Fit & Finish: What Does It Really Mean?

Hint: it's what you don't see that makes all the difference



By Erik Wiborg, Regulator Manufacturing Engineer



Fit and finish. If you’ve ever been to the Regulator factory, spent time with a Regulator owner, or spoken with a member of our team, you’ve certainly heard the term. But what does it really mean? Smooth edges and perfect fittings – definitely. But what you may not realize is that fit and finish goes well beyond what you see on the surface.


For instance, let’s take a look at the fiberglass cutouts that form the basis for every Regulator compartment. Even though you’ll never see it, Regulator paints the underside of all our fishboxes, livewells, storage compartments, bucket holders...anywhere there is a compartment, you can be sure that it is finished on all sides (see photos). We also finish every lid by sanding the edges smooth and painting all surfaces. This gives them a great look, but more importantly, it provides incredible durability. This approach is used for every single hard edge and surface you could possibly run your hand across – including all bolts under the gunnel, which are trimmed flush (see photo). This is simply the way we build, because there is nothing worse than sticking your hand into an opening and getting it sliced by raw, jagged fiberglass.


The undersides that you typically don’t see – like the deck cap before the coaming pad is installed, the anchor locker, and the hatches – are sanded and painted to ensure a finished look that is smooth to the touch.




Let’s move on to parts that you can see – rod holders, deck hardware, and drawers (see photos). Beyond durability and ease of use, we spend a lot of time planning for the offshore environment so that you can use your boat to its fullest potential for years to come – without worry.


This goes back to fit. If you take a look at most deck caps on the market today, you’ll see a surface riddled with stainless steel marine hardware that is usually caulked into place. This may seem fine when the boat is in the showroom, but over time, caulk tends to mildew, crack, and ultimately look terrible. This is why Regulator takes the extra step to have die cut gaskets manufactured specifically to fit our deck hardware (see photos) so that it will maintain a like-new look and withstand the test of time.


Our drive for perfection in every part of your boat doesn’t stop with the pieces we manufacture in house. We demand the same top quality from custom-manufactured parts suppliers. Every inch of aluminum, stainless steel and upholstery is carefully considered to ensure years of trouble-free boating for each and every one of our customers. 


Regulator installs a premium ball bearing drawer mechanism for a smooth, seamless effort when opening a drawer loaded with tackle.



Taken as a whole, each of these parts and engineering considerations ensures years of trouble-free boating for you and your family. So the next time you’re aboard a Regulator or visit your local boat show or dealer, ask to go beneath surface and get a look at what you don’t usually see. You’ll see that it makes all the difference.

All bolts – including those under the gunnel – are trimmed flush, guaranteeing smooth and properly finished surfaces.

You need your boat’s hardware to withstand the test of time. That’s why Regulator uses die cut gaskets that are specifically manufactured to fit our hardware. Here, gaskets replace caulk to ensure a watertight seal around a rod holder.

Saltwater can cause serious issues with electrical connections. We use both Deutsch connectors

and heat shrink style connectors.