Menu

Choose One or All to Start Looking

Engines Search

Search For

Regal 26 Express (2016-)
(w/ Currently no test numbers)

X

Join BoatTest for FREE Now!

Login

Own a boat? Please fill out the following options.

Signup

Enter in your email below to view all content

Do you have a question?Ask a question?
See the PRICE by becoming a BoatTEST member.
(It's quick and FREE!)
 

Brief Summary

Making a functional “Pocket Cruiser” usually takes so many compromises that the boat is hardly functional anymore. But the design team at Regal has proven its metal in making the most of useable space that the 26 Express actually accommodates four comfortably for overnighting. And it’s all possible in a boat with a legal trailerable beam of 8’6" (2.59 m).

Key Features

  • Choose between Gulf Coast White or Tuscan Horizan upholstery packages
  • Fusion UD650 marine stereo with 4 cockpit speakers
  • Salon provides space with an expansive seating layout and berth for overnight stays
  • Electric burner cooktop, microwave, and refrigerator
  • Mid-cabin with double berth
  • 25 quart removable cooler
  • Face-to-face seating that accommodates five guests
  • Cockpit foredeck steps
  • Multi-Position sunlounge
  • Low-to-the-water swim platform
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 26'
    7.92 m
    Beam 8' 6''
    2.59 m
    Dry Weight 6,200 lbs.
    2,812 kg
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft N/A
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 18-deg.
    Max Headroom N/A
    Bridge Clearance 9' 1''
    2.77 m (max)
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 72 gal.
    273 L
    Water Capacity 20 gal.
    76 L
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)
    N/A

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power Not Available
    Tested Power Currently no test numbers
    Opt. Power 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 6.2 300 B3 Catalyst
    1 x 270-hp Volvo V8 270 Catalyst with Duoprop
    1 x 300-hp Volvo V8 300 DP Catalyst with Duoprop

    Captain's Report

    Regal 26 Express running shot
    The Regal 26 Express is a compact express cruiser that is a natural transition for folks moving up from a sport boat. The vessel is small enough that it can still be used for water sports.

    Overview

    A pocket cruiser is an express that can be trailered, and this has historically been a tall order to create. Being small enough to trailer meant that enough compromises had to be made that the boat really had to lose its “cruise-ability.” Let’s face it… a V-berth does not make a cruiser. Regal, however, begs to differ and has actually used its design skills for making the most out of usable space to create two functional pocket cruisers, one 26’ (7.93 m) and the other 28’10” (8.79 m) and both with an 8’6" (2.59 m) beam, making them legal for over the road trailering without a permit in all 50 states and Canada and many other countries as well. Here, we take a look at the smallest, the 26 Express to see just how it managed to do it.

    Regal 26 Express bow
    Note that the boat is riding about 5-degrees bow high, just as she should at planning speeds.
    Regal 26 Express freeboard
    The robust freeboard of the Regal 26 not only creates standing headroom below but also makes the boat remarkably seaworthy. In fact, she has a higher freeboard than most offshore open fishing boats.

    Weight Matters

    The first ingredient has to be keeping the weight in check. Not too many of us have a semi sitting in the driveway just waiting to hook the boat up to. So, in order to make the 26 Express light enough for the Average Joe to trailer weight had to be managed. At an empty weight of 6,200 lbs. (2,812kg), the 26 Express is light enough to be towed by most pick-ups and large SUVs. Regal manages to reduce weight by utilizing a pre-molded cored stringer grid system that not only allows for weight reduction, it adds strength at the same time. More strength is further added in high impact areas such as the bow, where waves will be constantly contacting the hull at higher speeds. The Regal cabinet shop also does its share by using lighter materials. Resin transfer molding (RTM) hatches reduces weight while improving the strength to weight ratio. It all adds up to a lighter boat that is still strong.

