Multichine 28. Twenty years of history

Roberto Barros

It seems it was yesterday that the first MC 28 went sailing! However, lots of water passed under the keel of the class already. It is making twenty years since Sabadear, the first boat of the class to be completed, had been launched in Cabo Frio, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We informed in an article published in our news recently that the conceptual sketch of this design was the result of long cockpit chats during a trip to the Austral Ocean aboard the thirty-foot double-ender Maitairoa, that having happened in the distant year of 1989. There is a link in the MC28 home-page – History – where we tell the main events of the class in its first ten years of existence, but from then on little was said about the events of the class in our site. Notwithstanding, as it uses to be the case of special harvest wines, every new year the project became more renowned as an outstanding cruising boat of its size

MC 28 Sabadear, belonging to Manolo Fernandes, was the first boat of the class to sail. Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, 1992.

It took some time for the stock plan to be introduced, but even before the plans were totally completed there was a considerable interest in the project from the cruising community. So, it took only a short span after the plans were available for the first unit to be launched. This boat was Sabadear, belonging to the Spaniard Jose Manuel Gonzales Fernandes. This event is referred in the link History, as we mentioned above, as well as are mentioned the other MC 28 that were concluded soon after, like Tatuamunha, owned by the lawyer Fabio Orsini, and Utopya, belonging to the air force pilot Breno Lima, both these yachts being built in Recife, Brazil. Soon after launching these two yachts joined the three hundred miles Recife to Fernando de Noronha Island Offshore Race, and in spite of being the smallest boats in the fleet, they were placed first and second in their class, obtaining daily runs above 150 miles, leaving behind them two thirds of the more than one hundred boats fleet. This feat was a great incentive for the class, boosting its prestige to an unexpected highlight.

Being invited to take part in Tatuamunha’s crew was a golden opportunity for me to learn more about the project that I helped to develop just a short time earlier. Even though we had run the stability curve of the project in our naval architecture software, as it is routine for us, in practice it was amazing to confirm that the boat was indeed an authentic lead mine regarding stability. While most of the fleet had to hoist heavy weather fore-sails to stand the fresh winds that prevailed during most part of the race, our boat romped the seas effortlessly sporting the number one genoa for the whole race. During the prize-winning party, other skippers came to talk to us, asking how we could endure the storm without reducing sails. Our answer reflected with accuracy our state of mind: “Which storm, are we talking about the same race?”

However that race was just an anticipation of what I still was going to learn about the project. Together with a friend, Roberto Ceppas, we started building two MC28 which were going to become hallmarks in the now fast expanding class. The place where the two MC 28, Makai and Fiu, were built, a suburb close to the Maracanã Stadium (the stadium where the 2014 world cup final match will be played), became a hub where other potential amateur constructors used to visit on weekends, and on many occasions, after long days of hard work, the chat ended up in a nearby bar, lasting until late evenings. It seemed that our guests weren’t willing to miss that thrilling atmosphere of preparation for further adventures that we were living. And it was this way that these two boats became popular much before they were launched.

There is no better way to know how a sailboat is than working in the development of the project, building a boat from this plan, living aboard her for a long time and cruise intensely with her in offshore passages. That was exactly what my wife Eileen and I had done with total involvement. Each improvement obtained during the construction, every new detail incorporated to the boat to improve her functionality, any new equipment installed, resulted in upgrading the plans and improving the building manual written for the project. However there was no better apprenticeship than the many thousands of miles sailed in offshore passages with our boat. Among the many hard situations we had to cope with, perhaps the ultimate experience was facing a depression in the Brazilian East Coast, when Fiu was obliged to heave to for forty-eight hours, with waves continuously breaking against the cabin trunk front windows; On the other hand life inside the cabin remained as snug as a bug in a rug as ever.

Multichine 28 Fiu sailing with the wind on her nose almost without heeling, as it is her characteristic. These photos were taken during the one thousand miles non-stop single-handed crossing from Recife, in the northeast of Brazil, to Rio de Janeiro.

