Granted, seas on the day we ran the 28 ZF maxed out at 2 feet. But I still ran the boat at wide-open throttle in those conditions, which I'd hesitate to do on many boats. This boat, rated for twin 250-hp outboards, ran a pair of carbureted Mercury 2.5-liter 200s. So while I was able to eke out only 56.8 mph at 5,600 rpm with full fuel and four people, I have no doubt that with twin 250s this boat runs well over 60 mph.
You'll find running into a head sea in this boat a real treat. Cross a wave and you see
but hardly feel it much. Launch off a wave and the boat lands relatively flat and level in very smooth and cushioned fashion. Overall, whether the seas are dead on the bow, slightly off, abeam or following, the Donzi 28 ZF runs hot, straight and true on all points.
In one way, the 28 can even protect you from yourself. For example, in a sharp, high-speed turn, the 28 will bleed off speed rapidly, reducing the chance of anyone from being thrown to the side.
The Donzi fishing models all have stepped hulls. The steps are the notches you sometimes see along the chines of performance boats. The function of the hull steps is to aerate the bottom, giving better lift, higher speed, less drag and improved stability. In other words, the boat runs better and more smoothly in a chop than on calm water.
All this extraordinary success doesn't come without compromise. As is the case with all performance boats, the engines are mounted fairly high on the transom. While this enhances high-speed running, don't expect gut-wrenching hole-shots. You'll need to come up on plane more gradually to avoid over-revving. Once on plane, throttle response is instantaneous.