    Features Inspection

    Regal 26 Express swim platform
    From left to right the arrows point out the hand hold to help swimmers aboard (the ladder is concealed under the swim platform); the remote trim switch which comes in handy when trailering the boat; two hinges allow the transom seat to swing up for access to the engine compartment; the tow ring means this boat can also be used for watersports; a recessed shower wand for rinsing off. We like the SeaDek surface on the platform because it is soft on bare feet and is slip-resistant.

    Swim Platform

    The integrated swim platform adds to the measured LOA, so the fact that Regal managed to put so much functionality into a cruiser with usable space that is actually less than the stated 26’ (7.93 m) is impressive indeed. Here, the platform has the usual under-slung reboarding ladder over to the starboard side. A transom shower will allow for washdowns before salty or sandy guests step into the cockpit. SeaDek overlay adds a measure of safety and quite a bit of comfort, as it doesn’t absorb heat. Remember, this is a barefoot area so we strongly recommend this option.

    Regal 26 Express shower
    The shower wand cleverly stows in the starboard side of the transom, just where it is needed.

    Cockpit

    Two port-side molded in steps from the swim platform lead to the cockpit, and with space at a premium, seating and storage are the order of the day here. To port, bench seating occupies the full length of the cockpit, and a flip seatback creates numerous possibilities for this seating area. Start with a forward facing lounge seat and an aft facing seat. Convert that to an aft facing lounge and a forward facing seat by sliding the seatback forward. Bring it further forward and allow it to lie flat and convert the seat to a full length aft facing one while using the padded bolster of the port console as a revised seatback. This concept alone highlights the start of how Regal maximizes space. A simple flip seatback would cut into the useable space, but by making the seatback lie flat, another seat is created, where others simply fail to realize the notion.

    Regal 26 Express cockpit
    This has to be among the largest cockpits in class. Notice how the narrow bulwarks provide a bit more room. With seats being convertible, there’s room for a lot of seating possibilities.

    To the opposite side, an aft-facing doublewide seat has dedicated storage for a 25-qt (23.7 L) carry-on cooler that can be filled with food at home and loaded on-board. Add the three across transom seating into the mix and the cockpit becomes an intimate gathering and conversational area.

    An optional cockpit pedestal table

    allows converting the gathering area to a meal time booth-style seating area, or even cocktail, spot. The decking is all non-skid but on a premium-level brand such as this, we’d opt for adding the snap-in sea grass carpeting.

    Regal 26 Express storage
    Regal provides dedicated storage for a 25-quart (23.7 L) carry-on cooler under the starboard seat.
    Regal 26 Express table
    When its time for lunch or cocktails a table can be placed between fore and aft seating.
    Regal 26 Express arm rest
    A floating armrest doubles as a drink holder.
    Regal 26 Express storage
    Storage is under all seats and Regal only uses high strength articulating hinges to secure the cushions.
    Regal 26 Express lounge
    Here we can see the portside lounge in the aft facing configuration. Safety is added with the high bulwarks and the aft acrylic gate.
    Regal 26 Express helm seat
    The doublewide helm seat serves double-duty as a seatback. High marks to the family that has the kids wearing PFDs.
    Regal 26 Express companion
    The companion seat faces forward but by rotating the seatback forward the seat turns into…
    Regal 26 Express companion
    …a chaise lounge seat for sunning. Note the padding that is built into he dash on the companion side that becomes the new seatback.

    Ultra-Lounging

    To the stern of the cockpit, the transom seat has a flip seatback allowing a conversion from cockpit seating to an aft facing chaise lounge, and then, with the seatback lying flat where the pedestal would be, converts further to a full-sized sun pad. Regal calls this an Ultra-lounge and it still leaves room for the portside seating.

    Regal 26 Express cockpit
    The cockpit of the Regal 26 Express has facing seating on three sides, but there is more...
    Regal 26 Express ultra lounge
    With the ultra-lounge deployed, a full-sized sun pad is created while still allowing for opposing seating in the cockpit.

