LOA: 39 feet, 4 inches Beam: 10 feet, 11 inches Draft: 22 inches Weight: approx. 11,115 pounds Hull type: deep-vee Propulsion: twin 627-hp outboards Fuel capacity: 350 gallons Water Capacity: 31 gallons BUILDER: Regulator Marine, Edenton, North Carolina; (252) 482-3827. regulator marine.com BOATYARD: MacDougalls’ Cape Cod Marine Service, Falmouth, Massachusetts, (508) 548-3146. macdougalls.com
Jon Baker remembers the summers he spent on Cape Cod, learning about boats and the fun of being on the water. “It was the early ‘80s, I was a youngster at the time,” says the 51-year-old financial planner from Winchester, Massachusetts. “We went to the New England Boat Show and came back with a 17-foot Sea Ray and a 24-foot Sea Ray.”
Youthful adventures began. More boats followed: a 21-foot Formula, his “go-fast boat”; a 17-foot Whaler that went “everywhere and anywhere you could go, at all times of the day and night”; a 1980 Boston Whaler Outrage (which he still owns).
In short, he used the heck out of them.
“I knew the coast from Mashpee to Hyannis and Martha’s Vineyard, and I could identify the coastlines at night by the houses on shore,” Baker says. “I learned by doing, by spending a lot of time in boats.”
Then came his “Bertram project,” during which Baker got a taste for fixing boats, for customizing them as he went along.
“I was in my early 30s, and I thought I’d like to own something that is a classic, something quality, a boat that means something,” he says. He found a 1970 25-foot Bertram Open and spent a year restoring it. After that, Baker says, he was excited about future possibilities.
“I looked to do something bigger,” he says. “I have three kids of my own. My boating needs were evolving. I wanted to go farther distances in a responsible way with family and friends. So, I started looking for a 30-something-foot center console.”
The idea was to do something a little different, something unique with a boat that had good bones.
“If I’m going to put the money into it,” Baker says, “I want the boat to be relevant. I want it to be used, and continue to be used, like the other boats I’ve had.”
The boat he chose was a 2010 Regulator 34SS, which he bought in 2011. Powered with twin Yamaha 350s, its price was $220,000.
“I’ve spent hours on Regulators — they’re ubiquitous around here,” he says. “It’s the best boat for me that I’ve ever been on. I liked the size of the 34. There are not that many 30-footers in the center-console marketplace. It’s well engineered with a dry ride. At the end of the day, it’s just well suited for New England waters.”
His boat, Piece Of Cape, was also well suited to the project he envisioned: a major repower.
“The Regulator was not only a deep-vee, but I knew it could handle the idea I had in mind, and that was to go with more power,” he says. “I wanted to cruise effortlessly at 45 to 50 mph, so I thought I would replace the twin 350s with triple 300s.”
That’s not quite what happened. During his research, Baker came across Seven Marine, the Germantown, Wisconsin, maker of premium outboard motors. Now, his Regulator 34 is powered by a pair of Seven Marine 627s, installed by MacDougalls’ Cape Cod Marine Service of Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Each 376-cubic-inch, small-block V-8 powerplant develops 627 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, according to the spec sheets. Weighing around 1,200 pounds, the super-charged, all-aluminum outboard has multiport injection, closed-loop cooling and a compression ratio of 8.6:1.
Boat and motor have turned out to be a winning combination, Baker says, delivering the performance he was seeking. The boat used to run wide open with twin Yamaha 350s at 5,800 rpm at 52 mph; it now cruises at 52 mph and has a top speed of 74 mph with the 627s.
“This opens up destinations that otherwise wouldn’t be available,” Baker says. “If we want to head for the islands, the Chatham cut, we can do it, and do it in style.”
Putting new engines on the back was just the start of his Regulator project.
“I realized that it had gone beyond that,” Baker says. “We’d need a fuel-delivery system, new steering — everything that went with it.”
The result is a 2010 Regulator that, during the past four years, has been made into a 2018 Regulator with a Macris Industries underwater lighting package and LED lighting on the engines.
“I was the idea guy,” Baker says, adding that MacDougalls’ project manager Chris Sullivan “took the concept and vision and executed it.”
New electronics are in a customized helm station with new seats, along with new cushions for the forward seating.
“If it wasn’t bolted down, it’s been replaced, updated or made new,” Baker says.
Baker does some fishing too, so outriggers were added.
“I’ll go day fishing out past Truro, going after bass and albacore,” he says. “But the big fish? No ... with this boat, I threw away my gaff and all sharp objects. The good news is, I have a lot of friends with others boats.”
The Powerboat Guide calls the Regulator 34 Center Console a “high-performance center console designed and engineered for the serious angler ... with many luxury-class amenities.”
The North Carolina-built boat rides a deep-vee hull with 24 degrees of deadrise aft. Twin 350-hp Yamaha outboards are standard, delivering a top speed of 40 to 45 mph. An Armstrong engine bracket is standard, and the transom was updated in 2014 to handle triple 350s. The console helm station has twin seats and a dash to accommodate large-screen displays. Inside the console is a stand-up head with a sink and a shower, along with a berth. Fishing gear includes a 25-gallon transom live well, a leaning post/tackle center with a live well and rod holders, a transom fish box, an in-sole fish box, and fresh- and raw-water washdowns. There are a transom door and a transom shower. Seating includes a C-shaped lounge forward (with stowage underneath) and a console seat with a cooler. Options include a fiberglass T-top and a radio box, along with outriggers and spray curtains.
This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue.