John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
North Coast  28 Express
Length 28'
Beam 9'3"
Draft 1'5"
Fuel capacity 200 gals
Dry Weight 5,630 lb
Maximum HP 500 hp

This past August I traveled to Bristol, RI, to visit C&C Marine Inc., builders of North Coast boats. Bristol is a town steeped in heritage and tradition. Besides having the country's longest continuously running 4th of July celebration, Bristol is also the home of many famous and well regarded boatbuilding operations—a legacy that dates back to the mid 1800s when the Herreshoff brothers started building boats together.

C&C Marine Inc. thrives in the midst of all this is. With more than 30 years experience building boats, C&C founder Jose DaPonte is considered an expert in both composite construction and tool making. In the company's showroom you'll find a Shelby Cobra sports car, three art deco chaise lounges (turquoise and quite comfortable), and a small row boat—all produced by C&C. On my tour of their state-of-the-art manufacturing floor, I was impressed to see so many different types and brands of boats being built (as well as a few hot rod bodies and a touring bus). Consistent throughout was the quality and attention to detail C&C workers paid to every product. Several years ago, DaPonte decided that it was time for C&C to bring its own product to the market place and so was born North Coast Boats. When I finally caught up with DaPonte, he had a tape measure clipped to his pocket and a pencil behind his ear. This is clearly a guy who takes a hands-on approach to management, and I am told he is personally involved with the construction of every boat.

The North Coast 28 Express is the flagship of the North Coast line, and we headed down to the dock to take her for a spin. Our test boat had a flag blue hull and white decks and cabin top. She was equipped with twin 175-hp Suzuki four-stroke outboards (power options extend all the way up to twin 250s). The engines are mounted to a bracket which doubles as a swim platform; a transom door to port provides good access.The cockpit was well laid out and big enough for fishing, but it can also be fitted with seats for cruising. Beneath the cockpit sole are two fish boxes and a lockable rod storage area.

Moving forward, a center-facing settee sits to port just behind the forward-facing passenger helm seat. On the starboard side, the helm seat sits just forward of a bait-and-tackle station. The test boat had a canvas and isinglass enclosure which provided pilot house comfort with little extra weight. A hard top with enclosure is optional.

Forward of the helm and down two steps is a small but well appointed cabin, perfect for entertaining, dining or comfortably accomodating overnight guests. The head compartment, to starboard, is equipped with an electric flush head, vanity and shower. To port, the galley has a microwave, stove and refrigerator. Forward, the V-berth doubles as a dinette complete with a high-low teak table and filler cushion.

Under way, the North Coast gave a smooth ride and performed well. She will cruise around 30 knots and should top out around 40 knots with twin 175s (as reported by manufacturer). I found the Suzukis to be quiet at low rpm but quite a bit louder at speed than other four-stroke outboards.

The North Coast 28 Express is a well built, seaworthy and versatile boat that is ideal for serious fishing, day tripping and the occasional overnighter.