    Helm

    Regal is no stranger to creating an uncluttered and functional helm console and did not disappoint with the 26 Express. The panel is glare-resistant and populated with Faria anti-fog gauges. We’re happy to see that Regal includes a digital depth gauge. Lenco trim tabs are also included as standard as is the panel mounted stereo remote. The actual head unit is in a protected location in the main cabin.

    An optional Garmin 7607

    7” (17.78 cm) chartplotter is available to fill a dedicated space in the panel. The windshield is framed in stainless steel and we’d like to see a windshield wiper on the starboard side of the list, but currently it resides as an option.

    Regal 26 Express helm 2
    Fog-resistant Faria instruments are functional and attractive. The horn toggle has been placed at the far left so it can be easily found.
    Regal 26 Express wheel
    The custom wrapped wheel is mounted to a tilt base.
    Regal 26 Express helm
    The helm seat is extra wide making it particularly comfortable and providing enough room for a youngster to help mom or dad with the piloting.
    Regal 26 Express upholstery
    Notice the premium treatments of dual color upholstery, custom embroidery and double-stitching.
    Regal 26 Express bolster
    The well-padded flip up bolster provides a comfortable place to lean when piloting from a standing position.

    Bow

    Managing the bow lines or ground tackle is made easier by the molded in steps integrated into the sliding cabin door that lead to the walkthrough windshield. Rather than bring the trunk cabin right down to the bow, Regal integrates a flat portion of the bow for use as a working area. A dedicated anchor locker and bow roller eases the anchoring procedure. We’d add the optional windlass to make the operation more family-friendly. Just behind, another relaxation place can be had with the addition of the optional bow pad.

    Regal 26 Express bow
    The green arrow points to the bow roller for the anchor when it is in use. The black arrow indicates the hatch to the anchor locker and the blue attow indicates the large dedicated anchor cleat. The red arrows point to the two small cleats on deck used for mooring lines. An optional sun pad can be fitted on the bow behind the hatch to the forward cabin.
    Regal 26 Express switches
    Foot control switches are just alongside the windlass and mounted into the non-skid deck.
    Regal 26 Express companionway
    The sliding companionway hatch has integrated steps leading to the bow via the walkthrough windshield.
    Regal 26 Express steps
    Steps molded into the companionway hatch provide easy access to the bow for anchoring or helping to tie up the boat. Not so easy is retuning to the cockpit and we recommend going down backwards as one would on a ladder…unless…
    Regal 26 Express steps 2
    …the boat is equipped with the optional Power Tower which provides a handy hand hold when returning to the cockpit.

    Below Deck

    A center mounted companionway with an open-tread stairway leads down below. Regal’s use of high topsides keeps the area open and a combination of hullside windows, overhead hatch and screened entryway remove any of those “cave-like” feelings by admitting huge amounts of natural light.

    Regal 26 Express seating
    Wraparound seating at the forward end of the cabin makes a comfortable social area. Add the hi-lo pedestal table for dining. Hull side windows and an overhead hatch provide good views and great natural light.

    Since it’s quite typical that a small percentage of the time spent aboard will be for overnighting, Regal focused on the area being functional first, and convertible to overnighting second. That’s a concept we agree with. For the cruising couple, there’s the spacious mid-cabin needing no conversion.

    For livability

    , there’s a forward dinette, naturally with the hi-lo table when another berth is needed. When the table is lowered the backrest cushions serve as those filler cushions, meaning that Regal is continuing its ever-present mindset of not having any of the boat equipment taking up any of the owner’s storage space. In other words, we don’t have to go fetch a filler cushion out of storage… it’s right here. Fabric choices for the upholstery are either Distinct Glacier Leather Touch, or Moon Shadow. We’d also add the optional flat screen TV that mounts to the aft bulkhead, to keep the kids occupied.

