Albin 28By Jack Hornor
Revised by BoatUS editors in October 2012
For more than 15 years owners of Albin 28s have praised their boats capabilities as sportfishermen, overnighters and pocket cruisers. No doubt this versatility has helped the Albin 28 to become one of the most successful models in the company's history.
Designed by naval architect Terence Compton, the Albin 28 is offered in two basic configurations - one with an enclosed wheelhouse (pictured) and an express or "convertible" model.
The builder, which can trace its roots back more than 100 years to the Swedish boat and engine manufacturer of the same name, is now headquartered in Cos Cob, CT, with building facilities in Portsmouth, RI. Despite their Swedish origin and British-born designer, Albin labels their models "DownEast" cruiser/fisherman, although I suspect this is more a marketing person's designation than intended by the designer. While the design shares a few features with New England "bass boats" such as the Crosby Striper, she bares little resemblance to traditional DownEast-styled workboats. In fact, to my eye, there is a greater resemblance to traditional boats of the Pacific Northwest. Labels aside, this is a handsome traditional design.
Photo by Don Martin
The Albin 28 was introduced in 1993 and, with only a few minor changes, remains in production in 2008. There have been more than 1,000 Albin 28s built to date. Her length is 28' 4" on deck, beam is 10' even, draft is 3' 2" and displacement is reported to be 7,500 lbs.
She is solidly constructed utilizing conservative, time proven construction techniques and quality materials. Core materials are used in the construction of both the hull and deck structures although care is taken to use non-absorbent materials at through-hull fittings and attachments. Vinylester resin is used in outer laminates and osmotic blistering has not been a problem.
Structural strength is provided by two fiberglass-encapsulated longitudinal stringers and plywood bulkheads all securely and neatly attached with fiberglass tabbing. The hull and deck are joined in a shoebox fashion with adhesive sealant as well as nuts, bolts and washers. The quality of construction, fit and finish is at the level of upscale productions builders.
Although some will find the Albin 28 a comfortable weekend or pocket cruiser, I think it is safe to assume that most people interested in this boat will have some finishing in mind. The 75 sq. ft. cockpit has padded bolsters around the 28' high sides, a live baitwell, rod racks under the cockpit combing on both sides and several lined deck boxes that can be used for storage of iced and used for fish boxes. Depending on the year and power option, some cockpits are obstructed by a raised engine box which, on the plus side, can be used for extra seating or as a table. A transom door, which was a popular option on early models, is now standard and allows easy boarding as well as access to the optional swim platform.
The configuration and features of the bridgedeck may differ slightly depending on age and options chosen but generally includes a starboard helm and a mate's seat to port. Side decks are nearly a foot wide with stainless steel handrails on the hardtop and a welded stainless life steel rail along the deck edge for security. At the bow there is a pulpit for storage of the primary anchor as well as a locker for storage of anchor rode and an extra anchor.
Midship cleats are rarely found on a boat this size and those on the Albin 28 have the added advantages of being able to be reached from the cockpit and recessed so that they are not trip hazards and less likely to foul other lines. This small but important detail indicates a builder who actually has some experience handling boats.
Accommodations below are compact but more complete than typical of fishing boats of this size. There is a U-shaped dinette forward, an enclosed head with shower to starboard, an efficiency galley to port and rather cramped double berth to port tucked under the bridgedeck. Although most Albin 28s are powered by single inboard diesel engines ranging between 300 and 370 hp, a 365 hp Crusader gasoline engine was offered on earlier models as well as a 230 hp Volvo diesel with a Duo-Prop™ stern drive. Reasonable cruising speeds range from 18 to 24 knots depending on load and power and the 132-gallon fuel capacity allows a cruising range in the range of 300 nautical miles allowing for a reasonable reserve. The Albin 28 has a well deserved reputation for being able to handle bad weather and sea conditions particularly following seas. More than one owner has commented that "when the conditions got worse my confidence in the boat improved" which is a tough endorsement to beat.
Over 1,000 Albin 28s have been built which assures a good supply of boats for the used market. The Albin 28 is a rather expensive boat for her size but quality construction, outstanding seakeeping qualities and good resale value keep her in demand.
Naval architect Jack Hornor is the principal surveyor and designer for Marine Survey & Design, Co., based in Annapolis, MD. He is on the board of directors of the American Boat and Yacht Council, the National Association of Marine Surveyors, and the Society of Boat and Yacht Designers. He and his wife sail their 42-foot Catalina, Legacy, based on Maryland's Eastern Shore.