Considering a 28 Express

New, and old Regal boat model information and questions.

Considering a 28 Express

Postby Austintatious » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:35 pm

I'm considering making an offer on a pretty clean 28 Express but have a couple of questions/concerns:

1. The engine compartment is TIGHT. This particular 28 has the 300hp Volvo and 3.5Kw generator. It almost looks like the engine would need to be removed to get full access to the generator, an item that in my experience is more likely to need replacing/rebuild before the engine would. Is my observation correct? Is anyone else concerned about this lack of access?

2. This particular 28 does not have the Power Tower option. Is it still possible to fold the tower down manually for transport?

3. Anything I should look for before, during, after the sea trial? I've owned several cruisers before but I'm not familiar with any common defects (or lack of) on this model.

Thanks in advance and I hope to be contributing to the forums in a couple of weeks as a new 28 Express owner.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby steve & dot » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:51 am

Sorry, no info on a 28.
Are you getting a survey? Might be a good idea, some piece of mind.
Hopefully all falls into place for you- Congrats! Make sure you post some pics.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby ZacUSNYR » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:26 am

I know on my 2665, the engine hatch - it's very tight down there.

But there are 4 mounting bolts to lift the entire floor up. It's quite the lift/removal but it allows better access. The 28 Express maybe similar?
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby lg260ss » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:19 pm

I am on my 5th season with my 28 Express:
The engine room is tight, I don't have a generator and I opted not to get one because it makes the engine compartment very difficult to get around in. While it's tight down there, I've been able to reach everything I've had to.
I'm a bit confused by your power tower question. If the boat has a tower on it, then it's a power tower. They never made this model with a stationary tower. They do offer it without a power tower, which means there is no tower, just a bimini top. What year is the one you are looking at? what other options does it have?
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby Austintatious » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:57 pm

lg260ss wrote:They never made this model with a stationary tower.


My mistake then. It's a 2015 with the tower but I had been thinking power was an option for the tower and without it the tower was stationary unless it could be unbolted and tilted.

150 hours on the engine, a little more on the genny. Supposedly has an extended warranty until 2014 for the engine, outdrive, generator, A/C, etc. that can be transferred for $100.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby riverratt » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:32 pm

I never understood the aft engine access on Regal boats. I also never understood the passenger sideways seating on boats of this type in general. I really like Regal quality but not sure I can live with these two issues.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby Austintatious » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:32 pm

riverratt wrote:I never understood the aft engine access on Regal boats. I also never understood the passenger sideways seating on boats of this type in general. I really like Regal quality but not sure I can live with these two issues.


Port sideways seating never bothered me on these little pocket cruisers, most of the time my passengers liked it because they could stretch out and face forward or rearward.

But the engine compartment access on these concerns me. I only had a preliminary look but it seems there is little if any forward access to the generator for maintenance and if it needed to be removed for rebuild or replacement it appears the engine would have to come out first in order to pull the genny.

If that's the case it's a really poor design in my opinion.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby lg260ss » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:19 pm

I wonder if the genny can be removed by swinging it to the starboard side of the engine compartment. The hot water heater would have to be removed to do so.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby Austintatious » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:14 pm

lg260ss wrote:I wonder if the genny can be removed by swinging it to the starboard side of the engine compartment. The hot water heater would have to be removed to do so.


Found out the answer today when I went to look at it. The owner had to have some warranty work done on the generator a few months after delivery and they had to remove the engine to gain adequate access to the generator.

Even routine maintenance is a little tricky. The oil filter for the generator is on the back side between the generator and the bulkhead. Might be able to get a hand back there but it's tight. The impeller on the front of the Volvo is the same story, if you can get a hand between the engine and the generator you might be able to feel your way thru remove/replace.

Engine compartment accessibility is really the only thing that concerns me about this boat. Well, that and the vinyl upholstery in the cabin along the hull windows that seems to have drooped down from the ceiling.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby pnyxxpress » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:03 am

I have a 2018 model. The gen just had its 50 hour service. They were able to do the oil change with out unbolting it. It is definitely tight. We initially had an overheat issue and the mech replaced the impeller on the motor by laying across the motor and doing everything by feel. That sucks! I bought the extended bow to stern warranty the lender offered. If anything critical needs to be done it would be hours in labor just to get to the components before they could even start working on it. Transfer the warranty.

The upholstery in mine is also separating from the backing above the windows. Regal advised the dealer to repair but it looks horrible. Now they are making arrangements to replace both sides. The dealer is making arrangements to sub this out. They told me this is huge undertaking and hopes Regal sends someone to do the work.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby lg260ss » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:58 pm

Do you guys mean the side hull windows in the cabin? What exactly is happening?

I've done my impeller by laying over the engine, I have also drained the heat exchanger from that position. It's actually not that bad.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby pnyxxpress » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:14 pm

Mine is the above the windows in the cabin. The molded pieces that transition from the shelf to the ceiling
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby Austintatious » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:32 pm

pnyxxpress wrote:I have a 2018 model. The gen just had its 50 hour service. They were able to do the oil change with out unbolting it. It is definitely tight. We initially had an overheat issue and the mech replaced the impeller on the motor by laying across the motor and doing everything by feel. That sucks! I bought the extended bow to stern warranty the lender offered. If anything critical needs to be done it would be hours in labor just to get to the components before they could even start working on it. Transfer the warranty.

The upholstery in mine is also separating from the backing above the windows. Regal advised the dealer to repair but it looks horrible. Now they are making arrangements to replace both sides. The dealer is making arrangements to sub this out. They told me this is huge undertaking and hopes Regal sends someone to do the work.


