Hold the phone, wait a sec, don’t move an inch, and stop the presses, but after years of Regulator Marine building deep-V hulls and only deep-V hulls, like the Regulator 23, their all-new 26XO is “meant to be a crossover boat, capable of performing in bays, lakes, and rivers, while also offering the stability to be taken offshore.” And rather than their usual 24-degree deep-V deadrise hull, this one sports a mere 17-degrees. Has Regulator really built a bay boat?!

regulator 26xo bay boat
The Regulator 26XO is a very different beast than the Regulators we're used to seeing.

Sort of. Like some other builders of offshore fishing machines, Regulator has split the difference between a bay boat and a center console with big-water capabilities. We first saw the 26XO at the Miami International Boat Show, and upon first glance it’s obvious that this fishing machine maintains the capability for long offshore runs. The bow is higher than a standard-issue bay boat, it has Regulator’s usual tough-as-nails construction, and it has a 107-gallon canyon-capable fuel capacity. While it may not be as adept as a traditional Regulator hull at splitting open big waves at high speeds, it’ll certainly prove competent on the ocean. And the lower deadrise also provides a very noticeable stability boost as compared to 24-degree deep-Vs.

In coastal areas, meanwhile, you’ll be able to creep into a mere 14 inches of water. The 26XO comes standard with a hydraulic jack plate, and has an option for a Minn Kota bow-mounted trolling motor with iPilot and Spot-Lock. That means you can have hands-free control of the boat even as you fish, and the ability to hover in place - without spooking the fish - at the press of a button. And like most bay boats, it has an aft deck with fold-down jump seats and a foredeck that can do double-duty as either a casting platform or (when the cushions are added) forward seating.

Providing a very Regulator-like touch, the boat also has a huge 32-gallon livewell and a tackle center built into the leaning post, plus a 70-gallon in-deck fishbox. In a patently un-Regulator-like move, however, it can also be factory-rigged with an optional ski tow bar. Huh!? Yes, we know that’s hard to wrap your head around. But baylieve it, people – the 26XO is a real live Regulator.



Regulator 26XO Specifications:

LOA – 26’9”

Beam – 9’3”

Displacement – 5,900 lbs.

Draft (hull) – 1’2”

Transom Deadrise – 17 degrees

Fuel Capacity – 107 gal

Max HP – 300

Area Dealers – Bluewater Yacht Sales, Baltimore, MD, (410) 342-6600; Grasonsville, MD, (410) 827-0873; Ocean City, MD, (410) 390-3043, Gloucester Point, VA, (804) 642-2150; Hampton, VA, (757) 723-0793, and Virginia Beach, VA, (757) 723-0793.

Also see a review of the 26XO at PropTalk Magazine.

See our review of the Regulator 23.