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First boat, Hard choice - Chaparral or Regal

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First boat, Hard choice - Chaparral or Regal

Old 10-02-2018, 08:18 PM
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Default ***Updated - bought a boat*** First boat, Hard choice - Chaparral or Regal

***Update***
Bought a boat - thanks for everyone's input. In October, we almost pulled the trigger on the Chaparral after the Annapolis boat show. Decided to wait, and at the Dulles boat show we got on the Regal 2800 - only about 16" longer, but a wider beam. Compared to the Chap, fit and finish excelled, and we really liked the double wide helm / observer seats. The boat just had much more room, and I liked the symmetry of the seats. Also, the Chap came to the show kind of dirty and just wasn't pulling at our heart the way the Regal was. We realized you're not buying just the boat, but the dealer, too. However, the 2800 was $35k more expensive, exceeds my current tow capacity, and was a 4 months wait for delivery.

So we made the prudent decision, and ordered it immediately.

We've had 3 great weekends on the boat, and love almost everything about it. We did hit a snafu with our original covered lift slip that was a strap lift, but we are working through that. Again - appreciate the collective wisdom here.
Stock photo of our color combo, minus the tan vinyl:

We are about to buy our first boat. We're looking at 27' bowriders for spending Saturdays on the water with our 3 small kids (1-6). The response to my first post about pleasure boating in my area was impressive - a wealth of information from TheHullTruth community that was very helpful. We are looking this big to be able to entertain another family comfortably in the Potomac, from DC to Colonial Beach.

I'm hoping the forum can share any thoughts on the two boats we are considering: a 2018 Chaparral 267 SSX and a 2019 Regal 26 Fasdeck. The boats are nearly the same - 27' vs 26'6, same Volvo 350hp, seating layout, power tower, etc, etc. Some notable differences - the Chaparral cockpit drains directly overboard, Regal into the bilge; the Chap weighs 550lbs more; Chap has electric head, regal has a regular pump out
OTD cost is going to be similar - Chap MSRP is $137k. OTD will be $95k+tax; Regal MSRP is $116k, OTD $89k+tax.

Comments or experiences with construction, performance, features, resale would be appreciated. I'm trying to learn as much as I can before we make this decision.

Last edited by delta55; 08-01-2019 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Update
Old 10-02-2018, 08:28 PM
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One difference that I could tell would be that the Regal would be faster and more fuel efficient with the same engine because of the Regal's Fas Trac hull design.
Old 10-02-2018, 08:33 PM
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That's a lot of money to spend on a first boat. You could probably buy a 3 year old model of either boat for 1/2 the price and be perfectly happy.

FWIW, Chaparral is generally considered to be a higher end brand than Regal.
Old 10-02-2018, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gf View Post
That's a lot of money to spend on a first boat. You could probably buy a 3 year old model of either boat for 1/2 the price and be perfectly happy.

FWIW, Chaparral is generally considered to be a higher end brand than Regal.
You know, I had really hoped that. Searches within 300 miles and boats newer than 2014 yield boats typically over $75k. I'd say from what's out there, they are asking $75k or more for a similar boat to the ones I've posted. Crownlines and Southwinds are less, but I understand them to be less of a boat (and without a local dealer). Depreciation isn't what I thought it would be, and that's how I've ended up at looking at new boats with warranties.

If I could get a 3 year old boat for $50 or $60k, I'd be happy to go that route.
Old 10-03-2018, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tomg113 View Post
One difference that I could tell would be that the Regal would be faster and more fuel efficient with the same engine because of the Regal's Fas Trac hull design.
I thought the same. I haven’t found a direct test of the regal, but the same hull with a 300hp outboard (regal 26 obx) posts similar numbers as the Chaparral.
Old 10-03-2018, 06:33 AM
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Along the used lines, perhaps consider this - https://www.boattrader.com/listing/2...dard%20listing

I had a Formula 270 and it's an awesome boat. Higher quality materials and workmanship than Chap or Regal. Also weighs 6500 lbs. and 22 degrees dead rise iirc. I would guess with winter approaching that dealer in New York is quite negotiable.
Old 10-03-2018, 06:41 AM
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100k for a used bow rider with a gas motor, ugh, I think I would never boat again if it cost me six figures to get a bow rider. I had a chaparral 280ssi, great boat by the way.
Old 10-03-2018, 07:16 AM
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I take it from the other thread that you will be keeping it in Occoquan?
I know the Potomac is slightly brackish to fresh water and I would want to know if people typically try to flush the engines after use or not.

My first boat was a 26' cuddy cabin and I kept it at a Boatel 1st year, then trailer'd years 2-8 when I moved it to Ocean City.
My kids were newborn-6 years old when I got it.
Like the boats you picked, it had a swim platform that totally covered the drive so hopping off they avoided the prop.

I/O engines seem to age quicker than Outboards I'd say and seems like either Me and my friends had bad luck but several of us had to swap engines with rebuilds by year 7. That's why I won't go back to an I/O after moving to an outboard.
Don't know if you looked at outboard boats or not. When we first looked, outboards were not easy to find in a pleasureboat like they are now and my wife had this "fear" of the outboard being so close to the aft end. That fear is no more and honestly, unwarranted compared to the benefits.

