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July 24, 2003

Regulator 24 FS

When I say no boatbuilding company works harder at ... maintaining the absolute highest quality levels, you can take it to the bank.

Southerly winds at 20 to 25 knots greeted us as we idled alongthe Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale. I knew offshoreconditions would be pretty darn sporty as soon as we transited the17th Street Bridge and entered the turning basin.

We encountered 1- to 2-foot seas running close together rightthere in the sheltered harbor. Idling through it (gotta miss thosemanatees), the 24 showed itself to be extremely dry at slow speeds,even in the stiff breeze.

Performance
Our test boat's twin Yamaha 200-hp HPDIs afforded superbclose-quarters jockeying around docks and bridges with toughcurrents to negotiate. Of course, the optional tilt steering withan Edson destroyer wheel complete with power knob makes suchmaneuvering much easier.

Offshore in 4- to 6-footers, we caught a little windblown spray,but the Regulator provided a clean, smooth ride with solid,slightly stern-first landings. In a quartering sea, the 24 trackedbeautifully with virtually no wheel adjustment, exhibitingabsolutely no shearing when confronting the back of the next wave.I found the steering to be quite stiff, though, and were it myboat, I would undoubtedly bump up the size of the hydrauliccylinder, pump or both.

Generally, I found the helm ergonomics excellent whether thehelmsman is seated or standing. However, the factory mounted thetrim tab switches in a very awkward position: at thigh level to theleft of the wheel hub but inside the radius of the wheel. I'dprefer to see them elsewhere, perhaps even on top of the console(though I'm tall).

This 24 demonstrated a short-lived but substantial amount of bowrise when coming up onto plane. Its Lou Codega-designed hull runsequally well with single 225- or 250-hp outboards. In fact, there'sa scant 3-mph difference in top speed between the two (39 versus 42mph). You'll see a big performance difference with twin 200s, as weran in our test.

Time to plane was half that of single engines, and top speed hit53 mph. Tests showed 30 mph at 3,500 rpm to be the most fuel-efficient cruise speed, burning 13.8 gph for 2.23 mpg.

Fishing
The Regulator drifted with its stern quarter to the seas in a verycomfortable fashion. Additionally, carrying on a Regulatortradition, you can steer this 24 down-sea without power just byturning the wheel - a great way to live-bait fish.

This 24 didn't roll far before reversing direction (roll moment)and offered very gentle transitions - no snap rolls. The bow anchorlocker provides ample space for an anchor and nearshore rode, andthe pop-up cleats and bow light assure you won't snag your linewhen fishing forward. Trolling speed produced fairly heavysubsurface turbulence on centerline stretching back to about thethird wave. On the other hand, the 24 produced very modest surfaceturbulence. You'll find the wake remarkably clean overall and quitesatisfactory for trolling.

A large, 96-gallon fish box with a macerator takes up much ofthe foredeck and houses rod storage for four boat rods. The FSmodel sports seats forward that double as twin 50-gallon insulatedboxes. Regulator includes another fish box aft. But be sure not toput fish in the 16-gallon insulated cooler on the console front; itleaves a nasty taste on beer bottles. I particularly appreciatedthe oversize scuppers with a connecting gutter between them thatprevents water from sloshing back and forth on the aft deck as theboat rolls.

Interestingly, the Regulator 24 FS comes with no undergunwalerod storage. However, in addition to the underdeck storage forward,you get two rod holders in each cockpit gunwale with plenty ofgunwale space forward to install more if you choose, and fouracross the back of the leaning post as well. Since Regulator ownersJoan and Owen Maxwell both qualify as fanatical fishermen, expectto find every fishing detail aboard the 24 in the right place andmovement with a rod in hand totally unrestricted.

Design and Construction
When I say no boatbuilding company works harder at advancedconstruction and maintaining the absolute highest quality levels,you can take it to the bank. Regulator has won numerous awards forproduct and manufacturing integrity. From the finest gelcoats tohand-laid woven fiberglass to the layer of Trevira "Stop Print" ineach hull, Regulator strives to build boats the best way, notnecessarily the most cost-effective way.

A beam-and-box structure that Regulator calls "grillage" formsthe skeleton of every hull. Combined with space-age adhesives tobond deck, liner and hull, each boat becomes a single, finelyfitted piece that stands up to the harshest abuse. This philosophycarries through to Regulator vendors as well.

For example, Ashley, who builds Regulator's T-top frames,carefully grinds each weld. Then the entire constructed frame isanodized whole. You'll never find a bare or damaged spot inside orout with this method. Regulator's hardtops consist of vacuum-baggedgelcoat, resin, glass and Klegecell foam coring, with varyingdensities of foam, depending on strength or equipment-mountingrequirements.

To cadge the immortal words of Will Smith in Men in Black2: "This boat is the new hotness, and others are the oldbusted."

Specifications
LOA: 24 ft. 8 in.
BEAM: 8 ft. 6 in.
DEADRISE: 24 deg.
DRAFT: 2 ft.
WEIGHT: 4,400 lb. (w/o power)
FUEL: 150 gal.
MAX POWER: T200-hp OB
MSRP $82,500

Yamaha 200-hp HPDI
TYPE: 76-degree V-6
DISPL.: 158.4 cid
MAX RPM: 5,500
HP/LB RATIO: 0.42
FUEL SYSTEM: High-pressure direct injection
GEAR RATIO: 1.86:1
WEIGHT: 475 lb.
ALT. OUTPUT: 45 amps
MSRP: $14,660

These engines pretty much own the Southeast marketplace partlybecause of their outstanding durability in tropical saltwater, themost corrosive environment on earth.

Notable Standard Equipment

  • Leaning post module
  • 28-gallon livewell
  • 3 forward fish boxes
  • Insulated transom bait box
  • Lockable rod storage
  • Lenco electric trim tabs

Impressions
I can't think of any other 24-footers in which I would have headedoffshore, given our test conditions. Regulator inspiresconfidence.

Regulator Boats
252-482-3837
www.regulatormarine.com