December 12, 2020
By Florida Sportsman Editor
You asked, they answered. The 2021 Regulator 31 is going to blow you out of the water.
The trend in today's outboard boating market to build bigger boats with more horsepower continues to dominate the research and development work load for each of the major outboard manufacturers. The result of these efforts has been a proliferation of the most powerful hot rod outboard engines we could ever imagine now dominating the market.
While originally conceived as a solution to the problem of how to power the popular monster center console boats of the day- often measuring upwards of sixty feet in length, the market has expanded beyond this need as of late. More boaters running models much smaller than these super consoles are also demanding the added benefits of these brute powerhouse engines.
Taking cues from their loyal following that operate boats in the thirty-one to forty-one-foot class and are demanding more power, Regulator sought a solution to the obstacles they would undeniably encounter in trying to not only add such significant power to a boat more commonly equipped with much less horsepower- but also to overcome the challenge of such a substantial increase in weight to the stern.
Existing Regulator owners and potential new owners expressing enough interest in the maximum available horsepower caught the ear of this company- but for a brand that is so well known for producing some of the most well balanced and easy riding center console boats on the water, it was going to have to be carefully executed.
Not content to merely add horsepower for the sake of adding it- the engineering team at Regulator went to great measures in making the necessary modifications to allow a pair of Yamaha's largest offering, the 425 XTO V-8 to take their Regulator 31 model flying headfirst into 2021. The increase of an extra 250 horsepower over the 31's traditional power option of a pair of 300 horse V-6 engines however, comes with the hefty price of an additional 1140-pounds of big bore displacement.
To compensate for such a tangible effect on the weights and balances and preserve the ride these boats are known for, careful calculations were made to ensure that the bow attacks from the appropriate angle.
Additional mechanical considerations would also have to be allowed for and the former transom bracket design would need to be adjusted accordingly to accept the additional weight. Raising the top of the bracket three inches to accommodate the XTO's integrated steering was necessary along with some structural modifications to the internal reinforcement. The scuppers were also raised to compensate for the additional weight as well. The desired outcome was to build not just another “high horsepower” boat- rather to offer the safe and comfortable ride this brand hangs their reputation on- in a 31-foot model, while adding a liberal dose of hot sauce to the final product. The end result left the Regulator team admiring the fastest model in their fleet- posting top speeds of 64mph in early testing while retaining the familiar Regulator ride in the process.
Another notable benefit of Regulator's choice of power for this model was the ability to add a great deal of fishing and cruising functionality to the 31-footer by incorporating the new Helm Master EX/Next Gen option into this power plant. This digital control platform features Tilt Helm Digital Electric Steering, Multifunction Digital Electronic Controls and the CL5 Touchscreen display. The EX option Joystick with Multimode StayPoint, DriftPoint, and FishPoint and EX Autopilot with Waypoint Deceleration vastly improve both the helm experience and the boat's fishability.
From a style and functionality standpoint, a popular feature borrowed from her big sister the 41- has been included as an option for 2021 on the new 31. The stylish and practical 3X Deluxe Mezzanine Tackle Center is now available in the 31 and 34-foot models. Dual aft facing seats with folding armrests and cup holders along with a recessed footrest are an ideal spot for watching your spread from at an elevated vantage point. A Deluxe Rod Holder option adds a pair of easy access rod holders to each side of the seating. The space beneath the seating accommodates a large tackle storage center with both pullout drawers and terminal tackle trays. (Choosing the Mezzanine option does not interfere with the installation of their popular SeaKeeper 2 option.)
Other new convenience items include gunwale mounted Cup Holder/Rod Holders, an easily accessible Inductive Smartphone charger mounted to the console directly adjacent to the steering wheel, and Electric Anchor Light and Antenna Mounts for easily raising and lowering at the touch of a button from the helm switch panel. The addition of each of these small features reveals a company that is always trying to improve every aspect of the user experience for their owners.
Leaving bells and whistles out of the conversation, a major power re-configuration is an entirely different matter. In today's competitive boating market- listening to the consumer's requests is crucial to a brand's success. Not being afraid to take an already popular model in your line-up out of its comfort zone and implement such significant power and design changes based on consumer requests alone however, is a bold investment- and one that squarely hits the mark with this new look for the 2021 Regulator 31.