I have had a 1985 O'Day 28 for two years. It is a great boat for what you have in mind. I am very experienced with Catalinas of this vintage and the O'Day 28 is the better boat in my opinion. They made about 500 of them and went out of business a long time ago though so people tend to prefer Catalinas, and if I was buying
a 10 or 20 year old boat I would buy a Catalina
(I am thinking about it) but for a 28 footer from the '80s the O'Day is a shockingly good boat. There are many hundreds sill afloat FWIW.
I like the hull
construction; it has an encapsulated lead keel
, so no bolts to worry about, and an interior fiberglass
hull liner that comprises the seats and lockers etc and provides an extra layer of stability and makes the boat pretty strong and stiff. Also it is huge inside, 10.5' beam in the center and I have full headroom
at 5'10". It's the biggest interior
for an older 28 footer I have seen. Draft
is 4.5' so it gets over the rocks and shoals here in Maine
I had it surveyed and the boat was pretty dry. No blistering.
Mine came with a Yanmar 3GM
30 which is oversized for the boat so some modifications were made to enable this. I think the original engines were underpowered and of course they are old, so I would suggest looking for a boat that has had it's engine
replaced. Some have gone without the diesel
and replaced with an outboard
. That does not seem like a great solution for this size boat in my opinion.
Sailing wise, my boat points pretty high and sails
well. It is very forgiving, doesn't have much leeway at all or heel much. It does tend to round up. I know another guy that had one and his did too. He got rid of his boat because of this but I just handle it buy letting the main out, adjusting the traveler or reefing over 20 kts. I am quite comfortable sailing the boat up to 20 kts, and quite happy between 10 and 20 apparent. With my typical half assed sail trim I go over 6 knots pretty easily with good wind
. On Saturday in about 18kts of wind
and about a knot
in my favor I saw 7.4 kts COG at about 50 degrees off the wind. Downwind my boat is slower, not sure why. I don't have a spinnaker
My traveler is on the cabintop. Get one like that, not with it mounted in the cockpit
, the cockpit
is not big enough and you will kill yourself going around it.
What's not to like? There's no real nav station. The ice box is useless (I made it into a garbage hold. Cockpit is a bit small. The cabinets and counters ("joinery" as yachties like to say) is not super high quality. Bottom line, O'Day's model was spend the money
on the hull and skimp on some of that other stuff. The fittings are generally OK or have been replaced with better, but the woodwork is mediocre. My attitude was I was buying a boat
not a china
closet, but some people buy these and spend a lot of time replacing the countertops and cabinets, installing custom italian tile backsplashes and bullsh** like that.
Other than that, I have had to replace a ton of stuff. Head pump
, fresh water pump
, hoses, wiring
, battery monitor
, running rigging
, the list goes on. Depends on how well the boat was maintained. But it didn't cost a ton and I have learned a lot. I drill holes in this boat and sand and patch and move stuff around without fear because it's an old boat and so drill away. I do everything in the most cost effective way possible because the resale market for O'Days is pretty fixed.You can buy a decent one for $12K, put $20K into it and in three years you will sell it for $11K.
Also everybody complains about the carpeting on the walls. This was designed to absorb and dissipate moisture, and it does, but after 30+ years of that it tends to look water
stained and have mildew. People in the owners group spend a lot of time scraping it out and replacing it with all sorts of things. I just got a carpet cleaner and did it once with anti-mildew stuff and once with oxy carpet soap and it look s brand spanking new.
There is a guy, DR Marine
I think, that sells the original fittings and compatible parts
, and there is a good owners group. But I have not had any difficulty using standard gear
for things I have had to buy.