My opinion is that fuel economy is NOT the significant expense when starting out. In other words, if I were to get 10% more fuel economy and spend $2000 in fuel a year, that's $200. (I know I did not spend nearly that much per year back then) Big deal compared to the price of the boat and other expenses.
Electric head vs. regular pump out? What's that? I only know about a pump out vs. portable (you take tank and dump in toilet). Electric head I guess would be a pump out that has a macerator for dumping overboard if you are 3Miles out in the ocean. If that is the case, that is no use to you in the Potomac and your just going to pump out anyway.

Did you mean a Chaparal 277 SXX?
I like the high hookup for the tow point of boat boats. That will help you and your kids with getting up for ski/wakeboarding when they are old enough.
The Fastdeck has the deckboat layout in the front for more space.
Regal has the option for an outboard (that's what I would want) (Yamaha has extended warranty deal right now, I think that covers new boats?)

Whenever I have boatshopped, I made a spreadsheet and listed the things important to me, then compared the boats, eliminated boats, then came up with the top 2-3. Did my visits then went with my gut.

Good Luck!
Old 10-03-2018, 07:27 AM
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I love my Chaparral, it's been a solid, reliable boat.

Of course, it's 45 years old. Probably not much help.

But I will say, don't buy new for your first boat. It's probably not the one you want long term anyway so don't take the depreciation hit when it's likely you'll sell in less than 3 years anyway.
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by coastboater View Post
Along the used lines, perhaps consider this - see link above

I had a Formula 270 and it's an awesome boat. Higher quality materials and workmanship than Chap or Regal. Also weighs 6500 lbs. and 22 degrees dead rise iirc. I would guess with winter approaching that dealer in New York is quite negotiable.
I appreciate you sharing this boat - looks like a nice boat. I'm balancing travelling to see boats (time) that don't have a dealer that is easily accessible from where I plan on keeping the boat. On the Occoquan / Potomac, I've found Sea Ray, Chaparral, Cobalt, Regal, and Monterey not too far away.
Old 10-03-2018, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by boatruptcy View Post
100k for a used bow rider with a gas motor, ugh, I think I would never boat again if it cost me six figures to get a bow rider. I had a chaparral 280ssi, great boat by the way.
Thanks for letting me know you're happy with Chap in the same size range. Although with a name like Boatrupcy....
Old 10-03-2018, 08:43 AM
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Just like you when I decide to purchase my first six-figure offshore boat I came here for advice. As you've seen, you can get valuable advice from this forum. My advice to you is, those boats tank in value when purchasing new, I would be looking real hard for a used boat that fits your criteria. No matter how far I had to drive to pick it up.
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ultraclyde View Post
I love my Chaparral, it's been a solid, reliable boat.

Of course, it's 45 years old. Probably not much help.

But I will say, don't buy new for your first boat. It's probably not the one you want long term anyway so don't take the depreciation hit when it's likely you'll sell in less than 3 years anyway.
Ultra - what are you thoughts on buying a boat that's 7 or 10 years old. One of the reasons I'm looking at new or almost new is that I don't want to get to the dock and then tell the family (and possibly friends) that we're not going out on the water. The boat will be kept 45 minutes from my house, and I just don't have any time to tinker - business, family.
Old 10-03-2018, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by melnic View Post
I take it from the other thread that you will be keeping it in Occoquan?
I know the Potomac is slightly brackish to fresh water and I would want to know if people typically try to flush the engines after use or not.

My first boat was a 26' cuddy cabin and I kept it at a Boatel 1st year, then trailer'd years 2-8 when I moved it to Ocean City.
My kids were newborn-6 years old when I got it.
Like the boats you picked, it had a swim platform that totally covered the drive so hopping off they avoided the prop.

I/O engines seem to age quicker than Outboards I'd say and seems like either Me and my friends had bad luck but several of us had to swap engines with rebuilds by year 7. That's why I won't go back to an I/O after moving to an outboard.
Don't know if you looked at outboard boats or not. When we first looked, outboards were not easy to find in a pleasureboat like they are now and my wife had this "fear" of the outboard being so close to the aft end. That fear is no more and honestly, unwarranted compared to the benefits.

My opinion is that fuel economy is NOT the significant expense when starting out. In other words, if I were to get 10% more fuel economy and spend $2000 in fuel a year, that's $200. (I know I did not spend nearly that much per year back then) Big deal compared to the price of the boat and other expenses.
Electric head vs. regular pump out? What's that? I only know about a pump out vs. portable (you take tank and dump in toilet). Electric head I guess would be a pump out that has a macerator for dumping overboard if you are 3Miles out in the ocean. If that is the case, that is no use to you in the Potomac and your just going to pump out anyway.

Did you mean a Chaparal 277 SXX?
I like the high hookup for the tow point of boat boats. That will help you and your kids with getting up for ski/wakeboarding when they are old enough.
The Fastdeck has the deckboat layout in the front for more space.
Regal has the option for an outboard (that's what I would want) (Yamaha has extended warranty deal right now, I think that covers new boats?)

