The Shannon 28

(An excerpt from the original Shannon 28 Study Manual)



Shannon Boat Company is one of the few boat building com­panies in the industry to build a small vessel as a second model. The 28 was based on the demand created by individuals that wanted  the "virtues" but not the size of the Shannon 38. Since size is a function of price and use, the Shannon 28 was developed for those who were willing to forego some of the luxury of the 38 for the capabil­ity and peace of mind created by a smaller, quality offshore yacht. Even the most demand­- ing critics agree that the Shannon 28 is the finest yacht under 30 feet built anywhere in the World.


The Shannon 28 is perhaps one of the only boats under 30 feet built in America for serious offshore sailing. Every conceivable item, from hull design to the layout of the galley dish locker, was incorporated to produce the finest yacht possible. It is the contention of Shannon Boat Company that size alone is not a qualifier for structural integrity or ocean sailing. The Shannon  28

breaks with the commonly held  concept  in the boat industry that individuals pur­chasing

fiberglass sailboats under 35 feet lack the experience and appreciation for the qual­ities necessary for blue water passages.


Obviously, the 28 is not built for the "price" market and there are no compromises to be found in material , equipment, rigging, or man hours. Shannon hand builds only a few 28's each year using the Twenty-Eight Feet same philosophy and care which has made the name Shannon representative of quality built yachts.





We believe that 28 feet is a prac­tical size for family cruising or liveaboard for two. To obtain more real

useable  space for extended  passages,  one must  look at boats  over 35 feet  which may offer limiting factors  such as cost,  quality,  effective utiliza­tion, and ease of  handling. Pur­chasing a  boat based  strictly on overall length  does not neces­sarily provide the  important

characteristics for true comfort at the dock or at sea. Optical space and a large quantity of child­ sized bunks can become an unfortunate trade-off against a well laid out seagoing galley, tankage capacity,  ventilation, a useable head,  storage areas, structural integrity, and all the standard items that make the Shannon 28 a truly unique  yacht.


Dimensions of twenty­ eight feet on deck, twenty-three feet on the water, with a 9300 lb. displacement, creates a phe­nomenal amount of useable area and seagoing qualities. The dis­placement on the Shannon 28 enables the vessel to be heavily constructed and still be able to carry enough food, water, gear and people to cross an ocean. Since a great deal of sailing is done in 15 knots of wind or less, the generous sail area and long

waterline offer performance that has pleased  the most discrimi­nating sailors.




A great deal of time was expended at the drawing board and on the prototype to develop a deck layout for the Shannon 28. Far too many boats today have narrow and unsafe side decks, small foredecks, high trunk cabins, and poorly laid out cockpits.


Since the Shannon 28 was designed for ocean sailing and comfortable coastal cruising in all wind and

sea conditions, the cockpit layout was a critical item. The cockpit had to be large enough for two

adults to sleep under the stars at an anchorage and yet be small enough to be safe offshore. In addition,

expe­rienced sailors know that 80% of the time on any sailing vessel is spent above decks, whether the boat is moving or not, so seating, comfort, steering ability, winch and electronic equipment loca­tions, water-tight integrity, scupper capacity, and locker storage all had to be designed for maximum utilization. Anchor storage has been sacrificed or forgotten on many production boats. A small anchor stored on a cabin top or in a molded-in  well on the fore­deck may look good in a marina  but can be a real hazard when trying to get the anchor out quickly in 20 knots of breeze. Carrying a

35 lb. CQR plow anchor from a cockpit locker for­ ward becomes almost impos­sible under the same conditions . The Shannon 28 carries all ground tackle, both a Danforth and a CQR anchor on the bow­ sprit in rollers ready to set sim­ply, quickly, and safely. There is also space for a windlass.


The foredeck on the Shannon 28 was not shortened to push the trunk cabin forward for unimportant optical interior space. The foredeck is the least discussed item on a sailboat, but one need only to go forward once during a half a gale to real­ize how important this area is. When a sail change is called for, the requirements for space and safe footing remain the same no matter what size the vessel.


