LOA: 30'-1" (9.17 m)
LOD: 28'-1" (8.56 m)
DWL: 22'-8 1/2" (6.92 m)
Beam: 9'-9" (2.97 m)
Draft (Keel): 18" (457 mm)
Displacement: 8,500 lbs. (3856 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 185 gals. (700 L)
Water Capacity: 25 gals. (95 L)
Deadrise: 15 degrees
Freeboard (Fwd): 64" (1626 mm)
Freeboard (Aft): 42" (1067 mm)
Power: Sterndrive/Outboard/Inboard

28' Pilothouse

Years ago, when I worked for Sport-Craft Boats, we built a model called the 270 Fishmaster Sport. This boat had been in production for decades and was very popular with charter captains on the Great Lakes. I thought quite a bit about what I would do to the boat when I redesigned it in the future. Unfortunately, Sport-Craft never had the money to redesign the boat. But the ideas I developed stayed in the back of my head, waiting for me to have the time to put them on paper. The 28' Pilothouse is the manifestation of those ideas.

The 28' Pilothouse hull features a sweeping sheer and generous freeboard to insure good seakeeping and a dry ride. While her entry is relatively fine, her deadrise aft is a moderate 15 degrees for added stability and efficiency. She has wide chine flats angled down at a 5 degree angle to help throw spray down and out. One of the reasons for the high bow is to help hide the height of the pilothouse. I always thought the 270 Sport looked a little ungainly as her topsides were so large in proportion to her hull. It didn't affect her performance, just her appearance. I think the 28' Pilothouse looks pretty well balanced. The added freeboard forward will also make her much less likely to bury her bow in a short, steep sea while slow trolling.

Profile Drawing of 28' Pilothouse Her construction is fairly typical for a production boat of this size. She has a solid glass hull bottom with foam or balsa cored topsides. Her stringers will be fiberglass laid up in molds and tabbed into the hull. Her frames will be foam cored and glassed in after the stringers. She will be built with essentially 3 major pieces, the hull, deck and pilothouse. The forward windshield would be glued into a molded recess in the pilothouse, while the side windows would be framed to allow those windows to open for ventilation. Two large deck hatches can be installed in her pilothouse top for added ventilation and getting some sun.

Power can be from a number of sources. I am showing the layout drawings for the sterndrive version as I thought it worked out better. This same basic layout could also be used for a bracket mounted outboard version. A 300 hp outboard would probably push her over 35 knots. Twin 200 hp outboards would make her really rocket along. The sterndrive could be either a Mercruiser or Volvo. An inboard version has also been worked out, but it does tend to eat into the space available in the pilothouse. Another possibility, and maybe the best option of all, is to move the inboard engine aft and connect it by a jackshaft to a sterndrive. A jackshaft arrangement would have all the performance features of the sterndrive, while maintaining the fishability of the inboard.

28' Pilothouse Deck Plan The deck layout is straightforward with an emphasis on fishing room. The aft end of the cockpit features two 38" long fish boxes molded into the cockpit sole outboard of the motor box. There is still ample room to fish all the way to the transom corners. The top of the transom incorporates a 52" long fish box and a large bait well. Under the hardtop on the port side is a 6' long seat box with storage below. The passenger seat is mounted to the forward end of the box. The starboard side has a similar box, but this one has a sink and drawers. The aft side is a seat with storage below. The helm seat is mounted on the forward end of the box. Between the boxes are two hatches for accessing large below deck storage areas as well as the water and waste tanks.

28' Pilothouse Interior Arrangement Up forward is a very simple cabin featuring a small galley with a refrigerator, sink and single burner stove to port. Most people will use her as a day boat, the galley never being used except as a second home tax write-off. The forward V-berth extends all the way down the starboard side. The aft end of the berth opens to a head below. It could be enclosed in its own compartment, but usually these things are too small to be much good on a boat this size. You also wouldn't have full standing headroom as the stringers need to be below the sole. Personally, I like the open feel of the cabin this way and will gladly give up the extra weight and claustrophobia a small head compartment would give me. Additional storage is available under the V-berth.

The 28' Pilothouse was designed as a production boat. To make her suitable for custom building would take quite a bit of redesign. I think the boat as currently drawn could sell in reasonable numbers in the Great Lakes, New England and the Pacific Northwest. She can also be built without the hardtop as an express style boat that would be more popular in the warmer areas of the country.

Study plans are available below as downloadable PDF files. These can be opened with any PDF reader, most people already have the free Adobe Reader installed. Please remember that these plans are the property of Smith Marine Design and should not be used for any purpose without my written consent.

Profile Drawing
Deck Layout
Arrangement Plan
Preliminary Sections