also a fitting description of the all-new 32 Express. With a king-size berth amidships, wraparound sofa in the salon, refined black cherry cabinetry and oversized hull windows for an abundance of natural light, you'd be forgiven for thinking the boat was closer to 40 feet than 30.

Creating a larger than life experience was clearly a design goal with the new 32, which we were lucky enough to get aboard at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show in November. Functionality and versatility were two other important — and much sought-after — aims, especially in the “do it all” express cruiser class the boat occupies.

“We designed the 32 Express to feature the most versatile cockpit and cabin layouts possible, giving each owner the opportunity to use the boat in the configuration they like best,” said Pat Wiesner, Regal vice president of product development and engineering. “Creating such a large cabin while still having the biggest cockpit in-class forced us to challenge previous design limitations and take advantage of every inch possible.”

Italian-inspired lines and a C. Raymond Hunt hull ensure that the 32 Express looks as well as it rides — soft, dry and stable. The backbone of the boat is its composite stringer system, which was custom engineered to provide strong and sturdy reinforcement while also being lighter and more rot-resistant than wood stringers.

In the cockpit, a single-level floor means boaters won't have to worry about stepping up and down from the helm. That may seem trivial, but it makes a difference when you're entertaining and also helped Regal to maximize seating and create a big, starboard-side entertainment center with a sink, storage and optional fridge, grill and 22-inch TV.

The helm is nothing short of beguiling, with a hand-wrapped sport wheel and vinyl-covered, top-stitched dash that are soft to the touch. Metallic accents on the Faria gauges, stereo remote, cup holders and binnacle controls impart a rich gleam. A doublewide bench seat and compass are standard; Garmin electronics — VHF, radar, chartplotter — are optional.

Opposite the helm, a multipurpose seat lets passengers face forward while cruising and easily reverses to create a cockpit dinette seating five. Expanding the space here is as easy as pushing a button; the transom bench slides back 12 inches to add more legroom around the removable teak cockpit table. The transom bench also converts to a sun pad for total relaxation at anchor.

At the bottom of the floating companionway stairs, the salon features the aforementioned sofa, a 32-inch TV, Amtico faux-wood flooring and a galley with two-burner stove, microwave oven and under-counter fridge. There's standing headroom in the head compartment, plus a glass vessel sink and adjustable overhead shower fixture (not a handheld sick spigot).

Forward, the queen berth comes with an innerspring mattress and extends aft for more stretching out room. When it comes to overnight accommodations, though, the mid-cabin is the VIP area. This is the only 32-foot express cruiser we know of to offer a king bed, which can also be split into a pair of large twin berths. Two horizontal hull windows add a lot of light here for a sense of expanded space.

In keeping with the upscale feel of the vessel, the 32 Express comes with a long list of features and options — much to long to list here. A few of the highlights include dual dockside power, a Fusion stereo system, transom shower, six hull color choices and 13 engine choices, including joystick docking. Options such as a generator, air conditioning/heating, spotlight and anchor windlass will serve the active cruising set well.

In all, the new Regal 32 Express is a beautifully styled addition to the highly competitive express cruiser market, with quite a lot of substance, too.

Regal 32 Express
Length Overall: 32 feet
Beam: 10 feet, 4 inches
Draft: 1 feet, 9 inches
Dry Weight: 12,650 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 150 gallons
Water Capacity: 36 gallons
Power: Twin 300-hp Volvo Penta V8 DuoProp gas
Base Price: $228,901

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