She's definitely a top family cruiser that would be ideal for those long weekends away.
Issue: September 2005
For more than 35 years the Kuck family, the owners of Regal Boats, have been at the forefront of modern powerboat manufacture. Regal boats are renowned worldwide for their innovation, design and build quality. And Regal's latest offering upholds the family tradition perfectly.
It's called a 3880 Commodore Sedan, but it would be an injustice to draw the analogy between the Regal 3880 Commodore Sedan and that icon of Aussie motoring the Holden Commodore sedan, because the 3880 plays in a higher league.
Probably the biggest innovation incorporated into the Regal 3880 is that she's built around Regal's latest cutting edge Oceantrac hull design. Oceantrac hulls are designed as prisms to reduce the friction between the water and the hull. The angle of deadrise is constant from the stern to the point where the bow section of attack is increased slightly for a cleaner entry. The result is a hull that achieves excellent top speeds, greater fuel economy and slides effortlessly onto the plane without the stern digging in and the bow rising to obscure the view of the skipper.
The props of the 3880 are also recessed into the hull in mini tunnels. This reduces the hull's draft and shaft angle. This also helps the hull to rocket onto the plane, achieve a higher top-end speed and deliver better fuel economy. The hull's reduced drag and water friction also means you won't need as much power to propel her.
Out on Sydney Harbour in relatively calm conditions, the deep-vee hull sliced through the water cleanly and charged across ferry wakes as if they were nonexistent. Fully loaded, she weighs-in at a hefty 10,000kg, but her weight helps dampen the ride beautifully. It was soft, dry and noticeable quiet.
Once out through the Heads, the long rolling swells did little to quell her progress. She tracked straight in a following sea and while head-on into the swells (try as I may) I couldn't get a drop of water on the screen.
The hull responds well to the helm, but the helm is a little stiff and a bit of a strong arm is needed when throwing her around like a speedboat. But when we did throw her around, having her props in their mini tunnels ensured they bit the water well and she turned quickly without a hint of tail slip.
In the calm conditions and with a half load of fuel, the 3880 Commodore Sedan hit 14.2 knots at 2000rpm, 22 knots at 2500rpm, 26 knots at 3000rpm and topped out at 30.2 knots pulling 3500rpm.
The 3880 Sedan's sleek lines are deceptive, because they obscure the boat's spacious open-plan interior. In fact, it's one of the roomiest "under 40-footers" the team has ever been on. Entry to the saloon is through the wide sliding-glass door. The dinette and saloon proper are complimented by two movable, overstuffed barrel chairs. The wrap-around dinette features a high/low wooden table with Corian trim that converts into a queensized double bed.
Conical-side windows let plenty of natural light into the saloon, but mini Venetian blinds control the amount of light at any one time. Luxurious carpets grace the saloon floor and teak steps lead down to the spacious and functional galley on the starboard side.
The entertainment unit sits on the back of the galley cupboards facing back into the saloon, so the 20 inch flat-screen television is easily visible from anywhere in the saloon. The galley's L-shaped bench also acts as a bar and servery. Even though this area features a full sized stand-up fridge/freeze, microwave oven and plenty of storage space, you still have enough room to cook up a banquet in the Regal 3880 Commodore's galley.
The forward stateroom is as luxurious as the saloon and features a queen-sized island double bed, with innerspring mattress, two hanging lockers and a 13" flat-screen TV. Drawer storage and a deep storage locker are located under the bed.
One bathroom services the boat. It has a full-sized stand-up head with a circular, enclosed shower. There's a sink and vanity unit, wall-mounted hair dryer, towel set, Corian bench top and a VacuFlush toilet as standard fittings.
To port, behind the head, is the guests cabin. It has its own privacy door and features two single bunks, which can be converted into a double bed with the aid of an infill. The guest cabin also has good standing-head height at the foot of the bunks. There's a hanging locker and 10 inch flat-screen television.
The aft cockpit is open and uncluttered with good freeboard and access to the wide swim platform. The rear deck of the flybridge acts as this cockpit's shade cover and two drop-down hatches in this roof conceal the life jacket lockers. Wide moulded steps with an added stainless steel grab rail lead to the bridge.
The helm station features a tilt, stainless steel steering wheel, aluminium dash panel and easy-to-access switches and gauges. A Raymarine sounder, VHF radio and chartplotter are standard, but the Raymarine radar and autopilot are optional extras. Behind the helm is an L-shaped lounge for the passengers and a large sun pad for those who wish to soak up a few rays. Lockers and one anchor/windlass locker located in the bow. The lockers are large enough to accommodate two big boat fenders and all anchor and docking lines. The Regal Commodore's deck is flat and non-slip, there's a freshwater wash down in the port locker and a double sun pad forward of the windscreen.
The Regal 3880 Commodore Sedan is a stylish flybridge cruiser with a massive open-plan layout that's concealed by the boat's sleek lines. Her striking blue and white hull with yellow stripping ensures she stands out on the bay. But stand out or not; she's definitely a top family cruiser that would be ideal for those long weekends away. And yes, I can definitely see myself cruising the Whitsunday Islands aboard this luxurious American import.
The price for a 3880 starts at $525,000 for the standard Regal vessel or $610,000 with air-conditioning. Price as tested with all the goodies was $645,000.
The Story so far
Regal is a family owned and operated company that is now celebrating more than 35 years in the marine industry. It builds pleasure boats from 18' to 42' encompassing everything from small runabouts to the world-class Commodore express cruisers. Dealers and distributors in more than 45 countries worldwide operate its distribution.
According to the team at Regal, it is also a world leader in innovation, receiving the industry's prized IMTEC innovation award for its FasTrac hull design. FasTrac is credited with providing exceptional performance with less horsepower, meaning more efficiency and savings for the customer.
Regal Boats is a family owned company, so safety is a key factor in its design process. Standard features like transom trailer lights, side mirrors, deep cockpits and windshield vents aid safety.
Recently, Regal extended its leadership role in a hallmark event by becoming ISO 9001:2000 certified. As a globally accepted model for quality system standards, ISO 9001:2000 will accentuate Regal's mission by continuing to provide exceptional customer satisfaction. There aren't too many boat companies in the world that have achieved this certification.
Regal is also proud to back its product with one of the best warranty packages in the industry. Every Regal boat is backed by a limited lifetime structural hull warranty, which is transferable to a second owner within the first five years.
The Regal 3880 Commodore was powered by twin Volvo D6 370hp freshwater-cooled diesels. Optional engines are twin Cummins 6DTA 370hp or Yanmar 6LY2-STP 440hp diesels. There are petrol models available on request.
With half a load of fuel and two adults onboard in calm conditions the Regal Commodore 3880 recorded the following performance figures.
Speed to RPM: 14.2 knots @ 2000 rpm, 22 knots @ 2500 rpm, 26 knots @ 3000 rpm, 30.2 knots @ 3500 rpm.
LOA: 40' 1"
DRY WEIGHT: 8754kg
BASE PRICE: $525,000
+ Top riding hull
- Heavy steering
Words by Ian Macrae