Innovation

The F-28 combines many new features that will enhance comfort, safety, and usability for its owner and crew. Paramount in the design was egress from the boat to beach or boat to dockside facilities. The side hull door provides ease of boarding and disembarking to floating docks. The transom steps are perfect for entering the water for swimming and diving.

The F-28 also incorporates a soft rubber Europepan sheer guard to protect the finishes of other yachts when coming alongside without hanging common rubber fenders. The sheer guard adds confidence and convenience to difficult docking situations as well.

The F-28 has multiple safety features inherent to the design. The engine hood provides noise abatement while at the same time diverting engine exhaust gas from the occupants (This is possible on single engine boats only). Handrails are strategically located for occupants to remain standing in all conditions. The radar scanner is built into the molded hardtop. Radar and GPS navigation are provided with every boat.

Background

The F-28 is the result of three decades of yacht design from the hand of Mark Fitzgerald. Mark has watched island residents of Maine come and go from the deep harbors to the shallow waters of the coastal islands for years. Prior to living in Maine there were those early influential years on the Florida coast and Bahamian Islands. Mark’s conclusion was there really isn’t a boat specific to the need of point to point coastal and island destinations. We need a Land Rover Defender on water Mark concluded… and a few years ago he set out to build one.

In the early studies of typical center consoles several things were common and apparent:

  • Most are targeted for recreational fishing.
  • Most are very uncomfortable moving or moored.
  • Most have little ergonomic tuning.
  • Most are targeted to go fast and thus burn gasoline at a rate unthinkable today.

The conclusion was the closest things to the desired Rover Defender were inflatable RIBS. Not exactly yachts, but more like air filled utility craft with yacht appointments.

With clear and convincing direction Mark assemble his ideas, a team of industry veterans, and one award winning motor car designer. The result is innovation that has not been seen before.

Mark has great appreciation for the interface of wind, water, and sand. Mark Fitzgerald says,

“I like Defenders, I like Hobie cats, I seem to like vehicles that take care of you and take you places not on the normal path of life. Own something and love it. Don’t let the ownership turn into high maintenance and problems. The past has clearly demonstrated that boats can be undesirable to own. The F-28 is what a modern boat should be: inspiring, easy to own, and an adventure to places in your dreams.”

Design

The design of the F-28 is the result of a several veteran designers working in a consortium to build a boat that has no substitute and raises the engineering standard for midsized watercraft. The fact is little has changed in this type of powerboat over the past twenty years. In contrast, user and owner lifestyles have changed dramatically. The primary goal is to provide a vessel that is easy to own and easy to operate.

Design manager, Mark Fitzgerald brought his 35 years of design experience into the project and added much more innovation from others. Wyatt Huggins ex-chief designer at Fexas Yacht Design developed the high speed and efficient hull form. In a time when fuel efficiency is studied closely and not overlook; this experience is invaluable. Ford Motor Company’s lead designer Hak Soo Ha is responsible for user ergonomics and fabrication details. The deck has approximately ten molds that are brought together in one seamless fiberglass part. Upholstery and fabrication of soft goods is led by Ann Bickford who has been involved with interior design in New England for over thirty years. The seating and upholstery will add comfort equal to that of much larger yachts.