Whenever I have boatshopped, I made a spreadsheet and listed the things important to me, then compared the boats, eliminated boats, then came up with the top 2-3. Did my visits then went with my gut.

Good Luck!
The 2019 277 SSX is the same as the 2018 267 SSX.

I appreciate hearing from someone the same position. I started out wanting an OB, but 2 factors have driving me away - availability and then much less space on the 'back porch' as well as limiting visibility of kids swimming in the water if we are hanging out on the sunpad.

Interestingly, the Regal dealer said he sells no outboard Regals, but the dealer in Annapolis sells a bunch. I certainly like the idea of OBs for the maintenance, serviceability, etc.

I'm on board that tenths of an MPG are a don't care for me, as you have described.
Old 10-03-2018, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by delta5 View Post
Ultra - what are you thoughts on buying a boat that's 7 or 10 years old. One of the reasons I'm looking at new or almost new is that I don't want to get to the dock and then tell the family (and possibly friends) that we're not going out on the water. The boat will be kept 45 minutes from my house, and I just don't have any time to tinker - business, family.
Well...there's a lot of variables in that equation. When I upgrade I'll probably be looking at 20' boats in the 10-15ish year old range.
The first question is one you've kind of addressed. The more you like to work on stuff (and the better you are at it) then the older a boat you're probably ok buying. Point being, older boats just need more upkeep, tinkering, etc. But you've said that you will be keeping it off site and not working on it yourself, so it makes sense to trend toward something newer.
BUT.
Be aware that all boats require upkeep.

Every time you go there is the possibility you might get there and have to cancel. You can certainly minimize those times from a mechanical standpoint, but weather, illness, etc, can change quickly. Being a smart boater means doing a realistic assessment before leaving the dock and not going if there's a good reason not to, even if it's disappointing.

Okay, so having said all my words of warning...

I would not worry at all about buying a 7-10 year old used boat as long as you have a thorough pre-purchase inspection done on the hull and the engine. Take the engine to a manufacturer-certified mechanic for the check out and they can probably do the hull inspection too.

Look around this forum and others and you will see plenty of stories of problems with brand new boats too. Purchasing new doesn't guarantee it won't have issues, it just makes it more likely you can get them fixed for free. So a solid used boat with a good inspection is just as good in my opinion.

At least with outboard boats, at 7-10 years old you are most likely looking at the original motors. Once you get closer to 15+ it becomes more likely that it could be a new replacement motor which is a real plus. I suspect that timeframe is longer for inboards. Remember, with used boats you are mostly buying a motor that comes with a boat attached.

My personal feeling is to stay away from motors with really low hours for the year, and from motors that have really high hours. Ultra-low-hour motors always seem to have problems when they start being run a lot. Just like old cars, if they stay parked all the time they die quickly. On the other side, really high hours may well mean it's used up. Something that has a fair number of hours but runs well has probably had any issues fixed and will continue to run with good maintenance.

Lastly, no matter what you get, get insurance that has towing coverage. Worse than not leaving the dock is being stuck in the middle of the lake. Also make sure you have dependable communications to call a tow if needed. At least have a cell phone AND a handheld marine VHF radio.

Note, all of these are only opinions.
Old 10-03-2018, 10:12 AM
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I would really consider a used Formula 270BR. There are a few priced below your OTD prices that would be worth the drive besides the one in NY. Check ebay for a 2016 which came from Lake Norman and there is on in MI on boattrader. Assuming they have been well cared for they will be just like new and Formula's (IMO) are built much better than the ones you are considering. I wouldn't worry as much about a lack of dealer in your area, mainly you need to consider is there a good dealer to support the engine you will have.
Old 10-03-2018, 10:53 AM
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Dug up an old pic of mine. I didn't like the tower that was on this boat, but my kids did when we were wakeboarding.
i had the standard 375 HP Mercrusier and it would hit low 50 mph light. Nice thing was the weight in chop. You also may want to consider the Formula 27PC. It's a great pocket cruiser with room below. That may be handy for kids.
Good luck! It's fun boat shopping.
Old 10-03-2018, 10:55 AM
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Forgot the pic...
Old 10-03-2018, 11:06 AM
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I'm a huge fan of the Regal 26FD and have spent probably 100 hours or so running one. The boat rides incredibly well, performs great and is overall a great entertainment platform. The biggest determining factor for me on this kind of purchase would be the dealer support, which dealer do you get the better vibe from as far as after sale issues go?
Old 10-03-2018, 11:25 AM
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I personally like the lines and aesthetics of the Regal better than Chapparal. Chapparal's seem "boxy" to me by comparison. Though i will say I favor Crownlines lines/aesthetics, they look SEXY as far as their profile. So for me I would lean toward Regal as far as that goes. In addition, Regal has (last I checked models anyway) more offerings available with outboard power, which also appeals to me. I'll never own an I/O.

But it's fun spending someone elses money...

As far as actual advice that I am able to offer. I would sit in each for 30+ minutes at the dealers, plus watch many youtube videos about each before making a decision. Sitting in a boat for a while will get you pondering your likes and dislikes about hatches, latches, seating positions, etc... And it will help you make your decision.

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