Two projects that made successful careers among the B & G series of cruising sailboats stock plans: the Cabo Horn 35 and the MC 28. On these photos taken in Ilha Grande, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the MC 28 Fiu and the Cabo Horn 35 Tauá are lashed alongside in raft style.

Since the class is continuously spreading its horizons, every so often we are receiving information about new achievements by part of our builders. Among the latest ones is that the MC 28 Access, belonging to the amateur builder and adventurer Flavio Bezerra is already sailing in Pacific waters, ready for departing bound for the South Seas Islands (you can read a recent article we published in our news reporting this achievement).

The Multichine 28 Access is the member of the class with the largest number of miles sailed. The last news we have about her informed that she is in Panama, after staying for a long time in the West Indies

During the last few years we have received many photos of boats of the class being launched, or that are in the last stages of construction. Here are some of them:

Multichine 28 Ayty, belonging to the electronic engineer Arapoan Fernandes. This boat was magnificently built and is a good example of the high standard of the absolute majority of the MC28 boats built to date. Arapoan nurtures a dream of sailing with her from Rio de Janeiro to New Zealand in the near future. Presently the boat is stationed in Angra dos Reis, in the Brazilian east coast.

Kiriri ete, belonging to the restaurateur Giovani Dal Grande, being launched in Florianópolis, South Brazil. The upper photo shows the saloon, where he matched bright-work with white upholstery, producing a classic touch to the interior decoration. This is another example of competence in amateur building.

Multichine 28 being built by David Cross, in Seattle, State of Washington, U.S.A. Since we received these photos some time ago, we believe that most probably the boat is sailing by now. The last contact we had with Dave he informed us he was ordering the fin-keel to the most renowned foundry in the U.S. specialized in casting keels for racing machines. Dave intends take part in club racing with his boat in the Puget Sound region, and to assist him with his endeavour we designed a more racing-oriented fin, to be built in lead instead of cast iron and slightly deeper than the standard one.

Multichine 28 Marauder, from Sao Sebastiao, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This boat, as far as we have been informed, is the only one that chose wheel steering up to now. We have no restrictions for the option for wheel steering, but our personal preference is for tiller installation. It saves room and is much cheaper, besides being more bullet-proof.

Riccardo Guardalben

Multichine 28 Safo. Claudine, his owner and builder, is in the last stage of preparation for taking his boat from Paraty, Eastern Brazil, to Capri, in the Mediterranean. Here he is sitting in the saloon of his brand new Safo in company of his family. In the upper photo it can be noticed that Safo is already “gift-wrapped for delivery”. Claudine has a blog with link from our site: Multichine 28 Safo.

In July, 2012 the class had builders in ten different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, England, Greece, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey and U.S.A.), some of them having blogs or sites with links from our site. Besides, we keep in contact with many of them, some of them already using their boats, others still working in the construction. However what all of them have in common is a great enthusiasm for their boats. As example just read the e-mail we just received from Vitor Moura and Luciana Alt, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, who are almost there, regarding the conclusion of their work

Dear friends!

We are very glad to know that the MC 28 is doing a roaring trade as a cruising design. For us it was love at first sight! When we visited you and Eileen in Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro, it was love at first sight, and we got totally bewitched by the plans and it became our pipe dream to build one of these boats. Now we are almost there! You can count on us to promote the strong points of the project wherever we go!
A big hug for you and Eileen
Luciana and Vitor

This year we have the intention of making a series of articles about the MC 28 just to toast the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of this design. Since there are plenty of owners adjusting the last details for ambitious passages, it will be no problem for us to find new stories to be told in our news. If you are planning any adventure with one of these boats, you are very welcome to contact us to tell about your plans. For those who are just dreaming yet, we are pretty sure that you will find new topics in our news to entertain you. Since I participated in the developing of the project and lived with my wife aboard the boat I built with my own hands from the plans that I helped to produce, it is a pleasure for me to pass any information about the MC 28 to others who would like to know more about the boat, with tips from the point of view e of a supporter of the class. My e-mail is and I’m glad to pass the experience that my wife Eileen and I gathered along all those years.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 28.