I noticed on this one that the vinyl between the windows and the ceiling has separated from the hull and is floppy loose. I was able to push it back a couple of inches, it's like the adhesive released it.

Apparently there have been some issues with the 3.5 Westerbeke generator, he had problems out the gate as well and they had to replace a wiring harness. He also said his bow thruster had stopped working, said that the blade mounts to the shaft with a tie wrap and it had broken.

After having spent a couple of hours inspecting this one and listening to him tell me what he had to have done I would definitely recommend the extended warranty to anyone who gets one of these. Unfortunately it doesn't appear like my deal is going anywhere because he is so upside-down on his note that he would have had to bring $28K to the table to sell it to me.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby lg260ss » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:57 pm

pnyxxpress wrote:Mine is the above the windows in the cabin. The molded pieces that transition from the shelf to the ceiling


I checked mine today. All is fine with it. In fact it's quite tight and doesn't appear that there would be much drooping even if it was loose. That's very unfortunate that yours is loose.

I read a few years ago that Formula boats had a lot of problems with their headliners coming loose. They use the padded adhesive type for their entire headliner. People were spending several thousand dollars to get it fixed and it was very intrusive to do so, requiring complete removal.
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby heavywork » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:55 am

I've had a 2017 28 Express since May this year. The generator always starts quickly, but sometimes it starts to bog within a few seconds and then dies. After a few tries it will run normally. Last weekend I started the generator to run the AC then went to bed. Woke in the middle of the night sweating but generator still running. No power at the panel. Looked in engine room and saw nothing obviously wrong. Waiting to hear back from my Regal dealer for them to fix.

I have also been having problems with it shifting into forward gear. It is the 350 HP VP with EVC. The lever moves forward but does not shift. Usually just have to put back in neutral and then back to forward once or twice to get it to shift. Doesn't happen all of the time but this is a serious issue when operating around docks and other boats.

When filling the water tank water leaks down into the front storage compartment (where the interior table is stored). It drains from there into the forward bilge. No big deal except you can't have anything in there that you don't want to get wet.

Anyone else have any of these issues?
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Re: Considering a 28 Express

Postby EpicWakeJump » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:53 pm

That headliner drooping, this is quite unfortunate. I'd be trying to inject some sort of glue through the holes where the lights sit.

Thankfully, my 28 express has not had this problem.

Here are some notes on my experience with this boat for the last 6-7 months.

The boat is a touch underpowered with the 300. I just bought the next size down in propeller size (stock size is FH3, FH2 is coming to me) to help with getting the boat on plane faster when full of people, supplies, gas and water. This ain't a bass championship I'm on, my top speed has been 36-37 mph, I can loose a few mph's for faster planing time.

My westerbeke 3.5 generator has failed at 133 hours and I have no idea why. I have come to the end of my DIY skills in diagnosing a problem, so it's off to my friendly westerbeke dealer. And I'm not the least handy person I know either. I am waiting for a call back as to where that is from westerbeke. Ugh.

Servicing the westerbeke for "regular" maintenance is not that bad. Once you remove the top of the engine cover (it just sits there, no tools needed to remove it) there is much more room. Oil and filter changes are easy, impeller change is also easy. Belt and spark plug changes and fuel system problems are a generator out affair. I think I could remove it through the starboard side after removing the water heater, but there will be much cursing and gnashing of teeth when that day comes.

I have committed to spending upto and around 1 BOAT buck to fix the westerbeke. If it is more than that, I plan on removing it and using one of my honda generators.

I cannot believe a generator that lives in such a cushy place failing after 133 hours. Shoot, my trusty honda 3000 survived 168 hours straight running at burning man out in the alkaline dusty nevada desert without so much as a hiccup back in 2009. Not to mention all the times before and since that, that I've used it. And I've only changed the oil twice, the last time was two days ago. Darnit, I love that generator.

Here is how I feel about the bow thruster; Every time I use it, I feel:

Image

When the boat showed up at my house, the thruster was missing some sort of seal and the innards where exposed to the environment. I had to manufacture a carbon fiber cover and repack the thruster. So far, so good. Likely the seal had popped off from the bow thruster being used out of the water.

That boat trailers like a dream. After adjusting the trailer some, its a breeze to launch and retrieve. Even solo.

Maintenance on the engine has been straight forward. Yes, the impeller change will be something akin to laying on a bed of nails (i.e. the engine) with a magnetic retrieval tool and a Michael Jordan like reach to get down there. Luckily I have >6 foot wingspan. The serpentine belt replacement will be similar. Spark plugs don't look like that much fun either.

I added extensions and added T's to the generator and a/c strainer connections. I also added an extension to the boat flush ports. So when its time to flush everything out, I don't have to bruise a rib reaching far down into the bilge to hook everything up.

The bathroom needs a window. Mhook, please finish this mod so we can all follow you.

The cockpit needs some electrical outlets.

The power tower is awesome.

I wish there was a better/faster way to store the bimini when towing. It's easy when underway, but at highway speeds, I had it pop out. That wasn't fun.

This is my first experience with a windlass. They are god sends.

I added the fusion blue tooth adapter to the stereo and that has made me smile.

The 75 gallon tank is surprisingly enough gas! I can go two full days of boating and the most gas I've used is 41 gallons.

Emptying the waste tank is kind of a hassle, as only on water marina's have a pump out station around here and only the salt water ones.

I wish my underwater lights were blue. I'll have to replace them some day.

There is no d/c volt meter or amp meter. Really Regal?

Best interior ever. The leather down in the gally is fantastically butter smooth.

That's all I can think of right now.
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