Commodore 4160 — By Capt. Stuart Reininger — June 2000
The Great Expanse
|Part 2: In some regards, the Regal leaves the pack in the dust.|
You probably have inferred from that rpm that our test boat sported gasoline engines–twin MerCruiser 380-hp 454 Magnum MPI Horizon V-8s, to be exact. That’s the 4160’s basic power package, and they do the job admirably, but most of these boats are coming off the line outfitted with twin Cummins diesels, 370-hp 6BTAs or 450-hp 6CTAs. While performance shouldn’t vary much between gasoline and diesel, you will get a few more mph at the upper end with the larger diesels with and, of course, considerable fuel savings. All this has its price. With the gasoline engines, the 4160 comes in at $313,452. The Cummins 6BTAs raise the ante to $366,542, and the 6CTAs bring it up to $391,414. Pricewise, that puts the 4160 in the middle of the pack of same-size cruisers.
On the other hand, in some regards, the 4160 leaves the pack in the dust. On most expresses you get a wide-open interior with a curtain or accordion door separating the saloon from the sleeping accommodation. If you prefer not to share the intimate habits of the couple on the other side of the curtain, you’re out of luck. On the 4160 you get all that space–when you leave the doors open. Yes, she sports honest-to-goodness,
solid-wood doors between the forward master stateroom (with pedestal-mounted innerspring double berth) and the saloon and an innovative sliding, solid-wood door between the saloon and midcabin, which has a pair of side-by-side singles that easily convert to a double. There are also two heads with showers, the guest’s being a sit-down version you share with
the throne and the master’s being a separate stand-up shower with an acrylic folding door that can drive you crazy if you don’t unfold it just right.
What does open smoothly is the engine hatch–basically the whole aft deck–which lifts on a near-silent electric-hydraulic ram. If you just need to duck below to check fluids and belts, a forward hatch opens to expose a ladder that gets you in there without squeezing. That engine compartment is plenty big for whatever iron you choose. Hoses and valves are well marked, and the electrical wiring is loomed, color-coded, chafe-protected, and well secured.
That expertise continues up top where between the forward and aft cockpits about 15 people can enjoy sit-down cocktails without getting in each other’s way. The helm layout (four-way electrically adjustable bench seating for two) allows the skipper to be in the middle of the social swirl and still enjoy excellent 360-degree visibility and a well designed, spacious helm station.
Regal’s construction materials are conventional. The hull and deck laminate use alternating layers of 24/15 foam-backed stichmat, along with layers of Coremat coring. A chopped-strand skincoat protects the AME 4000 from print-through, while a vinylester resin barrier below the waterline forestalls the possibility of hull blisters. Through-bolted stainless steel companionway handrails and one of the most efficient foredeck arrangements that I’ve seen on an express–a Lofrans vertical windlass and flanking chain/fender lockers big enough to live in–indicate Regal’s design team has spent time at sea as well as with CAD/CAM programs.
How did Regal master the roominess realm? With clever space-saving designs that start at the transom and go all the way to the forepeak stateroom. The bottom line? Boatbuilders have a new conundrum to face–how to surpass this design.
Regal Marine Industries Phone: (407) 851-4360. Fax: (407) 857-1256. www.regalboats.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.