For many years, the under-30-foot range was a completely forgotten niche in the new-boat marketplace, which makes the debut of the new, trailerable Andrews 28 all the more welcome. Designed by Alan Andrews, the Southern California naval architect renowned for his light, fast, innovative raceboats, this 28-footer will certainly appeal to those cruisers who also enjoy a little club racing. But with its open and airy belowdecks layout-V-berth forward; double aft; a pair of cozy amidships settees; and a workmanlike galley, head, and nav area, not to mention a 10 -horsepower diesel auxiliary-it’ll also do more than adequate double duty as a peppy and versatile coastal cruiser.
Built in Canada by Sylvana Yachts, the Andrews 28 is built as a vacuum-infused composite sandwich utilizing vinylester and epoxy resin and PVC closed-cell foam. Nearly a third of its all-up weight is dedicated to the ballast bulb at the business end of its retractable keel. The boat can be ramp launched behind a light truck or SUV; the keel-up draft of just 2 feet adds to its versatility as a thin-water gunkholer.
Where the Andrews 28 really makes hay, however, is under sail, as we learned in challenging winds between 5 to 8 knots on Chesapeake Bay. With its handy coarse-and-fine mainsheet options, backstay adjuster, and traveler, along with the adjustable headsail sheet leads and in-haulers, the 28 is an eminently tweakable boat. Upwind, in just 6 knots of true wind, we saw speeds of 5.6 to 6.2 knots. On a close reach with the asymmetric flying (set off a dedicated sprit), we upped the ante to 6.6 to 6.8 knots.
For many cruisers, truthfully, the Andrews 28 will be a bit too sprightly. For those with a sporty bent, however, the aim is obvious: Sheet in and go.
LOA: 28′ 0″
LWL: 25′ 9″
Beam: 9′ 11″
Draft: (keel down/up) 7′ 0″/2′ 0″
Sail Area: 425 sq. ft.
Displacement: 3,750 lb.
Water: 5 gal.
Fuel: 10 gal.
Engine: Yanmar 10-hp. diesel
Designer: Alan Andrews