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Old 19-02-2019, 21:16   #1
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Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

Hi

I am wondering what people think of a Herreshoff 28 yacht as a capable offshore cruiser. They are long keeled and have a good deck and interior layout but apart from that I don't really know much about them. Note that I am not talking about the early ketch-rigged wooden ones, but the fibreglass sloop rigged versions that came later (such as the Walker H-28 in Australia and I think there are similar fibreglass versions in the US).

I have heard that they are solid but quickly develop quite an angle of heeling upwind, making them quite uncomfortable. How strongly are they built, how capable are they in demanding offshore conditions and are they comfortable or uncomfortable as long-term cruisers?

Thanks

Hugo
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Old 19-02-2019, 22:39   #2
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

Sure, great design.Ive always liked the Kiwi version Compass 28. A very common boat in NewZealand.
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Old 20-02-2019, 04:38   #3
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

The H-28 carries < 27% of her displacement as ballast, and has just a 3 1/2 ft draft. A ballast to displacement ratio (26.6%) well short of the recommended 40% for cruising, and not very deep.
Her S.A./Disp. Ratio of 15.21 is conservative (Ocean Cruisers 14-17, Coastal Cruisers 16-18).
They’re much what you’d expect from a 70 year old design, and small.
See Jeff H’s comments ☞ Herreschoff H28
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Old 20-02-2019, 07:11   #4
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

Not a lot of freeboard either. They're nice boats - we sailed one for many years - but not really well-suited for long-distance ocean sailing. Not much stowage space. Rather cramped below. Original cockpit not designed to be self-draining. Our boat made extensive trips coastwise - CT to Maine several times - but not offshore.
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Old 20-02-2019, 08:10   #5
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

I'd say its a nice boat for more limited coastal cruising, but a bit small and a bit tender for offshore cruising.
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Old 20-02-2019, 08:33   #6
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

Years ago, two pals sailed Herrschoff 23's (Prudence) to Portugal, w/o any power. They sculled 'em. The H-28 is a good deal larger than '23. So, yes they are seaworthy enough for real blue water work. They're wet and you'll be cheek by jowl with your shipmates. Likely to be one of the most classically beautiful of boats in any harbor you pull into.
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Old 20-02-2019, 08:41   #7
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

I guess the wooden ketch version is different and there were a lot of modifications made by different builder. I traded my 1966 Columbia 29 Mark 2 which is a pretty solid blue water boat. Both have same amount of storage space. I love sailing the H, but ketch vs sloop is apples to oranges. And I like low freeboard, wide decks. I havenít had her out in seas over 10í, but I have always found her comfortable and not so tender. Love the H, but sail the one you choose to see.
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Old 20-02-2019, 08:58   #8
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

As a teenager, I sailed on an H-28 modified to 30 feet, built by Far East. Gorgeous construction, with a spruce sparred ketch rig. Atomic 4 engine, double planked construction.

However, she was not very weatherly, slow under most conditions, and very small belowdecks. I would have prefered a modern 30' fiberglass boat in a heartbeat. While I learned a lot about seamanship and sailing from the experience, I would prefer something with more draft, a shorter keel, a detached rudder, etc. Oh, and a diesel.

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Old 20-02-2019, 09:55   #9
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

Most reviews I have read refer to the H-28 as a daysailor.

Although I like traditional designs, the Smeetons wrote about falling off of a wave and having the doghouse move and open a gap between the deck and the cabintop.

Then there is the complaint about storage space.

Many boats can cross an ocean, but when considering extra fuel or water and storm survival, I would consider other designs.

My Pearson 36-1 wasn't designed for crossing oceans, not enough fuel or water capacity, but she did it. She has since cruised Europe and has had many upgrades passing the Post-Construction survey and with minor modifications is now rated RCD "A".

I hope to cross the Atlantic again with her twice if I live so long...
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Old 20-02-2019, 10:25   #10
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

[QUOTE=Hugo B;2829833]Hi

I am wondering what people think of a Herreshoff 28 yacht as a capable offshore cruiser. They are long keeled and have a good deck and interior layout but apart from that I don't really know much about them. Note that I am not talking about the early ketch-rigged wooden ones, but the fibreglass sloop rigged versions that came later (such as the Walker H-28 in Australia and I think there are similar fibreglass versions in the US).

