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Me and my boat

After a succession of luxury cars I felt the time was right to branch out and get into boats. My 43ft Regal 3880 Flybridge Sedan is a home from home for my family, says Mark Bowler

After owning a variety of luxury sports cars such as a Bentley Continental GT, Ferrari 512 BB, Mercedes SL65 and a Porsche 911 Turbo RS I felt I had achieved a number of serious goals in motoring and turned to the water. After a blood pressure warning from the doctor I had the perfect excuse to get some sea air, and the love affair with boating was born.

The first yacht I owned was a 28ft Regal but I quickly realised that a vehicle of this size should be a tender and not a main boat. After gaining more sea experience, passing my day skipper exams and investing in the necessary captain’s hat I thought it was time to get a bigger boat fast, deciding on a 34ft Regal 3360 Express. It was quick and luxurious but with the birth of another child, again too small for my needs.

I wanted to create a home from home with a family of five so I changed to a 43ft Regal 3880 Flybridge Sedan and haven’t looked back since. She’s an astonishing vessel, managing to combine a sleek design with a spacious interior and high performance to boot. You can push the throttles out and she comes on plane like a dream. And you can see everything from the Flybridge cockpit as you cut through the water – pirates don’t stand a chance.

Considering the Regal’s performance it’s amazingly luxurious. It has room for six, incorporating a state room with a queen-size bed, a spacious lounge area and two plasma television screens to keep everyone entertained.

I moor it in Bray. The thinking behind this is that every 100 yards there is a restaurant or watering hole and it’s close enough to Windsor for race meetings and nights out.

A friend of mine once challenged me to open the boat up speed-wise which I did, only to find I’d left the anchor down. This was somewhat embarrassing as the mooring came away when I pushed the throttles down.

As a place to relax, travel and entertain family and friends, the Regal is unsurpassed. This boat should be on everyone’s shopping list.

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