Gorbon 29 Sports
MARCH 2005
Length overall  29'2"
Beam  9'1"
Draft  1'8"
Displacement  7,262 lb
Fuel Capacity  40 gals
Water Capacity 13 gals
Price as tested  232,894 (including bow thruster and optional electronics)

The helm (above) features a dark mahogany dash with plenty of room for electronics. The galley station in the cuddy cabin (Below) is compact but functional.

This is a pretty little day runner built, believe it or not, in Istanbul, Turkey. The craftsmanship on the wood joinery, the mahogany caprails and particularly around the wood-framed windshield and the mast, are all indications of a culture of master woodworking. Note the beautifully finished dash at the helm, the dark mahogany contrasting nicely with the stainless bezels of the tachometer and the other gauges.

The layout of the cockpit is sweet, with a bench seat spanning the transom and back-to-back settees mounted on top of the engine box amidships. The captain and companion chairs are going to need attention in future models,this is hull number four and still considered in the prototype stage, according to the dealer,since they are both pedestal mounted, fixed in position and not adjustable in any fashion. As it is, it's a tight squeeze to move between the engine box and the helm seat, and there's no way to move it forward out of the way when not in use, or, for that matter, to move it back out of the way if you want to operate the boat while standing.

Still, that's a minor matter and one that's easily addressed. The visibility from the helm is quite good in all directions, forward through the two large square panes of windshield across the long bow, uncluttered by bow rail or pulpit, and aft across the transom.

A roomy lazarette occupies the space underneath the stern settee. A truly handsomely done swim platform looks like the grating of a tall ship's hatch cover.

The cuddy cabin is just that,not much more than sit-up headroom, but there is a full-length V-berth, a galley station with a Corian countertop large enough to accommodate a one-burner portable propane hot plate, and a small stainless steel sink. There's a small refrigerator underneath as well as three tiny drawers and a cabinet under the sink. All this is adequate for an afternoon or an occasional overnight cruise.

The enclosed head is likewise shy on headroom, but while seated on the porcelain marine toilet, there's adequate headroom and elbow room to do what needs to be done. The vanity is nicely finished, with a mahogany top and a contrasting white porcelain bowl.

The battery switch and circuit breakers are conveniently placed just inside the companionway hatch. The batteries themselves are safely mounted in either end of the lazarette.

The hull and deck of the Gorbon 29S are constructed with Kevlar E-Glass foamcore composite that yields a light hull weighing only about 7,000 pounds.

My host for the day was Rick Gordon, who, along with his wife, Wendy, owns Annapolis Boat Sales, the dealership located at the Bay Bridge Marina on Kent Island, actually across the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis. We headed out onto the Bay on a fine, sunny afternoon that felt more like May than December, with a light northerly breeze and about a one-foot chop. We opened up the single 240-hp Yanmar diesel and got 19 knots at 3000 rpm. We found a comfortable cruising speed of 19 knots at 3000 rpm.

The sharp entry and generous flare at the bow kept the foredeck quite dry. The hard chines helped deflect the spray as well as add to the stability. The hull tracked well on all points, and while the helm felt a little stiff on full left turns, the overall feel was one of a good, solid ride. We were turning heads, getting ogled by the couple aboard the only other boat we passed that day as well as the guys working at the marina. It is a pretty boat, indeed.