I have heard that they are solid but quickly develop quite an angle of heeling upwind, making them quite uncomfortable. How strongly are they built, how capable are they in demanding offshore conditions and are they comfortable or uncomfortable as long-term cruisers?"


Sailed in several of the , slightly larger, sloop rigged, New Zealand version. They have been cruised all over the place, without any issues. Comfortable, but slow.
A bit bigger, higher wooded and considerably more interior volume than the original H28 design, which was more of a daysailor.

The only caveat is their age. As they were built in the 70's, you need to check for the usual issues with older fibreglass boats. Well maintained ones are good value.

The Aussie version was built to a higher/more expensive, standard and at least initially, were ketch rigged. Which would have made them even slower.
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Old 20-02-2019, 11:03   #11
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

Ben Gunn, a NZ fibreglass version of the H28, sailed round the world:
https://www.h28.org.nz/index.php/passages/32-benn-gunn
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Old 20-02-2019, 11:24   #12
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

We owned a Compass H28 sloop for several years. Solid but slow. A great boat to cut your teeth on for coastal sailing, very forgiving,but have heard great tales of ocean crossings in them. Lots of the fiberglass versions in NZ. Interior quality is all over the place with lots of owners finishing themselves. Ours had a single cylinder Yanmar 12 which was a noisy but great motor, if a bit underpowered.
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Old 20-02-2019, 12:32   #13
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

A wooden one arrived in Coffs Harbour NSW from the UK in 1983 with 2 people aboard. They later split up and she cruised offshore in a 19ft boat. She met a man who was cruising in a Soling and they lived happily on that. I was having dinner at Airlie Beach on it one time and was in the galley with her boyfriend and he overfilled the spirit stove. She was asleep up the bow area with no forward hatch. He re lit the stove and the whole boat caught fire. She could not escape !! We threw everything we could into the cockpit even the flooring then the bilges caught fire too. Luckily being alcohol the fire went out pretty quickly. Never forgotten that day. Must have a forward hatch in a boat !!! The Soling had a cabin, so not an open boat.
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Old 20-02-2019, 15:59   #14
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

Couldn't resist when I saw H28 come up! I sailed on an American H29 from Samoa to Tonga in 1978, it being one of the timber versions with an extra plank to give more freeboard and the extra foot of length. The American couple had sailed it from California and the last I heard they were in Australia. Emma Goldman was the name of the yacht. It rained and blew from the wrong direction so we had a hard time. But, the other sailing issue for those older version was the three quarter rig with a small headsail. I would want to mast head sloop rig.

Friends of mine in Fremantle have just purchased a Compass version and only time will tell how they find it. They are very experienced offshore sailors/circumnavigators in a 32'.

I have, as you can see, what I'll call here an H36. Very low freeboard, very wet in the wrong conditions but very comfortable at sea. We sleep below the water line and the galley bench is at water level so the motion is good. She is not a speed boat and I don't want to go to windward unless I have to do so. Reach and tack is my approach.

Storage space is more about what you think you need for offshore sailing, than the size of the boat. Some people need a 40' to take all their stuff, some manage safely on less than 28'.

Good luck, Hugo.
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Old 20-02-2019, 19:59   #15
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Re: Herreshoff H-28 as an offshore cruiser?

In my younger (more flexible) days I sailed a Contessa 26 from Calif to Mexico-Marquesas-Tuamotus-Tahiti-Hawaii and would have thought of an H28 as roomy. That was with 2 of us onboard. It all depends on your need for luxury and comfort. If you like backpacking, it would be no problem, if you like nice hotels when you travel, then forget cruising in any small boat (or most large ones also). The question of fuel and water is easy, dont carry extra fuel. Have a good nylon drifter and use it rather than the iron wind. Two people can carry enough water in a 28 footer for almost any passage. Stowage is always an issue, and I sacrificed the V-berth space for sail/rope locker and lived in the main cabin. It worked well but after 2 years the small size got to us. It was a wonderful two years. ____Grant.
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