The Minor Offshore brand of Finland-built patrol/cruiser boats has introduced a new 28′ model that strikes a good balance between affordability and size — all packaged in a hardy, family-ready cruising boat. Represented in the U.S. by Skarne Marine, of Milford, Connecticut, the Minor Offshore boats could eventually become major players in the small-to-mid-size cruising market. These are tough, seaworthy boats meant to be used and they’re built to be economical to operate and maintain.
The 28 features two cozy, double cabins and an enclosed head compartment. There is a compact galley with a two-burner stove and sink with hot and cold water. There are some nice standard features on this boat, including a bow thruster, which will be helpful to those who aren’t proficient yet with a sterndrive around the docks. A Raymarine C120W chartplotter is also standard, along with power trim assist, interval wipers, remote-controlled searchlight, auto trimtabls, defroster, stainless steel keel protection, adjustable passenger seat and teak interior.
I really like the sunroof on these boats; mainly for the way they open up the interiors and offer abundant fresh air from a source up and away from any incidental spray. Another thing to note is the kind of utilitarian detail on these boats. The rubrail, for example, is a beefy, thick rubber that runs around the entire boat. These boat builders understand that in the real world, boats bump into things — docks, pilings, other boats — and as pretty as a nice stainless insert is, it’s gonna get scratched, and worse, scratch whatever it hits. This kind of practicality seems to be a feature of the Nordic-built boats I’ve reviewed lately.
These are all diesel-powered boats, using Volvo engines. The 28 comes with a D4-260 Duoprop as the standard engine, but can handle up to a D6-370 single, or twin D3-220s. The base engine will still drive the boat to 30 knots and at a 25-knot cruise should still get nearly 3 nmpg. With 83 gallons of fuel aboard, you could cruise for days on a typical trip around coastal waters without having to refuel. As with all sterndrives, you need to learn how to use thrust from the Duoprop to help you in a turn; the drive unit itself being something of an undersized stand-alone rudder. The standard bow thruster will serve as a set of suspenders while you learn how to use your belt.
The Sarin family, has been building boats for three generations now in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland. The Minor Offshore line is considered an all-season line by its builder. I suppose with short summers and long, dark seasons, that would be a necessity. I didn’t look the word up in a Finnish dictionary to be sure, but the company claims the “Minor” name of the line comes from the family’s humility. They are clearly NOT minor boats, and are certified to the CE offshore B standard, which is just plain nasty weather — a sea state of waves up to 4 meters and wind of 40 knots.
(An aside here — the actual CE Category B refers to the Beaufort Scale number of 8, which is a full gale of 40 knots, and also refers to a wave height of up to 4 meters. Curiously, the Beaufort Scale suggests that wave heights at a wind speed of 40 knots could be from 5.5 meters up to 7.5 meters, about 25 ft. So the CE category standard refers to a sea state that is actually lower than what is expected at the standard’s wind speed. Odd.)
I like the idea of a steel-reinforced keel; it would likely come in handy in my rocky-bottom home waters of Long Island Sound.
We’ll be testing the Minor Offshore line as soon as the weather warms up enough here in New England to splash the boats. In the meantime, check out the Skarne Marine website and take a gander at the specs.
Minor Offshore 28
|Length over all||27.1 ft||Engine rec. (single)||225-370 hp|
|Hull length||25.2 ft||Engine rec. (twin)||340-440 hp|
|Beam||9.4 ft||Top speed range||30-42 kn|
|Draft||3.1 ft||Fuel consumption (25 knots)||0.27 gal/nm (est.)|
|Displacement||3.52 tons||Maximum cruising range/time||305 nm/12.2h|
|Overall height||12.9 ft||Maximum load||2204 lbs|
|Height above WL||9.8 ft||Ce category||B-Offshore|
|No. of cabin seats||6||Base Price (excl. shipping) — $190,881.|
|Berths||4||Est. Shipping and import duties — approx. $12K|
|Fuel tank||83.15 gal|
|Water tank||26.4 gal|
|Septic tank||10.5 gal|
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