"Cogito" is just the boat you have been waiting to find. She has been lift kept with very little use and consequently minimum wear and tear and her black hull with a quick inspection show no sign of nicks or blemishes. The Severn River can be seen from the dock so the engine is barely needed to run before you are sailing on the river. If you are looking for a simple easy to sail day-sailor for short handed or solo sailing, the Alerion 28 is a perfect boat and "Cogito" is definitely in better condition than most at her age. It should definitely be on your list to come and see.
Please feel free to call me on the cell phone 410-310-3476, text, or e-mail me if you have any questions or there is anything else I can do for you.
David M. Cox, CPYB
Certified Professional Yacht Broker
The Alerion 28 is not only a very pretty boat on the water. "Cogito" with her black hull also is the ideal boat for that spur of the moment short handed sail and handles fabulously. The updated Schumaker design picks up and sails gracefully out of the creek on the light air days while other boats need a solid breeze to get up and go. With more wind, the Alerion 28 is very well balanced and with the large rudder and fin keel she can turn on a dime. Full length battens and lazy jacks keep the main together while the roller furling jib with the self tacking Hoyt jib boom with "Extender" make it very simple to go for a short or single handed sail on the spur of the moment.
Forward Vee berth, port side berth, and marine head offer the opportunity to go for a longer cruise, over-night or for a week-end. Rarely needed with the Alerion 28 is the reliable Volvo engine with sail drive if the wind drops out completely and you need to motor back to port.
BUT, the Alerion 28 is not about what it has down below. It's all about having a great sailing boat with a balanced helm and open cockpit which comfortably sits 4+/-. All lines lead aft to the cockpit. The boat is so well balanced that by locking the tiller in place with a bungy cord, she tracks straight and allows you to take care of other issues.
Sailing. Pure and Simple.
That's what Alerion sailing is all about. The Alerion 28 Express is all about you on the water enjoying the opportunities that life offers you when the wind is right you want to go for that perfect sail. Designed originally by Nathanael Herreshoff to be his own personal sailing retreat to escape for a couple of hours. The hull design was modified in 1990 by Carl Schumaker and a more efficient rig and sail plan were added to what was once recognized as the "Prettiest girl at the Dance".
"Cogito" is truly worth coming to see if you are looking for a boat that is ready to go and will not disappoint you.The engine has been properly maintained and runs great even though it's only used to get in and away from the dock.
As I said, If you are looking for a well maintained Alerion 28, this is the right boat for you.
The surveyor’s life is often perceived as one of constant joy rides on other people’s boats. While it is true that many inspections do include an obligatory sea trial, the main focus of the sea trial is to test the engine and electronics and get a decent look at the sails and rigging. Depending on the boat, 60 minutes on the water is usually sufficient, brevity being the operative term. Normally I am grateful when the broker gently turns the conversation to returning to the dock, especially when it’s 28 degrees with snow flurries. Nuances of the boat performance and sail trim are left for later.
The Alerion 28 Express is one of the exceptions to the brevity rule, and one of the few boats I don’t mind spending another 20 to 30 minutes on the water pretending to be working. The boats are genuinely fun to sail, can make decent speed without trying too hard, and point well. The Alerion 28 is a unique blend of a larger boat feel blended with small boat excitement and responsiveness. The cockpit is relatively dry considering the low profile of the hull. The success of the A28 inspired several additions to the Alerion line including the Express 20, Express 30, Express 33, Express 38, and Express 41.
The Alerion 28 Express is a direct descendent of Nathanial Herreshoff’s 1912 26-foot Alerion III and is a combination of the original Herreshoff lines blended with a modern underbody. The Alerion 28 Express was designed primarily as a daysailer/racer with an easy-to-handle sail plan and a cockpit designed for more than two and a half people. Interior amenities are very basic. Overnighting in my opinion would be akin to sleeping in the back of a van.
As of this writing the Alerion 28 Express is still in production, having over the years been built by four different manufacturers at different times. The Alerion 28 Express was introduced in 1989 with production starting in 1990; Holby Marine built the first seven hulls. In 1992 TPI (Tillotson Pearson of J-Boat fame) obtained the molds and built A28s until closing its doors in 2011.
US Watercraft took over production until 2018. Alerion Yachts was formed and continued production in 2018. As of the start of 2018, over 470 hulls of the A28 have been produced. The basic Carl Schumacher design hybrid has not been altered much, but there have been some significant changes in production techniques and materials.
In 1994 Garry Hoyt introduced the optional Hoyt jib boom for the headsail which significantly simplified sail handling. Also in 1994, an upgrade to a bulb keel was made, and infusion molding of the cored hulls and decks was introduced. The current 2019/2020 sales literature indicates foam core in both the hull and deck. Earlier decks hulls were balsa cored. I could not determine the exact year that the transition from end grain balsa to foam core occurred. During its stewardship US Water Craft introduced a re-designed interior and introduced a grid structure to optimize strength and dovetail better with an improved resin infusion building process.
The engine package has changed over the years; earlier boats were shaft driven with a two-cylinder Yanmar diesel. The engine and transmission were later changed to a Yanmar sail drive. Current models are delivered with a Volvo engine and sail drive. Current specs on new boats indicate stainless rod rigging; all the older boats in my records were 1X 19 stainless wire.
Due to its long production run, prices for a used Alerion 28 Express are all over the map. In December 2019 asking prices ranged from $22,500 to $115,000. Most asking prices seem to be between roughly $40,000 and $80,000.
After surveying many of these boats, I have some consistent observations/findings to share;
Older boats with a balsa core could have typical balsa-core problems such as moisture intrusion and degradation of the core.
Older boats were susceptible to wet plywood bulkheads where the chain plates were attached.
Access to engines with the sail drive package was tight. If I recall, a section of the cockpit was removable to provide access to some upper engine components and sail drive.
With virtually no bilge area the teak and holly laminate cabin soles would be exposed to moisture from underneath resulting in deterioration of the cabin sole and/or water stains.
Draft: 4’6 or 3’9”
Displacement: 5700 lb.
Designer: Carl Schumacher
Builders: Holby Marine, Tillotson Pearson, US Watercraft, Alerion Yachts
About the Author: Captain Tarn Kelsey is the owner and operator of Kelsey Marine Survey based out of Annapolis.
Proven on thousands of sailboats and numerous trans-oceanic passages.
“The Hoyt Jib Boom™ is one of the best cruising innovations I have seen or used”. Ken Read, Vice President, North Sails
“Hundreds of Island Packets with these Hoyt Boom™ staysail rigs have now logged countless miles cruising worldwide in all varieties of conditions. I’d be hard pressed to improve on any aspect of this setup and would heartily recommend it to all cruising sailors”. Bob Johnson, President/Island Packet Yachts
Sail easier, smoother and faster with your Hoyt Jib Boom.
The typical base placement (center of the pedestal base) is 10% aft of the headstay. This is not a critical location, but rather a “Rule of Thumb”. Various obstacles can obstruct the pedestal base position. All knuckles are bent to 57 degrees. All pedestals are set at 23 degrees. All angles are calculated on a perfectly flat and level deck. Wedges will be required on many installations to make up for deck camber. A universal black molded urethane wedge which can be cut to fit is available from Forespar®.
• Leach twist perfectly trimmed downwind
• Self tacking upwind • Self vanging downwind
• Up and downwind jib control based on a simple & effective principle
• Sail more easily and more efficiently!
• White Powder Coated (base only)
• Perfect trim of your 100% self-tacking jib Wing and Wing downwind "