Lakeland Boating Review - August 2000
Regal's newest and biggest express cruiser combines fine lines with great performance and then adds all the little things a boater wants, right where a boater wants them.
The 41-foot Commodore has a beam of 14 feet and features two separate staterooms, twin Cummins 370-hp diesel engines and all the amenities anyone could want. List price for the new one we tested out of Oselka Marina in New Buffalo, Michigan was $386,873; Oselka featured a special show price of $318,453.
When you pay that much for an express cruiser, you expect great looks and outstanding performance and this boat exceeds expectations on both counts. As Mark Oselka, the marina's sales manager, pulled the 4160 onto a blustery Lake Michigan from the Galien River, the three of us in the camera boat couldn't help but remark on the boat's fine lines-so sleek that we were surprised later to see all the living space belowdecks. This boat's beauty is more than skin deep; its innovative interior design is also stunning.
Now in its 30th year, this family owned Florida boat builder offers a wide variety of designs, from a 17-foot jet boat to bowriders 18 to 28 feet and mid-cabin express models that start at 24 feet and go all the way up to the 41 footer we tested. There's even a high class 20-foot deckboat in the lineup.
The first thing you notice about the helm station is the huge, U-shaped lounge to port and directly athwart of it. Together with the double helm seat, this lounge, which easily seats five or six guests, means plenty of company can ride along in the forward cockpit. It's certainly no longer lonely at the top for the skipper while under way! A table fits into the middle of the lounge and stores niftily in a slot under the hydraulically lifted engine-room cover-actually the entire rear bench sofa.
Guests also will fine ample room in the aft cockpit, where up to eight people can sit in facing sofas and a starboard jumpseat. The cockpit wet bar, which sits astride the separating step, has an ice maker and a refreshment center with bottle and glass storage beneath the sink.
A compartment housing a shower head, along with hot and cold water controls, is on the port side of the aft cockpit, right where you'd want it if you were coming through the starboard boarding door (there's a port boarding door, too) from the boat?s massive swim platform. A transom storage compartment that opens onto the platform holds your fenders, dock lines and cleaning supplies. Cargo nets (another of the many standard features) help keep things organized in the compartment.
A touch we always like to see in larger boats is the rubber-backed rugs that cover the floor of the cockpit and stay in place without snaps. Regal features tasteful Berber carpets as standard.
The company has clearly put some thought into the forward deck as well. Features include a large pad that snaps into place in the middle of the deck, a cooler compartment and front wash down. Two cup holders flank the sunpad. A middle compartment holds a crank for the windlass, should it lose power, and boasts ample room for lines. There's also a spotlight (again standard) up here.
High bow rails provide a sense of security when moving around the front deck. Sunbathers headed to this deck don't have to feel like they're walking a tightrope; access is either through the walk-through windshield or around the cockpit on reasonably wide gangways.
A sliding door provides access to the salon, where a comfortable 9-foot leather sofa provides generous seating for dining or conversation. Overhead storage runs the length of the sofa. The oval pearwood dining table trimmed in Corian quickly converts to a coffee table. The Kenwood stereo features Bose speakers.
The forward stateroom berth has an inner-spring mattress hinged for easy access to a large storage area beneath. Two full-size drawers and a large cedar-lined hanging locker provide additional storage space. For entertainment, a TV/VCR is built in on the starboard side, and bedtime reading is within easy reach on the recessed bookshelf above the berth. Mirrors on the forward bulkhead create the illusion of additional space.
Guest staying in the amidships stateroom will enjoy privacy and convenience with their own head and shower. The stateroom features twin berths that convert to a double berth and, like the forward stateroom, has hardwood pocket doors-not curtains. The boat is actually designed to sleep six; the salon lounge converts into a double berth, too.
The beautifully proportioned galley features a large, curved expanse of Corian counter surface with plenty of easy-access, roll-out drawers and bin storage below. Side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, microwave, coffeemaker and hidden two-burner stove are all standard. Above is additional storage and a TV/VCR that can be viewed from the salon area.
The 4160 is a smooth performer, from the easygoing way it lifts onto plane with no loss of vision over the front deck to the graceful way it handled the 3-and 4 foot waves on the day of our test ride. In fact, it was hard to tell exactly when the boat got on plane. As you push the dual throttles forward, the turbochargers kick in within four seconds, helping the boat to accelerate quickly. Our top end in a following sea was 30 mph, according to the Raytheon GPS chartplotter; Regal says that's 5 mph slower than what it has achieved. This boat, the first in Oselka's stock, needed a bit of tweaking: Cranking out 2750 rpm gave us 26 mph, while pulling back to 2500 rpm dropped our GPS-monitored speed over ground just marginally to 24.5 mph.
Another standard feature is trim tabs, and we had no trouble maintaining a level demeanor when quartering the oncoming seas. The 4160 also turns very politely. Other than in directly oncoming seas, which caused the boat to bound a bit, the ride was superbly smooth. Moving around the cockpit is simple, thanks to well-positioned grab rails.
The gauges are all easy to see and read, and we enjoyed the user-friendly digital sounder display at the base of the steering wheel. Two of the four options on the test boat were the chartplotter and a Raytheon radar unit; the CD displays are inset into the dash on either side of the steering wheel. The helm seat, incidentally, adjusts four ways, and the steering wheel is also adjustable for maximum personalized comfort.
Servicing and checking fluid levels in the twin diesels is simple, with two ways to access the engine room. To get to the front of the powerplants, a hat opens on the port side of the rear cockpit. To get to the rear of the engines as well as the 8-kw Westerbeke generator , the rear sofa opens hydraulically to reveal a ladder.
Regal has an owner advisory board, made up of 376 consumers at last count, and after a ride on the 4160, it seems apparent that the company not only values input from people who use their boats, but incorporates that info into user-friendly design. Regal's Lifetime Plus Limited Hull Warranty, with a five year transfer policy, ensures happy customers. With the 4160, Regal steps even further into the world of serious express cruisers that deliver the goods.