"Non-skid decks" may be one of the most over-rated expressions used in the fiber­ glass boat industry. Molding a fancy shallow pattern in a deck and using a contrasting gel coat color does not make the surface "non-skid." A wet fiberglass deck can be hazardous unless the surface is designed to pre­vent deck shoes from "hydro­planing" on the surface. The Shannon 28,

like all Shannons, has a special custom molded fiberglass pattern created for off­ shore work in heavy seas. The pattern is raised, complicated to construct, easy to maintain, and very effective.


Discussion on any single phase of a Shannon can easily fill a volume and this brochure was printed to highlight a few select items. How important all phases of design and detail, whether interior, machinery, rigging, or deck layout, are to the people at Shannon, is best revealed by a look at the area at the forward end of the trunk cabin on the 28. The molded-in space alongside and below the dorade boxes was designed especially to fit two 5 gallon jerry cans port and starboard, out of the way for extended pas­ sages. This one obscure detail is representative of our sincerity and goal of building the ultimate yacht.





Tankage on any vessel is critical, not only the capacity but also the construction material. In addition, tanks should be removable for service, if neces­sary, years after the vessel is built .


According to many expe­rienced and knowledgeable sail­ors, a well disciplined crew, washing dishes, with salt water and drinking a normal amount  of soda, fruit juice, etc., will con­sume about two quarts of water per man per day. A gallon of water per day per person will provide enough water for an occasional shower. Therefore, the 65 gallon standard water capacity on a Shannon 28 will allow two people sufficient water to sail across the Atlantic without filling the water tanks.


A Shannon 28 carries more than an adequate supply of water that can easily be supplemented with jerry cans or a built-in additional emergency tank. There are three stainless steel water tanks in a Shannon 28 that are self-trimming and pro­vided with isolator valves to prevent any contamination if bad water is picked up in a for­eign or domestic port.  The alloy diesel fuel tank on the Shannon 28 has a 20 gal­ on capacity with a built-in fuel

gauge. Based on consumption of approximately 3 pints per hour for the standard two cylin­der diesel engine at 2,000 rpm, the range under power is well over 300 miles.




Like all Shannons, the 28 is built to ABYC codes and our own rigid specifications . Electrical wiring is a two wire 12 volt sys­tem with circuit breakers, bat­tery selector  switch, and  a battery condition meter. All

wir­ing  runs  around  the  perimeter of the vessel at the sheer and is easily accessible. The 28 is also electrically bonded for corrosion and grounded for lightning protection.


The fresh water systems are pressurized with a 12 volt pump and all plumbing is cop­per tubing with flared cou­plings. The 28 is available with pressure hot/cold water and a shower.


The standard equipment list on a Shannon 28 is extensive and includes equipment such as a 2

cylinder 15 HP diesel engine, bronze portlights,  bow and stern pulpits, lifelines, compass, fabric cushions, custom teak interior, manual diaphragm bilge pump, full galley, and approved head, to mention just a few.


Optional equipment such as refrigeration, 110 volt dock­ side electrical system, con­stavolt, Loran, wind vane steering, stereo equipment, etc., can all be installed by Shannon people.


Each piece of equipment found on a Shannon 28 is care­ fully chosen and installed with precision

and care. Every owner is checked out on operation and maintenance of his 28 before leaving our yard.




The cutter rigged Shannon 28 provides versatility in all wind and sea conditions. Considered the best rig for single-handed sailing by experienced sailors, the cutter rig is simple to sail, offering the virtues of a sloop without tiring sail changes. The cutter rig has proven its merits on all the oceans of the world and the self-tending staysail and main are convenient for tacking in

and out of crowded harbours.


The cutter rig with a gen­erous sail plan does suffer from racing handicap rating rules which produced a recent gener­ation of sloops. However, for those interested in simple, com­fortable and fast sailing, the cut­ter rig offers the perfect solution. In addition, a cutter will "heave to" with just the staysail when the going gets tough, giving the cutter a rig that functions from a

zephyr to force 10.


Every now  and then "new high technology" rigs are marketed using special roller furling gear, full battens, wish­ bones, lug sails and other com­plicated hardware to provide simple sailing. The cutter rig used on the Shannon 28 was developed from over a century of proven use and offers the real versatility and simplicity that the offshore sailor demands.


SHANNON YACHT BROKERAGE    19 BROAD COMMON ROAD, BRISTOL, RI 02809      +1.401.253.2441     email