The concept of a deep-V hull seems so simple on the surface, you’d think anyone could build a fishing boat that rides as well as the Regulator 23. But you’d be wrong. In fact, between weight distribution, strake placement, chine design, variable degrees, and a plethora of other factors, it’s darn easy to make a deep-V boat that beats the heck out of you. But, some builders do get it right. And some get it as close to perfect as possible. One such builder is Regulator. I say that after having run every boat in their fleet, including today’s topic matter and the smallest boat in their fleet, the 23.
I tested this boat in a 20-knot wind, including a wide-open throttle dash to 44.1-mph (with a Yamaha F300 on the transom). And I expected it to ride well, because I’ve always found Regulators to be among the top five of the smoothest-running boats for their size. What didn’t I expect? This boat is amazingly dry, too. Even while running through a quartering sea, there was a complete absence of spray. So I tried running down-sea, then beam-to. Still no spray.
Credit for both smoothness and dryness go to a razor-sharp 48-degree entry, that’s assisted by reversed chines that throw water down and away. The negative aspect to such a smooth riding, dry hull design? Stability. Jump up onto a gunwale, and the boat will lean over a bit. Drift in a beam sea, and there’s more rocking and rolling then boats with flatter bottoms usually exhibit. Like any hull design, the deep-V does have a trade-off or two. One thing you won’t give on, however, is economy. How many 23’ deep-V boats do you know of that’ll cruise at 30 MPH, while getting better than 2.3 miles to the gallon? Not many. Or, that will get over 1.7 miles to the gallon at 44-mph? Even fewer.
Like other Regulators the 23 is a pure fishing boat, through and through. Forward seats close over 125-quart stowage boxes that are insulated so they can double as fishboxes. A pair of 48-quart bait boxes flank the transom. But the real fish hawg is a 695-quart fishbox in the deck, just forward of the console. The transom houses a 32-gallon livewell, a raw water washdown comes standard, and there’s also a 21 gallon freshwater system with a washdown and transom shower.
What about fit and finish? Hatches are the smooth, sturdy, light RTM variety, gunwale holders are Lee’s, and all hardware is 316-grade stainless steel. That this boat looks good and is built is pretty dang simple to see—a whole lot simpler than creating that deep-V hull, for sure.
LOA – 23'5"
Beam – 8’6”
Displacement – 6,200 lbs
Draft – 1’9”
Transom deadrise – 24 degrees
Fuel Capacity – 90 gal
Water capacity – 21 gal.
Max HP – 149
Also see our review of the Regulator 26XO Bay Boat.
-By Lenny Rudow