, I sea trialed our 2860 in Florida on Tampa Bay, gathering data in the morning in two-foot seas. My experience at the helm was pleasurable in most respects, although I was no fan of the Morse mechanical engine controls that have two widely spaced trim switches on the port lever; the spacing made it tough to trim both drives with my thumb simultaneously. Top speed was fast, though (47.1 mph), and visibility was excellent (although momentarily obscured by the bow rise coming out of the hole), not only when I used the fold-up bolster in the swiveling helm chair but also when I was fully seated. Faria gauges were installed in a faux-burl aluminum panel for easy readability, and the power-assisted Teleflex rack-and-pinion steering felt smooth and steady.So I’m a boat nut, and for no good reason other than my inalienable right to pursue happiness in these United States, I took the 2860 out for an impromptu spin later in the day, after I had finished the official test. Sea conditions were di fferentmessy, confused three-footers prevailed, not two-footers. And guess what The boat felt different, too. Where the morning’s smoother sea state had favored sporting crisply around at the top of the rpm register, rougher conditions were now keeping me well within the midrange, a realm that seemed less oomphy and responsive by comparison.Some days later, Regal’s propulsion engineering manager Randy Gills clarified the issue. On our Volvo Penta-powered test boat, Gills explained, Regal had decided to experiment with an optional, top-speed-boosting 2.32:1 gear ratio, as opposed to the 1.95:1 ratio the company was already having good results with. Moreover, to compensate for the diminished rotational prop-shaft speeds inherent in the higher ratio, Regal had mounted F7 prop sets (with more pitch, among other things), not the F4s the company normally mates with Volvo Penta’s 4.3 DuoProps.