Center of Attention
The Regulator 34 looks and feels like she’s ready to take on the tournament fleet.
Regulator Marine has been building no-nonsense boats in Edenton, North Carolina, since 1988, and the company has grown its line to include center consoles ranging from 23 feet to 34 feet. It dabbled in express boats over the years, but the range topped out with the 34 Starboard Seater (SS), which is basically a center console that offered bow access only on the port side, since the bow seat wrapped around on the starboard side. The 34 center console uses the same hull mold as that boat, but with a true, unencumbered center console with 360-degree fishing access.
The 34’s smooth ride is a result of a combination of hull shape and rugged hand-laid construction, including a foam-cored internal grillage frame that supports the hull and deck and provides both fore-and-aft and transverse stiffness. The running surface, designed by naval architect Lou Codega, is the same on all Regulators, a modified-V with 24 degrees of transom deadrise.
We had very calm conditions on our test, but a couple of wakes from returning sportfishing boats showed us what’s what. The forefoot cuts through the waves and knocks down the spray, thanks to a chine that carries forward nearly to the bow. I could feel the energy of the wake dissipate as the hull rose and settled, then rose slightly and settled again. The 34 is powered by a pair of 350-horsepower Yamaha V-8 outboards mounted on an Armstrong bracket. The Yamahas work, too. At full tilt we hit a blistering 46 knots.
To my pleasant surprise, there was a head compartment beneath the console that gives you standup space, plenty of room to maneuver, a service panel for the helm dashboard, and, get this, a double berth stretching forward beneath the foredeck. It’s a place to get out of the sun and lay your head if need be, and it’s even air conditioned.
The boat has a great roomy cockpit, with in-deck stowage that was just the right depth: There was plenty of space but nothing would be out of reach. Another hatch farther aft offered access to pumps, transducers, and equipment. The aft seat folds flat against the transom, truly out of the way, and when it’s deployed it’s a real, usable seat—I sat for part of the ride and stretched my legs. The transom has a walk-through tuna door out to the bracket, and running my fingers along the finished edge of both the door itself and the transom framing it, you get a feel for the craftsmanship that’s going into this boat. It stands up to close inspection. The transom also has a full-length fishbox, which is good, because with a boat like this, you’re bound to need it.