    Galley

    Again, while the likelihood of someone cooking Thanksgiving dinner in this boat is slim, the option for light meals still needs to be available, and that’s why the galley is kept modest while providing the necessities. Regal’s cabinet department came through with hand-crafted walnut cabinetry adding to the premium look of the area. A single-burner stove, sink, full-sized microwave (some things can’t be compromised on) and a 4.2 cu. ft. refrigerator. The countertops are available in three different colors: Moon Crystal, Hazelnut or Boardwalk.

    Regal 26 Express counter
    Here’s a perfect example of what can be done with an in-house custom cabinet shop. Beautiful woodwork is accented by the Corian counters in the 26 Express’ galley.

    Head

    The head compartment is to port, just opposite the galley and Regal utilizes the “wet head” concept. The interior is all molded fiberglass and includes a vanity, sink, mirror and a pull-out shower wand from the sink faucet.

    Regal 26 Express sleep space
    This dedicated full-beam sleeping space features a double-sized berth complete with reading lights, storage, and natural light coming from two opening portlights.

    Performance

    Test

    As far as testing the Regal 26 Express goes, we weren’t able to get our own test numbers but Regal has certainly gotten plenty and reports that with the single Volvo Penta V8-300 turning a DuoProp outdrive, the 26 Express reached an average top speed of 43.2 mph. Best economy was reported to be at 4000 rpm and 25 mph. At that speed, Regal measured a 21.7 gph fuel burn that produced a 165.8 mile range off of the boat’s 72-gallon (273 L) fuel capacity.

    Handling

    She’s an excellent handling boat exhibiting a roughly 5-degree bow high cruise attitude. She does tend to show a good amount of bow rise upon acceleration so don’t be shy about adding power to get her up on top and bring that bow back down to running level. She’s sensitive to the steering and fingertip controls will make any maneuvers feel relaxed to the touch. She has a feel of riding on top of her V bottom and any turns will lean her over to enter the turn, and upon straightening out the wheel she’ll go back to being on top of that V. In other words, she’ll roll into even shallow turns. There’s no pronounced hull grab on the water so any turning won’t feel like we’re being shoved to the outside of the turn. This goes a long way towards keeping the ride comfortable for everyone onboard.

    Power and Other Options

    Standard power is a Volvo Penta V8-270 turning a DP outdrive. Options include the V8-300 DP or the MerCruiser 6.2 300 B3.

    Regal 26 Express engine
    There’s room for daily checks and regular servicing with this installation. At the bottom of the picture we can see the fuel tank, and to the left side is the optional hot water heater. To the right is the water tank.

    Standard hull color is, not surprisingly, white. Six other colors are available as options. We’d also equip “our” 26 Express with shore power, battery charger, hot water heater, and the PowerTower that really adds a measure of good looks to the Regal 26 Express. It’s available in either black or white.

    Regal 26 Express sleep space
    The optional “Power Tower” automatically lowers and the boat can still be driven with the tower in the down position.

    Observations

    With the 26 Express, Regal has shown that with the creative use of space and clever design solutions, it can indeed create a usable cruiser in a small package. This boat is easily trailerable and with comfortable sleeping for four it makes an overnighter, or even weekender for two couples or a small family. All in a package with the level of fit-and-finish that we’ve come to expect from Regal.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    VHF Radio Optional

    Systems

    Air Cond./Heat Optional
    CD Stereo Standard
    Head: Fixed Optional
    Trim Tabs Standard
    TV/DVD Optional
    Water Heater Optional
    Windlass Optional

    Galley

    Microwave Standard
    Refrigerator Standard
    Stove Standard

    Exterior Features

    Carpet: Cockpit Optional
    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
    Swim Platform Standard
    Tower: Watersports Optional

    Canvas

    Cockpit Cover Optional
    Full Canvas Optional

    Boats More Than 30 Feet

    Bow Thruster Optional

    Warranty

    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

    See the PRICE by becoming a BoatTEST member.
    (It's quick and FREE!)