Reporting from the 2023 Southampton Boat Show, MBY editor Hugo Andreae takes us on a full tour of the Regency 250 LE3, which was making its UK debut...
While pontoon boats may not be common in Europe, they’re the fastest-growing segment in the US boating world, and the Regency 250 LE3, recently displayed at the 2023 Southampton Boat Show, delivers a succinct explanation for this trend.
At first glance, the Regency LE3 might not resemble the sleek, sporty boats often seen on this side of the Atlantic. However, its appeal lies in its incredible versatility, comfort, and space.
The “pontoon” in the name refers to the elongated aluminium tubes that provide buoyancy and stability. This boat is built more like an aluminium catamaran, even featuring a central pontoon for extra buoyancy and stability.
Equipped with a powerful 300hp V8 outboard engine, the Regency 250 LE3 can achieve a speed of 36 knots, although it’s not its speed that sets it apart. The key selling point is the vast amount of onboard space and amenities it offers for its relatively modest size.
With a 25-foot hull (28 feet including the engine’s extended transom), every inch of the Regency 250 LE3 is designed for accommodation and entertainment.
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The boat features a spacious stern, complete with a sturdy watersports pole for skiing or wakeboarding, as well as easy access to the water via a large bathing platform and ladder. Unique to this model is a changing room that can be raised to create a private space for changing or even installing a toilet.
The Regency 250 LE3 lives up to its name with an abundance of cup holders, well-thought-out storage spaces, and creature comforts such as a stereo system and a 12V socket for charging devices. The entire electrically-powered canopy or sunshade retracts neatly for open-air enjoyment.
A unique selling point of this vessel is the tremendous stability it offers, allowing it to be certified for up to 14 passengers. With all this comforts and space, it’s an ideal platform for a day on the water with friends and family, whether it’s a leisurely cruise in sheltered waters or some water-based fun.
The helm station boasts modern technology, featuring the kind of screen you might expect to find on a Tesla roadcar, which controls the engine and entertainment systems, including navigation and depth gauges.
Massive bow seating provides more than enough space for 14 people to relax or socialise. It also offers versatile storage and a refrigerator option. The boat has an enormous amount of built-in storage beneath the seats and cushions, all of which are lined in plastic for easy cleaning and maintenance.
With a starting price of £103,500, the Regency 250 LE3 Sport Pontoon Boat is a unique and intriguing addition to the UK boating scene. It’s a blend of American ingenuity and British style, offering a whole new way to experience the water with friends and family.
While it may not be the typical speedboat you expect to see on the UK’s waterways, it’s winning hearts and minds with its unmatched space and versatility. The question remains: Are you ready for a pontoon boat revolution in the UK?
Enjoy the tour…
Regency 250 LE3 specifications
LOA: 27ft 5in (8.35m)
Beam: 8ft 6in (2.43m)
Engines: 2x 300hp Mercury V8 outboard
Top speed: 36 knots
Starting price: £103,500 (ex. VAT)