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2021 Regal 42 FXO Boat Review

Amped Up

Regal’s 42 Fly takes on outboards to become a yacht built with adrenaline.

“Holy cow, a 42 Fly with outboards,” was Lysle Spangler’s first reaction when he saw the boat in the water for the first time. “You notice that it’s a yacht…with outboards. For me, it was, ‘Oh, my goodness. This is going to be awesome.’ ”

Regal’s new flagship model, the 42 FXO, made its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last October as the new kid on the block unrivaled as an overnighter, sandbar hopper, and entertainer. In other words, a coastal cruiser that can behave like a take-it-to-the-beach sport boat. With the engines up, “You can get three to four feet off the beach and almost step right onto the sand,” says Jeff Littlefield, Regal’s marketing manager.

It’s a Liveaboard

“My first impression stepping aboard was that it was going to be a lot like its sisters, the 42 Grand Coupe and the 2021 42 Fly with IPS drive,” says Spangler, Regal’s Midwest regional sales manager. “It didn’t rock or feel any different than what the boats felt like in the past in terms of stability or layout.”

The layout is the same, so the cockpit, or aft patio, has L-shaped transom seating that wraps to starboard with spacious storage underneath and a removable section that gives easy access to the gunwale to aid in docking or to reach the foredeck from the starboard side. An integrated electric smokeless grill with a solid counter cover and an undercounter fridge nestles forward of the settee to starboard and aligns with the salon galley. The cockpit and salon are on the same level, so with the double sliding glass doors open, an indoor/outdoor prep, cooking, and serving area makes a great entertainment center, especially with the interior dinette table and wraparound seating to port. In addition, a 32-inch hidden TV adds to the mix when lowered from the ceiling above the galley counter. Then again, the Fusion RA770 marine stereo system will add much more bounce. The ANT wireless stereo remote allows audio control from anywhere on the boat, including the swim platform.

A few steps down between the salon settee and the interior helm to starboard leads to an open atrium that’s a room in itself. It separates the forward stateroom with a walkaround queen island berth and the aft stateroom that features a king berth with upholstered headboard that can slide apart into twins depending on whose on board. The starboard-side head features teak in the separate shower stall, a glass vessel sink, solid-surface countertop, and mirrored cabinets above. A long window above both the head and atrium counters provides natural lighting, a water view, and an open feel to the rooms. 

Besides the ingenious king berth in the aft cabin, a settee, cedar-lined armoire, and a 32-inch TV add to the comfort. The forward cabin has separate access to the head, a 32-inch TV with DVD player, a deck hatch with privacy screen, cedar hanging lockers, and a hidden pocket door for privacy.

Owners have a choice for the atrium setup to port. The refreshment center has slick, modern cabinetry that offers plenty of storage, and an optional built-in refrigerator goes below a countertop that includes a covered sink. Accent lighting adds that special ambience in the evening. The other option is a second head sans shower, which could be a tough choice to ignore.

On the Top

There are lots of advantages to having a flybridge, mainly a 360-degree unobstructed view, fresh air, and that cat-like perch from above. Access is from the cockpit via the stainless steel stairway with teak steps. The entry is covered with a large tinted acrylic hatch to protect the cockpit below during inclement weather or to keep young ones at bay.

First, the captain or owner/operator will have a full-service helm that includes a 22-inch glass cockpit display (or optional dual 16-inch displays) with autopilot and joystick steering with cruise control. There are plenty of options for the helm, including Garmin displays and HD closed array radar.

Second, the flybridge is a great place to hang out for cocktails, or the sunset, or time alone. There’s plenty of seating with a large captain’s seat, an L-shaped lounge aft to starboard, and an UltraLounge seat to port with a multi-position backrest that adjusts the seat as it slides forward to connect to the sunpad next to the helm.

The Outboard Advantage

When the IPS drives were changed to triple Yamaha 425 XTO Offshore outboards, the 42 took on a whole new life and added the moniker FXO, the “F” for flybridge. “One of the things Regal does is that we’re not just going to throw outboards on a boat,” says Spangler.

Littlefield takes it a step further. “None of our models are the same exact boat, the same exact hull with a different propulsion mounted on,” he says. “They’re completely different bottoms. The hulls are designed and optimized for whatever that propulsion is. The 42 FXO, while it looks and has a similar layout as the 42 FLY, the hull bottom is different to accommodate and optimize that outboard power.”

By changing the engines to outboards, the mechanical space is immense—full beam, 42 inches tall, six feet deep. Needless to say, there’s plenty of room for the Seakeeper, which is standard, and all the gear you want to carry.

As for performance, Spangler says that part of the conversation when he drove it the first time was that the boat had a “very sport boat feel. It was exceedingly nimble for a boat this size.” The boat went in and out of turns smoothly and never felt like it wanted to stall when going left to right or vice versa and wasn’t excessive in the roll over. “I am honestly blown away by the performance of the boat,” he adds. “Fully loaded with water, gear, and six people, we were forty-nine miles per hour top speed. It was just impressive the way the boat performed.”

Specifications

LOA: 44′

Beam: 13′

Draft, Engines Up: 2′ 9″

Draft, Engines Down: 4′ 2″

Approximate Dry Weight: 26,650 lbs.

Fuel/Water: 456/62 U.S. gals.

Max/Cruise speed: 49.4/30 mph

Price: $1,008,920 very well-equipped

Contact: Regal Boats

(407) 851-4360

Orlando, FL

regalboats.com

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