Artwork afloat in an unlikely medium
Now for some contrast. For me, yacht design has always been an art and a science. You pick a target for the objective elements like boat speed and handling characteristics. Maybe you throw in some objective comfort requirements too. With those items objectified and defined you have some room left over to decide on how you are going to wrap that package aesthetically. Do you want a traditional look like Chuck’s daysailer? Do you want an eclectic look like Steve’s motorsailer? Or do you want to push the boat towards the very modern, “I bet you haven’t seen this before” look?
The designer of the LA28, Martin Menzner, of Berckemeyer Yacht Design decided on a look that would challenge your appreciation of yacht aesthetics. It’s a new look that moves forward from a lot of modern, high-performance sport boats and takes it to a new level of art. He carefully avoided the “in your face” approach and instead gave us a boat that while almost “normal” looking is visually stunning. It looks new and it looks right. It also takes full advantage of all wood construction techniques.
The first thing that strikes me as I look at the hull is the heavily radiused deck edge. I’m not even sure I’d call it the sheer line. The radius appears to increase as you go aft. If you use the inboard intersection of the radius with the deck camber as the sheer you get a reverse sheerline. The bow has reverse rake to it as is pretty common today. There is just a bit of overhang aft. The D/L is 74 and the L/B is 3.4. Draft with the carbon lifting keel down is 5 feet 9 inches. The beam is moderately distributed and not exaggerated aft. There is no chine but in this case I think that is a function of the cold-molded build style they have chosen, eliminating hard joints in the structure. While there is no hard chine to the hull the turn of the bilge forward is very tight resulting in an almost chine-like shape forward. The sections aft are very arc-like.
You can choose from two cockpit configurations. You can go with long bench seats forward in the cockpit or just a big, open cockpit with the only seating being on the side deck. To my eye the bench seat cockpit looks to be the more practical. The cabintrunk is beautifully contoured and simple in shape. There is volume below for settee berths and a mini-galley, but I don’t think anyone would consider this a serious cruising boat. That was never the intention. But you never know. You might get a wild hair.
The LA28 is being built in Germany by LA Yacht and is the build product of some out-of-work wooden boatbuilders who decided to combine talents and form a yard. Four LA28s have been delivered to date and now the yard is looking to expand and get started on a 35-foot model. I wish them the very best of luck.
LOA 27’11”; LWL 26’3”; Beam 8’3”; Draft 5’9”; Displ. 3,306 lbs.; Ballast 1,200 lbs.; Sail area 398 sq. ft.; SA/D 28.69; D/L 74; L/B 3.4; Auxiliary 2.4kw electric (optional); Water 13 gal.
Our best estimate of the sailaway price $135,000
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